What are the odds I've ruined a batch of beer?

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neumann

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Last night I started my 2nd batch of beer which was also the first batch I've done in a full boil. I started it too late and by the time I was pouring the boiling wort into fermenter it was 11:30 pm (half an hour past my bed time, mind you). I don't have a wort chiller and my sink isn't big enough for a 6 gallon bucket and ice water so I wrapped the bucket in a wet towel and set a couple of fans to blow on it hoping it would cool down at a reasonable speed. No dice... I finally went to bed at 12:30a and set an alarm for 1:30a. Woke up, checked the temp, set another alarm for an hour later and repeated. At 3:30a the wort was about 98-100 degrees so I pitched the yeast and went back to bed.

This morning I've got plenty of activity, so there is one concern (that I had pitched too hot) alleviated. But what are the odds that in the 4 hours between boil and pitch, I picked up some nasty bacteria? Is there any way I can check the quality of my beer or do anything to mitigate the damage the bacteria does to my brew? If not, and I am infected, how bad is it going to make my beer?

Before I get any lectures on the need for fast cooling, I fully intend to build a wort cooler (my local brew store wanted more than $100 for a cooler!!!) before I begin my next batch.
 
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neumann

neumann

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Thanks. I'm glad to hear that my hard work (and a good chunk of money) won't be wasted. :)
 

GreenwoodRover

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I did the same thing once, but set the alarm for PM instead of AM (too tired to see the dot) so i ended up leaving a batch sit for 12 hours before pitching. Turned out fine.
 

carnevoodoo

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You will have a lot of esters and fusel alcohol in this batch. It won't hurt you, but I'll bet this batch will give you a nasty headache if you drink too much.

Get a wort chiller! it is important.
 
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neumann

neumann

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A chiller (or the materials to make one, rather) is my next purchase.
@GreenwoodRover - My biggest concern was that I remembered to reset the alarm so that I would wake up and make it to work. :)
 

StrangeDog

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Is a chiller really needed if you can fit your brewpot into a sink and surround it with ice water? I did that for my first batch that's in the primary now?

I also stirred it gently while it was cooling - is that a mistake?
 

SumnerH

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Last night I started my 2nd batch of beer which was also the first batch I've done in a full boil. I started it too late and by the time I was pouring the boiling wort into fermenter it was 11:30 pm (half an hour past my bed time, mind you). I don't have a wort chiller and my sink isn't big enough for a 6 gallon bucket and ice water so I wrapped the bucket in a wet towel and set a couple of fans to blow on it hoping it would cool down at a reasonable speed. No dice... I finally went to bed at 12:30a and set an alarm for 1:30a. Woke up, checked the temp, set another alarm for an hour later and repeated. At 3:30a the wort was about 98-100 degrees so I pitched the yeast and went back to bed.

This morning I've got plenty of activity, so there is one concern (that I had pitched too hot) alleviated. But what are the odds that in the 4 hours between boil and pitch, I picked up some nasty bacteria? Is there any way I can check the quality of my beer or do anything to mitigate the damage the bacteria does to my brew? If not, and I am infected, how bad is it going to make my beer?

Before I get any lectures on the need for fast cooling, I fully intend to build a wort cooler (my local brew store wanted more than $100 for a cooler!!!) before I begin my next batch.
A lot of Australian brewers are experimenting with no-chill brewing, sometimes keeping wort over a month before pitching yeast (obviously storing in a sealed sanitized container during the interim).

The biggest problem I see here is pitching the yeast at high temperature; you'd be better off in the future getting a good night's sleep and pitching when the wort's under 70F.
 

ChshreCat

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Is a chiller really needed if you can fit your brewpot into a sink and surround it with ice water? I did that for my first batch that's in the primary now?

I also stirred it gently while it was cooling - is that a mistake?
Did you do a full boil? That's how many of us that do partial boils cool their wort. With a full boil, it's more mass so it takes longer. Stirring is just fine as long as you're gentle.
 

chenwood

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Q: What are the chances you ruined a batch?
A: 50/50. Either it happens or it doesn't.
 

StrangeDog

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Did you do a full boil? That's how many of us that do partial boils cool their wort. With a full boil, it's more mass so it takes longer. Stirring is just fine as long as you're gentle.
Not exactly sure what a full boil or partial boil is.. I'm sure it's quite obvious but just want to make sure...
 

phidelt844

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Not exactly sure what a full boil or partial boil is.. I'm sure it's quite obvious but just want to make sure...
A full boil would be boiling all of your wort at once, with no topoff water.

A partial boil would be, say, boiling 3 gallons of wort and adding in 2 gallons of topoff water.

A full boil is preferred, but as people are saying, it's 5 gallons to cool to pitching temp as opposed to 3 or so.
 

pompeiisneaks

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Ice baths work, but still much slower than a wort chiller. I used the ice bath method in the past... takes 45 mins to an hour of constant supervision, adding ice draining hot water, etc... wort chiller is 15-20 mins unattended... much easier. :)
 

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