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Basement brewing and pest control

I am a relatively new homebrewer (8 months and 6 batches into it), and I have an old house that has always a mouse or two in it despite traps, etc. This old house has a basement that gets down in the 50’s during the winter and stays there. I thought this would be a great place to start lagering some batches in the winter, but I worry about the mice chewing through the carboy bungs. The last thing I want to do is have to throw a batch away because there’s a dead mouse floating in it. Mmmmm. . . mouse lager!

 Anyway, is this really a problem, or am I over-reacting?  I have so far brewed in my kitchen and left the carboys in a dark corner.  If mice can be a problem, what have you all done to remedy the problem?  Thanks.

well mice like the grain more then the beer so keep the grain clear of the mice. I think you should get a cat . my cat ate a mouse yesterday that he got for an over night stay in the garage. other then that 10 spring type mouse traps are cheap and the peanut butter that you use for bate is to. good luck.

Yeah if mice is a problem like that, getting a cat is huge.

When I first started brewing many years ago I was in an old house with lots of issues like this. As pointed out, keeping your malt well stored is the major issue - not so worried about fermenting beer or equipment.

I learned my lesson on my first 25kg bag of 2 Row. Spent the evening before my first 3 or 4 brews sieving though my grain bill picking out mouse turd. Even after that, I found a mouse in my grain pail brew-day morning. Had to de-fecalize the grain a second time.

Of course it has become a nice little story and an easy name for my homebrewery - Mousetail Brewery. But I would recommend against the mouse turd if at all possible. :cheers:

Just throwing out an idea here. You could build a little fermentation chamber to put your carboys in. Just something simple built out of particle board or plywood with a hinged door, so you can shut out the mice and other critters.

How’s the mouse going to climb up the side of a glass carboy to get to the bung?

How’s the mouse going to climb up the side of a glass carboy to get to the bung?[/quote]

They can jump from any nearby surface that they can climb on.

Though I doubt they would try. As others have said, your grain is the big worry.

-kenc

I’ve never heard of a mouse chewing a rubber bung. I don’t think they’d get very far. Plus why would they chew on it, I don’t think it’d smell of food.

I do trap mice in the garage in the winter. I keep my grain in the basement in platic totes and haven’t had them get in any of them.

“Plywood” and “particle board”…Mice around here LOVE to gnaw through that stuff!

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