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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: mswilliams1975 on January 19, 2013, 07:48:37 PM

Title: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: mswilliams1975 on January 19, 2013, 07:48:37 PM
Ok so I use vodka in my airlock and today when I sealed my new brew to start fermentation some vodka dripped into the carboy. Will this kill the fermentation? Did I just kill my new batch of brew? It has been 2 hours and I have no bubbling in the air lock.
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: Titanium Brewing on January 19, 2013, 07:58:57 PM
A little vodka shouldn't be a problem. I've been using cheap vodka in my air locks for years with out issue. You should not use air lock activity as a sign of fermentation. 2 hours is not nearly enough time to determine if there is fermentation. I'd leave it for a day or two before even worrying.
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: skrag6713 on January 19, 2013, 08:00:50 PM
how much dripped in there?  a liter? 2?  if it less than that i wouldn't worry.  and 2 hours for lag time isn't bad.  in fact it's pretty good.
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: davidgzach on January 19, 2013, 08:02:26 PM
RDWHAHB!
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: redbeerman on January 19, 2013, 08:10:07 PM
RDWHAHB!

It will be fine.  Well any problems won't be due to the vodka anyway! ;)
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: reverseapachemaster on January 19, 2013, 10:45:04 PM
chillax
Title: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: majorvices on January 20, 2013, 12:58:26 AM
If you are having a two hour lag you are pitching far, far too warm. 12 - 24 hour lag is standard and what you want. Super short lag time does not = good beer.

And vodka would be sanitary. No worries there. And certainly won't kill yeast unless you dosed the actual slurry in vodka.
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: mswilliams1975 on January 20, 2013, 02:54:33 AM
Thanks guys. It was about a half a shots worth of vodka that made it in the beer before I caught it. I will watch it over the next few days for activity.
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: garc_mall on January 20, 2013, 04:04:42 AM
The reason many people use vodka in their airlocks (including me) is because vodka is basically flavorless, and the alcohol will kill bacteria or wild yeast if they fall in. Once the vodka has been diluted (3/4 oz in 5 gal) that far, there isn't enough alcohol to kill the yeast. RDWHAHB. If there is some problem with your yeast not starting, it won't be because of the vodka.
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: deepsouth on January 20, 2013, 04:10:49 AM
i've got vodka in my airlock right now. 
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: alcaponejunior on January 20, 2013, 02:54:40 PM
one of my buckets never bubbles.  I don't think it seals perfectly along the edges.  It works fine tho and hasn't ever gotten infected.

the other bucket doesn't fit in the freezer with a standard airlock, so I have a special setup that involves tinfoil and a flat top of a frying pan, along with sanitizer.  so I never see bubbling.  beers always come out good.

I don't have vodka in my martinis, BTW.  Strictly gin.  Extra olives.  8)
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: denny on January 20, 2013, 07:04:50 PM
When I started brewing I used vodka in the airlock.  When the bottle ran out I switched to tap water.  In hundreds of batches it's never been a problem to use tap water.
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: davidgzach on January 20, 2013, 07:41:03 PM
When I started brewing I used vodka in the airlock.  When the bottle ran out I switched to tap water.  In hundreds of batches it's never been a problem to use tap water.

+1.  I now put 1-2 sprays of my stan stan bottle up the stem and a top with tap water.  No issues.

Dave
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: jamminbrew on January 20, 2013, 08:06:12 PM
I just use some star san in the airlock. Even if some gets sucked into the carboy, I have never had any problem. Besides, an airlock full of vodka won't hurt your brew whatsoever.
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: erockrph on January 21, 2013, 04:03:41 PM
I just use some star san in the airlock. Even if some gets sucked into the carboy, I have never had any problem. Besides, an airlock full of vodka won't hurt your brew whatsoever.

I use star san too. Mainly because I have a spray bottle handy. Makes it pretty easy to top off my airlocks if they start to run dry. I've had some sucked into my fermenter before, but I've never noticed any off flavors.
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: mswilliams1975 on January 21, 2013, 10:44:13 PM
It seems all it OK as of now the beer has started to ferment and is off to the races. Thank you all for the input.
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: tschmidlin on January 22, 2013, 05:24:52 AM
Just remember, it was less than an ounce of vodka.  An ounce of 40% ABV vodka diluted in 5 gallons of liquid will increase the alcohol of the liquid by about 0.06%.
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: garc_mall on January 22, 2013, 06:08:30 AM
Just remember, it was less than an ounce of vodka.  An ounce of 40% ABV vodka diluted in 5 gallons of liquid will increase the alcohol of the liquid by about 0.06%.

