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Old 10-12-2007, 04:23 PM   #1
Jan 2006
Weymouth, MA
Posts: 86

Hello All,

I just did a hydrometer reading. When I attempeted to place the stopper back onto the carboy, water from the airlock dripped into the fermenter.

The fermentation is complete, which means there is alcohol in there. Will the bacteria from the water in the airlock contaminate it, or will my lovely friend alcohol kill off all of the bacteria?

Thanks once again!

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Old 10-12-2007, 04:25 PM   #2
Professor Frink
Professor Frink's Avatar
Sep 2006
San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,085
Liked 19 Times on 16 Posts

Most likely you'll be fine, a little bit of water shouldn't do much. In the future, I suggest buying an el-cheapo bottle of vodka and putting that in your airlock, you won't have to worry about it then.
Primary: Cherrywood Smoked Porter
60 Minute IPA
On tap:Amber Ale
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:50 PM   #3
Sep 2007
Thousand Oaks, CA
Posts: 176

It sounds like you will probably be fine, but not due to the alcohol content of the beer. It is far too low to have an antimicrobial effect.

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Old 10-12-2007, 06:17 PM   #4
May 2007
Cary, NC
Posts: 2,176
Liked 36 Times on 31 Posts

This happened to me twice and the beer did not get infected either time.

I use starsan solution in my air locks now anyway.

Primary/Secondary: #133 Scottish 80/-
Kegged: #132 American Wheat
Planned: IPA, Brown, Pale Ale

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Old 10-12-2007, 06:19 PM   #5
Drunkensatyr's Avatar
Apr 2007
Posts: 1,997
Liked 17 Times on 13 Posts

I would bet that atleast half of the people here have had suck back at some point...you should be just fine. I know that I have gotten airlock water in my brews MANY a time and yet to have a problem from it. Really though, either cheap vodka or sanitizer is a better bet for future brews.

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Old 10-12-2007, 06:27 PM   #6
EdWort's Avatar
Jul 2006
Bee Cave, Texas
Posts: 11,912
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Vodka is the only way to go. Some folks put rum in there so they can see the level better. Suckback = higher abv.

I keep a cheap 1/2 gallon handy by the carboys.

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Old 10-12-2007, 06:40 PM   #7
RoaringBrewer's Avatar
Oct 2006
Lancaster County, PA
Posts: 1,787
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Originally Posted by brloomis
I use starsan solution in my air locks now anyway.
I do this also. It's the way to go... and from what I'm told you don't even need to worry about the solution falling into your beer.

Apparently starsan is specifically designed to go 'inactive' or 'ineffective' or 'useless' or whatever you want to call it when it leaves its specific pH range; e.g. when introduced into beer or most other things.
Roaring Bull Brewing Co.
Est. 2006

Currently Consuming (HB): Apfelwein on Tap Troegs Hopback on Tap; Craft Bottles
Fermenting/Conditioning: Up Next: Hop Trio American Wheat, Lake Walk Pale Ale
In Planning Stage: Farmhouse Saison and Something Oaked.

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