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So i got everything in my fermenting vessel last night and i got up this morning to find that the siphon lock was pushed in. I tried to slowly pull it back up through it's opening but the siphon lock's o-ring came off in the botton and now its in tje beer. Should i reach in and get it? I am concerned because i think i pitched it too hot. I was a bit tired when finishing up. But i was sure the siphon lock was up last night.

My main concerns:

  • Because my siphon lock was removed some time in the first 24 hours... Is my beer screwed?

  • if i reach in or use a spoon to get the o-ring... How bad is that?

  • do i need to pitch the yeast again?

  • i think i pitched it at 95. This was out of impatience and not finding my thermometer before i pitched.

Any advice on saving my beer would be nice.

Thank you in advance.

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    Is there any sign of a fermentation starting? Is the yeast floating, has it change color? – Philippe Oct 26 '15 at 14:01
  • Not that i can tell. I didnt pop the top off yet and its a black belgium ale. – J L Oct 26 '15 at 14:09
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    might wanna consider a more descriptive title – user1306322 Oct 26 '15 at 18:18
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Removing your airlock will most likely not ruin your beer, at least not right away. I remove the lid of my fermentor to take a specific gravity reading from time to time, and I never ruined a batch doing so.

If I drop anything in my fermenting bucket, specialy at an early stage, I would use a sanitized spoon to take it out. Sanitize anything that will come in contact with your wort.

If your yeast is dead you will need to repitch some yeast, after 24h you should see some activity starting if the temperature is right. It happened to me once, the yeast remained on top with a dark yellow color (burned)... but I think my temperature was closer to 100F when I pitched. After two days, I pitched an additional half a pack of yeast and it started to ferment 12 hours later. The beer turned out great.

So, I would recommend to sanitize your spoon, take your o-ring out of your bucket. At the same time, look for any sign of fermentation, take a gravity reading to confirm if need be, and pitch some more yeast if needed.

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  • I appreciate the feedback. I did this and will keep an eye on the batch over the next day. – J L Oct 26 '15 at 14:47
  • There was one time that I made an 80 penny ale where I though the yeast didn't take. In the end I learned the yeast had literally finished overnight. This was in Florida and it was really warm, but just keep that in mind that it can happen. – Escoce Oct 26 '15 at 18:50
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Your hands are filthy. DO NOT PUT THEM IN YOUR BEER.

I say don't put a spoon in either. However big the risk of infection because of your lost o-ring, it's less than poking around in your beer. Plus the risk is probably minimal if the yeast have a good head start. The o-ring has already been in contact with the beer, so I would say that's that.

Resanitize the container rim and close it off with an airlock. Chances are you'll be fine.

The only other intervention I'd suggest is adding yeast if your particular strain is sensitive to high-ish temperatures. I think I regularly pitched ale yeast in the 90 F range when I started brewing. It was fine. Not as good as it is these days, but fine. :-p

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95F shouldn't kill your yeast, they usually live outdoors, without air conditioning. Depending on what strain it is, it may or may not make bad flavors due the warm starting temp.

The big issue here is contamination: was the o-ring fully sanitized? Did your hands touch the o-ring? Is your air clean? Do you have pets?

The safest bet would be to boil the beer again and repitch. I don't know what that might do to existing esters from the yeast, but it's the only way to know that your beer isn't contaminated. Or you could wait to find out later, it might be fine.

I wouldn't even consider trying to get the o-ring out unless your going to pour the beer into a kettle and boil again, otherwise you'll be screwing around for 15-30 minutes over beer that is very easy to contaminate.

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  • Assuming the o-ring wasn't sanitized, boiling is a good idea. – Philippe Oct 28 '15 at 11:11

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