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Old 03-31-2009, 09:38 PM   #1
neumann
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Default What are the odds I've ruined a batch of beer?

Last night I started my 2nd batch of beer which was also the first batch I've done in a full boil. I started it too late and by the time I was pouring the boiling wort into fermenter it was 11:30 pm (half an hour past my bed time, mind you). I don't have a wort chiller and my sink isn't big enough for a 6 gallon bucket and ice water so I wrapped the bucket in a wet towel and set a couple of fans to blow on it hoping it would cool down at a reasonable speed. No dice... I finally went to bed at 12:30a and set an alarm for 1:30a. Woke up, checked the temp, set another alarm for an hour later and repeated. At 3:30a the wort was about 98-100 degrees so I pitched the yeast and went back to bed.

This morning I've got plenty of activity, so there is one concern (that I had pitched too hot) alleviated. But what are the odds that in the 4 hours between boil and pitch, I picked up some nasty bacteria? Is there any way I can check the quality of my beer or do anything to mitigate the damage the bacteria does to my brew? If not, and I am infected, how bad is it going to make my beer?

Before I get any lectures on the need for fast cooling, I fully intend to build a wort cooler (my local brew store wanted more than $100 for a cooler!!!) before I begin my next batch.

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Old 03-31-2009, 09:39 PM   #2
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Nah, it'll be fine. You'll get some off flavors from stressed yeast, but it will still be beer.

RDWHAHB.

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Old 03-31-2009, 09:44 PM   #3
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Thanks. I'm glad to hear that my hard work (and a good chunk of money) won't be wasted. :-)

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Old 03-31-2009, 09:49 PM   #4
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It'll be beer, like LL said, but dude, if you're gonna do full boils, you need a chiller......

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Old 03-31-2009, 09:49 PM   #5
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I did the same thing once, but set the alarm for PM instead of AM (too tired to see the dot) so i ended up leaving a batch sit for 12 hours before pitching. Turned out fine.

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Old 03-31-2009, 09:49 PM   #6
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You will have a lot of esters and fusel alcohol in this batch. It won't hurt you, but I'll bet this batch will give you a nasty headache if you drink too much.

Get a wort chiller! it is important.

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Old 03-31-2009, 09:54 PM   #7
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A chiller (or the materials to make one, rather) is my next purchase.
@GreenwoodRover - My biggest concern was that I remembered to reset the alarm so that I would wake up and make it to work.

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Old 03-31-2009, 10:00 PM   #8
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Is a chiller really needed if you can fit your brewpot into a sink and surround it with ice water? I did that for my first batch that's in the primary now?

I also stirred it gently while it was cooling - is that a mistake?

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Old 03-31-2009, 10:01 PM   #9
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four.......

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Old 03-31-2009, 10:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Is a chiller really needed if you can fit your brewpot into a sink and surround it with ice water? I did that for my first batch that's in the primary now?

I also stirred it gently while it was cooling - is that a mistake?
Did you do a full boil? That's how many of us that do partial boils cool their wort. With a full boil, it's more mass so it takes longer. Stirring is just fine as long as you're gentle.
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