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Old 12-29-2010, 03:58 PM   #1
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Default Durability of beer vs. wort

I know that sanitation is a big part of brewing, and I still try to adhere to fairly compulsive cleaning habits. But isn't it true that once the fermentation is over-the alcohol in the beer will fortify it against contamination?

If priming sugar is added-I can see where this food source would be attractive to unwanted organisms, and thus you would still want to be very careful. But when I force carb and dry hop-I tie a muslin sack of hops to the dip tube of the keg. I've had no ill-effects doing this. I just want to make sure my thinking is correct that the most vulnerable time is when the wort is cool enough for bacteria and the yeast have not yet set up shop. Once it's beer-it's not as vulnerable, correct?

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Old 12-29-2010, 05:36 PM   #2
I use secondaries. :p
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:42 PM   #3
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Correct, but care still needs to be taken. Alcohol prevents many, but not all of the beer spoiling organisms. There's still plenty of food/sugar even without priming, and many things that can contaminate your beer post fermentation, just not as many as pre-fermentation. Acetobacteria is one of the more common ones, and it will slowly turn your beer to vinegar if it gets in there.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:06 PM   #4
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+1 on the above replies.

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Old 12-29-2010, 11:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BrewDey View Post
alcohol in the beer will fortify it against contamination?
Actually, the pH of beer is the primary "defensive" mechanism.

After pitching, yeast's first priority is to lower the wort pH to defend against the growth of bacteria and wild yeast.

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