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Help - should I get rid of this fermenting wort?

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caseyws

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I'm new to home brewing and am on my third batch of beer.

I've got a 4 day old batch fermenting in a traditional plastic bucket with bubbler.

yesterday I noticed the rubber grommet that the bubbler fits into was kind of unseated a little, so I made the foolish decision of taking the bubbler out and trying to fix it. What happened instead was, when I removed the bubbler, the grommet FELL INTO THE BEER! Now I've got the bubbler just sort of loosely fitting in the hole that's left.

So at this point I'm sure there is at least some minimal contamination - there's no way that grommet was 100% clean. I'm trying to put together a batch of beer for memorial day and I only have one fermenter.

My question to experience brewers is: Should I throw this batch away and just start over, or is there a chance it will still turn out ok? I hate to throw $30 away (not to mention the 5 hours of work), but I would rather do that that have no beer to serve at my memorial day party...

thanks! Any advice would be much appreciated!
 

jbrookeiv

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I'm new to home brewing and am on my third batch of beer.

I've got a 4 day old batch fermenting in a traditional plastic bucket with bubbler.

yesterday I noticed the rubber grommet that the bubbler fits into was kind of unseated a little, so I made the foolish decision of taking the bubbler out and trying to fix it. What happened instead was, when I removed the bubbler, the grommet FELL INTO THE BEER! Now I've got the bubbler just sort of loosely fitting in the hole that's left.

So at this point I'm sure there is at least some minimal contamination - there's no way that grommet was 100% clean. I'm trying to put together a batch of beer for memorial day and I only have one fermenter.

My question to experience brewers is: Should I throw this batch away and just start over, or is there a chance it will still turn out ok? I hate to throw $30 away (not to mention the 5 hours of work), but I would rather do that that have no beer to serve at my memorial day party...

thanks! Any advice would be much appreciated!
It will most likely be fine, don't worry about it. RDWHAHB.
 

JLW

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I would say keep it. There is a chance of contamination but you won't know unless you just wait it out. The fact is, its pretty hard to contaminate beer and get an infection.

If it were me I would go to the LHBS get another fermenter and start another batch just becuase you can always have more.
 

jsweet

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I've only been brewing for a couple months, and I've already seen like ten people on this forum claim to have made the same exact mistake. Must be a common thing.

Your timing is perfect, at this point the beer has a fair bit of alcohol in it AND yeast going to town. It would be difficult for anything but yeast to live in there. There is a close to zero chance of this causing a contamination issue.
 

finley

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If you are super concerned, get another fermenter and start another batch, you're going to upgrade someday anyway.:D

The worst thing that could happen is your beer doesn't taste as good as it could. 4 days in to fermentation there is less to worry about, as the Yeast have hopefully been pretty active, and contamination is less of a concern as they will hopefully drive off bugs that get in.
 

nefarious_1_

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I would take a ride over to the LHBS and try to get a new grommet. I highly doubt you have an infection, but it's always possible. I've forgotten to sanitize my thief and stuck the entire thing into the beer: it came out fine; I've watched a dog hair drift into my cooled wort when transferring into my carboy: it came out fine; I've forgotten to sanitize my thermometer and stuck it into cool wort: it came out fine; I've had the rubber stopper to my airlock fall into the carboy and it came out fine.
The main point is: your beer is probably fine. For the time being, I'd place a piece of sanitized aluminum foil over it and get a new grommet.
Then RDWHAHB, after replacing the airlock of course :cross:
 

rycov

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thats not even close to some of the awesome **** people have done to try to ruin their beers. (though you should have had the airlock and grommet sanitized anyway). your beer should be just fine.
 

jsweet

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Upon further reflection, I'm thinking the bigger threat to the quality of your beer is that you are trying to have it for Memorial Day, and it's only been in the fermenter four days. Were you going to force carb or bottle condition? If you were going to force carbonate it with a keg, you're probably good.

If you are going to bottle condition, well... if you rush it into bottles as soon as it's done attenuating, you'll have drinkable beer for Memorial Day, but it will probably not be that great.

My first batch, I rushed it out of the fermenter after only 10 days, bottle conditioned it for 2 weeks, which seems like a comparable timeline to what you are looking at... and it was okay, but definitely not great. It improved with more time, though.

Seems like you're committed for this batch, but in the future, you really want to let it go for 2-3 weeks in the fermenter, and 3 weeks of bottle conditioning. (And possibly more depending on the style)
 

Revvy

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The beers fine. This is the. Most common new brewer ist post freakout on here. Even a mod got her start with this issues. Leave it alone. You don't even need to fix the gromment. There's co2 coming out there which keeps nasty stuff out.

Beer is stronger than most noobs realize. People have sunk their arms into buckets and the beers survived. Go look 4 my thread what mistakes have you made where the beer has turned out fine thread and read the stories there. I'm on my droid or id post it 4 you.
 
