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Old 12-25-2008, 12:19 AM   #1
bhughes
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Default Second batch, one sanitation concern

I brewed my second batch today. Everything went really well as I got to use my new propane burner and did a full boil even faster than doing a partial boil on the stove.

So, of course I'm now hanging out with family for christmas and worried that the one or two mistakes I made will mess up the beer. Basically, there were two instances where my hand was in the cooled wort. I will say that I was dipping my hands in my bucket of starsan sanitizer solution like every 10 minutes. My hand got in the wort once when I was scooping the wort out with a small pitcher(sanitized) putting it into the fermenter. Then, I used a paint strainer when I poured the wort into the fermentor. When I lifted the paint strainer, it looked like there was a gallon of wort still in it trapped in all the gunk, so I had to squeeze the strainer to get some of the wort out, hince the wort was all over my hand.

So, my hands did touch the cooled wort, but is it likely that it was contaminated if I was dipping my hands in the starsan fairly often? thanks

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Old 12-25-2008, 12:39 AM   #2
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I think you'll be fine.

I haven't yet told anyone... but on my first batch, I dropped that stick-on thermometer right in the wort while I was trying to chill it. So I stuck my arm in up to my elbow.... I ended up with some off flavors to the brew, but it was for other reasons. No infections! As long as the fermentation takes off rather quickly, I think you'll be A-OK. Happy holidays!

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Old 12-25-2008, 03:31 AM   #3
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Don't tell anyone, but I think I've touched most of my beers with my bare hands, or at least some surface that will touch the beer (auto-siphon, bucket lid, you get the idea). No infections yet. I always wash with soap and then dip in the starsan, and I bet you'll be OK too. It's not good practice, but as long as you are being sanitary you are probably fine.

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Old 12-25-2008, 03:49 AM   #4
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Our beer is much hardier than we often give it credit, especially when we're starting out, we think if we look at it wrong it will die. But that's really not the case

I've stuck my entire unsanitized arm in a full bottling bucket to tighten a leaky spigot before and it still turned out fine.

Most of us have done all matter of dumb stuff to our beer, and usually it STILL turns out OK despite our stupidity....So don't worry about it...As long as you take proper precautions, you'll be fine...

Don't turn brewing into something you worry about, like it's a new born baby...it's not...It's a hobby, and it is fun....Not brain surgery.

And if something happens? SO what, it's not the end of the world......I hate to break it to you, but it's inevetable that you will have a bad batch or infection somewhere down the line...On Craftbrewer radio they said it usually happens around the 10th, the 30th and the 50th batch...even the pro's deal with it (the Brewer at New Glarus said in an interview that a commercial brewery operation gets a 3 year grace period before their first infection)


But It is very very very unlikely that your first few batches will be bad

It's usually not until our equipment gets worn out AND/OR house germs begin to develop in your brewery....And when it happens, you simply deal with it, you firebomb your gear with bleach, replace the hoses and any scratched plastic and move on....I did that this summer...

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Old 12-25-2008, 04:35 AM   #5
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LOL!

You will be fine!

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I would love to find a loooong oldschool baster though, mine is a little short
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Old 12-25-2008, 05:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kungpaodog View Post
Don't tell anyone, but I think I've touched most of my beers with my bare hands, or at least some surface that will touch the beer
I am going to call BPS (Beverage Protective Services) on your ass! Your beer is going to grow up with skewed views and....

Damn it, Im too tired to be an idiot right now...
Merry Xmas bud
-Me
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Old 12-25-2008, 01:26 PM   #7
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If you pitch enough viable, healthy yeast to do their job, it's hard to contaminate your brew to the point it isn't drinkable. Trust me, I've had an infection in my brewery, and I had to work really hard to get it! In my case, it was on the fourth generation of re-using yeast which I had not washed properly (I was still a n00b back then). Every time you reuse yeast you are growing the level of contamination by 100-1000x, so I learned the hard way you have to be very careful going beyond 1 or 2 re-uses of yeast.

A n00b following sanitary procedures using new equipment is very unlikely to have ruined beer. The worst thing that may happen is your beer will go sour after 4-6 months of room temperature storage. I doubt your beer will last that long.

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Old 12-25-2008, 01:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Saccharomyces View Post
If you pitch enough viable, healthy yeast to do their job, it's hard to contaminate your brew to the point it isn't drinkable. Trust me, I've had an infection in my brewery, and I had to work really hard to get it! In my case, it was on the fourth generation of re-using yeast which I had not washed properly (I was still a n00b back then). Every time you reuse yeast you are growing the level of contamination by 100-1000x, so I learned the hard way you have to be very careful going beyond 1 or 2 re-uses of yeast.

A n00b following sanitary procedures using new equipment is very unlikely to have ruined beer. The worst thing that may happen is your beer will go sour after 4-6 months of room temperature storage. I doubt your beer will last that long.
+1 on this!!
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Old 12-25-2008, 10:40 PM   #9
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Hey, thanks guys. I got home today and checked out the fermentation. At first there were no bubbles in the airlock and it had been about 18 hours. But then I checked the lid and it wasn't on tight so I sealed it all the way and the airlock began to bubble. No worries. Well, my 1st batch will be ready next week, it's 3rd week in the bottle, my second batch is fermenting, and tonight I'm going to enjoy a 22oz of some Stone Ruination (not sure about the spelling). I've never had it but have heard good things and I'm trying to build a collection of 22oz bottles for homebrews.
Enjoy the holidays everyone.

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