Author Topic: Bleach Solution added to Fermenter by Accident  (Read 1337 times)

Offline mdkbrew

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Bleach Solution added to Fermenter by Accident
« on: August 09, 2010, 02:06:14 PM »
Hello Brewers,

To make an entirely long story short, I had a mishap while dumping some spent yeast from my fermenter this weekend and inadvertently spilled about an ounce or two of my sterilization solution (bleach & water, 1TSP per gallon/H20) into my beer (five gallons of beer). I have a few questions:
1) Should I trash this brew?  Have I ruined the beer and would I potentially poison those that drink it based on the amount of bleach solution in my brew?
2) If I haven't ruined the beer by some miracle would this amount of solution inhibit the yeast during bottle conditioning?

Thanks for your help folks. 

Matt

Online tschmidlin

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Re: Bleach Solution added to Fermenter by Accident
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2010, 02:29:54 PM »
First, it won't be poisonous.  Assume two ounces, even four ounces spilled into the brew.  At 1 tsp of bleach per gallon of water, you've spilled 1/32 of a tsp of bleach into five gallons of beer.  My household bleach is 6% sodium hypochlorite.  That's 60,000 ppm straight.  You've diluted it by . . . 128 ounces, 6 tsps/ounce, so 768 fold?  So your sanitizing solution is now about 78 ppm.  You've further diluted that by a lot - 5 gallons, 128 oz/gallon, 640 ounces.  If you added 4 ounces, that's 312 parts added, so you're down to less than 0.5 ppm.  Drinking water typically has 2-3 ppm chlorine - so definitely not poisonous.

Will it be ruined?  Maybe, but I don't think so.  The taste threshold for chlorophenols should be much higher than 0.5 ppm.

Will it inhibit the yeast?  No.  You can make a beer with straight, unfiltered, chlorinated tap water, and the yeast will not be inhibited.

All of this assumes of course that my math is right - I think it is though, but if I've screwed something up someone tell me!
Tom Schmidlin

Offline BrewArk

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Re: Bleach Solution added to Fermenter by Accident
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2010, 10:25:27 AM »
Do not trash it until you've tasted it.  You haven't added that much bleach.  The best you've done is given yourself an excuse for why the batch doesn't taste perfect ;).
Beer...Now there's a temporary solution!

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Offline saintpierre

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Re: Bleach Solution added to Fermenter by Accident
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2010, 10:53:35 AM »
Do not trash it until you've tasted it.  You haven't added that much bleach.  The best you've done is given yourself an excuse for why the batch doesn't taste perfect ;).

+1  I agree, you should let it ferment out.  If anything your brew may have a medicinal taste.
Mike St. Pierre, P.E.
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Offline mdkbrew

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Re: Bleach Solution added to Fermenter by Accident
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2010, 01:33:32 PM »
Thanks all for your comments and insights.  Exactly what I was hoping for.  In a few weeks I may come back and let you know how it turned out.  Thanks again!