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Brewhouse Infection - Can The Pool Help?

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jgriffin

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This may at first seem like a strange idea, but i was wondering if anyone knew if the chlorine levels in a salt water pool were strong enough to sanitize the brew gear?
I ask because i seem to have got a brew-house bug. I've just spend the last two days cleaning down and bleaching the brew room and surrounding areas.

The problem though is that my laundry tub is tiny, so trying to thoroughly clean all my fermenters, cubes etc is almost impossible. Thus the idea of just sinking them all in the pool and leaving them for a couple of days.

Any idea if it will work?
 

JasonY

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dunno jgriffin but my gut feel would be no. If you are going to use chlorine I would just make up a nice bleach strong solution and give everything a good coating of it followed but a nice rinse. I am sure there is a point at which extra concentration becomes innefective but I reckon it would kill bugs better than your pool water. :D never know you could get some dead bugs and crud into your brew gear dunking it into pools.

Myself I stay away from bleach as I find it a PITA to rinse to get the smell out.

When I clean my stuff I generally do it outside using the garden hose. For fermenters I fill with water and napisan for a day every 4 or so brews and on brew day I put a litre of oneshot in the ferm for an hour before I put the brew in shaking it occasionaly. It gets a reinse with the hose before the brew goes in as well (yer I know its supposed to be rinse free but its too sudsy looking for me). Anything else that needs sterinlising like the airlock etc goes into the fermenter as well.

I wouldn't call my techniques perfect but I have used them with great success.
 

Trough Lolly

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John,
There will be chlorine in the pool, but there will also be other bugs that aren't present in tap water - wrigglers from bird droppings, etc. Use a chlorine based bleach - steam will not be any good unless you actually spray a jet of steam on the surface at pressure - all your doing with steam from a pot is encouraging bacteria to grow in a warm humid environment...

Scrub as much as you can with detergent and a nylon (never use metal brushes or steel wool on plastic surfaces as you'll cause pitting and create microscopic hideaways for bacteria) brush, and then do a cold water bleach soak - napisan or if you want to go berserk, some domestos and fill the fermenters, cubes, etc - I rinse (well) afterwards with hot water, followd by a contact spray steriliser such as a strong iodophor solution and leave for 20 to 30 mins. Iodophor is a no rinse steriliser and so all I do is let the fermenter drip dry and then sit the lid on the upright fermenter and leave on a bench in the cellar ready for the next brewday.

If the bug persists (eg, you can still smell something cruddy - and its organic smelling not the bleach - afterwards) ditch the fermenters and buy new ones - don't trash your hard earned brews by using crappy gear...Oh, and don't forget the beer lines and hoses - often the infection came from a 2 metre tube that had a mil or two of wort trapped in it - and you blew the weekend scrubbing away at clean fermenters!

Good luck
TL
 

Kai

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An autoclave uses steam and pressure, the pressure raises the boiling point of the water so stuff in there so it can operate at higher temperatures than 100C without stuff burning. You can emulate this in the home with a pressure cooker, but I dunno if they make those the size of swimming pools.
 

jgriffin

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Ok thaks guys. My sanitation procedures are similar to those mentioned above, every fermenter and piece of gear gets soaked in bleach solution for at least 3 days after used, then it's cleaned out, and i use a phos based solution to sanise before each use.
But somehow some little bug is persistent enough to make it through all of this. I don't really want to ditch 4 fermenters and 6 cubes though, that's a lot of dosh to replace that could be spend on better things like march pumps :)

Guess i'll just clean everything yet again. As i said it's a real pain having nothing except a small sink and a bucket to clean them with, at my last place i had these big old concrete sinks where i could lay all the gear down to clean it.

I actually left one batch of infected beer to try to identify what the problem was, i just opened it, and it smelt oh so sour, and there was this white growth on top - lots of little pin head sized white floaties. Anyone got any ideas?
 

warrenlw63

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John,

Just wondering how old are your transfer hoses? They're a pretty strong candidate for infection. I've given up trying to clean them thoroughly. I generally chuck them every 3 brews or so and buy a new set.

I'd like a dollar for every time I've tried to clean and dry hoses and had them fill up with mould. Soaking them in napisan most likely works but tends to make them opaque and hard to see what's inside.

Same thing can happen to one-piece airlocks as well. Two piece airlocks break easily but at least you can see what's going on and get all the crud out.

Fementer taps are another good spot. Hence I only use glass carboys. I don't like the way that crap can magically appear in the tap thread and tap innards after you pull it apart post-brew.

Sorry I can't help you on the swimming pool question. My mind says no. You'd probably be better off resorting to some caustic soda otherwise.

Hope you find it.

Warren -
 

sosman

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jgriffin said:
Ok thaks guys. My sanitation procedures are similar to those mentioned above, every fermenter and piece of gear gets soaked in bleach solution for at least 3 days after used, then it's cleaned out, and i use a phos based solution to sanise before each use.
But somehow some little bug is persistent enough to make it through all of this. I don't really want to ditch 4 fermenters and 6 cubes though, that's a lot of dosh to replace that could be spend on better things like march pumps :)
[post="51079"][/post]​
My guess is you have a cleaning problem. As others have mentioned clean out everything. Remove taps, o-rings etc and make sure everything is clean then sanitise them.
 

fergi

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cant add anything to the other guys comments except to maybe confine brew to just one fermenter and cube at a time and try to eliminate the one with the bugs,
cheers
fergi
 
O

Outback Brewshed

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The following text is taken from John Palmers Book" How to Brew" p282 Common off Flavors.

