Brewing while covid positive

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rtstrider

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Hey everyone! My house is currently filled with COVID positive individuals. Not turning this political or handing out medical advice here. Lets keep this strictly on brewing (or as much as we can). I'm planning to brew Biermunchers Centennial Blonde this weekend. Here's the recipe


Yes the grains and such were ordered from an online vendor to prevent exposure and such. Anywho once fermentation is done the beer will be kegged. I'm not a medical person so I know diddly squat when it comes to how viruses work. My concern is not in the brewing and fermentation but the transferring of the wort to a keg. To minimize any potential spread of COVID to those that will eventually drink this should I purge the keg with CO2 at room temp after racking the blonde ale over and then let the keg sit at room temp for a few days to give the virus time to die off if it even made it that far? I'm probably overthinking this but I'm even thinking of it possibly touching the keg posts and such.

Second bonus question. My kegs in the kegerator are setup with beer line and picnic taps. Needless to say they're all cold 24/7. I do plan on cleaning them thoroughly once this runs it's course. After a nice overnight soak in in hot homemade PBW (70% Oxiclean free/30% TSP phosphate free) should I let it sit out a few days to kill off any potential remnants of the virus as well?

My main concern is potentially spreading anything to guests after the fact. I'm probably way overthinking this but figured I'd ask away!

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

PS I did run some searches prior to posting and everything I found was from late 2020. At that time it seemed like we were in a "nobody really knows" phase lol
 
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sibelman

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My instinct is that you're not going to spread Covid with your beer - the virus is reportedly quite fragile, though these recurring waves of infection seem to say otherwise. The picnic taps could harbor the virus for a bit. I hope you and yours recover speedily, and I'm glad you're concerned to avoid further transmission.
 
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rtstrider

rtstrider

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I'm thinking about wearing a mask when racking the beer from the fermenter to the keg at the very least. Maybe leave the pressurized keg out for a few days (3 days) at room temp and then wear a mask/gloves when getting near the keg to move it to the kegerator. The reason I mention 3 days is it's mentioned the virus can live on stainless steel surfaces for 3 days on this article

 

minorhero

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I'm thinking about wearing a mask when racking the beer from the fermenter to the keg at the very least. Maybe leave the pressurized keg out for a few days (3 days) at room temp and then wear a mask/gloves when getting near the keg to move it to the kegerator. The reason I mention 3 days is it's mentioned the virus can live on stainless steel surfaces for 3 days on this article


The virus needs a host to survive long term. I think your link provides you what you need to know. If you want to be cautious wait at least a week before consuming the beer after kegged.
 

Kent88

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I don't think that this is a good place to get or give advice on best practices for not spreading Covid, beyond the absolutely obvious (wash hands, mask up around strangers, get vaccinated, socially distance).

Best advice I think I can give is not to brew until it's out of your house for a couple of days.

My second best advice would be based on the odd bits of information I've picked up over the past year and a half, and I'm just not qualified to give that advice with any authority and would be a "follow at your own risk" kind of thing.
 
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rtstrider

rtstrider

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I don't think that this is a good place to get or give advice on best practices for not spreading Covid, beyond the absolutely obvious (wash hands, mask up around strangers, get vaccinated, socially distance).

Best advice I think I can give is not to brew until it's out of your house for a couple of days.

My second best advice would be based on the odd bits of information I've picked up over the past year and a half, and I'm just not qualified to give that advice with any authority and would be a "follow at your own risk" kind of thing.

Definitely appreciated and a very respectable response!
 

MaxStout

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I don't have the background to weigh in on the medical issues here, and so I won't try to. I can only say that if I were in your position, with a "house filled with COVID-positive individuals," I would not be comfortable brewing beer until everyone is past the quarantine time. I have no idea if the virus could be passed through beer, but in an abundance of caution, I wouldn't want to risk it and would not feel comfortable serving it to another person.

I hope your housemates recover soon, and hopefully you don't catch it. Best wishes.
 

Jim R

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You are not going to transmit covid or any other viruses through beer in a sanitized keg filled with an alcohol containing beverage that has been sitting sealed for days/weeks. Covid is primarily an air-borne transmitted virus. It potentially could be spread through a glass though that had been recently contaminated by a covid infected individual. The air and surfaces in your house would be much more of a concern in the short term than a kegged beer in the long term.
 

Beerstein

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From my reading, covid doesn't last very long on surfaces, even stainless steel. Anything on the inside of the keg will die from liquid exposure. You could always wipe down outside surfaces with clorox wipes.
 

Upstate12866

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I don't know much but I know viruses don't work like bacteria or other microbes. Viruses dont eat food and reproduce; by some definitions they are not even alive in the traditional sense. Viruses work by co-opting a living cell and turning it into a virus factory. And viruses tend to need very particular cells/host organisms. That's why it's a big deal when viruses jump from one organism type to another--it's rare.

So a virus transferred to a surface or liquid will be transmissible for a short time, as long as those individual viruses can remain "alive." For instance, Rona can last up to 3 days on hard surfaces, per the CDC. This will also be a very light viral load in most cases, for whatever that's worth (still worth sanitizing though). Contagious people are different. They have become virus factories so they constantly produce lots more of the virus. We get easily infected when these viral factories pass on a heavy viral load when they sneeze or breathe.

