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say you didn't use an airlock

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brewnewb

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Ok, as my name suggests, I've never tried this before. My instructions that came with my beer mix didn't mention the airlock, and like an idiot I didn't really think there was anything wrong with the fact that there was a hole in the cap of my brewing canister. I'm using an "ale pail" 5 gallon bucket, btw. It came with an air lock, but I guess I just didn't realize what it was for.

What I'm curious about is, since it brewed with the bacteria and open air able to get into the bucket the whole time it was brewing, what are the problems wht that? I'm sure the beer will be spoiled, is that right? And I'm guessing it might be bad to even drink it, since bacteria were able to grow in the brewer.

Guess I"ll probably just have to buy another mix and actually do it right this time.

Thanks
 

Kephren

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Just about everyone thinks their first batch is ruined for some reason. It is fairly unlikely that you got an infection. Even if you did, it won't kill you; but it will taste nasty. If it tastes sour or rotten, then toss it. Give it a few weeks, though. Learn from your mistakes. Most of all, DON'T PANIC! :)
 
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brewnewb

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yeah um... i'm pretty sure it's sour. I suppose if you wince when you taste your brew it's a bad thing :)

well, here's to learning! I'll start a new one.
 

OBX

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I doubt that you would be able to taste the imperfection so early after brewing, but... :confused:

I would suggest you buy a good book on brewing. Here is a great book with much of it online. Take a look, this will help you understand the process better.

http://www.howtobrew.com/
 

mmmbeer

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Yeast are facilitative organisms. This means that they are able to grow and reproduce both under Aerobic (in the presence of oxygen) and Anerobic (lack of oxygen) conditions. When yeast grow in the presence of oxygen they are able to fully utilize and break down sugars. No alcohol is produced under these conditions. These reactions happen during the first few hours (days) that the yeast is introduced to wort. Once the yeast colonies reach a level where the oxygen present in solution is depleated, the yeast swich gears and begin growing anerobicly. During these reactions, sugar is not fully broken down and alcohol is produced as a byproduct (Fermentation). Eventually the alcohol concentraion in the solution reaches a level where it becomes toxic to the yeast and fermentation ceases (this determines the final concentration of acohol in solution)

With this explaination, It is easy to see that if your beer was exposed to air np fermentation would take place and thus no alcohol would be produced
 

bikebryan

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mmmbeer said:
Yeast are facilitative organisms. This means that they are able to grow and reproduce both under Aerobic (in the presence of oxygen) and Anerobic (lack of oxygen) conditions. When yeast grow in the presence of oxygen they are able to fully utilize and break down sugars. No alcohol is produced under these conditions. These reactions happen during the first few hours (days) that the yeast is introduced to wort. Once the yeast colonies reach a level where the oxygen present in solution is depleated, the yeast swich gears and begin growing anerobicly. During these reactions, sugar is not fully broken down and alcohol is produced as a byproduct (Fermentation). Eventually the alcohol concentraion in the solution reaches a level where it becomes toxic to the yeast and fermentation ceases (this determines the final concentration of acohol in solution)

With this explaination, It is easy to see that if your beer was exposed to air np fermentation would take place and thus no alcohol would be produced
I don't think you can say the alcohol present in the solution "kills" the yeast. Fermentation may be complete, but they you add more sugar and bottle and all of a sudden the "dead" yeast come back to life and carbonate the solution? Huh?

The yeast go dormant once they've feasted on all the fermentable sugars they can find. It's not that the alcohol "kills" them, it's just that there's no food left, so they stretch out on their little yeasty couches and take a nap until some new snack food comes along.
 

RogerN

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This post has prompted me to ask a question that's been bugging me for a while now.
We as homebrewers are quite rightly obsessed with cleanliness, sterile conditions, covering and airlocking our beer during fermentation but I have been to at least two commecial Breweries where the beer is fermenting away in open fermenters.
How do they get away with it? Do you think we are being over cautious with our precious brews or has my house got more bacteria than the brewery? :p


Roger.
 

Kephren

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A little of both. People have been brewing for hundreds and hundreds of years before they even knew there were little buggies that could do damage. The chance of infection is extremely slight, even if you are a little sloppy with your sanitation. That's not to say you should get sloppy, but everyone should just relax a little.
The breweries that use open fermentation do so in a sealed room under negative pressure. It's like a clean room used for medical experiments. There is no chance for infection. If you see people walking around in those rooms, they are usually donned in full body suits and surgery masks. They also don't worry about infection.
So... don't imitate the brewery unless you can sterilize an entire room and keep it under negative pressure (wouldn't that be cool) and RELAX! Your beer will be just fine. Once the yeast takes hold, nothing else really stands a chance. Think of it this way... the stuff that makes our bread moldy is the same stuff we don't want in our beer. It takes days for that stuff to grow, and that is with opening the bag every day and handling the bread with your grungy hands. By that time, the yeast is done and your beer is fairly sterile. The stuff that is in there (and there is stuff) doesn't like alcohol very much. It also doesn't like carbon dioxide.
Sorry for rambling. I've had a few homebrews myself.
 

brewhead

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The chance of infection is extremely slight, even if you are a little sloppy with your sanitation. That's not to say you should get sloppy, but everyone should just relax a little.
would have to agree here. yes sanitization is very important - but i think one can be over zealous or overly anxious.

i would have to say that most of my worries about my brew - as i become more and more experienced - have worked themselves out - and i know what to look for. i am by no means a pro at this - but i think it's like most things - kind of like my koi pond - i started out mnitpicking and worrying about it inscessently - then a bud of mine turned me on to a concept called "benevolent neglect". it really works..trust me
 

bikebryan

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Kephren said:
The breweries that use open fermentation do so in a sealed room under negative pressure. It's like a clean room used for medical experiments. There is no chance for infection. If you see people walking around in those rooms, they are usually donned in full body suits and surgery masks. They also don't worry about infection.
I think you have your facts a little mixed up. A negative pressure room is not used to protect the occupant from infection; it is meant to protect everyone around from them. Think about it - negative pressure means lower pressure, or air rushing into the room, laden full of bacteria.

Perhaps you mean a positive pressure environment? One where air is filtered before being pumped into the room, so that it's pressure is higher than the area around it, so the clean filtered air is constantly pushing the dirty, outside, unfiltered air away?
 

RogerN

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The breweries that use open fermentation do so in a sealed room under negative pressure. It's like a clean room used for medical experiments. There is no chance for infection. If you see people walking around in those rooms, they are usually donned in full body suits and surgery masks.

Thanks for the reply Kephren but this isn't strictly true. The Brewery tour I was on took us into to where the beer was fermenting in open tanks. We didn't have to wear NBCD suits and someone even wiggled his fingers in the fermenting beer!!!!

Roger.
 

Brew_Barron

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I am a total newbie to this but I must admit I have just started my first brew and I have forgotten to by an air lock for the fermenting tub so I hope things will be ok.
I was at Palmers Brewery in Bridport a week ago and they use open fermentation and in no way was there brewing room sealed.
 
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