I brew away from home, and last weekend I has to rush away before I was completely racking from primary to secondary. I can only go back in about 10 days. As a result, my beer is now sitting in a bucket with the lid on but with no airlock (exposed to open air through the airlock's hole). It's a pale blond ale with pitched with S-04 yeast about 3 weeks ago. Besides contamination risk, what do I risk ? Oxidation ? Anything else ? Thanks in advance, Arthur

2 Answers 2


Your biggest problem is probably bugs; fruit flies, flies, cockroaches, etc. If possible, get someone to cover the beer and protect it from critters. Cling wrap and an elastic should be enough.

Yes, there is a chance that your beer may have become infected (especially if bugs got in). But I would taste before kegging/bottling. If it tastes fine you are possibly safe. However, consume quickly in case the infection is young.

Oxidation should not be a problem as the yeast will consume the oxygen and the CO2 will form a layer on the beer to protect it from oxygen.

  • Great, thanks ! I'm going back this weekend, will taste and see from there... Hopefully no bugs found their way in.
    – Théo Reno
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 9:37

My experience with this is limited. I think Palmer talks about this in "How to Brew" (a must-have, IMHO). Anyhow; aside from wild yeasts, bacteria and fungi (oh my!) getting into your fermentor, air contact can also affect the flavor of the brew.

  • Thanks for the answer, I'll check Palmer! I'll wait a bit to see if someone has had more experience with this before marking as "Answered"
    – Théo Reno
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 13:17
  • You want fungi in your beer! But preferably the one (or more) that you pitched. :) Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 13:13

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