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Old 11-01-2012, 06:54 PM   #1
Lazy_Lighting
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Default Did I contaminate my first batch of beer?

I just brewed up my first batch of beer. It was an amber ale that I got as an extract kit from a local brew shop. When cooling the wort I placed the kettle in an ice bath and made the mistake of adding about six ice cubes that were from a tray in my freezer. I was anal with making sure all other equipment was sanitized. The kit called for 3 ozs of hops at various stages. I heard that pthis can help with contamination. I also used wyeast. It has been the primary for 5 days now.

Feel like an idiot for going all out with sanitizing everything then adding a few ice cubes. Did I ruin my first batch of beer? And when would I notice if it is ruined or not?


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Old 11-01-2012, 06:56 PM   #2
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Did you actually add the ice cubes to the wort, or just to the ice bath outside of the kettle?


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Old 11-01-2012, 06:57 PM   #3
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Six ice cubes? Relax, you're fine.
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:00 PM   #4
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A lot of people use unboiled tap water for top off with no issues and many of other things have been dropped in the wort without issue. You'll be fine.
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:02 PM   #5
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You'll be fine. Go have a beer.
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:05 PM   #6
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When you freeze something it usually kills off anything to a sanitized level so I wouldn't worry too much. I am assuming that you added them into the wort on accident?
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:07 PM   #7
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if it was like five ice cubes i'd say you're fine, but six? i don't know. that is like one less than seven. and we all know what seven will do. I'd say keep an eye on it, measure the gravity at least three times a day, count exactly how many bubbles you are getting per minute from the airlock (measure twenty minutes individually and then average the twenty numbers) and after a couple days take ten to twelve high-res pictures of anything foamy or chunky looking that shows up either on the surface or around the rim of the bucket.
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:09 PM   #8
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Especially since you said you did a good job of cleaning and sanitizing, you don't have anything to worry about. With your first brew in what I am assuming is new equipment the chance of getting an infection is slim to none.
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
if it was like five ice cubes i'd say you're fine, but six? i don't know. that is like one less than seven. and we all know what seven will do. I'd say keep an eye on it, measure the gravity at least three times a day, count exactly how many bubbles you are getting per minute from the airlock (measure twenty minutes individually and then average the twenty numbers) and after a couple days take ten to twelve high-res pictures of anything foamy or chunky looking that shows up either on the surface or around the rim of the bucket.
What is the point of this? The guy is asking a legit question and he's worried about his beer? If you were trying to belittle him and make him look stupid, I would consider it a failed attempt.


To the OP - the real answer is: we don't know. None of us could know. Sure, you did increase the risk. Ice from a freezer could certainly contain contaminates. Freezers are known to harbor dormant bacteria. There is no hard and fast rule of - when you do this, you always get this contamination. Rather, every misstep merely increases the risk, albeit the risk is usually small to begin with and often, you'll survive some less than stellar practices just fine . Of course, no one here can tell you that you didn't cause a problem just because it was only a few pieces of ice or just because they've used tap water in beer, etc. I'd guess you'll be ok. We'll have to wait and see. Glad to see you were diligent with rest of your procedure.
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:16 PM   #10
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I wouldn't worry too much about it. Yes, it's less than optimal, but you'll probably come out OK. Heck - on my first brew, I had my wort half transferred into my carboy before I realized I had forgotten to sanitize the carboy, and that came out fine (well, the kit itself was kinda lousy, but it definitely wasn't infected or anything).


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