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Old 01-23-2008, 11:24 AM   #1
bc23
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I've bottled my first batch (Brewer's Best Irish Stout) now, but during the brew I'm afraid that I did some things that were not as sanitary as they should have been.

My question is, how do I know if it was contaminated??

Thanks for any help

 
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:38 AM   #2
budbo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bc23
I've bottled my first batch (Brewer's Best Irish Stout) now, but during the brew I'm afraid that I did some things that were not as sanitary as they should have been.

My question is, how do I know if it was contaminated??
If you contaminated it prior to fermenting things to look for at bottling would be foul smelling floaties with a hairy texture, a general foul smell etc.

In the Bottles, Your first clue will be floating or clumpy sediment instead of normal bottom sediment. The second would be nasty smell when you pop one, the third would be spraying the first taste accross the room and running for something to rinse your mouth with (or it could just be a grimace and spit).

Relax Homebrew is forgiving, especially at bottling time since it has limited fermentable sugars left and alcohol content. And if you had contaminated it prior to bottling you'd probably know it already

What exactly did you do that was unsanitary?

 
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:00 PM   #3
bc23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budbo
If you contaminated it prior to fermenting things to look for at bottling would be foul smelling floaties with a hairy texture, a general foul smell etc.

In the Bottles, Your first clue will be floating or clumpy sediment instead of normal bottom sediment. The second would be nasty smell when you pop one, the third would be spraying the first taste accross the room and running for something to rinse your mouth with (or it could just be a grimace and spit).

Relax Homebrew is forgiving, especially at bottling time since it has limited fermentable sugars left and alcohol content. And if you had contaminated it prior to bottling you'd probably know it already

What exactly did you do that was unsanitary?
Ok great - thanks - The brew tastes/smells great, and I'm happy with it.

How did I potentially contaminate?....I almost don't want to say as it's so dumb

I don't have a chiller, so when I was trying to cool down the wort I had it sitting outside in the fermenter inside of a big plastic bucket. I put snow all around the fermenter, but some of it got in the wort - DUMB. Then, to make matters worse, when I was trying to get the temperature of the wort, I used an electric meat thermometer which I completely forgot to sanitize. Also DUMB.

But, I guess I dodged a bullet (or 2), as the beer tastes and smells great!
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:54 PM   #4
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Another dead give-away................look at the neck of your bottles. If you see a foamy ring around the top level of the brew, that is cause for concern. Also, if you crack one open and it overflows like a volcano, it's all over.

I generally breath easy after bottling if I inspect the bottled brew for signs of a ring and don't see one.
Cheers
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:06 PM   #5
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bc23, those aren't dumb mistakes. It happens sometimes, but rarely something to be that concerned about. You'll find as you make more batches that it's actually rather difficult to contaminate a batch. Just the same, do not slack on your sanitizing procedures! The only time I had to dump a batch was when I'd forgotten to clean out a carboy for clearing and aging. Nasty stuff started growing on top.
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:08 PM   #6
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They all gave good advice- practice good sanitation, but don't worry if things happen. If something is contaminated, it really becomes very obvious. I've made a ton of beer and wine in the last two years, and just had my first dumper batch. I kind of suspected it all along because it just wasn't "right" from the starter on to the finish, but I waited it out. Sure enough, it was obvious that it was infected.

So, don't worry- it's much harder to screw up than you'd think!
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:05 PM   #7
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Next time chill in the brewpot, not the bucket. You shouldn't be pouring hot wort into a bucket anyway. At the very least but a cover on to keep wild yeast out.
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:28 PM   #8
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It's definatlly contaminated.....once it's done, bottle it and PM me so I can give you an address to send it to so I can dispose of it for you. Just trying to help.
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:11 PM   #9
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Im pretty sure the first batch of brew I made *a whole month ago!*, I thought that I 100% surely contaminated it because some old nasty caulk from my sink made it into the wert before I sealed it in the primary. The beer is fine and I have already enjoyed a few brews with my friends. No worries!

Cheers

 
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
Next time chill in the brewpot, not the bucket. You shouldn't be pouring hot wort into a bucket anyway. At the very least but a cover on to keep wild yeast out.
Yup, the plastic is a surpisingly good insulator, it takes forever to chill. Next time, try bringing in enough snow to fill your sink, then add a bit of water to make a stiff slush. The water makes better contact with the metal brew pot, which will conduct the heat out much much faster.
Stir the slush and the wort occasionally to cool even faster


 
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