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Old 01-02-2011, 02:50 PM   #1
TyrolBrewing
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Default Is my first batch ruined?

Hello ya'll - I am worried that I ruined my first batch last night.

So I'm brewing a 5g batch and had transferred it from primary to secondary a week ago. I am doing the secondary in the sanitized bottling bucket. Last night, I checked the gravity of the beer. After putting the lid back on the bucket, I was putting the airlock into the hole in the lid when the little piece of black rubber around that hole fell into the beer! Quickly taking the lid off, I could see that it wasn't floating. So now I have this piece of unsanitized rubber at the bottom of my beer.

Is this an obvious issue or is there still a chance that the beer can be good? I was planning to bottle today since the gravity has stabilized.

Any advice on saving or ditching my first batch? I don't want to end up with bottle bombs...

Cheers,
TB

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Old 01-02-2011, 03:12 PM   #2
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First thing to do it relax. That little rubber grommet probably won't hurt your beer at all unless you had the bucket in a very unsanitary location. If it did get infected, it will take some time to make bottle bombs so go ahead and bottle it and after a couple weeks, start opening and watch for any sign of infection. If you have it chilled properly and it gushes when you open it, start opening a couple more. If they all gush, you had an infection. If none of them gush, enjoy.

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Old 01-02-2011, 03:17 PM   #3
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chances of infection from the stopper are lower since the beer is finished with fermentation and there is alcohol in solution now. Probably will be fine, just proceed as normal. Since this is your first batch it won't be around long anyway, enjoy!

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Old 01-02-2011, 03:26 PM   #4
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DON'T PANIC!!!

Now that you are busy not panicking, your beer is probably fine. It is most susceptible to infection BEFORE fermentation starts. At this point you have an alcoholic environment that is protecting the beer from infection. I went arm fishing in a batch when I pitched my stir bar in with my starter and THAT came out fine!!!

On top of that my FIL and I got flat pissed on a ton of great craft beer the first time we brewed. We did just about everything wrong--we had no way to cool the wort so we just waited and drank with no lid on the bucket for about 2 hours til it came down to pitching temps. My rather intoxicated 6'4" 300+ lb. FIL carried the bucket next door to his house, got a liittle top heavy, and went ass over tea kettle over the bucket...WITHOUT SPILLING ANYTHING!!! Shook the sh!t out of it though! It was a big Belgian and we had no idea about blow-off tubes and it gushed out of the airlock by morning...the next infection risk. Cleaned that up but had no control over fermentation temps...IN TEXAS

The beer was GREAT (might have tasted just a bit like nanners , but still great!)

Bottom line, beer is really hard to screw up, RDWHAHB

Welcome to your new obsession

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Old 01-02-2011, 03:28 PM   #5
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Probably half the brewers on these boards have had that happen to them. When it happened to me (first batch), I rinsed my arm under the hottest water I could stand for several minutes after scrubbing it with detergent. The beer came out fine.

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Old 01-02-2011, 05:23 PM   #6
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The chances of infection are MUCH lower than what everyone makes it seem like. I was crazy about sanitation when I first started... now I slip up all the time. I have bottled with unsanitized bottles, licked bottles (experiment), dropped the same piece of plastic, put my hand in the wort, dirty spoon to stir, etc. I have never had an infection or ruined batch. My word of advice is not to worry until you actually see a problem.

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Old 01-02-2011, 05:31 PM   #7
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You beer is fine, you actually started out as a true homebrewer. Many many many folk's first time posts were this very thing. Including a certain moderator. It happens to the best of us....In fact despite the boneheaded things we do, our beer survives...



Read the stories here, and see just how hardy your beer really is. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/what...t-great-96780/

Welcomem to the obsession.

FYI I am drinking the beer the stirbar was in, it is fantastic.

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Old 01-03-2011, 01:35 PM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for their extremely helpful and prompt replies. Taking your advice, I went ahead and bottled yesterday. I'll let you know how this turns out!

Cheers
TB

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Old 01-03-2011, 04:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TANSTAAFB View Post
DON'T PANIC!!!

Now that you are busy not panicking, your beer is probably fine. It is most susceptible to infection BEFORE fermentation starts. At this point you have an alcoholic environment that is protecting the beer from infection. I went arm fishing in a batch when I pitched my stir bar in with my starter and THAT came out fine!!!
On my second batch, I dropped a nasty piece of 1'x1' plastic into my beer when I was bottling. The plastic was filthy and without thinking I reached into the beer and pulled it out. Plastic looked clean, so lord knows what got into the beer. I bottled as normal. Beer came out fine.
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:04 PM   #10
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Thanks to everyone for the tips. As an update, the beer came out fine (for a first batch) and I'm already brewing my second batch, being extra careful of the grommet.

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