Author Topic: Did I Just Ruin My Wort?  (Read 2373 times)

Offline robertpreed

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Did I Just Ruin My Wort?
« on: November 07, 2011, 06:53:02 AM »
It's been ten years since homebrewing (I know!) and I brewed an Irish blonde ale on Sunday.   There are a couple of things that happened that I am worried may have a bad impact on my wort as it is fermenting.   Can you let me know what you all think.

1.   As I was taking the temp of my wort as it was cooling off to 100 degrees, I noticed that my stupid floating brew thermomether had the tip broken and some of those little lead pellets made it to the bottom of my wort.   Now, since they sank to the bottom of the brew pot, non ended up in the glass fermenter, but I am wondering if they could have contaminated the wort and give off odd flavors.

2.   This one I am worried about.   I added water to fill up to 5 gallons, however due to a math error, I ended up with wort that was about 60 degrees when I pitched the yeast in there.   So it did not start fermenting right away, it is fermenting now.   RIGHT after I pitched, I realized I had forgotten to airate the wort.   Since I knew the yeast would not have started ferementing yet, I decided to go ahead and airate for a minute.    Now, will this impart any off flavors, or since the wort was too cold for the yeast, did I luck out?

Thank you all for your thoughts and comments.

Offline bo

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Re: Did I Just Ruin My Wort?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2011, 06:58:17 AM »
1. Are you sure they're lead, because I think steel is used a lot.

2. I've done that very thing with yeast that I though was good and turned out not to be. I checked the gravity after a couple of days and it hadn't changed, so I pitched some known good yeast and aerated it. Turned  out fine. You just have to have really good sanitation to pull this off.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Did I Just Ruin My Wort?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2011, 07:05:02 AM »
Steel has been used in those for a long time.  If they are atracted to a magnet they are steel.

If it is fermenting you will be fine.  You didn't say how you added O2, but I some times add O2 after he yeast.  Usually before, but sometimes I go "oops".
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Offline robertpreed

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Re: Did I Just Ruin My Wort?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2011, 07:06:02 AM »
Yes, you are right, they are steel and not lead.    I am hoping the contact with the wort did not add any bad bacteria.

The reason I am worried about the wort that I aerated with the yeast in it is everything I have read has told me NOT to do that once the yeast is pitched.   I am hoping that since the yeast had not started to go, that I am okay.

Offline robertpreed

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Re: Did I Just Ruin My Wort?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2011, 07:07:42 AM »
Steel has been used in those for a long time.  If they are atracted to a magnet they are steel.

If it is fermenting you will be fine.  You didn't say how you added O2, but I some times add O2 after he yeast.  Usually before, but sometimes I go "oops".

Whew.......... I am feeling better now.

I aerated the ale wort the old fashioned way, putting on a cap and shaking the devil out of the carboy.   

Offline James Lorden

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Re: Did I Just Ruin My Wort?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2011, 07:16:08 AM »
There really should be no issue with pitching at 60 and allowing to rise up to fermentation temps.  In fact this is much better then pitching at a few degrees higher then ferment temp and then cooling.  Sounds like you should be fine so long as you're. Incident that no broken glass got in your beer.
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Offline robertpreed

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Re: Did I Just Ruin My Wort?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2011, 07:22:00 AM »
Thank you guys, I was honestly losing some sleep last night thinking about all the errors I had made due to my ten year layoff and was worried I messed up the first batch.

I am sure there is no glass in the wort as it apparently broke while in the santitizing solution and I noticed it when a friend asked me "what are these little black things in the bucket?".   

Offline bo

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Re: Did I Just Ruin My Wort?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2011, 07:26:03 AM »
If you happen to have one of those very strong rare earth magnets, you could probably pull the steel balls up from the bottom by sliding the magnet along the side of the bucket next to them.

Offline jeffy

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Re: Did I Just Ruin My Wort?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2011, 08:13:38 AM »
I usually ferment my ales at 60F, so there's no problem there, especially since you have already got signs of fermentation.  It is OK to add oxygen even several hours after pitching.  On really strong beers I have aerated even after fermentation has started.
Sounds like you can relax now.  ;)
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Did I Just Ruin My Wort?
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2011, 08:28:21 AM »
Pitching at 60 degrees is the exact thing you should be doing - assuming you are pitching enough yeast. Pitching anywhere above 70/72 degrees actually can cause fermentation off flavors and potential head retention problems.

As far as the thermo weights, I wouldn't worry about that much. I recommend getting a stick on "fermomenter" so that you can get a reading of the temp inside the fermenter without having to open the lid/pop the bumg. They are surprisingly accurate.
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Re: Did I Just Ruin My Wort?
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2011, 10:09:06 AM »
The reason I am worried about the wort that I aerated with the yeast in it is everything I have read has told me NOT to do that once the yeast is pitched.

It really doesn't make enough difference to worry about.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Did I Just Ruin My Wort?
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2011, 10:10:34 AM »
I would rack to a new container.  I doubt those balls are stainless, and as the beer ferments the pH will drop letting it leach iron from the steel pellets.  That could lead to off flavors.

Don't worry at all about the O2, you have a considerable amount of time to oxygenate after pitching, up to more than a day depending on the gravity of the beer.  Minutes is nothing.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline bo

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Re: Did I Just Ruin My Wort?
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2011, 10:16:21 AM »
I would rack to a new container.  I doubt those balls are stainless, and as the beer ferments the pH will drop letting it leach iron from the steel pellets.  That could lead to off flavors.

Don't worry at all about the O2, you have a considerable amount of time to oxygenate after pitching, up to more than a day depending on the gravity of the beer.  Minutes is nothing.

I agree. I certainly wouldn't want any corrosive steel in my fermenting wort. Lead either, for that matter.

Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Did I Just Ruin My Wort?
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2011, 10:21:55 AM »
The reason I am worried about the wort that I aerated with the yeast in it is everything I have read has told me NOT to do that once the yeast is pitched.   I am hoping that since the yeast had not started to go, that I am okay.

Where have you read this?  Pitching and then aerating is my SOP. I've never noticed any negative effects.
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Offline robertpreed

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Re: Did I Just Ruin My Wort?
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2011, 01:26:24 PM »
The reason I am worried about the wort that I aerated with the yeast in it is everything I have read has told me NOT to do that once the yeast is pitched.   I am hoping that since the yeast had not started to go, that I am okay.

Where have you read this?  Pitching and then aerating is my SOP. I've never noticed any negative effects.

I went back and reread the parts about pitching and aerating and it always had the order as aerate first, then pitch and dont splash while it is fermenting that I kind of had it locked in my head that it must be that.    That and a ten year layoff play tricks on the mind I guess.

Anyway, the fermentation is doing great, so I feel better.

I'm fermenting on the cooler side of what Wyeast said for the Irish ale (65-68).    I see that several people do their ales at 60....... I guess other than the slower time to start the fermentation, that is what most people prefer?

thanks.