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I've decided to brew my very first Lager, after some good results on my Ales. I did a proper research on methods to try a refined process, specially when it comes to fermentation schedules and temperatures. I chose a simple Vienna Lager recipe as my first attempt, and it's now finishing the first week on primary (controlled temperature at 12ºC). Since I'm new with this yeasts, I wanted to take a sample to ensure everything it's working fine. It should be, since there's still yeast activity visible on my fermenter. Some egg-like smell was perceptible during the first five days, as it was described on various forums. But I want to make sure I'm not compromising a fermenter for 3 weeks with useless wort.

Is it safe after one week on primary?

Should I sanitize the faucet before taking the sample?

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It all comes down to how clean and sanitized you are when you take your sample, but it should be no different than if you've done this with an ale. It is safer after one week then it was when you brewed it because it has had a week to make alcohol, but I wouldn't be any more concerned about taking a gravity reading now than when you took a gravity before you pitched your yeast (assuming you did that).

When you ask about your faucet, are you fermenting in a bucket with a spigot on it, or perhaps in a conical? It certainly wouldn't hurt to dunk your faucet in sanitizer (or to spray some up there of you can't dunk it). I would be surprised if that is any reasonable path for contamination (unless your faucet is REALLY nasty). Your faucet is probably a ball-valve and they operate by very effectively cutting off physical contact between the liquid on each side of the ball.

  • Besides gravity reading, I want also to taste a bit to make sure there's no acid/cider or any other off-taste that could indicate something went wrong. It may sound paranoic, but considering the long wait ahead (those 3 weeks on primary plus other 3-4 weeks on secondary/lagering), it seems understandable, at least for this first time. I'm fermenting on a water carboy with a push-type faucet (those used on water dispensers). Everything it's clean, but maybe spray some sanitizer solution will ensure no outside contamination. – nico garcia Oct 22 '18 at 22:06

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