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Old 02-04-2010, 01:31 AM   #1
johnsahagian
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Default Did I ruin my beer?

I made a bitter ale and everything went great until the primary fermentation ended and I tried to rack from a plastic carboy to a ale pail. My racking cane came apart and the bottom half fell into the carboy and i was only able to get half of the beer out. So I used my bottle filler minus the little valve on the end, attached it to my racking cane with a short hose and mouth siphoned the rest of the beer out. What happens if I contaminated the beer with my mouth ? Can someone get sick? Is there a sign that the beer is bad beside killing myself?


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Old 02-04-2010, 01:41 AM   #2
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people who drink it might turn into the things from I am legend. I would trow it out the window.....

I would not do that again but you could get lucky and the beer might be fine. Nothing to my knowledge that is harmful to people can live in beer, it just might taste like crap. Chances are your beer is fine. How did you racking cane come apart?


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Old 02-04-2010, 03:41 AM   #3
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I've mouth siphoned a bunch of times without ill effect. It's not a best practice, and you shouldn't get in the habit, but you're probably fine. Fermented beer is pretty robust.
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:36 AM   #4
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The basic thing here is that there are no known pathogenic organisms that can survive well in beer. I did some research recently because I was curious and it's a triple-whammy of isomerized alpha acids, low PH, and alcohol that kills stuff off.
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:41 AM   #5
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There are more sanitary ways to start a siphon other than using your mouth, and all are quite simple and easy to do.

I wouldn't offer any beer I siphoned by mouth to anybody I knew.

Now having said that, I bet there are hundreds of food items that pass inspection every day that would be more unsanitary than beer that was siphoned by mouth, that are on the market.
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Old 02-07-2010, 06:20 PM   #6
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Yeah I was thinking that it would be kind of rude. Maybe a home brew no no. I might just keep this one to myself. And anyone who kisses me.
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:58 PM   #7
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Just put a disclaimer on the bottle (*this beer was siphoned by mouth). When offered, you'll find out who your true friends are. But the question is, are they the ones who drink the beer, or the ones who decline? Personally I wouldn't care. And I probably would not worry too much about contamination...as previous posts have said - wort once fermented becomes less hospitable to undesirables, especially anything that can hurt you.
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:24 AM   #8
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It's ruined. Please bottle it and send it all to me for proper disposal. And don't let it happen again.

In all seriousness, there is probably more mouse fecal matter in the grain you used than saliva in your beer.


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