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Old 02-19-2009, 06:30 PM   #1
Dec 2007
Posts: 7

I had a couple of downers kill what otherwise was going to be a great brewing experience. Tell me what you think...

With some tax refund money I purchased a SQ-14 Burner and a 10 gal Polarware Pot and went about brewing my first full boil. That all went great, but in my haste of wanting to brew on my day off, I didn't do a yeast starter for a tube of White Labs yeast. No big deal I know, except this tube ended up being bad. First time not doing a starter, and it just so happens it's the first bad tube I've gotten, my bad luck.

Luckily, Midwest had sent me an extra pack of Munton's dry, so after giving it almost 24hrs without one single bubble, I re-hydrated the Munton's and went about pouring her in. This is where I screwed up again.

In trying to get the stopper out, I drove it almost down into the beer, not a big deal I know, but annoying, now I was going to have to carefully fish it out with a screw driver that I conveniently forgot to sterilize. I had done this before wthout touching the bottle with the screwdriver with no problem, but this time it slipped and the plug fell into the beer with a bit of greasy screwdriver dirt in the middle hole.

I cussed, sterilized a new plug, and put her in. This morning the batch is fired up and going great.

Here's the ultimate question. Upon telling my brother, who is a more meticulous and experienced brewer than myself, this story, he said that I might as well throw the batch out. That seems a little drastic to me. I have had some other screwups in my short amateur career, and with upwards of 20 batches and two years under my beer belly, have yet to have an infected batch, but granted, this batch does seem like a batch of firsts thus far. The boil went so good, and the beer was no doubt going to be good until all this happened. So what now?

Don't know why it would matter, but the batch is a Midwest Supplies recipe for 5gal. Irish Red Ale brewed to spec. (1lb grain steeped to 155deg, 6lbs liq malt, 1oz hops 60 min, 1oz hops 2 min) chilled in 15min (with my also new stainless wort chiller thank you very much)1.040grav, fermenting at about 65-67deg in a 6.5 gal car boy.

Would you throw it out, or keep-a-fermentin and hope for the best?

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Old 02-19-2009, 06:37 PM   #2
Feb 2009
Santa Clara University
Posts: 170

If this site has a mantra, it's "never throw it out".
Primary #1: empty
Primary #2: Old Greg's Honey Stout (brewed 2009.03.20)
Secondary #1: Old Greg's Apfelwein (modified) (made 2009.03.20)
Secondary #2: Old Greg's Apfelwein (made 2009.03.05)
Keg #1: Old Greg's American IPA (brewed 2009.02.20 // secondaried 2009.02.28 // kegged 2009.03.07 // tapped 2009.03.30)
Keg #2: Old Greg's Chocolate Hazelnut Porter (brewed 2009.03.06 // kegged 2009.03.30)

RIP: Old Greg's Classic Beer Pong Ale (2009.02.27 - 2009.03.06)

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Old 02-19-2009, 06:38 PM   #3
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IrregularPulse's Avatar
Nov 2007
Posts: 51,498
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try it every month until it's gone or delicious!
Tap Room Hobo

I should have stuck to four fingers in Vegas.

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Old 02-19-2009, 06:38 PM   #4
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Revvy's Avatar
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,926
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Read this....


And then This...


And tell your brother that if he dumps beer before he sees the process through then he's a beer abortionist....or maybe a better name would be an Abeertionist.

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Old 02-19-2009, 06:53 PM   #5
petep1980's Avatar
Nov 2008
Posts: 1,905
Liked 15 Times on 15 Posts

I made one of the most disgusting batches ever. It smelled like Bush's Baked Beans and tasted like vomit. Specifically apple vomit. I nuked the hell out of some champaign yeast in a porter, and it was one of the worst things I have ever consumed. I didn't dump an ounce.

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Old 02-19-2009, 06:54 PM   #6
Aug 2006
Vancouver, BC
Posts: 70
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

I spit in my beer and it turned out good. In a couple months give some to your brother and tell him to relax.

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Old 02-19-2009, 08:50 PM   #7
double_e5's Avatar
Dec 2008
Kansas City
Posts: 900
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First things first, I'm suprised nobody mentioned this. Your White Labs yeast was probably fine. Just because you weren't getting any activity in the airlock doesn't mean is isn't doing its thing. Plus you didn't make a starter so you could have been having an extended lag time. It may have taken up to 72 hours to start showing signs of fermentation.

As to throwing it out. Don't!!! It will most likely be fine and when it is drink it in front of your brother and when he asks why you didn't offer him one, tell him if I listened to you it would have been down the drain anyway.

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Old 02-19-2009, 11:53 PM   #8
Apr 2008
Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 16

That sounds like a standard Allan brew day... I ve had to fish out bungs with coathangers that i pushed through (of course i didnt sterilize it, that would have been thinkin)

Youd be surprised what will and wont screw up a beer. The times I do everything wrong, it s all right. and the times I do it all right, everythings wrong...


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Old 02-20-2009, 01:06 AM   #9
Feb 2009
Tucson, AZ
Posts: 95

Seems to me there is no harm in keeping it... even if it turns out bad you didn't really lose anything. Just wait it out, by some odd chance maybe it turns into your best brew ever and you can call it Grease Monkey's Screw Driver or something and have a good story.

Primary 1: Watermelon Wheat Ale
Primary 2: Irish Red
Secondary 1: Alaskan Amber
Secondary 2: Air
Secondary 3: Air

Bottled: Foggy Haze Hefeweizen (ver 1.0)
Planned: Chocolate Mint Oatmeal Stout, EdWort's Apfelwein

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Old 02-20-2009, 01:39 AM   #10
Jan 2008
South of most States
Posts: 664
Liked 19 Times on 12 Posts

Keep it. Drink it or give it to someone who will.

You don't even know if there were any germs on that screw driver. Grease germs? Never heard of 'em.

OK, really, that screw driver was probably infested with germs. So what. They gotta be tougher than yeast and booze.
Drunking: All kinds of stuff.

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