Suck Back Into Carboy

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gometz

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Yesterday I was showing my friend all of the brewing I am doing. I open up the fermentation fridge and notice that the jug the blow off line was in was nearly empty.

Quickly I put it together: it is an Altbier that I dropped down to 40*F last week for secondary (from 55*F). I wanted to kick myself in the balls for forgetting about suck back into the carboy.

Now there is about 1/3 gallon of star san solution in the beer. I took a little taster and it tasted like young flat beer, but I am still a little worried. Luckily I swapped out the star san solution after vigorous fermentation was done, but I am still very worried about what could happen.

Am I safe? Will the beer be okay? Should I have even drank the sample?

Since it likely happened last week (dropped temperature last Tuesday), I am hoping the fact that no off flavors were detected means I am in the clear.
 

SagamoreAle

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Well you started out with diluted Star San and diluted it further. You are dealing with a pH based cleaner with chemicals that are supposed to be non-toxic at low concentrations so you are so you are probably ok.

IIRC one of the ingredients is phosphoric acid, which is included in most colas. The other ingredient is unpronouncable to most humans.

FWIW, I never do blowoffs, they just waste good beer.
 

kombat

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It won't harm you, but that much StarSan will affect the flavour/body of the beer. I made a similar mistake with an Oktoberfest.

Whenever I cold crash a beer, I always replace the airlock/blowoff tube with a sanitized piece of aluminum foil, doubled over on itself, shaped tightly around the mouth of the carboy and held tight with a pair of elastic bands.

In fact, after that, I just leave the foil on. I never bother replacing it with an airlock again after the beer has chilled. The fit of the foil is tight (but obviously would let gas out), and while the beer is in my fridge, it's pretty insulated from contaminants. I've never had a problem yet, even lagering for several months with the foil cap on the carboy (knock on wood).
 

Sherpa FE

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I had about a 1/2 gallon of suckback of Star-San into a 5 gallon pale ale batch. No off flavors, no smells, nothing funky about it at all. Friends didnt even notice it, and when I told them about it they were shocked that they couldnt taste it.
You will be fine.
 
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gometz

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Phew

Thank you everyone. I figured after the sample that I should be alright, but I will keep an eye on it.
 

kh54s10

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In the future use less Starsan. You only need enough to keep the end of your blow off tube submerged. I never have more than a cup in my system. If you do have a suck back the amount would be minimal.
 
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gometz

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In the future use less Starsan. You only need enough to keep the end of your blow off tube submerged. I never have more than a cup in my system. If you do have a suck back the amount would be minimal.
I learned that now. I will still use a large jug for the vigorous fermentation stage, but for secondary I will use a smaller vessel and only about 1/2" submerged.
 
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