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Unbelievable fermentation disaster!

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Marty-Mart

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Hi, this is a bit of a long story but I need to get it off my chest and there is question at the end which I would grateful of some replies.

I have just had the most unlucky thing happen to me. The wort had been in the fermenter for about a week and I decided that I was going to take a gravity reading just to see how it was going. So when I went over to the fermenting bucket and twisted the tap around to open it up all of a sudden beer started leaking out of the tap at the sides. I was like "oh ****, I must've untwisted the tap accidentally on the inside", so I ran to get some santiser as quick as I could and ran over to the sink to wash my left arm and sanatise it, thinking that I was gonna be able to save my beer, which was slowly leaking out all over the place, by dunking my hand into the fermenter and tightening the nut of the tap on the inside. Unfortunately for me this wasn't what had happened, as I soon realised after dunking my hand in there. What had actually happened, and I don't know how the hell this happened, is that the freaking tap had actually broken. The tube with the thread on it had just broken off completely at the nut. I have no idea how I did this, the only thing I can think is that I must have put too much pressure on it when I tightened it up initially. So anyway, before I dunked my arm in there to fix it the thing was hanging on by a thread still which luckily prevented it from falling off completely, which would have meant a waterfall of beer all over my bedroom floor. However my attempt to fix things by tightening the nut on the other side made the thing break off entirely and at that point beer did start to gush out everywhere but since I was right there at that moment I had time to put my hand over the hole which gave me a few seconds to think. Luckily the secondary fermenter was set up with a tap in the bottom but it was on the other side of the room, so I had to somehow pick up the fermenter while keeping my palm over the hole where the tap used to be and walk over to the other bucket. I managed to do this without hardly spilling any wort and when I got to the secondary fermenter the only option I had was to hold the fermenter over the secondary, remove my hand from the hole and let the wort pour into the secondary from a height, aerating it completely. I imagine that my beer is ****ed now and I would like a second opinion.

On the plus side, I did manage to sanitise my hands before I put them into the wort, but, while I did sanitise the secondary fermenter on the same day that I sanitised the fermenter and other equipment, it had been lying there for a week uncovered so god knows what kind of gunk has managed to get in there in that time.

On the not so plus side, I image that my beer is going to be oxidised to ****, as the only thing I could do was let the wort fall into the secondary fermenter from a height which would have aerated it completely.

I cannot believe that the tap just broke like that. I'm so lucky that it didn't come off completely while I was in the bathroom washing and sanitising my arm as I would now be mopping up 23 litres of beer from the floor, I am also lucky that the other tap was set up on the secondary fermenter or else I would not have been able to put the tap on it with only one hand while simultaneously trying to prevent the wort from escaping from the other fermenter and I would have had to just let the beer drain into the bath.

So anyway, my question is, would you agree that my beer is now ****ed? Will it get infected or be highly oxidized? Is it likely to taste like ****? The ingredients cost me about 100 dollars so it's such a waste if it's screwed now....

Thanks for listening!
 

marubozo

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Wow.

Well, only time will tell how the beer turns out. Hopefully you can update this thread with a happy ending and good results down the road.
 

Evstakiev

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I would suggest if you are kegging your beer, to take a chance and see if it comes out good.

Personaly - if your bottling it - to much work for the risk.

What type of beer where you making and how far into fermentation where you?
 

Reno_eNVy

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Yeah, that just really really sucks. I'm really sorry to hear about that. If your middle name happens to be "Lucky" then you may end up with a decent product.

The ingredients cost me about 100 dollars so it's such a waste if it's screwed now....
HOLY FRACKIN HELL! Are you serious? Either you're brewing liquid gold or you're making DogFishHead's 120minute IPA. Just for poops and giggles I decided to make a $100 batch on BeerSmith using only the most expensive ingredients:

~ 38lbs Pilsner
~ 18oz of hops (doesn't matter, they all cost the same)
and a pack of top-tier yeast.
OG 1.195
IBU 106

Dude, if I'd sprung a leak on a 6 gallon batch that cost $100 I'd probably have a heart attack and die right there on the spot, my lifeless body on a bed of liquid-gold.....
 

size

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When I was a newbie (not that i'm still not a newbie, just slightly less newbish) I spent $90 on a Ruination IPA clone. It was mostly the LHBS I bought it from. Lesson: Learned.
 

dontman

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Beer is MUCH hardier than most people here give it credit for. Your beer will be fine and any oxidation that actually could become apparent will not do so for at least two to three months.

The alcohol in it will make a very unsavory environment for all but the toughest bacterial critters so you are almost assuredly fine on that front as well.

I guarantee that you will be drinking fine brew in a few weeks. You'll have to try harder to ruin a beer, not that you want to.

Amusing story and a very good candidate for the "Biggest Screwup with good results" thread.
 

ifishsum

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That sucks, and it's a big reason why I don't ferment in buckets that have spigots on the bottom.
 

