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Bad Beer

September 19, 2008

I had a batch of beer go bad.  I’ve been brewing off and on for 15 years (mainly off) and this was the first batch that went bad.

Actually, it wasn’t the entire batch.  I brewed somewhere around 8.5 gallons (I was shooting for 10) and it was sitting in two 5 gallon carboys waiting to be kegged. It was my first attempt at all-grain brewing, a nice, light, hoppy IPA, perfect for late summer.

Well, either I didn’t properly sanitize the carboy or the racking hose because when we got home from our honeymoon, I found a secondary fermenter with 5 gallons of beer and about 4 ounces of cottage cheese growing in it.  Manny thinks we should have at least tried it before pouring it out but I’m not that brave.

It was a real bummer to pour it out but it was actually a good reminder of the importance of properly sanitizing our beer gear.  We’ve made a lot of beer in the past year and a half with no problems and I think I was probably getting a little lax when cleaning up.  I mean, why go to all the trouble of sanitizing every single surface!  The beer always seems to be fine.

Well, now I know.  It is not always fine.

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