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caseyws

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Ah thanks everyone for the quick and awesome advice! I was indeed looking at a 1 week fermentation and 2 weeks in the bottle. I waited too long to start this batch and now only have 3 home brews left in addition to rushing this batch a little. Sounds like it's worth riding it out and bottling :)
 

Cold Country Brewery

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RDWHAHB. 2 batches ago I was racking my beer into the secondary and had it on the floor. When I finished transferring all my 5 gallons over, I turned away for a second and my dog got in there and started lapping some of it up. I think I have you beat with the infection possibilities - but my beer turned out just fine. Don't ever throw away your beer, there is nothing that can grow in beer that will kill you. At the very least finish the process and taste it. If it tastes like dog slobber, then throw it.
 

onipar

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Ah thanks everyone for the quick and awesome advice! I was indeed looking at a 1 week fermentation and 2 weeks in the bottle. I waited too long to start this batch and now only have 3 home brews left in addition to rushing this batch a little. Sounds like it's worth riding it out and bottling :)
I'm in almost the same boat concerning the timetable. I also wanted my first batch to be ready for this Memorial weekend. This Sunday will be 2 weeks in primary, and if I bottle, it'll give me 2 weeks conditioning.

From all the awesome advice I've gotten here, that would be cutting it short on both primary *and* bottle conditioning. I still haven't quite decided what to do other than a couple hydrometer tests and tasting the samples come Sat and Sun to see where I'm at.
 

jsweet

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I'm in almost the same boat concerning the timetable. I also wanted my first batch to be ready for this Memorial weekend. This Sunday will be 2 weeks in primary, and if I bottle, it'll give me 2 weeks conditioning.
Seems like a common problem :) I'll never make memorial day, but I'd like to be drinking my 5th batch (a summer wheat ale w/ lemon) by mid- to late-June, when it starts to get really hot around these parts. I just got it in the fermenter on Wednesday, so.... Yeah, I'm hoping to have it out of the primary in 2 weeks, if the yeasties will oblige.
 

onipar

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Seems like a common problem :) I'll never make memorial day, but I'd like to be drinking my 5th batch (a summer wheat ale w/ lemon) by mid- to late-June, when it starts to get really hot around these parts. I just got it in the fermenter on Wednesday, so.... Yeah, I'm hoping to have it out of the primary in 2 weeks, if the yeasties will oblige.
Ha, yeah, I wasn't quite as knowledgeable as I should have been when starting the batch, so my timetable was off.

We just bought a case of Saranac "12 beers of summer" to tide us over (plus stock up on some bottles). There's a lemony wheat ale in that case that sounds like the one you're brewing. We're making a White Belgian Ale. Mmmm, summer beer.
 

Brandonovich

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One more argument to keg instead of bottle. If you know you are going to continue brewing, get a keg set up and you will be very glad you did.
 

C-Rider

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RDWHAHB. 2 batches ago I was racking my beer into the secondary and had it on the floor. When I finished transferring all my 5 gallons over, I turned away for a second and my dog got in there and started lapping some of it up. I think I have you beat with the infection possibilities - but my beer turned out just fine. Don't ever throw away your beer, there is nothing that can grow in beer that will kill you. At the very least finish the process and taste it. If it tastes like dog slobber, then throw it.
So you have a new brew "Dog Head Beer" :mug:
 

joetothemo

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RDWHAHB. 2 batches ago I was racking my beer into the secondary and had it on the floor. When I finished transferring all my 5 gallons over, I turned away for a second and my dog got in there and started lapping some of it up. I think I have you beat with the infection possibilities - but my beer turned out just fine. Don't ever throw away your beer, there is nothing that can grow in beer that will kill you. At the very least finish the process and taste it. If it tastes like dog slobber, then throw it.
You calling this batch Doggie Slobber Ale?
 

william_shakes_beer

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From my readings of the forums regarding sanitizing, infections, mistakes and the like: you do what you can and let the beer gods take care of the rest. Remember, Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy :)
 

Skipper74

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I made the exact same mistake (pulling out the airlock and causing the rubber grommet to fall into the beer) four weeks ago, but bottled anyway. On Saturday, I drank the first of the batch and all was well. I even managed to save the grommet from the trub when I bottled and put it back in place for the next batch, apparently no worse for the wear.
 

jsweet

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I very nearly had the bung for an airlock fall into my 5-gal carboy. Now that would have been a disaster, not for the beer, but for the carboy. I am not sure I could ever have gotten it out!

I believe the beer gods were punishing me for taking a completely unnecessary hydrometer sample at 7 days in on a beer I expect to stay in primary for ~6 weeks. :D But I did manage to pry it out with just a centimeter or so left before it would have fallen in for good.
 
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