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Infected first batch or just bottling day jitters?

So this is my first batch, and I have a bunch of questions and a few concerns…sorry if these are Noob questions but i seriously need some advice .

Firstly … let me tell you about my basement. My house was built in 1900…in maine this tends to mean an often damp, musty basement…mine is pretty much the norm. Im a little worried the dampness and age of my basement may have infected my first batch of homebrew. Today was bottling day, and upon inspecting my carboy, i have managed to attract many TINY little bugs…all over my air lock and bung, although it did appear as if they were not able to get into the carboy…anyone know what these are? and how to keep them from coming back? They were literally so small i had to put my eye within two inches to see they were moving…and ive got perfect eye sight. Worried about the cleanliness of the area, i moved the batch, as quietly as possible to my kitchen, cleared away all the tiny bugs with paper towel soaked in sanitizer and racked to the bottling bucket.

Also, inside the carboy, there were a few floating specks on top of the beer that had not been there a few days ago, they sank to the bottom as soon as i began to move the batch to my kitchen…is this just dead yeast or could this be contamination??

Should i be replacing the liquid (sanitizing solution) in the air lock? I did not lose any to evaporation over the four week secondary so i did not add any or replace but I think it may have gone bad allowing for the possible contamination…I have read that it should be good for up to four weeks.

As if this were not bad enough, my first bottling day technique was off, and even if my beer was still ok after what i put it through i think i may have messed up the bottle carb levels. I measured out the right weight of sugar for the temp, and type of beer, boiled it in 16 oz of water …and then forgot to let it cool before adding it to the bottling bucket, and forgot to stir with my auto siphon after i added all the beer to the bottling bucket …but i did have the tubing in such a way as to cause swirling around the bucket without splashing, heres hoping this managed to mix it enough…Just thinking about this is giving me a serious headache…

Hard to tell what the bugs are with out seeing them. Sounds like you took reasonable care to remove them. If they are crawlers instead of fliers, you can put the fermenter in a tub of water so there is a barrier they can’t cross.

Yes the specks were most likely clumps of yeast. No issues there.

You only need to add/replace the liquid in the air lock if it gets low. Cheap vodka works reall well in the air lock.

After adding .5g of beer to the hot priming sugar, the temp has dropped to a point that yeast cells can live. The swirling of the beer in the transfer should mix the sugar well enough. Though it would not hurt for stir it a little occasional.

Also, if you fill a soda bottle, squeezing the O2 out and screwing the cap on, the bottle will expand as CO2 is formed. That way you have a visual as to what is happening in the glass bottles.

I’ll bet your beers will turn out just fine. :wink:

Make up a spray bottle of Starsan sanitizer or something similar. Then just spray the carboy before you do any processing. The bung and airlock are there to keep critters out as well as air. I’d maybe use vodka in the airlock in case the little bahstids learn to swim.

Otherwise, as always, RDWHAHB.

+1 to the above advice. Most bugs are attracted to CO2 (that’s how the little critters find mammals to suck our blood, keep warm, eat our feces, etc). Vodka in the airlock is the way to go. I used to live in a drafty 1908 farm house with a leaky basement; lots of bugs, frogs, and salamanders to try to keep out of the fermentors. As Nighthawk suggested, can keep the crawling critters away by keeping the fermentor in a water bath. He has a link for temperature control, which is a good idea anyway, but even if you don’t need temp control the water bath will act as a moat to keep the little buggers away. It may still attract the flying variety, but those don’t seem to linger as long as there’s nothing for them to bite/eat.

I haven’t bottled in a long time (yay, kegging!!) but I’ve never once bothered to cool the priming solution. The 5+ gallons of beer is plenty of thermal buffer for that small amount of boiling water.

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