Molds are quickly recognized by thier smell and taste, Black bread molds and mildew can grow in both wort and beer. Contamination is likey if the wort or beer is exposed to musty or damp areas during fermentation. If the infection is caught early enough, it can often be removedby skimming or cleaning off the surface before it dignificantly contaminates the batch. Chances are though that the spores have contaminated the batch and it could crop up again.
Hope this helps,

OB
 

rodderz

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My laundry tub is also too small, but for filling the fermenter during cleaning, the bathtub is much easier. Thats if you can get the top of it under the taps
 

sosman

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rodderz said:
My laundry tub is also too small, but for filling the fermenter during cleaning, the bathtub is much easier. Thats if you can get the top of it under the taps
[post="51106"][/post]​
I use a garden hose. Sometimes I get keen and get the Karcher out.
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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At the risk of stating the obvious: you do remove the tap and clean the thread in the tap hole, then sanitise it? And pull the tap apart, rinse under hot water and sanitise? And remove the grommet and Oring from the fermenter lid?

JM
 

jgriffin

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Jovial_Monk said:
At the risk of stating the obvious: you do remove the tap and clean the thread in the tap hole, then sanitise it? And pull the tap apart, rinse under hot water and sanitise? And remove the grommet and Oring from the fermenter lid?

JM
[post="51112"][/post]​
Religously. I haven't had an infection since i stopped using Sodium Met, yet the last 3 brews have all ended up infected. I'm normally so pedantic in cleaning, i can't figure out the infection vector.
 

roach

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jgriffin said:
This may at first seem like a strange idea, but i was wondering if anyone knew if the chlorine levels in a salt water pool were strong enough to sanitize the brew gear?

Any idea if it will work?
[post="51069"][/post]​
Jgriffin

Since I have a chlorinated swimming pool, I always use granular pool chlorine to sanitise my fermenters prior to use. Just put some chlorine in the bottom of the fermenter fill up with water(tho you are supposed to add chlorine to water not the other way around!!) and leave soaking for 4 hours. I then tip the fermnter contents into the pool(why waste the chlorine), and rinse the fermenter very well. Never had a bug since I started doing this.

I wouldnt put the fermenter in the pool tho.
Cheers
Roach
 

dicko

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Hi JG,
Do you do AG?

Is the CFWC sanitised and the pump and tubes that go to the fermenter?

Is the infection over all brews or is it confined to one yeast starter?

If K & K have you changed to rainwater in those last three brews?

You have moved to another house, are the water pipes in a clean and servicable condition?

I could be just grasping at straws,

Just some more ideas,

Cheers
 

Darren

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Howdy JG,
I routinely put my fermenters in the pool. When my batch is finished fermenting I clean most of the yeast/hop crap with a hose then throw the fermenter in the water. Firstly it helps to soak and clean, secondly it also sanitises them too and gets into all the nooks and cranies. I always rinse with a hose afterwards and allow to dry upside down for a few days.
BTW, I use sodium hypochlorite to add chlorine to my pool.
As Roach pointed out adding a teaspoon of pool chlorine to a fermenter full of water will also work.
cheers
Darren
 

jgriffin

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Hi Darren, so it's not as crazy as i thought hey? Might go ahead and soak everything then, then clean as per normal.


dicko said:
Hi JG,
Do you do AG?

Is the CFWC sanitised and the pump and tubes that go to the fermenter?

Is the infection over all brews or is it confined to one yeast starter?

If K & K have you changed to rainwater in those last three brews?

You have moved to another house, are the water pipes in a clean and servicable condition?

I could be just grasping at straws,

Just some more ideas,

Cheers
[post="51151"][/post]​
Dicko,
The last3 bathes have been a mix, one AG, one "fresh wort" and even on kits & bits recipe i'm ashamed to say (was desperate).
They've been in different fermenters, different cubes, different yeasts. When i first discovered the infection, it was in a beer in the keg that had been fine in a couple of bottles a week or so before hand, so i immediately thought dirty keg. So i stripped and cleaned them all thoroughly, ditched all the tubing, cleaned the fridge, disconnects, etc etc.
 

warrenlw63

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JG,

Probably a totally stupid question. Are located anywhere near fruit trees or orchards? Any way that wild yeasts could be getting blown about your area?

Just another one worth checking. I've heard of people who have a proliferation of fruit trees nearby IIRC having some sort of either fruit fly or wild yeast problems.

Feel free to laugh if I'm off track.

Warren -
 
O

Outback Brewshed

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I haven't had an infection since i stopped using Sodium Met, yet the last 3 brews have all ended up infected. I'm normally so pedantic in cleaning, i can't figure out the infection vector.
Are you using a wooden spoon to stir you wort?

Vikings used to pass the yeast stick along generations of their family.

Maybe you have a dodgy wooden spoon.
 

fergi

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seems like all the over guys are grabbing at straws to try and help so heres mine,is the sanitiser you are using still effective,out of date,mixing up right strengh,mixing up too big a batch and leave sitting for weeks,the container you mix steriliser in is it contaminated,only a thought or 2
cheers
fergi
 

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