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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: bobbobcat on April 05, 2010, 10:52:32 PM

Title: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: bobbobcat on April 05, 2010, 10:52:32 PM
I'm a newbie to homebrewing, working on my second batch right now.  First batch, a red ale, turned out great! I am doing my second batch, an American IPA, however after I put my wort and water in the carboy I rememebered the next day that I forgot to santize my carboy.  DOH!! I know I messed up!!

Currently the fermentation process appears to be going great.  I used a smack pack.  Do you think my beer will be screwed? Or do you think I will be okay? Any suggestions? Comments? Stories??
Thanks!!
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: pinnah on April 05, 2010, 11:00:09 PM


I bet you will be fine.   

Stories?  I usually have some scum still visible on the glass from prior batches that I am too lazy scrub off.  I always store my carboys with some tinfoil on the top though. ::)

Have fun, don't worry, drink some red ale.

Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: smurfe on April 06, 2010, 12:11:15 AM
Did you at least clean it first? I know a lot of folks clean first with Oxy Clean and then sanitize. I have fermented before just using oxy clean when I found out I was out of Star San and didn't even have any bleach. If your carboy was at least clean, you ought to be OK, just don't make a habit of this!  ;D
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: euge on April 06, 2010, 12:56:19 AM
There's a good chance you'll have no problems if you cleaned it up some first. A good healthy pitch of yeast helps. Probably better if you drank up the brew fairly quickly.

If it is a strong IPA upward of greater than 6% then your chances of infection ruining the brew decreases. In my opinion.   
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: bobbobcat on April 06, 2010, 01:19:51 AM
Thank you for your input! You're all putting me at ease! But to answer... Yes I did clean the carboy a few hours before I began and the IPA should be around or higher than 6%. I will be sure this never happens again!
Thanks again!  ;D
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: Hokerer on April 06, 2010, 01:41:48 PM
Now that you're more "at ease", can we offer a suggestion.  You said you "used a smack pack" which implies, at least to me, that you didn't make a starter, right?  I would strongly suggest making starters from now on, especially since you say this one was an over 6% IPA.
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: bluesman on April 06, 2010, 02:04:23 PM
Whoops....I'll bet you'll be fine considering the fact that you cleaned the carboy prior to use. I wouldn't let it sit too long.

Good Luck.
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: Kaiser on April 06, 2010, 03:26:37 PM
I think it depends on how well the carboy was cleaned and how much and active the yeast was. If there was enough yeast and a low enough "other bug" count then you'll be fine.

Nothing you could do now anyway. Let us know how it turns out.

Kai
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: babalu87 on April 06, 2010, 04:10:51 PM
I'll just add that IF it does get funky buy a 5 gallon carboy
Rack the beer to that
Put it in the basement/broom closet for a year
Pull a sample and taste it

Worst case, you have an extra carboy
Best case, you have a great "wild" beer
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: 1vertical on April 10, 2010, 02:06:11 AM
I'll just add that IF it does get funky buy a 5 gallon carboy
Rack the beer to that
Put it in the basement/broom closet for a year
Pull a sample and taste it

Worst case, you have an extra carboy
Best case, you have a great "wild" beer
+1 so true, don't be too hasty to join your beer with the ocean
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: bobbobcat on April 11, 2010, 11:42:28 PM
Today I took a hydrometer reading and bottled it up.  Took a quick taste and thought it was pretty good....7.48% ABV.
I'm pretty psyched and can't wait to pop open a few in a few more weeks. 
Thanks for all the advice everyone!!
 ;D
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: bbump22 on April 16, 2010, 05:04:29 PM
Now that you're more "at ease", can we offer a suggestion.  You said you "used a smack pack" which implies, at least to me, that you didn't make a starter, right?  I would strongly suggest making starters from now on, especially since you say this one was an over 6% IPA.

How come wyeast activator smack packs need a starter?  I thought the purpose of the nutrient pack inside acts as a starter...I thought just the propogator packs need a starter...

http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_products.cfm
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: euge on April 16, 2010, 05:17:26 PM
Never got into the habit of making starters. My beers almost always fit into the sub 1.060 range. So I feel safe not doing starters.
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: denny on April 16, 2010, 05:40:27 PM
How come wyeast activator smack packs need a starter?  I thought the purpose of the nutrient pack inside acts as a starter...I thought just the propogator packs need a starter...

