So I had to leave town suddenly and left my fermenting bucket in my swamp cooler. This was after about a week of pitching the yeast and it looked like the main event was over anyhow, so I mostly left it in the water to protect it from wild temperature swings, not so much because I was worried about keeping the temperature low for the initial fermentation.
Well, today I came back and lifted off the t-shirt (having left suddenly, I neglected to take this off), and there was some mold along the outside of the bucket. I didn't snap a pic, but it was greenish. I wiped it all down carefully with star san then opened up the lid to find a pristine brew.
I'm not to worried about this batch--but should I be worried about future batches? I figure it should be fine since it was just the outside of the bucket and there weren't really any scratches on it (just my second brew). It did look like the metal handle got some stuff strongly attached to it, not sure whether mold or deposits from the water, but it's not really coming off.
Is the bucket okay for further service or are there steps I should take to rehab it?