Pappers_

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Beer is MUCH hardier than most people here give it credit for. Your beer will be fine and any oxidation that actually could become apparent will not do so for at least two to three months.

The alcohol in it will make a very unsavory environment for all but the toughest bacterial critters so you are almost assuredly fine on that front as well.

I guarantee that you will be drinking fine brew in a few weeks. You'll have to try harder to ruin a beer, not that you want to.

Amusing story and a very good candidate for the "Biggest Screwup with good results" thread.

Dontman is a wise, wise person.

There's no reason *not* to let it finish up, keg or bottle it, and let it develop. And he's also right that the odds are significantly in your favor that it will be just fine. Cheers!
 

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That sucks, and it's a big reason why I don't ferment in buckets that have spigots on the bottom.
True dat. I can barely get through a bottling session without forgetting the spigot is open at some point when it shouldn't be. I can't imagine the trouble I'd get into with a spigot on my fermenter, especially in a water bath.
 

Reno_eNVy

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True dat. I can barely get through a bottling session without forgetting the spigot is open at some point when it shouldn't be. I can't imagine the trouble I'd get into with a spigot on my fermenter, especially in a water bath.
You get used to it, really. I seem to have spidey-sense about my spigots, especially when I'm brewing/bottling with someone new.

As for the bath, don't use one... well at least I don't have the bucket sitting in a pool of water. You can still do the wick-technique by using a long towel (I use a beach towel) wrapped around the bucket and having each end dipped into a reservoir.
 
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Marty-Mart

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I would suggest if you are kegging your beer, to take a chance and see if it comes out good.

Personaly - if your bottling it - to much work for the risk.

What type of beer where you making and how far into fermentation where you?
I'm trying to make a wheat beer and I was 7 days into fermentation. I was intending to leave it for 2 weeks in primary and then bottle. No keg I'm afraid, only bottles. I think I'm gonna risk bottling it anyway. This is only the second batch of beer I have ever made so I'll just consider it part of the learning curve if it turns out bad I suppose.
 
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Marty-Mart

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Yeah, that just really really sucks. I'm really sorry to hear about that. If your middle name happens to be "Lucky" then you may end up with a decent product.



HOLY FRACKIN HELL! Are you serious? Either you're brewing liquid gold or you're making DogFishHead's 120minute IPA. Just for poops and giggles I decided to make a $100 batch on BeerSmith using only the most expensive ingredients:

~ 38lbs Pilsner
~ 18oz of hops (doesn't matter, they all cost the same)
and a pack of top-tier yeast.
OG 1.195
IBU 106

Dude, if I'd sprung a leak on a 6 gallon batch that cost $100 I'd probably have a heart attack and die right there on the spot, my lifeless body on a bed of liquid-gold.....

Haha, I almost did have a heart attack. When I said it cost around $100 I was converting from Euros as I actually live in Spain. And in fact, I got it wrong, it's closer to $140 that it cost me, I just checked the exchange rate. Currently 100.00 EUR = 142.149 USD!!! So are you telling me that in the US the following ingredients would be a lot cheaper than $140?

1.5 kilos LME
1.5 kilos Liquid Malt Wheat Extract
1 kilo Dry Wheat Malt Extract
1 Kilo DME
250 grams Hallertauer Hersbrucker
250 grams Challenger
250 grams Saaz
One pack of Wyeast 3068 for Wheat Beers
One kilo Bruclean sanitiser

There is like only one company in the whole of Spain that supplies beer making products and they have to import absolutely everything which I guess is why it is so expensive. I had to wait about 2 months for them to get all the ingredients too. So you can imagine how annoyed I am that this has happened, all that money and time wasted...:mad:
 

marubozo

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Ouch, that is expensive.

You can pick up an extract kit here in the states for anywhere between about $20-$30 for relatively simple kits that aren't hop heavy.
 

SmugMug

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Ouch, that is expensive.

You can pick up an extract kit here in the states for anywhere between about $20-$30 for relatively simple kits that aren't hop heavy.
Paid $35 for a partial mash kit. I think my last extract w/ steeping grains kit only cost me $24.

Perhaps it would be beneficial to the OP to look into buying from an American supplier rather than waiting on the LHBS. Have no idea if that would be cheaper, but I can't see how it could be any more expensive. Ingredients at that price would definitely inhibit my capabilities to brew!
 