And finally, Tom shows up with the math I was too lazy to do. Thanks Tom!  ;D
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: Jimmy K on January 22, 2013, 03:11:40 PM
This is why people use vodka. Water is fine in the airlock unless some of it gets sucked back in - then who knows what bugs drifted into the water that is now in the beer.  Vodka can get sucked in without worry as it will kill anything airborn that lands on it.
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: micsager on January 22, 2013, 03:54:52 PM
When I started brewing I used vodka in the airlock.  When the bottle ran out I switched to tap water.  In hundreds of batches it's never been a problem to use tap water.

+1.  I now put 1-2 sprays of my stan stan bottle up the stem and a top with tap water.  No issues.

Dave

+1, this is exactly what I do. 
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 22, 2013, 04:12:01 PM
Just remember, it was less than an ounce of vodka.  An ounce of 40% ABV vodka diluted in 5 gallons of liquid will increase the alcohol of the liquid by about 0.06%.
And the alcohol in vodka is ethanol, which the yeast make. I don't think you or the yeast will notice the extra 0.06%.
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: anje on January 22, 2013, 05:36:15 PM
I just use some star san in the airlock. Even if some gets sucked into the carboy, I have never had any problem. Besides, an airlock full of vodka won't hurt your brew whatsoever.

I use star san too. Mainly because I have a spray bottle handy. Makes it pretty easy to top off my airlocks if they start to run dry. I've had some sucked into my fermenter before, but I've never noticed any off flavors.
I've been using it too. Only downside seems to be that instead of simply burbling, the airlock blows actual bubbles.
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: dzlater on January 23, 2013, 11:47:04 PM
 I have one of those 3 piece airlocks. Once I forgot to put the little hat thing on the inside and tried to fill it with vodka. It didn't work.  :-[
But the beer turned out fine.
Lately I haven't even bothered with an airlock, just a piece a foil, no problems so far.

Dan
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: anje on January 29, 2013, 05:15:52 PM
The downside of using a foaming substance like Starsan in the airlock instead of vodka:
(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-y30qCLM6-Qk/UQfcItx80aI/AAAAAAAACU0/E_v0kDNFWh4/w497-h373/2013-01-29%2B09.24.20.jpg)
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: redbeerman on January 29, 2013, 05:19:46 PM
Don't fear the foam 8)
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: micsager on January 29, 2013, 05:54:02 PM
The downside of using a foaming substance like Starsan in the airlock instead of vodka:
(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-y30qCLM6-Qk/UQfcItx80aI/AAAAAAAACU0/E_v0kDNFWh4/w497-h373/2013-01-29%2B09.24.20.jpg)

What is the downside?  that looks like mine have looked for years. 
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: Jimmy K on January 29, 2013, 07:07:30 PM
Don't fear the foam 8)
Except I've had all of the starsan leave the airlock as foam which equals non-functional airlock.
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: bierview on January 29, 2013, 07:19:04 PM
I typically use a six gallon glass carboy for my primary and a blow off hose.  Don't put the airlock on for 5 days or in secondary.  I find boiled and cooled h2o is the safest way to go if your concerned about vodka contamination.
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: Jimmy K on January 29, 2013, 07:22:25 PM
 A point nobody has made yet ... the S-shaped airlocks eliminate the contamination risk because they can bubble in both directions without pulling liquid in.
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: morticaixavier on January 29, 2013, 08:49:47 PM
A point nobody has made yet ... the S-shaped airlocks eliminate the contamination risk because they can bubble in both directions without pulling liquid in.

except that when they bubble 'backwards' you are pulling unsanitary air into your fermenter...

I am totally splitting hairs and would never actually worry about that.
Title: Re: Brew ruined??? Vodka drip in wort....
Post by: Jimmy K on January 29, 2013, 08:57:24 PM
A point nobody has made yet ... the S-shaped airlocks eliminate the contamination risk because they can bubble in both directions without pulling liquid in.

except that when they bubble 'backwards' you are pulling unsanitary air into your fermenter...

I am totally splitting hairs and would never actually worry about that.
I think that happens when any airlock sucks back (I guess not with blowoff tubes though). But I guess "eliminate" is too strong a word. Might just maybe eliminate some contamination risk possibly sorta.