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Wort left on counter for 4 days, risk?

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Deriede

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Hello,

This is my first post, and I definitely an amateur homebrewer. A prime example of this is, Sunday I made the wort for an Oktoberfest, and as it was cooking I forgot about until today, which is a Thursday. Life and work got hectic, and I usually let it cool overnight, but I completely forgot about it until I saw it after work today. So my wort was just chilling at room temperature for 4 days...

There were 2 colonies of a white mold which I got rid of, sanitized the piss out of my equipment, and then pitched the yeast.

Should I just pour out this batch and start another one? I'm a little paranoid that it will either get infected or have botulism. Sorry for the poor brewing practices, I only make the occasional 5 gallon batch when I'm bored, but it's still no excuse. Thanks on advance for any advice!
 

bracconiere

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well, when i leave the last running from my mash tun in my transfer bucket for a couple days....i wouldn't drink it...
 

BrewZer

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Getting infected? That bus has left the station. The question now is just how infected is it?

So, was the wort covered on the stove? How did you remove the mold and did you get all of it? What yeast did you pitch in it?

What was your OG before you pitched? Is it in a bucket, carboy or something more technical... in other words, will you be able to monitor the yeast activity without popping the top and risking further infection?
 
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Deriede

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Getting infected? That bus has left the station. The question now is just how infected is it?

So, was the wort covered on the stove? How did you remove the mold and did you get all of it? What yeast did you pitch in it?

What was your OG before you pitched? Is it in a bucket, carboy or something more technical... in other words, will you be able to monitor the yeast activity without popping the top and risking further infection?
Wort was covered, I scooped out all visible mold. I pitched Saflager w-34/70. OG was 1.058.

It is in just a standard brew bucket, no way to check it without opening the lid.
 

BrewZer

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Well, here's hoping your yeast can crowd out whatever wild critters are in there already. Since you've already pitched it, just let it ride and check in on it in 14 days. Are you fermenting at normal lager temps or ale temps? I'm thinking lager temps might put the kibosh on further mold growth...
 
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Deriede

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Well, here's hoping your yeast can crowd out whatever wild critters are in there already. Since you've already pitched it, just let it ride and check in on it in 14 days. Are you fermenting at normal lager temps or ale temps? I'm thinking lager temps might put the kibosh on further mold growth...
Yeah man. It was a Christmas present from mom so I really don't want to dump it, but it's in the basement which is currently 60 degrees. I can lower it if need be, what do you think?
 
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Deriede

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I was being factious. Whom knows, at this point, what you are brewing.
Lol, you're right. I'll let you all know how it goes in a few months, I was already in over my head trying to make a lager. I just really hate that I messed up a Christmas present from my mom so badly, but if it is bad I will pour it down the drain. Better safe than sorry.
 

dbsmith

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If you have more yeast, you could reboil it and re-pitch
 

NGD

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If @bracconiere won’t drink it...its drain pour. 😄

If you had patches of mold, I would toss it. If you really want to save it, then as already suggested reboil, cool and repitch. Last resort...check the ingredients and remake.
 

Miraculix

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As mentioned before, as soon as there is mold, it is a dumper. The mold goes through the whole liquid, by removing the visible part, you don't remove it from the wort. It also might spread toxins through the liquid that you cannot taste but can get sick of, in other words, down the drain it goes!
 

BrewZer

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Yeah man. It was a Christmas present from mom so I really don't want to dump it, but it's in the basement which is currently 60 degrees. I can lower it if need be, what do you think?
I wouldn't toss it until it's had a chance to recover. If the mold on the surface wasn't covering a large area, and you're pretty sure you got it all off the top (and it didn't have threads going deep into the wort) then you may have "saved" it... If you can drop the temps another 5 or so degrees, advice I found on-line from people with an incentive to tell you to dump it indicates you probably should RDWHAHB and let it ride. Decide on bottling day whether or not to keep it.
 

EthanH

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My first question would be how certain are you that what you removed was mold? There can be post-boil break that coagulates at the top that looks kinda gross and mold-like.

If it was indeed mold, then as a previous poster said, the infection question is not "if" but "how badly". And some people might tell you that mold can't live in fermented beer, but those people would be wrong.

