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Old 02-27-2012, 02:59 AM   #1
SuperNintendoChalmers
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Default Brew day White Labs screwup

Sort of crappy brew day today. Making a dark IPA - first of all couldn't get a good boil outside on a windy cool Chicago afternoon. Just weakly roiling without a hot break for over an hour. Eventually brought it inside, started a real boil on the stove, hopped appropriately, cooled, etc, etc. Went to pitch the White Labs yeast and (stupidly) opened it right over the bucket. Of course, it sprayed all over the place, dripped down my hands and the vial and into the fermenter. Anyone else ever done this? What do you think my chances of a non-infected batch are? I was just looking at a stirrer at the LHBS literally yesterday thinking I should be making starters, but here we are. After all that almost-boiling, it ended up with an OG of 1.080, if that matters at all. I know you're going to say just finish it and see if it works, but I was wondering if anyone else had done this.


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Old 02-27-2012, 03:08 AM   #2
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Not personally....but this is where great brewing stories come from.

You have 3 - 4 weeks of patience to learn. Trust in your process and you just might be alright.


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Old 02-27-2012, 03:30 AM   #3
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I always dunk my hands and the whole vial in sanitizer before opening.
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Old 02-27-2012, 03:41 AM   #4
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I'd be more worried about pitching only 1 vial of yeast in a 1.080 OG batch. Mr.Malty recommends 3 vials for that OG.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:10 AM   #5
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Yeah ive gotten yeast on the fingers with no problem. 1 vial for a 1.080 isn't the recommended amount, but if you aererate the hell out of your wort it should work. Believe me Ive done 1.080 wort a few times with one vial and no starter.
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:24 PM   #6
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The White Labs vials always blow up like that. Kinda like a can of coke that got shaken.

I dunk them in Star San along with my hands and open them very slowly. I just crack them enough to get them to hiss and reseal. I do that about 5 times to purge all the CO2. It takes a few minutes, but it's better than getting sprayed in the face.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:29 PM   #7
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Ugh. It's probably even more underpitched than just a single vial, since the vial didn't even empty all the way because it was so foamy. Is it worth re-pitching? It's fairly well aerated, but do you think it's worth opening it to do a better job? Dunking your hands is a good idea. I don't know why I didn't, given that I had an open 5 gallon bucket of StarSan within arms reach. Sigh, we'll see I guess. Relax and have a homebrew, right?
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:22 PM   #8
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:59 PM   #9
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I *hate* the white lab tubes for this very reason. If I don't shake it, then I leave yeast behind, if I shake then it's a foamy mess. Unless I *have* to have the WLP yeast I use wyeast activator; self proofing and easy to pour.

BTW, my very first homebrew had this issue and it turned out fine; ie no infection.
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:31 AM   #10
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You'll be fine.

Next time, crack the WL yeast vials while they are cold, just enough to allow the condensed CO2 to escape. Put the vial in a sterile beaker or glass standing up and allow it to come to room temp (while you're brewing, as usual) and occasionally re-crack as the brew goes on to allow any more CO2 to be released. If you can't get all the yeast out of the vial upon pitch, add some room temperature boiled and clean water to the vial, not all the way, and mix up the slurry, then pitch the rest!


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