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Ever had a beer you thought was infected but turned out great?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Techniques' started by Doctormcbrewdle, 13/2/18.

 

  1. Doctormcbrewdle

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    Posted 13/2/18
    Just curious, I have a pale ale that didn't seem to show any physical signs of bacterial contamination in the fermenter but has a funky smell and taste reminiscent of a wheat beer.. it's been bottled 4 days now and is still there at this point

    Funny thing is, I actually made a hefe prior to this one, which I'm considering the possibility of yeast being transferred on the aerator tool from 2 weeks prior or even fermenter but surely Star san would have killed anything, right? Plus, there couldn't possibly be enough yeast anyway to shine through this bad

    Has anyone ever had any instances like this where conditioning the beer completely turned the tables after yeast cleaned up?

    I've been noticing a little ring in the bottle neck from secondary fermentation for a while now but hear this is just krausen which makes sense and this is the only funky one I've had in a long time
     
  2. Danscraftbeer

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    Posted 13/2/18
    If its finished with off flavors and aroma then its very unlikely it will improve. Sours are a different story. In general you shouldn't get a ring in the bottle neck. That is the indication of an infection. On the note of your air stone I boil mine in starsan just prior to every use. Also take care to make sure the air hose is well sanitized as well.
     
  3. Doctormcbrewdle

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    Posted 13/2/18
    Thanks Dan,

    Wow, I must be unwhittingly battling an infection in this case. I use plastic fermentation vessels and haven't exactly been great about sanitation. I give them a quick wipe over with a sponge after fermentation and stick them in the stinky mouldy shed, then spray with Star San all over and let soak for half an hour before syphoning a fresh wort in and pitching same day. I do have sodium percarbonate but haven't been thoroughly washing beforehand.

    I would have thought that would ve enough but obviously not so?

    I do aerate with a pain stirrer which of course also offers an entry point in the air for bacteria

    Please feel free to crutique my process
     
  4. Coodgee

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    Posted 13/2/18
    I use a silicon air hose now that can also be boiled.
     
  5. Whistlingjack

    Dipl. Braumeister VLB, Berlin

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    Posted 14/2/18
    I had exactly the same thing happen recently.

    I ferment in two plastic fermenters, which I had previously used for a Hefe. Tasting the next pale ale during transfer to secondary, I detected a strong bubblegum (ethyl butyrate) ester from one of the fermenters.

    I used Wyeast London Ale 1968 and initially thought I had exceeded the fermentation temp. Wyeast state that the presence of esters are not significant.

    After thinking on it I noticed that the particular fermenter had a significantly shorter lag time. This leads me to believe that there was contamination with the Hefe yeast.

    WJ
     
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  6. mongey

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    Posted 14/2/18
    after every batch I fill my plastic fermenter to the top with the pink sutff and let it soak for a day or 2.

    anything caked on is completely gone and a couple rinse with fresh water and its good for sanitizing



    I have done say 25 batches in my fermenter over 4 years . I started doing the soak thing about batch 15. before that I thought my fermenter was clean .one time i had pink stuff made up left over from cleaning bottles so I just thought Ill pour it in the fermenter even though I had cleaned it . it filled it about 3/4 .came back the next day to drain it and the 3/4 submerged was completely white and the rest looked brown. realized it wasn't as clean as I thought it was

    for how easy it is its totally worth doing
     
    Last edited: 14/2/18
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  7. Matplat

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    Posted 14/2/18
    You are running a gauntlet with that level of cleaning so it's not surprising you've copped an infection.

    My fermenters get washed with hot (60deg) caustic soda after every use, some may say this is overkill, but I dropped way too many batches to infection before I started doing it, since then I haven't lost a single one. Caustic is cheap, readily available and works quickly.

    After caustic has dried, they get stored with a litre of starsan in and glad wrap on. I swish the starsan round every so often and they are ready to go as soon as I am.
     
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  8. Coodgee

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    Posted 14/2/18
    ^^ that is totally overkill! but each to his own. obviously it works! I give my fermenters a rinse under the pressure nozzle with the hose to get most of the krausen ring scum off. Then a cap-full of napisan and fill with water. I leave them like this until the next brew day when I rinse and rinse and rinse again and then sanitise with starsan. I recently smashed a fermenter with the whipper snipper so replaced it. I now have 2 fermenters that are 3 years old and one that is 2 months old. I'd give a keg of beer to anyone who could pick the new one...
     
