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Old 08-29-2012, 02:12 AM   #1
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Default Infection & alcohol?

Hi all... Once my first brew has fermented about 90% and has a load of alcohol going in it... Can it still get infected?? Does the alcohol kill off any germ or bugs? The reason I ask is I got impatient after 14 days of fermenting (The bubbling has almost come to standstill) and stuck a sterilised tube in there to grab a taste. lol... I couldnt wait. Haha It has alcohol allright!


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Old 08-29-2012, 02:16 AM   #2
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I doubt you have anything to worry about. As a side not, Acetobacter uses alcohol to make acetic acid (vinegar) so alcohol doesn't kill all baddies.


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Old 08-29-2012, 02:20 AM   #3
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Your method of dip'n swig may introduce oxygen and effect the shelf life of your beer, but if your drinking it out of the primary I doubt you are concerned with that....
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:29 AM   #4
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Your method of dip'n swig may introduce oxygen and effect the shelf life of your beer, but if your drinking it out of the primary I doubt you are concerned with that....
LOL... Im bottling in 3 or 4 days probably. I just wanted a little taste.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:35 AM   #5
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I always dip a sanitized cup in the wort to get my hydrometer sample. As long as sanitation was good you have nothing to worry about. Have you taken a final gravity reading? You can always drink the sample after you measure it. I think that is what many of us do.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:52 AM   #6
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I always dip a sanitized cup in the wort to get my hydrometer sample. As long as sanitation was good you have nothing to worry about. Have you taken a final gravity reading? You can always drink the sample after you measure it. I think that is what many of us do.
No grav reading... I really dropped the ball on this first batch and I'll be much more attentive on the next one.... I forgot the first reading. But hey it tasted pretty good.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:06 AM   #7
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If it was an extract batch and you added all the ingredients required and the final volume came out where it should be you can take for granted the OG of your wort is what the recipe predicted.

Even if you missed taking that first reading, taking and ending gravity reading is still important. It's the only way to tell if the wort has stopped fermenting and fully turned into beer. Normal rule of thumb is take a reading once signs of fermentation have ceased and then take another a few days later. If they are the same (and close to the expected Final Gravity as the recipe instructs) then you're pretty much good to go. If gravity is still dropping then wait a while long and repeat gravity takings until they are the same.

Then leave the beer in the fermenter for a few more days so the yeast will clean up the byproducts they produced during fermentation. Some people, me included usually just give it another week. I have read some studies that say it only takes a day or two for the still hungry yeast to seek out and eat up the byproducts.

I end up doing 3-4 weeks in a primary. Cold crash and then keg. You'll find patience and fermentation temperature control are two of the three most imporatant aspects in making great beer.. sanitation probably being the first.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:11 AM   #8
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I end up doing 3-4 weeks in a primary. Cold crash and then keg.

I PLAN TO USE 22oz bottles as I have no keg, but what do you mean by cold crashing the pre kegged or bottled beer?
Thanks for the info BTW.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:29 AM   #9
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Sorry, I don't even know why I mentioned kegging. It's irrelevant and your 22 oz bottles will be perfect.

Cold crashing just means you put the fermenter in a very cold place, near freezing. It will help drop yeast and proteins that are still floating around in the beer. The same thing will happen in the bottle during carbonation. I shouldn't have mentioned either.

You'll be just fine bottle them beers up when they're ready and let them sit for around 3 weeks above 70 degrees F.
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:56 AM   #10
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Quick last note CheepBeer (well, probably not the last)

During the carbonation cycle, it's ok to have a sample of the beer after week one, another bottle at week two and another at three... Some people do it weekly until the beer is where it needs to be.

Me, myself and I (others might agree but I'm not speaking for the masses, so for now just we three) agree tasting beers through different stages of carbonation is important in understanding the changes that happen as a beer carbonates and ages.

So them a try. After a while of doing this you'll get a feel for things and will gain knowledge, experience and confidence in the process.

One thing that is pretty important is to chill the test beer for a few days before trying it. The beer is carbonating but not all the CO2 is in the beer, a lot of it is in the head space. Chilling the beer will help the CO2 dissolve into the beer so carbonation throughout the sample is equal, this is not an immediate process, takes some time. One fellow on here recommends at least a week at fridge temps before sampling..

Skip the chilling step, and pretty much what happens is a big head in the beer glass and it might look tasty, but you'll find the beer to be be flat; all the carbonation will be sitting at the top of the beer, in foam.

As an example, there won't be tiny bubbles coming off the bottom of the glass (think of a BMC in a glass, the bubbles off the bottom = good carbonation),

Making beer = Patience. Best way to gain paitence is make more beer!


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