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Old 05-25-2009, 12:49 AM   #1
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Default Just Sat down my first batch... little worried

Hi all! just started my first home batch!

Im scared that my batch was to hot when I pitched the yeast. I did allow my wort to cool quite a bit after I "combined" the cooked wort with the cool water. But it was still well over 75 degrees. It felt just so slightly warm to the touch on the outside of the bucket, will I have to repitch? as a last ditch effort to make sure I didnt screw up to bad I bathed the bucket in some ice water in the tub and brought the temp down to about 60. Is my batch lost??

Also everything im reading online and offline is almost "monk-like" with the sanitizing thing. Can a batch really be ruined by something as cracking the top for a few seconds? Can a "bad" tip on a airlock really ruin a whole bucket? seems overexagerated for the sake of not underexagerating.

Thanks for any replys and Im looking forward to not screwing up my next batch in such a simple way!

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Old 05-25-2009, 01:15 AM   #2
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Yeast can survive above 100 degrees as I understand, just you wouldn't like the taste of a full fermentation at that level. Pitching under 80 degrees is important largely because that's when you want to aerate, and the warmer the wort the less oxygen it can hold and the more will bind into other chemicals to later produce off flavors. So it should be fine, especially if you aerated when you did get it cool. Worst case, if fermentation doesn't start you can repitch a few days later with fresh yeast.

As for sanitation, it's definitely important, since beer certainly can be infected by seemingly small things. In practice though, it's not all that common - through most of history brewers didn't know what yeast, bacteria, and proper sanitation even were and often did their fermenting in open vessels or other conditions that would appall the modern brewer. All the same, there's a lot of time and money that goes into a batch of beer, and sometimes you might have to replace some equipment to get rid of a lingering infection: being serious on your sanitation greatly reduces the risk of these things happening.

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Old 05-25-2009, 01:28 AM   #3
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You'll be surprised how resilient yeast can be. As zyban already said, though, they likely survived as long as it wasn't over 100F. I've never taken the wort temp before pitching. I cool it until the pot is barely warmer than my hand, then pour it into the remaining water in the fermentor, which cools it to pitching temp. I've not had an issue yet! Stay anal with your sanitation and you should never have an issue with your yeast.
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:32 AM   #4
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The reason we are almost anal about sanitizing is two fold. 1- We put out money, heart and soul into every brew we make. 2- when starting with a sterile food rich environment, the first one to the party gets the most to eat. We want the yeast to be the first to the party because they are slow eaters. If another bacteria gets a foothold in the wort they can quickly overwhelm our little buddies.
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:09 AM   #5
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I pitched my yeast too warm...probably around 82-85. Oddly it took almost 3 days before I got bubbling activity (would have thought warmer would have meant faster fermentation?).

Anyways, point came out. Mine isn't going to win any awards, but I've drank 12 or so of them this weekend, so I can't complain. It has a taste that I'm not extremely happy with (not bad, but just not to my liking), but that may just be the recipe more than specific off flavors. I've shared with 3 other people (BMC drinkers) and all 3 said it taste good to them, so the recipe could just not be to my taste.
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:43 PM   #6
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My first few brews I pitched too warm - slightly warm on the hand is in the 90s, btw.
They turned out, but they are immensely better when you pay attention to the temperature.
8 years later, I'm cooling to 68, aerating profusely, pitching, cooling to 62 and holding it there. Start up is slower (24-48 hrs) but the quality of the finished product is worth the extra effort.
Keep brewing!
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:08 PM   #7
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+100 to getting the temp down... I made a homemade wort chiller out of 20' of " copper tubbing that hooks up to the garden hose. I can take 5 gallons of boiling wort down to pitch temp in about 18 minutes. Really has helped the taste of my brews.

First two I did fermented but had off flavors. I'm still trying to choke down the last two six packs of that stout. It has been bottled for over 5 months and still has bad flavors. It has been the only pre-hopped canned extract kit I have brewed and will probably be the last.

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