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Old 03-27-2011, 06:15 AM   #1
Feb 2011
Morgantown, West Virginia
Posts: 11

I filled my airlock with 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol which was the advice of a seasoned brewer friend even though I thought it was probably a bad idea. Well I think I was right. I am making a 5 gallon batch of stout and my yeast went crazy in the first 24 hrs. and my airlock was filled with wort. I degassed the primary and dumped the airlock and refilled it with water. I'm afraid that the entire airlock contents (up to the fill line) of rubbing alcohol got into the primary. The yeast settled down after that. Is my beer ruined? Is it ok to drink? Will fermentation get rid of most of it?

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Old 03-27-2011, 07:27 AM   #2
BenDover's Avatar
Sep 2009
Posts: 30

I can't think of a good reason to use isopropyl in an airlock.

15g, or a little over a half-ounce, is toxic to a 150lb person per the MSDS.

An airlock holds an ounce?

You'd have to drink half your batch in one sitting before isopropyl toxicity came to the forefront of your problems.

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Old 03-27-2011, 11:29 AM   #3
Feb 2010
Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,875
Liked 44 Times on 40 Posts

Tell your friend what happened. Then make him drink it.

Use vodka. In fact, throw out the isopropyl and just use vodka for anything you would have used the isopropyl for in the first place.

Got a cut on your hand? A cotton swab dipped in vodka (and a shot for your belly) makes things all better.

Need to remove labels? Douse the label in vodka (and take a shot) and the job goes much quicker.

See where I'm going here?
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:18 PM   #4
Jan 2008
Haymarket VA
Posts: 1,172
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I really doubt the isopropyl got into your beer. With all that force pushing out, how could it? Look into blowoff tube for future vigorous fermentations.

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Old 03-27-2011, 12:46 PM   #5
Baldy_Beer_Brewery's Avatar
Oct 2007
Behind You
Posts: 993
Liked 15 Times on 11 Posts

Originally Posted by Dungeonwitch View Post
I filled my airlock with 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol which was the advice of a seasoned brewer friend even though I thought it was probably a bad idea.
You will get bad advice from seasoned brewers everywhere. Even on these forums on occasion. There are so many ways to do so many things, that opinions and methods differ. Read around, study all the different forms of advice you find and use what works for you. Just as you had a gut feeling your friend's advice wasn't the best, you will discover there are different way to skin this cat.

And I agree that none of the alcohol made it into the beer and with the use of vodka. Another thing that can happen to you is suck back, that will get the airlock fluid in the beer.

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Old 03-27-2011, 02:42 PM   #6
Spartan1979's Avatar
Feb 2011
O'Fallon, MO
Posts: 1,703
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I can't imagine any alcohol ended up in the beer. I've been brewing for 20 years and never used anything but water in the airlock. If you want more, vodka would be a good alternative.

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