I feel bad to come here with such a simple potential mistake, but it has potential to change a lot!
I started a batch of cyser on Saturday night , and everything appears to be working properly (bubbles rising to the top, etc.), but, I found out this evening (about 48 hours after pitching the yeast) that I had forgotten to fill my airlock to the fill line with water, so it, in all likelihood, wasn't serving much function.
So, my question is, is there a possibility that overlooking this detail could cause contamination? And how could I tell that it is safe/unsafe? Aside from a more noticeable scent, I can't spot anything that would be going wrong, but I am certainly not an expert.
Thanks in advance!
I'm not an expert either, but I would say chances are your brew is fine. If your yeast are happy and bubbling along, I doubt there is any microbe in your house that could compete with them in that environment. You're probably fine if it doesn't taste/smell/look funky.
If I could time travel, I'd probably use it to see how my brews were doing in the future.
No worries Whatif.....I typically just keep a lose cover on mine until the 1/3 sugar break. Incorporating air into the must during this phase is actually recommended (read through the New Bee guide). So long as you keep it covered so no wild stuff gets in you'll be fine.
Tell us what you're making. Post your recipe and everyone can look at it. What was the orig SG and where's it now?
Even if it's safe from other yeasts, is there any reason to worry about any sort of toxins that other organisms like bacteria could have potentially made before eventually being killed off?
This is my first attempt at cyser, so I'm starting extremely simple and making two small batches: each is half a gallon. I used:
-1.25 pounds of honey into each container, or 2.5lbs/gal
-Lavlin 1118 yeast
-a little bit of yeast energizer
-in one of the containers, I tossed in two sliced kiwifruits just as a "eh, what the heck!" adventure
The OG (according to the mead calculator) to be around 1.120 for the one without kiwi, and 1.125 for the one with it. I don't have anything to measure the SG currently, but am thinking that may be a handy tool to pick up.
You might try adding a little peptic enzyme to your batches. It will help clear the batches later.
A hydrometer is a "must" have. Next trip to your brew shop, I'd suggest getting at least one...two will give you a spare, for when the first one breaks.....
There are no organisms that will make you sick which will grow in mead so you are safe. Spoilage organisms can ruin a mead by making it smell and taste bad, but it won't harm you.
I sometimes put an airlock on without filling it early in fermentation. It keeps insects out (mostly) while letting air in which is good. You haven't hurt anything.
Lanne pase toujou pi bon
(Past years are always better)