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What if it was Steramine that dropped in the beer? I wasn't thinking when I transferred my beer from the 1 gal Brooklyn Beer carboy to a Mr Beer container that had a spigot to make bottling easier, and the Steramine solution in my rack and cane dropped into the beer.

More info: not sure how much sanitizer dropped in, but the rack and cane plus the tubing that came with the Brooklyn Beer kit was full of it.

This is my second time brewing, my first time was even worse, when I broke a glass thermometer in the beer. I followed through to the end and noticed that filling up the bottles using the rack and cane plus tubing kicked my butt, I was spraying beer all over the place. I guess I need to get an auto siphon. I felt like I was doing pretty good with this second batch until I had butterfingers.

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I've never encountered Steramine before. According the the manufacturer's safety data sheet, it's harmful if swallowed. The Wikipedia article on the active ingredient, quaternary ammonium cations, states that ingestion can cause irritation of the stomach lining.

It's possible that given the dilution of the Stermine in the beer, it's effectively harmless, but the safest route is to throw out the batch and start again. It's only 1 gallon, so you've not lost too much beer.

For future batches, consider using StarSan as sanitizer. At the recommended dilution, is entirely non-toxic.

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  • I agree with Tobias, dump the beer. This page about Steramine sounds pretty serious. – Pepi May 1 '15 at 10:47

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