Brewed beer in 5 gallon bucket in my nyc apt then had to leave town bc of covid. Been sitting there 2 months. Will it be smelling up my apt or building? the water on airlock has surely evaporated. What to expect for smell ? Wont be able to go there to ditch it for 1 more month. Should i worry?

  • 1
    Since there's nothing you can do anyway, is there really any point in worrying? Whatever you end up going home to is exactly what was always going to be there, no matter what you do in the meantime. May 27 '20 at 12:18
  • Well if someone knows if it will be smelling terrible, then I could get someone (pay) to go in and remove it. Rather than have neighbors complain and call landlord or police. Just trying to see if anyone knows? Has anyone left beer in bucket for 3 months?
    – C quinn
    May 27 '20 at 16:15
  • Is your appartment in a basement? Any air conditionning? Temperature could influence the results...
    – Philippe
    May 27 '20 at 19:48

Two months is not too much, if the temperature is not too hot.

Best scenario, you could be lucky and still have some water in the airlock. Beer might be fine.

Worst scenario, water has evaporated in the airlock. Beer has a great risk of contamination or spoilage.

As for the smell, it will depend on temperature as well. If the airlock is dry and the temperature rises, so will the smell. If you can send someone to get rid of it, you could also send someone to fill the airlock, giving you more time?

  • Thanks for the advice. The temp probably hasnt been bad yet- left a window cracked open when i left, but the weather is getting warmer now in nyc.and potential to start stinking is there. I just dont want anyone thinking there is a dead body in there!
    – C quinn
    May 28 '20 at 1:46

2 months is fine. Lots of people will leave their beer in a secondary fermentor longer than that. The only issue you'll have is that your beer might be oxidized and taste old because the cheapo plastic bucket fermentors generally aren't terribly air tight and are only good for the primary fermentation. If it was in a carboy or more airtight vessel, it would be perfect.

As for smell, it won't. I once forgot to clean out a fermentor after bottling and had it sit in a hot garage with about half a gallon of beer and the yeast cake for the better part of a year without odor.

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