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  9. Doctormcbrewdle

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    Posted 14/2/18
    Yea, looks like I need to pick up my game in the cleaning dept.. spewing cause I was relying on this batch to get me through while my lager ferments. It's gonna take weeks! :( looks like I'll be learning from this mistake for the next few weeks as I'm forced to drink them

    Live n learn as they say and I guess ultimately it's a good thing if it gets me doing things right

    I do actually recall this happening in the past too with a pale. Exactly the same thing happened where I brewed a hefe beforehand.. CLEAN THE F-IN FERMENTER!! Geez I'm slow on the uptake sometimes
     
  10. Coodgee

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    Posted 14/2/18
    Why do you think your lager will take weeks? I've been turning around lagers 2 weeks from grain to brain:

    I've been re-pitching a big yeast cake into the next brew - airlock activity and fully formed krausen the next morning after a ~6pm pitch @ ~10 degrees.
    After 3 or 4 days the krausen starts to drop and I ramp up to 17 degrees for 3-5 days.
    Then crash chill, keg with biofine clear and it's ready for serving 14 days after brew day.

    Granted it gets better with time in the keg to lager, but only 10% better. This sort of process seems to be the commercial norm and becoming more and more so for home brewers.
     
  11. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 14/2/18
    I would be starting your learning curve at the start of the learning curve, never run before you can walk, cleaning and sanitising is the first thing, how do you think your lager is going?
     
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  12. Doctormcbrewdle

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    Posted 14/2/18
    Well, I suppose lagering in the bottle is as good as fermenter? Can't see why not. I'm interested in reusing the yeast, never done it before. How exactly do I go about this?

    I'm making another lager the very next day!
     
  13. Doctormcbrewdle

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    Posted 14/2/18
    Luckily I did scrub this one with the percarbobate. I wanted to be thoroug with it because it's so delicate. 3 days in and it smells and tastes good. Fingers crossed..

    Funny thing is, I've been brewing for 20 years now! So not a beginner by any stretch. AG only 18 months or so though
     
  14. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 14/2/18
    Sodium perc is what I do after giving a rinse as Coodgee said, the perc will get rid of the stuck on shite I will leave it until ready for use then sanitise with phosphoric acid right before use. Bottles I either use per acetic acid or phosphoric acid again. That should be all that is needed, is there anyone around your area who could help you with your brewing?
     
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  15. Doctormcbrewdle

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    Posted 14/2/18
    I'm good mate. Got a handle on the rest of it. It's just my bad habits of not thoroughly cleaning that seem to be bringing me down really

    Just had another pale. Even worse today. Tastes like a mushroom!
     
  16. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 14/2/18
    "Magic"
     
  17. Mr B

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    Posted 14/2/18
    I had two batches get a bit of mould on them that I had fermented in the blue square Bunnings containers about 18 months ago.

    So I just put them on the bricks in front of the shed.

    They are still there - I’m sort of interested to either try them or throw them out. Trying is probably the go, but you know......
     
  18. Doctormcbrewdle

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    Posted 14/2/18

    Yep, just having the wheat beer now and I'm 90% certain that's what's happened here. I'm amazed that just trace amounts I guess stuck to the sides of the fermenter can actually make it through to strike again and be so strongly felt (looked clean. Rinsed and sanitized with Star San. Did not soak or scrub though..)

    If anyone's wondering, belgian style APA does NOT mix. It's a tipper. Just can't stomach this one
     
  19. Doctormcbrewdle

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    Posted 14/2/18
    You stuck the beers or fermenters on the bricks? Sorry man I'm not sure wich one you mean. If it's the beer you should stick one in the fridge and try. Though it would be off by now anyhow. But still, always good to learn first hand
     
  20. S.E

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    Posted 14/2/18
    Hot caustic certainly isn’t overkill and arguably simpler and faster than the fill to the brim and soak overnight or till needed method.

    What Matplat forgot to mention is you only need to heat 2-3L of water with a couple desert spoons of caustic and roll it in the fermenter for about a minute or less, job done.
     

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