So what cells are in beer that could be co-opted by a virus? Likely none. I suppose you have yeast and maybe some odd bacteria in there, and the likelihood that Rona can infect those organisms seems extremely low, I would assume. Rona is fine tuned for people and maybe some mammals too. The virus you might pass along therefore would not multiply and would die (if I can use that word) either from time outside a host, from alcohol, or maybe from low pH. The beer you make would hopefully start with a relatively low viral load (be cautious as you work) and the virus would decline from there.
 
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rtstrider

rtstrider

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I don't know much but I know viruses don't work like bacteria or other microbes. Viruses dont eat food and reproduce; by some definitions they are not even alive in the traditional sense. Viruses work by co-opting a living cell and turning it into a virus factory. And viruses tend to need very particular cells/host organisms. That's why it's a big deal when viruses jump from one organism type to another--it's rare.

So a virus transferred to a surface or liquid will be transmissible for a short time, as long as those individual viruses can remain "alive." For instance, Rona can last up to 3 days on hard surfaces, per the CDC. This will also be a very light viral load in most cases, for whatever that's worth (still worth sanitizing though). Contagious people are different. They have become virus factories so they constantly produce lots more of the virus. We get easily infected when these viral factories pass on a heavy viral load when they sneeze or breathe.

So what cells are in beer that could be co-opted by a virus? Likely none. I suppose you have yeast and maybe some odd bacteria in there, and the likelihood that Rona can infect those organisms seems extremely low, I would assume. Rona is fine tuned for people and maybe some mammals too. The virus you might pass along therefore would not multiply and would die (if I can use that word) either from time outside a host, from alcohol, or maybe from low pH. The beer you make would hopefully start with a relatively low viral load (be cautious as you work) and the virus would decline from there.

Sounds good! I was thinking of letting the keg sit at room temp for at least 3 days pressurized just in case. Probably overkill but hey it's better than the alternative. What I'm more worried about is say the virus coming in contact with the posts and such. Figuring the posts being cold in the kegerator may just provide the perfect environment for it to hang around longer than I'd care for.
 

bkboiler

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Regardless of how it spreads....I can say, think about how your taste or smell may be affected. Not that this is a reason to not brew.

Have you brewed Biermuncher's centennial blonde before? Would help if you already knew the target since my smell was affected by COVID. That's actually been very helpful as I change a lot of poopy diapers lately.
 
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rtstrider

rtstrider

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Regardless of how it spreads....I can say, think about how your taste or smell may be affected. Not that this is a reason to not brew.

Have you brewed Biermuncher's centennial blonde before? Would help if you already knew the target since my smell was affected by COVID. That's actually been very helpful as I change a lot of poopy diapers lately.

I had the Centennial blonde about a year ago. I'm pretty familiar with how it should taste. I have an Oktoberfest in the middle of a d-rest right now. I'm more concerned about losing the ability to taste/smell anything off there lol As long as that part can hold off until AFTER that is kegged I'll be happy ;)
 
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Restaurants and breweries have been dealing with similar issues for over a year now. What advise do they offer? I know they send a covid positive person home, but how do they sanitize ... Just as usual?
 

Upstate12866

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I agree with OP that contact with handles and such is a key vector point to focus on. And of course, please don't go from contact with positive individuals to contact with other friends too quickly. If you are exposed, you are the virus factory, even if you don't have symptoms. I know you are already considering that element though, so I commend you in advance :)
 

danimal92sport

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I brewed a beer when I had COVID back in November. It was a sour intended to be a gift for a friend. Though I would guess that it couldn’t be transferred that way - I kept the beer and only myself and my wife (who also had it in November) drank it over the next few months. I didn’t offer the beer to anyone for the same reason I wouldn’t offer beer to anyone that I brewed when I had the flu or a stomach bug - cause that’s rude and gross 😄

Dan
 

doug293cz

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For what it's worth, I looked up the active ingredients in StarSan on (I think) the CDC's list of chemicals that were known to be effective killing SARS-CoVII virus, and they were not on the list. So, don't depend on your normal sanitization protocol to kill Covid if you use StarSan. Sorry, I didn't save the link.

Brew on :mug:
 

MaxStout

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For what it's worth, I looked up the active ingredients in StarSan on (I think) the CDC's list of chemicals that were known to be effective killing SARS-CoVII virus, and they were not on the list. So, don't depend on your normal sanitization protocol to kill Covid if you use StarSan. Sorry, I didn't save the link.

Brew on :mug:

I remember seeing that Starsan-COVID question being kicked around on another forum about a year ago. I too remember Starsan ingredients being absent from the CDC list, but don't recall where I read it.

IIRC, iodophor is on the list, but it must be somewhere over 100ppm to kill coronavirus--well above the no-rinse strength.
 
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all I can say is read through this, I have dealt with the virus for a year, many of my family have died and I have never caught it, knock on wood, most citric acids will work as a killer if concentrated enough and alcohol will kill it but remember "yeast are alive" and can be killed easily, I would be more worried about killing the yeast and the containers you drink from, anything with a goopy soap will trap it and eventually kill it, 90% of exposure is through breathing not touch

About List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19) | US EPA
 
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Dancy

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There are a lot of people on HBT qualified to answer in-depth questions about home brewing and, obviously, this is why so many join, seek and learn here. However, unless we have a real doctor of virology here, at least I find this one of the last places I’d ask questions about the transmission of COVID-19. I don’t intend to offend here so enlighten me if I’m missing something.
 

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