Ewalk02

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1.5 kilos LME
1.5 kilos Liquid Malt Wheat Extract
1 kilo Dry Wheat Malt Extract
1 Kilo DME
250 grams Hallertauer Hersbrucker
250 grams Challenger
250 grams Saaz
One pack of Wyeast 3068 for Wheat Beers
One kilo Bruclean sanitiser
:
1.5 kilos LME ~ 3.3 lbs = $10 USD
1.5 kilos Wheat ~ 3.3 lbs = $10 USD
1 kilo Dry Wheat ~ 2.2 lbs = $10 USD
1 kilo DME ~ 2.2 lbs = $10 USD
250 grams Hallertauer ~ 8.8 ounces = $26.4 USD
250 grams Challenger ~ 8.8 ounces = $26.4 USD
250 grams Saaz ~ 8.8 ounces = $26.4 USD
Wyeast 3068 = $6.25
Sanitizer 32 ounces = $15.50

Grand Total = $130.95

All I have to say is Holy Hop Bomb!!!
 

stageseven

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Wow, that's a lot of hops. Out of curiosity, what was the recipe you're using? With that amount of extract and hops, the best I can figure is you've got a 8.5+% 130ish IBU wheat beer. If it was finished fermenting, I'd think it would have enough alcohol in it to kill whatever it might have come in contact with. What were the OG and SG when all this happened?
 

jrfuda

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...
250 grams Hallertauer ~ 8.8 ounces = $26.4 USD
250 grams Challenger ~ 8.8 ounces = $26.4 USD
250 grams Saaz ~ 8.8 ounces = $26.4 USD...
All I have to say is Holy Hop Bomb!!!
Maybe it was supposed to be more like 25 grams, which is .8 ounces??? Yikes!
 

SmugMug

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Maybe it was supposed to be more like 25 grams, which is .8 ounces??? Yikes!
I didn't pay attention to the amount of hops listed until now. With those numbers you'd be lucky to smell or taste anything other than hops again. Wow. Talk about a full frontal assault on the senses.
 

Buffman

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I agree with dontman and others who advise to let it finish, even if bottling. If it turns out to be bad, all you've wasted is some time and bottle caps. I definitely wouldn't dump it now.
 

beerkrump

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OP mentioned that it was in the fermenter for only a week. The yeast should be active enough still to consume the extra O2. It'll end up as beer.

I'd like to see the recipe. The IBU's look off the chart (not necessarily a bad thing) and there's not much residual sugars to bring them back in line.
 

bierbrauer

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I must know what is in this $100 brew!!! And for 100 bucks it better not go bad when a little oxygen comes into the equation.
 

ChshreCat

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OP mentioned that it was in the fermenter for only a week. The yeast should be active enough still to consume the extra O2. It'll end up as beer.
+1 just what I was going to say. The yeast were likely still finishing up fermentation and will eat up much of that O2, if not all of it. What's left should be covered by the fact that you use all the hops in España to brew this. :D
 

lowlife

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1.5 kilos LME ~ 3.3 lbs = $10 USD
1.5 kilos Wheat ~ 3.3 lbs = $10 USD
1 kilo Dry Wheat ~ 2.2 lbs = $10 USD
1 kilo DME ~ 2.2 lbs = $10 USD
250 grams Hallertauer ~ 8.8 ounces = $26.4 USD
250 grams Challenger ~ 8.8 ounces = $26.4 USD
250 grams Saaz ~ 8.8 ounces = $26.4 USD
Wyeast 3068 = $6.25
Sanitizer 32 ounces = $15.50

Grand Total = $130.95

All I have to say is Holy Hop Bomb!!!
This one recipe is enough to buy pounds of hops- if you by pounds of hops the hop bill would be halved pretty much. (at least when shipping within america)
 
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Marty-Mart

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OP mentioned that it was in the fermenter for only a week. The yeast should be active enough still to consume the extra O2. It'll end up as beer.

I'd like to see the recipe. The IBU's look off the chart (not necessarily a bad thing) and there's not much residual sugars to bring them back in line.
Okay this is the recipe.

1.5 kilos LME
1.5 kilos Liquid Malt Wheat Extract
1 kilo Dry Wheat Malt Extract
40 grams Hallertauer Hersbrucker
12 grams Challenger
12 grams Saaz
One pack of Wyeast 3068 for Wheat Beers

When I listed the items I bought above I didn't mean that I'd used 250 grams of a hops in the beer, that was just so you could all see how much all the ingredients cost me and how much I bought. :) As you can see I only used 40 grams for bittering hops and 12 grams for aroma (not sure what that is in onces :confused: ). I did a good starter for it over about four days (made a small amount of wort, added the yeast and let that rest for 2 days then made some more wort and added that to the yeast culture and let it rest for another two days before adding it to the fermenter proper). It started fermenting quickly and by the day that I had my little "accident", which was about 7 days later, the fermentation had slowed down considerably (the producing-lots-of-CO2 phase of fermentation anyway). I was originally planning on leaving it for another week only but was wondering if maybe I should leave it for a further week on top of that now (so 3 in total) to allow the yeast to heal my beer? (If that's possible....)
 

beerkrump

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Ah, that makes a lot more sense.