http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_products.cfm

The amount of yeast and nutrient in an Activator is not sufficient to really increase the cell count, which is the purpose of a starter.  It's just to show the viability of the yeast by having the pack swell.  My experience is that every time I've made a starter, the beer turns out better than when I didn't, so I always make starters now.
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: bbump22 on April 16, 2010, 05:51:27 PM
The amount of yeast and nutrient in an Activator is not sufficient to really increase the cell count, which is the purpose of a starter.  It's just to show the viability of the yeast by having the pack swell.  My experience is that every time I've made a starter, the beer turns out better than when I didn't, so I always make starters now.
[/quote]

Good to know...I've just been pitching.  All of my beers have been getting good attenuation, but the yeast would probably be happier if I made a starter...Will start doing that with my next batch.  Do you have any recommended methods? 
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: Hokerer on April 16, 2010, 05:53:58 PM
How come wyeast activator smack packs need a starter?  I thought the purpose of the nutrient pack inside acts as a starter...I thought just the propogator packs need a starter...

http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_products.cfm

First off, Wyeast says "The Wyeast Activator (125 ml) smack-pack is designed to directly inoculate 5 gallons of standard ale wort (O.G. < 1.060, 65-72°F)".  But if you look at the tech info on their website, you'll see the numbers don't quite work out.  They claim 100 Billion cells in a smack pack.  Their tech info says that, for something less than 1.060, you should pitch 6.0 million cells/ml.  Even with exactly 5.0 gallons (most times it's closer 5.5 or 6.0), that comes out to 114 billion cells and there's only 100 billion in the smack pack.  That also assumes 100% viability in the smack pack which is about impossible so you're actually getting less than 100 billion.

This thread started about an "over 6% IPA" which most likely puts it into the "greater than or equal to 1.060".  For that, Wyeast says you need 12.0 million cells/ml.  That comes out to 228 billion - a smack pack doesn't even come close.

And to really open your eyes, go to mrmalty.com and check out that pitch rate calculator.  It's pitching rates are more realistic (rather than Wyeast's that are more of a sales pitch to make you think a smack pack is "pitchable") and you'll see that 5.0 gallons of 1.060 wort should have 208 billion cells (not Wyeast's 114).  Again a smack pack isn't even close.

The nutrients in the smack pack aren't intended to make it into a "starter".  They're there so that, when you smack the pack, the yeast have something to feed on to make the pack swell.  That feeding/swelling only proves that there's live yeast in there - it really doesn't accomplish anything in the way of cell count growth.

Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: denny on April 16, 2010, 06:10:12 PM
Will start doing that with my next batch.  Do you have any recommended methods? 

Mr. Malty is a great source of info....

http://www.mrmalty.com/pitching.php
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: weithman5 on April 16, 2010, 06:16:52 PM
nearly every book has a good starter process. but fundamentally you can use some dme and make a weak wort.   put it in an erlynmeyer, glass milk jug, mason jar... and add yeast. stir a lot or put on a stir plate.  kind of like making a small batch of beer.  i tend to save some of the last runoff at low sg.  freeze, then when i want to use it i boil it again, add leftover yeast and so on.
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: bbump22 on April 16, 2010, 06:17:42 PM
Will start doing that with my next batch.  Do you have any recommended methods? 

Mr. Malty is a great source of info....

http://www.mrmalty.com/pitching.php

Thanks - Ill be brewing better beers in no time!  Do you still smack the pack and add the entire contents to the starter or just the yeast without the added nutrients?  
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: euge on April 16, 2010, 06:20:01 PM
At least I'm doing it correctly with my dry yeast. Spot on.
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: Hokerer on April 16, 2010, 06:29:13 PM
Will start doing that with my next batch.  Do you have any recommended methods? 

Mr. Malty is a great source of info....

http://www.mrmalty.com/pitching.php

Thanks - Ill be brewing better beers in no time!  Do you still smack the pack and add the entire contents to the starter or just the yeast without the added nutrients?  

Pitch all the smack pack contents into the starter
Title: Re: Forgot to Sanitize my carboy!!
Post by: denny on April 16, 2010, 08:07:41 PM
Will start doing that with my next batch.  Do you have any recommended methods?  

Mr. Malty is a great source of info....

http://www.mrmalty.com/pitching.php

Thanks - Ill be brewing better beers in no time!  Do you still smack the pack and add the entire contents to the starter or just the yeast without the added nutrients?  


I usually smack the pack, wait for it to swell, and use the whole thing in the starter.  But that's not really necessary.  I've also just cut the pack open and pitched the yeast without waiting for it to swell.  Keep in mind that the yeast is in the main pack, and the small bag inside is the nutrient.