From the HBD Archive
From: att!iwtio!korz@hplabs.HP.COM
Subject: Re: Sanitation and water
Date: 1989-11-16 17:27:14 GMT

The PBS program that Doug Roberts refered to is: The Brewers of Helston. A
very interesting program (I saw it about a year ago, so it keeps coming around
- consult your local listings) and I too was shocked by their sloppy (by
homebrew standards!) sanitation proceedures. However, in defense of the
brewers of Helston, they mentioned, that since they were a small operation,
the govt. allows them to serve after only 10 days of fermentation. They are
making ale of course and if the fermentation starts out with a bang, most
bacteria don't have a chance and the beer is gone within 14 days, which is not
enough time for bacteria to really spoil the beer. We homebrewers, on the
other hand, often bottle beers and keep them for months. Notice that a lot of
letters about gushers start out: "... the beer tasted good [etc., etc.] after
4 weeks, but all the bottles opened after 8 weeks, foamed-up all over the
place, tasted sour, and had lost their sweetness..." This is not uncommon
because it takes a while for the bacteria to get going. So, my advice is, if
you cannot resist finishing off a batch after only 4 weeks, then you could be
more lax in your sanitation proceedures, but if you're making lagers and plan
to "lager" them for six months, good sanitation is imperative. For the rest
of us, develop a good sanitation methodology, make it a habit, and stick with
it -- after a few batches, it becomes second nature.

Al.

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