Yeast knows how to make beer, we just have to give them the right ingredients and a place to do it where they aren't disturbed.

+1 on giving it that extra week. Good Luck.
 

SumnerH

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Beerkrump and ChshreCat beat me to it. I think you might be fine with that extra oxygen at this stage in the process. If this happened right before bottling...
...then it would probably still be okay (not perfect, but okay) for a while. Oxidation requires some time, and bottle-conditioning should help consume some of that O2 also. The longer it sat, the more likely it'd develop real oxidation off-notes.
 

Shooter

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...then it would probably still be okay (not perfect, but okay) for a while. Oxidation requires some time, and bottle-conditioning should help consume some of that O2 also. The longer it sat, the more likely it'd develop real oxidation off-notes.
That's a good point, if you drink it quickly, you still probably wouldn't notice a problem.
 

Munsoned

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I'd be more concerned with potential arm hairs getting in the beer. Worse yet, armpit hairs if that bucket was really deep. Did you happen to shave your arm first before you dunked it in the fermenter? That would have really cut down on the potential bacteria load.

By now you probably have figured out that I'm just fooling with you. That was truly a fantastic story! ;) I'm with the others: I'm sure the beer will turn out great. BTW, I put an o-ring on by spigot, which gives me another layer of "drip" protection, and a little bit more flexibility when I screw the spigot into place. Just a thought...
 

malkore

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Oxidation doesn't take 2-3 months to show up. Ever drank a keg with a hand pump? Ever not finish it in 2 nights and tried to drink it next week?

Hell I failed to purge a corny, drove 200 miles with it, and had turned my beer to wet cardboard.

Light oxidation takes a while to show up Heavy oxidation only takes days. that's my experience.
 

Shooter

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Oxidation doesn't take 2-3 months to show up. Ever drank a keg with a hand pump? Ever not finish it in 2 nights and tried to drink it next week?

Hell I failed to purge a corny, drove 200 miles with it, and had turned my beer to wet cardboard.

Light oxidation takes a while to show up Heavy oxidation only takes days. that's my experience.
We are TRYING to impart the spirit of RDWHAHB here!!!! You are NOT helping!!! :D
 

carbon111

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That sucks, and it's a big reason why I don't ferment in buckets that have spigots on the bottom.
Completely agree! I have a spigot on my bottling bucket but would never have one on my fermenter.

Sorry to hear of your mishap! :(
 
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Marty-Mart

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I'd be more concerned with potential arm hairs getting in the beer. Worse yet, armpit hairs if that bucket was really deep. Did you happen to shave your arm first before you dunked it in the fermenter? That would have really cut down on the potential bacteria load.

By now you probably have figured out that I'm just fooling with you. That was truly a fantastic story! ;) I'm with the others: I'm sure the beer will turn out great. BTW, I put an o-ring on by spigot, which gives me another layer of "drip" protection, and a little bit more flexibility when I screw the spigot into place. Just a thought...
Darn, I hadn't though of that, and I do have quite hairy arms :D

It did have an O-ring on it, on the inside though. Which I think may have contributed to it breaking.... (I could explain why I think this contributed to it breaking but you would probably fall asleep before you finished reading it:)).
 

Reno_eNVy

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(I could explain why I think this contributed to it breaking but you would probably fall asleep before you finished reading it:)).
Oh, come now! It can't take that long to explain it.... at least it can't take as long as your original post ^_^
 

kiwibrewer

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Haha, a very similar thing happened to me recently, although I was lucky enough to be able to screw the tap back in, no broken thread. But a great story! I'm sure as the others said all will be ok!
 

niko

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Great story, I don't ferment in my bottling bucket either... for good reason.
 
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Marty-Mart

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Wow.

Well, only time will tell how the beer turns out. Hopefully you can update this thread with a happy ending and good results down the road.
Anyway, so I though I'd let you guys know that, despite my little disaster, the beer seems to have turned out really well in the end. I'm drinking a bottle right now and it tastes great. It's only been a week since I bottled it so maybe there's a little harshness to it that will mellow out if I leave it a bit longer to condition. I haven't noticed any oxidisation in the flavour (not that I'd really know what it tastes like to be able to recognise it though).

The beer is a lot darker than I had planned on it being as I'd initially wanted it to be a Franziskaner clone which is quite light in colour, and it looks more like a double or triple malt (I'm not sure why this should be, maybe I put too many fermentables into it?). However, I'm really happy with the way it has turned out because it definitely has the fruity banana/clove overtones that I had wanted to imitate from the Franziskaner and does taste very similar to this beer.

I'm just about to go on vacation and I'll be away for a whole month so I'm gonna leave it in the fridge while I'm away and hopefully have some fully-conditioned fine tasting beer waiting for me when I get back!:)

Oh and the alcohol content seems to be pretty high too which is always a plus!:drunk:

Cheers!!! :mug:
 
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