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Old 01-19-2013, 08:14 PM   #1
Sirenus
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Default fermentation temp and a dropped airlock

Hi!

I'm a new homebrewer. My second batch of beer (a porter) has been fermenting in my primary in my basement for the past week. The temp down there has been 59 to 61 degrees. I was worried that such a cold temp would inhibit my ale yeast from doing its full job (although over the past week the krausen came and went, there was a lot of bubbling in my airlock, and a layer of trub has appeared) so I decided to bring my primary upstairs to let it spend a week in my kitchen which is usually at about 66 to 69 degrees. However, on the way up the stairs I banged the carboy against a step and the airlock fell out! I quickly freaked out, picked the airlock up, rinsed it off, mixed up some starsan, sanitized it, and stuck it back into the carboy's opening. The carboy was probably only open for about two minutes.

My questions is: Is there a big risk I could I have infected my beer by having the carboy open for 2 minutes?

Also, if a more experienced homebrewer could give me some feedback on the temperatures I've had my primary at, I would be most appreciative. I'm still getting the basics down!

Finally, my first batch (a stout) is currently bottled and carbonating at about 61 to 63 degrees. Has anyone carbonated at this temp? Or should I move the bottles somewhere warmer?

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post! I appreciate it.

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Old 01-19-2013, 08:35 PM   #2
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The risk of infection from dropping the airlock is very, very small. I wouldn't worry about it. Brewer's open the airlock all the time to test things and add ingredients.

The process of fermentation will raise the temperature of your beer above ambient room temperatures. So while your room was 59-61, the beer was probably 65-68 inside, which is optimal temps. A lot of brewers will ferment around that temperature for a few days, then once activity slows down, raise the temperature gradually, sometimes up to 72, which would be close to where you got it in the kitchen. Raising the temp can kickstart a little more activity in the yeast and help reach final gravity.

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Old 01-21-2013, 02:12 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input; I appreciate your advice.

You're a vegan? Me too!

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Old 01-21-2013, 03:12 PM   #4
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Vegan brewer is right on the money. In regards to your stout in the bottles. 61-63 will work for bottle carb/conditioning but if you can, move them to slightly warmer (70*F). This will allow the process to go a bit faster as the yeast will be more active at the warmer temps. Give them 3 weeks at 70 then cool em in the fridge and enjoy. You may need an extra week if temps are lower.

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Old 01-21-2013, 03:57 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice, too, DocScott. I popped a stout open last night (after about 7 days carbing in the bottle) and found the beer to be ever so slightly carbonated. However, the taste was great, with no off flavors to speak of! This is really exciting because this batch is my first homebrew ever, and it's great to know that even though I think I did a bunch of things wrong, the beer still turned out great!

Thanks to both of you for the advice!

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Old 01-21-2013, 04:25 PM   #6
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You are doing great!! 2 minutes without the airlock is a silly thing to worry about. You have done no harm. You are just making beer... it's not rocket science!!! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!!!

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Old 01-21-2013, 06:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirenus View Post
Thanks for the input; I appreciate your advice.

You're a vegan? Me too!
Yes, long-timer, glad to have another on the board, I think I remember a funny thread a while ago about the ethics of vegans killing yeast , and there were a few more of us around.
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