Unsterilized stirrer!

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Anuvin

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A friend of mine started brewing after I told him constantly for the past 2 years how much fun I have had with it. He tried his first batch today, and he said all went well.

He called me back some 20 minutes later and told me that it just occured to him that his stirrer, that had gone into his wort after pitching yeast, was not sterilized. I told him I would ask how much trouble he was in.

So, is he going to be safe after using a clean wood handled spoon to stir his mix, or should he pitch the lot? I wanted to tell him he was safe, because I didn't want him to get discouraged after one botched batch, but I would rather my friend not die (although he can be annoying.)
 

McKBrew

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He's not going to die. There is a risk of infection from an unsterilized spoon, but nothing worth worrying about right now. Your pal needs to finish out the process, and if after everything the beer tastes like sweaty balls, it's either bad or your buddy made a nice sour beer.
 

HOOTER

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Don't ever throw it out. Chances are his brew will be fine, and even if it does get infected, it's not deadly. Besides, why was he stirring after he pitched yeast?
 

Revvy

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Most likely everything is fine, some people on here have plunged their un sanitized arm into a bucket to fish out, oh let's say an airlock grommet (I won't name names) and their beer have turned out fine....It is really difficult to ruin beer, despite the bonehead mistakes that we've all made at least one time or another.
 

BrosBrew

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There is no known deadly pathogen that can survive the conditions of beer i.e. the alcohol and acidic nature. The only way your friend will die is if they had WAY to much of the homebrew to drink because it's going to turn out sooo delicious.
 
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Anuvin

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There is no known deadly pathogen that can survive the conditions of beer i.e. the alcohol and acidic nature. The only way your friend will die is if they had WAY to much of the homebrew to drink because it's going to turn out sooo delicious.
Haha, good I am glad to hear it. I figured he wasn't literally going to die, I just wanted to make sure he wasn't going to get sick or something. I am a sterilization nazi, so I wasn't sure what would happen.

Thanks for the reassurance.

Why was he stirring after pitching....
 

TheFlatline

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Haha, good I am glad to hear it. I figured he wasn't literally going to die, I just wanted to make sure he wasn't going to get sick or something. I am a sterilization nazi, so I wasn't sure what would happen.

Thanks for the reassurance.

Why was he stirring after pitching....
I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit... It's the only way to be sure...

Either that or get a second carboy and start another batch, so that if the first turns out ass-tastic, you have a fallback in 1 week. If it turns out great, then you have something to share with everyone.
 

HOOTER

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Either that or get a second carboy and start another batch, so that if the first turns out ass-tastic, you have a fallback in 1 week. If it turns out great, then you have something to share with everyone.
Exactly. Don't keep all your eggs in one basket. Always have at least a couple brews going at the same time.
 

damrass

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I would say his beer is completely beyond hope and is a lost cause. Tell your friend once it finishes fermenting to ship it to me where I can properly dispose of the wretched mess. ;)

I've dipped my hand in cooled wort before. I've also had the water that runs through the wort chiller to drip into the cooling wort. That beer was one of my first, so it didn't taste great but it was beer and wasn't infected (that I could tell).

If you read around the forums, you'll find examples of even more crazy things falling into the wort (I recall something the dog had in its mouth?) and the beer turned out fine. It's pretty resilient stuff. Don't ever toss it unless you and everyone else that tries it thinks it's not palatable.
 

Revvy

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I would say his beer is completely beyond hope and is a lost cause. Tell your friend once it finishes fermenting to ship it to me where I can properly dispose of the wretched mess. ;)

I've dipped my hand in cooled wort before. I've also had the water that runs through the wort chiller to drip into the cooling wort. That beer was one of my first, so it didn't taste great but it was beer and wasn't infected (that I could tell).

If you read around the forums, you'll find examples of even more crazy things falling into the wort (I recall something the dog had in its mouth?) and the beer turned out fine. It's pretty resilient stuff. Don't ever toss it unless you and everyone else that tries it thinks it's not palatable.
Wasn't there one that invloved blood as well?
 

fratermus

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He called me back some 20 minutes later and told me that it just occured to him that his stirrer, that had gone into his wort after pitching yeast, was not sterilized.
Having a spray bottle of sanitizer on-hand helps build good habits, IMO.
 

Philip1993

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So, is he going to be safe after using a clean wood handled spoon to stir his mix, or should he pitch the lot? I wanted to tell him he was safe, because I didn't want him to get discouraged after one botched batch, but I would rather my friend not die (although he can be annoying.)
Perspective time: If you went into a hospital near sick people and *might* have gotten sick, should we euthanize you in advance just in case?

NO!

Beer that tastes good is good. Unless you spilled poison in your beer, don't EVER pitch a beer until it has fermented, conditioned, aged, and STILL tastes like crap.

P.S. RWDHAHB. We don't sterilize, we sanitize. The difference? A whole different level of bio-eradication. You sanitize a food preparation area, you sterilize an operating room.
 

BrianP

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+1 on the spray bottle. I keep Star-San in mine. I use it on my cutting boards too.
 

noisy123

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Papazian pointed out that the Norwegians used to pass down a special "stir-stick" in their families for beer-making generation to generation. Turns out that these sticks usually had the previous generation's yeast on them and each time they stirred the wort they were re-infecting it. Not saying their beer was good (I dunno could have been great), but this whole process is more robust than we sometimes think.
 
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