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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: enso on July 22, 2010, 02:21:05 pm

Title: Will Mold be a problem?
Post by: enso on July 22, 2010, 02:21:05 pm
First my brief tale of woe...

We sold our house.  Which I am not sad about.  The sad part is that we were unable to find the right home to buy in the community we wanted to live in, in time.  Still nothing on the market.  So, we are renting until some more options come on the market.  I have not rented in many years and I do not miss it.  But, at least we have a home and it is not a bad house.  I would not buy it, but it is okay to live in.

Here comes the homebrew part.

When we first looked at the house, the basement; which is where I will my brewing operation will be confined to, was rather moldy/mildewy smelling.  The landlord did some work on the house before we moved in including addressing this issue.  Half of the basement is semi-finished with a laundry room.  Carpeted with berber carpeting over concrete.  It has drywall ceiling and some of the walls. One wall is the foundation and it has been painted.  This was apparently where the mold was.  I presume he treated the mold and repainted/sealed it.  He also added a pretty nice dehumidifier.  This is where the brew things will be.

It smells like he mitigated the problem.  It is much cleaner looking too.  Do you folks think I will face contamination issues if I am fermenting/racking/storing beer down there?  I also will have my kegerator down there.  In my current home I have experienced occasional mold/mildew on my kegerator from condensation in the summer but have not had infections.

Thanks for reading all that.  Should I be concerned?  I can't stand the thought of not being able to brew for the next year!   :'(
Title: Re: Will Mold be a problem?
Post by: tygo on July 22, 2010, 02:28:56 pm
I think you'll probably be fine as long as you keep that dehumidifier going to keep the moisture under control.  I would certainly give it a try.
Title: Re: Will Mold be a problem?
Post by: enso on July 22, 2010, 04:04:04 pm
I will definitely be giving it a try.  I just don't want to brew as much as I am now only to find out once it is all ready to go that I have a problem.

Any precautionary measures I should perhaps take?  Or ways to monitor before I waste a lot of ingredients?  I plan on storing my grain upstairs (in the master bedroom closet!).  That was about the only concession my wife would a agree to.   ;)
Title: Re: Will Mold be a problem?
Post by: seajellie on July 22, 2010, 07:51:26 pm
I think you'll be fine too. Like Tygo says, the best thing you can do is keep that dehumidifier going, always.

I've been brewing for four years in a house with a (sometimes) bad mold problem. If we go away for a couple months and the dehumidifer consequently has to go off, well, the basement walls are quite disgusting when we get home.

I triple sanitize, fwiw. After the PBW clean, if the gear can handle it, I do bleach solution, 180 degree + water, and star san. Never a problem with mold.
Title: Re: Will Mold be a problem?
Post by: thomasbarnes on July 26, 2010, 04:04:00 am
A dehumidifier is a good idea generally, mold can cause allergies and other respiratory problems. You can also knock down the mold by cleaning the basement and scrubbing the walls with dilute bleach solution or anti-fungal.

Regardless of the state of your basement, you can avoid mold in your beer by making sure that it stays on the outside of your carboys. Brew outside or in your kitchen. Once your wort is in the carboy with an airlock on it, schlep it into the basement to condition.

A milk crate with pieces of rope to extend the handles is an ideal carboy carrying container.

If you're fermenting in plastic, keep the container from direct contact with the floor (mold odors from wet and moldy floors can work their way through the plastic).

I've also seen kegging set-ups used to push beer from primary to secondary without needing to open the container to siphon, but I've never done it so I can't comment.