Help! Possible contamination from airlock.

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by TempleHG, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. TempleHG

    TempleHG New Member

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    I am a novice brewer making my second batch of beer. I use a fermenter with a spigot at the bottom. I have an IPA in secondary ferment and went to take a gravity reading and didn't think before opening the spigot to draw off some of the wert for testing. When I open the spigot some of the water from the airlock got sucked into the bucket.

    My question is my beer ruined or should I just wait and see?

    Thanks for any help in this matter
     
  2. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    You are probably fine. The yeast have taken off to the point if a germ got in, it would be in trouble.

    I use sanitizer solution (diluted star san) in my airlock. Some people use vodka. I sometimes top off my airlock with vodka.

    I wouldn't use plain water or an iodine based solution though.

    Make sure to disassemble the spigot from the bucket and clean it thoroughly after each brew.
     
  3. TempleHG

    TempleHG New Member

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    Thanks! I think I will go with the star san in the airlock from now on.
     
  4. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    Make sure it is DILUTED star san, something like 30ml per 5 gallons of water is the ratio. When I'm sanitizing my air lock and bung, I make sure the airlock gets filled with the sanizier solution.
     
  5. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    I Personally used 50/50 water and vodka. I have never had an issue and never worry about it being sucked into the fermenter.
     
  6. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    The logic with vodka (as much logic as there can be with vodka in a sentence), is if it gets in the beer, it just adds a tad to the alcohol level.
     
  7. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    Vodka in an airlock is alcohol abuse!
    Drink your vodka. :mrgreen:
    Fill your airlock with Star San Solution.

    Also, to the OP, if you're going to use a bucket with a spigot to ferment in, be very careful with the spigot.
    I think someone posted a video in this forum a while ago about properly cleaning a spigot. You should follow that process and then make sure you wrap a bag of sanitizer around the spigot to keep nasties out of it. Especially if you use it to take a sample.
    We're not the only ones that like fermentable sugars and alcohol. ;) Think Flies, Spiders, Mold etc. Get the point?
    Good Luck,

    Brian
     
  8. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    Here is said video

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUBPfeT59PI

    Also, if your fermenter warmed up a few degrees, the increase activity from the yeast, and release of C02 from the brew as it warmed up might have caused what you are seeing. I would say keep the lid on it and let the yeast do their thing. 3 weeks in the primary then straight to the bottle worked out great for me on my cream ale.
     
  9. MrBIP

    MrBIP Active Member

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  10. TempleHG

    TempleHG New Member

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    Thanks to all! my air lock is now filled with a 50% solution of vodka and water and I have kept the spigot clean and sanitized.

    Worry free and anticipating many brews to come!
     

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