April 20, 2009

Bound to Happen

Uh-oh. This just in from Nahum:

So. It was bound to happen.

About an hour ago, I opened the door to the basement to do basement chores, and remarked out loud, "wow, I really smell the beer already and it smells great! It has never been such a strong aroma." Half way down the stairs, I saw, to my dismay, an ale pail with no lid, and with a big head of krausen, and some that had already poured over one edge.

What I didn't see, was the lid to the pail. After some searching, I found it, a few feet away and wedged on its side against the wall.

So what we had was an open bucket of not-yet fermented beer, exposed to the basement ambiance. What to do? Well, I am pleased to say the first thing I decided to do was--you guessed it--not worry. Instead, I thought about the bottled of homebrew waiting to help me relax. Next, I took the lid upstairs, with the airlock, which was full of, and likely clogged with, krausen (thus, I hypothesize, causing a build-up of carbon dioxide, which lead to our beer blowing its top). I washed the lid and sanitized it. I found a clean airlock and sanitized it. I wiped off the edges of the pail with a wet cloth, followed by a paper towel soaked in sanitizing solution. And I closed it up. Tight.

When we open it, if it tastes normal, then we escaped bacterial contamination. I think we will know pretty quickly after the first (pre-bottling) sip whether we dodged a bullet. At some point, I will clean the basement floor of the wort spatter so it no longer looks like a beer-crime-scene. In the meantime, I am going to relax and have a homebrew.

P.S.: The thermometer on the ail pail read 79 degrees, which cannot be correct. However, it is probably warmer than in the past, and I moved the newly capped bucket to the 60 degree room.


Sarah R. said...

So sad -- but I have the utmost confidence that this is just one of those "Murphy's Law" batches (what are we on? Vav? That has always been kind of a silly letter, don't you think?)and in no way reflects the rather consistent-awesomeness you two have been able to create. But...being not quite as up on the science...you will both have to actually imbibe this brew and feel well for a number of days afterwards before I drink it :)

Ivan said...

I'm just glad no one was hurt!