Contamination fears - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Contamination fears

Thread Tools
Old 07-09-2008, 10:56 AM   #1
Jun 2008
Sydney Australia
Posts: 201
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

For years I have never worried about air contamination. I brew from kits.
I boil water dump the contents of a can and 1 kg Dextrose into my sanitised fermentor. I add 2 liters of boiling water and 22 liters of tap water add the yeast. and screw on the lid that has a led to a tropical fish heater. It is not airtight. I put a blanket over it and forget it for a week. This has worked for me over about 500 brews give or take one.

After reading all about air contamination and its prevention I am wondering why I have never had a problem.

Now I am watching my latest brew like a hawk, I even feel as if I should sit next to it on a cold night.

With this brew I adopted a secondary fermentor to let the beer clear. I just poured it in from the tap and was happy a blanket of foam appeared on the top thinking the released Co2 would protect it.

So far it is clearing nicely, its been in the secondary for one week normally it would now be in a bottle.

Do I worry or do you think

1. I have been lucky all these years
2. I have an exceptionally clean environment
3. The garlic I eat keeps the nasties away
4. Like me afraid of the wife

Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2008, 01:16 PM   #2
Mar 2008
St. Louis
Posts: 532
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

after 500 brew with no problems? keep doing what your doing. I would not worry as much about the airborne contaminants as I would the surface based ones that result from not sanitizing your equipment properly. I think that is the bigger risk.
"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?"

Originally Posted by MVKTR2 View Post
Can't believe I'm saying this, but Great Cock man!
Originally Posted by Laurel View Post
yeah, i've got big balls

Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2008, 01:31 PM   #3
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Revvy's Avatar
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,921
Liked 3192 Times on 1885 Posts

Calm down, relax..remember CO2 is your friend....

It's time to reclaim you cojones, brewer.

Repeat after me "It's really hard to ruin my beer, the only airborn risk is a bird taking a crap in my fermenter. I'm going to Relax, Not Worry and Have a Homebrew."
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2008, 01:45 PM   #4
Evan!'s Avatar
Aug 2006
Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 11,863
Liked 87 Times on 72 Posts

I think the incredible thing here is not that he's not had an infected batch, it's that he's done 500 batches just mixing tap water, canned extract and corn sugar, and never had the urge to progress to more advanced techniques and recipes.

I'm not knocking it, to each their own, it just seems so incomprehensible to me. I couldn't wait to go all-grain and make my own recipes and experiment...
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers

•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)

Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2008, 02:10 PM   #5
Special Hops
Jun 2008
Posts: 1,430
Liked 22 Times on 20 Posts

Well before I knew better I was using PBW for all my cleaning and sanitizing. I thought it was a sanitizer. So for a period of probably a few years I did every batch with just using PBW as my "sanitizer". Used it for everything, including my fermentor, bottles etc.

Never had an infection problem. So I think some things are a bit overblown. Now I use starSan after I PBW just in case - but I didn't for years and everything seemed fine.

Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2008, 11:23 PM   #6
Jun 2008
Sydney Australia
Posts: 201
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

PBW ? I have not got the translation.

Actually I did try some recipe's in the early days boiling up grains on a Bar B Q but what I get now is consistant and very drinkable.

I checked the number of brews and I was wrong. I started in 1978 and brew about 20 per year a bit under 2 per month so that is a tad more than 500.

Anyway who's counting, I love the stuff especially after mowing the lawn.

For years I have used bleach as the sanitiser, steralizer and equipment wash. After visiting this forum I use a bottle wash product and after cleaning add some Sodium Metabisolfate to the brewing containers. The fumes will kill anything.

I have a nieces husband who goes the whole bit with the mashing and the experimenting etc. He turn out a good drop. But he has difficulty coming up with a Aussie Draught/Lager style. The tendancy is to go for a stronger malty flavour which tends to leave an after taste.

A beer should be enjoyed but not let itself be known in my opinion. It is a refreshment. Wine and a good Scotch is to be savoured. Still thats my view and an explanation why I stick with the types I brew which includes some of Australia's finest:-
Pale Ale
Real Ale
Dark Ale
And all at about $0.40aud / bottle = $0.38us

Drinking Munich Lager
Secondary Tooheys Lager

Ain't life great

Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2008, 11:29 PM   #7
findthefish's Avatar
Feb 2008
Orange, CA
Posts: 473
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts

Originally Posted by Terry08 View Post
PBW ? I have not got the translation....
Powdered Brewery Wash. It is a cleaning detergent.


The Bruery Provisions - Homebrewing supplies and equipment.
BrewCommune - Orange County home brew club, yeast database, recipes, and forum.

On Deck: Belgian IPA
Primary: nothing
Secondary: Traditional Mead
Kegged: APA, Cream Ale, Belgian Ale, Sour Belgian, Barrel Aged RIS

Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 10:36 AM   #8
Jun 2008
Sydney Australia
Posts: 201
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Ok it is probably simular to the Bottle wash product I now use.

I like the idea of a secondary as I still have a week to wait for bottling and today I started a Draught. But then you all knew that. Who says you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.

G'Day all from this old dog

Reason: Spelling what else?

Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2010, 02:01 AM   #9
Jul 2010
Oklahoma City
Posts: 3

Hi I'm new to brewing, and am currently on my 5th batch. I had some concerns, though, after one of my batches turning out to very sour (I think it may have been the mango that was left in the fermentor bucket with it), and then I recently threw out two batches because they smelled awful like rotten meat or something. I was too afraid to even try them. The first one I'm not sure where I went wrong, as a boiled all the ingredients and sanitized everything, but the second batch I dry hopped some cinnamon sticks to the fermentor without boiling them or anything and I think that could have been it. Has anyone else had just a rotten batch or am I just being paranoid?

Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2010, 03:39 AM   #10
Aug 2008
Portland OR
Posts: 5,387
Liked 63 Times on 59 Posts

dry hopped cinnamon sticks? you can only dry hop hops.

paranoid, no just not paying attention to the methods.

if your only on your fifth batch you should not be doing Mango or Cinnamon and just get some experience with basic brews.

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
WTF is that? (calm my fears) ShortSnoutBrewing General Beer Discussion 22 05-06-2015 06:58 PM
Think you ruined your beer? Set your fears aside! Yuri_Rage Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 10-25-2009 06:53 PM
Fresh Fruit Fears! Henny Mead Forum 3 01-23-2009 05:45 PM
Who fears the foam? Dude General Beer Discussion 4 02-22-2007 05:29 PM
confirm my fears chuck218 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 12 07-21-2006 06:50 AM

Forum Jump