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Potential problem: OK to touch wine with skin?

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16bradbury

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Hi everyone,
Thanks for having me here. It looks like a great forum.

Yesterday my fiance and I started our first batch of a VR Chardonnay. After some head scratching I think we figured it out.

The only issue I'm concerned about is this: As I was pressing the air lock into the rubber seal on top of the fermenter, the seal broke loose and fell into the fermenter, which was already mixed and ready to be sealed up.

We unsuccessfully tried to fish the seal out with our stirrer, but it sank to the bottom and we weren't able to get it. Out of options, I rolled up my sleeve and got it myself. I had my arm in the mix up to about my elbow for about 5 seconds.

What are your thoughts on this? Will we be OK?

On a side note, it's been about 1.5 days since then and the fermenting has definitely started.

In hindsight, I would have pressed the airlock into the seal before putting the lid on the bucket. Alas, a first timer...

Thanks everyone!
 

cpfan

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Shouldn't be a problem. However, for future reference, it is not necessary to have an air lock on the primary. Yes, many people do use an air-lock. But just as many, just cover the primary.

Steve
 

rawlus

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i think your situation is pretty common - ive seen that remark about the grommet falling into the must many times. and your solution is correct, put the airlock into the grommet before putting the lid onto the pail, then fill it with liquid and cap it.

during primary ferment, down to about 1.010 or so, CO2 production is vigorous and will blanket the juice well enough to minimize O2 exposure. so many choose to open ferment with cheesecloth or just a loosely covered lid and no airlock. on larger batches i use a Brute trashbarrel with a simple non-sealing lid weighted with a book.

my only thing with open or unsealed ferments is my small condo starts getting fruitflies from who knows where as soon as the place starts smelling like im making wine. lol. so an airlock or weighted lid helps me to minimize the possibility of fruitfly issues with tainting the wine. winter is not so bad but in the warmer weather ill have to put out a bottle of wine+detergent to trap them too.

in your case i suspect your wine will be fine.
 

16bradbury

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Thanks for the replies. I definitely feel a lot better about things now. Can't wait...
 

mmadmikes1

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I worked clean room construction for a while and first thing we learned is, people, are the dirtiest thing we deal with. Clean good before you start. Everyone always say clean and sanitize everything good but never mention the dirtiest thing in room needs cleaning, too. :p
 

Green Mountains

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Oddly enough I did the same thing on our first kit over two years ago....couldn't get that damn grommet out no matter what we tried.....so, I washed my arm and went in up to my elbow.

The resulting wine was delicious.....and uncontaminated. (Your results may vary) but probably not.

Enjoy the hobby.

Darren
 

vvolf34

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I am laughing because about 2 months ago I did the exact same thing!! Now I put the airlock on before the lid goes on as well.

I washed my arm and in it went. My kit is doing the extra 2 week settling before bottling but the wine thief says it's good and about 3 other people who got a small amount from said thief!
 
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