From the HBD Archive
From: hsfmsh!hsfdjs!suurb@sfsun.West.Sun.COM (Dave Suurballe)
Subject: Sanitation
Date: 1989-11-16 17:38:20 GMT

Doug Roberts:
> On a related note: I watched a PBS show about a small British brew pub
> the other night, adn it was a real eye-opener with respect to
> sanitation/sterilization. The film showed the owner of the pub
> pitching yeast WITH HIS BARE HANDS!. He scooped a double handful from
> an open barrel and tossed it in the fermenter!

Just because he can do it doesn't mean we can. That beer was certainly all
sold on draft and it was all gone within two weeks of pitching the yeast.
Most of us keep our beer around longer than that.

The brewer was definitely infecting the batch, but the population he
inocculated (from his hands) was small enough that it couldn't grow to the
tastable threshold before the beer was all gone. An absurd example in our own
life is the fact that nobody sterilizes their beer glass before pouring beer
into it. Sure there's bacteria in the glass, and it infects the beer, but it
doesn't have time to make a difference.

Check it out, Doug. Pitch your next batch with your bare hands, then ferment
and bottle as usual. Drink one bottle every week. When you can taste the
infection, compare the elapsed time to your normal shelf life.


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