All that said, I've left a batch in the kettle outside for a couple days and then pitched/fermented/bottled/drank without issue.
 
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Deriede

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My first question would be how certain are you that what you removed was mold? There can be post-boil break that coagulates at the top that looks kinda gross and mold-like.

If it was indeed mold, then as a previous poster said, the infection question is not "if" but "how badly". And some people might tell you that mold can't live in fermented beer, but those people would be wrong.

All that said, I've left a batch in the kettle outside for a couple days and then pitched/fermented/bottled/drank without issue.
Did it have any kind of off flavors to it? That sounds pretty much exactly like what I did lol.
 

amber-ale

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since you are already fermenting it, just leave it. if it is infected you will notice a color change and it will not smell like beer.
If you had already boiled it and left it on the stove COVERED and sealed up tight, then maybe it was NOT an infection. leave it and re-evaluate it before you put any more work into it.

if it has a color change, smells odd, or doesn't taste nice, toss it and by another kit yourself. infections taste nasty, smell bad and are obviously wrong.
 

Vale71

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since you are already fermenting it, just leave it. if it is infected you will notice a color change and it will not smell like beer.
If you had already boiled it and left it on the stove COVERED and sealed up tight, then maybe it was NOT an infection. leave it and re-evaluate it before you put any more work into it.

if it has a color change, smells odd, or doesn't taste nice, toss it and by another kit yourself. infections taste nasty, smell bad and are obviously wrong.
Sorry, but how can mold growing on the wort not be considered an infection? Depending on the type of mold there could be toxins in the beer that might not make it smell or taste bad but could still make you sick if you drink it.
 

EthanH

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Did it have any kind of off flavors to it? That sounds pretty much exactly like what I did lol.
No. My only complaint was I shoulda used more Centennial and less Columbus.

However, it was also November in NE Ohio. I had to actually let it warm back UP to pitching temperature when I got around to bringing it inside.
 

Tobor_8thMan

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Lol, you're right. I'll let you all know how it goes in a few months, I was already in over my head trying to make a lager. I just really hate that I messed up a Christmas present from my mom so badly, but if it is bad I will pour it down the drain. Better safe than sorry.
No, I do understand. Perhaps, chalk up to learning experience.
 

bu_gee

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Just to second the notion: You've already invested in it. It doesn't hurt to see what come of it, even if for the sake of curiosity. Having to throw out beer is bad. Having a beer that you love that you can't ever replicate is the worst case scenario. ;)
 

Dinadan

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I would just dump that wort. Maybe it would turn out to be great, but even if you reheat it to kill the infection I bet that it will be just as good as that last cup of coffee that I forgot about and rehated after a couple of hours.
 

madscientist451

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If it was mine, I would have put it back on the stove and heated it up to 180F or so, then set the pot outside and pitched the yeast in the morning. BTW, how the heck do you "forget" about a beer you just spent hours brewing?
 
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Deriede

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If it was mine, I would have put it back on the stove and heated it up to 180F or so, then set the pot outside and pitched the yeast in the morning. BTW, how the heck do you "forget" about a beer you just spent hours brewing?
No excuse really, but to explain, I just had a really stressful work week and kept saying I would do it later but kept forgetting.
 

amber-ale

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Sorry, but how can mold growing on the wort not be considered an infection? Depending on the type of mold there could be toxins in the beer that might not make it smell or taste bad but could still make you sick if you drink it.
What I meant was since there was no picture, we done know if it was real mold (in which case I would toss it and buy a new kit) or floating trub.
People have been making beer since before there were cities, with no form of sanitation. they didn't all die. Spoiled beer is usually obvious, especially at the beginner brewer level.

The easy answer is chalk it up to experience and pay another $60 for a new kit.
 
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Deriede

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Update- I put it in the carboy yesterday, and had a sample of it. Definitely has a sour taste, almost like a victory sour monkey but not quite. It isn't gross but I'd like to age it to see if it is drinkable. Going to leave it lagering in the fridge for about 3-4 months. When it is bottled I will let y'all know what it tastes like!
 
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