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Bandit24

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***Pink Slime***

I’ve now had 3 batches with a pinkish colour in the yeast cake, and sharp undesireable flavours.
Please see pics - however this batch doesnt seem as pink as the previous two, but it definitely shows the colour I’m talking about. It’s a light grey / light pink colour.


Here are things that CAN’T be causing it:

- Fermenters (has happened in two different fermenters)
- Wort kit (three different brands used)
- Yeast (US05 and M44)
- Yeast process (Two batches using rehydration, 1 batch just sprinkled on)
- Tap (Tap taken apart and cleaned thoroughly and sanitised on this latest batch)
- Cleaning (I am extremely thorough, only use soft cloths to clean gunk, soak in sodium perc for 24-48 hours, rinse, use starsan to sanitise, same process for all equipment, and I sanitise surfaces)
- It’s not other off flavours as I am temp controlling my ferments at perfect 18c

The only consistent things for the 3 infected batches are:

- Fermented in the same fridge
- Fridge in the same dusty / dog hair shed
- Hops for dry hopping purchased from the same store (but has been various types of hops)

When I dry hop (always after primary ferment is well and truly finished), I quickly open the hops packet, take the glad wrap lid off, dump the hops in and close it up.

I clean, sanitise and brew in my kitchen, and the only thing I do in the dusty shed is the dry hopping, which takes about 5 seconds, and the fermenter is still in the fridge when I do it. So hard to believe it would be the dusty room really.

From my notes, all of the infected brews tasted really good after primary ferment, then still good at the start of dry hopping, but then through cold condition and into bottling on two of the batches the sharp flavours started to appear then and worsened by the time they were carbed, and one batch tasted good all the way through to bottling and then got bad once carbed. It's obviously not a bottle infection though as the yeast cake was pink in all three batches.

OR is this something else I’m doing to cause the off flavours and the pink slime is a non-issue?

Anyone got any ideas?

Cheers




 

Bandit24

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Anyone got any ideas on the above?
I'm at my wits end with this pink s***
I'm up to batch 12 and I've had 5-6 batches now all with pink yeast and off flavours.
The only things left that haven't changed from my first batch are the fermenting fridge, and the shed that I ferment in. I can't ferment anywhere else in my house, so if I can't fix it in this room I'm done until I move house basically.
The other possibility is mould, I realised after about 9 batches that I had mould on the piece of wood that was used a shelf in my fermentation fridge. I cleaned and sanitised the fridge but does it need something more heavy duty? The mould has not appeared anywhere in the fridge.
HOWEVER also on my latest batch I got some mould under the glad wrap from moisture from spraying the glad wrap with starsan (on the outside of the fermenter, underneath the rubber o-ring).
 

wide eyed and legless

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I periodically give my fridge and fermenting room a good clean with bleach, I also regularly clean my filters on the reverse cycle air con in the fermenting room, never ever thought about that until Dan Pratt suggested it.
 

Bandit24

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Just your regular household bleach kinda deal? My fermenting room doesn't have aircon, but is dusty and has dog hair. I don't do anything in that room though, not even a quick dry hop, I take the fermenter inside to the kitchen. Do you think the room could effect it anyway? Could microscopic stuff get into the fridge (I do open it to take samples) and through the glad wrap?
 

Bandit24

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Also, is there any chance this is not an infection, and something to do with the way I'm using Starsan and/or Sodium Perc?
 

mongey

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Nah, 100% sodium perc white from a brew shop
sounds like you are doing everything right . my brew fridge is in my laundry which basically doesn't have a door and I open to dry hop and haven't had a single issue

but if you got 3 infected batches then something is wrong . are both your fermenters open top where you use cling wrap ? if so I'd buy a new lidded fermenter . they are like $30 . less than a brew you need to tip

I'm in the gong too so it aint the water
 

S.E

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I'm in the gong too so it aint the water
It could possibly be if using 15L wort kit and top up to 20L with un-boiled water straight from the tap.

Are you boiling any top up water Bandit24?
 

mongey

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It could possibly be if using 15L wort kit and top up to 20L with un-boiled water straight from the tap.

Are you boiling any top up water Bandit24?

I have never boiled my top up tap water in my 30 or so brews and I have only had 1 batch infected and that was cause I was lazy about 5 brews in and didn't clean my bottles properly, figured I new better after my mammoth 5 brews lol, and most got infected in the bottle


maybe my pipes are cleaner than most ?
 

S.E

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Lots of people top up straight from the tap and get away with it, I have done in the past. However it is an infection risk and worth eliminating if you are getting infections and trying to find the cause.
 

brewgasm

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***Pink Slime***

I’ve now had 3 batches with a pinkish colour in the yeast cake, and sharp undesireable flavours.
Please see pics - however this batch doesnt seem as pink as the previous two, but it definitely shows the colour I’m talking about. It’s a light grey / light pink colour.


Here are things that CAN’T be causing it:

- Fermenters (has happened in two different fermenters)
- Wort kit (three different brands used)
- Yeast (US05 and M44)
- Yeast process (Two batches using rehydration, 1 batch just sprinkled on)
- Tap (Tap taken apart and cleaned thoroughly and sanitised on this latest batch)
- Cleaning (I am extremely thorough, only use soft cloths to clean gunk, soak in sodium perc for 24-48 hours, rinse, use starsan to sanitise, same process for all equipment, and I sanitise surfaces)
- It’s not other off flavours as I am temp controlling my ferments at perfect 18c

The only consistent things for the 3 infected batches are:

- Fermented in the same fridge
- Fridge in the same dusty / dog hair shed
- Hops for dry hopping purchased from the same store (but has been various types of hops)

When I dry hop (always after primary ferment is well and truly finished), I quickly open the hops packet, take the glad wrap lid off, dump the hops in and close it up.

I clean, sanitise and brew in my kitchen, and the only thing I do in the dusty shed is the dry hopping, which takes about 5 seconds, and the fermenter is still in the fridge when I do it. So hard to believe it would be the dusty room really.

From my notes, all of the infected brews tasted really good after primary ferment, then still good at the start of dry hopping, but then through cold condition and into bottling on two of the batches the sharp flavours started to appear then and worsened by the time they were carbed, and one batch tasted good all the way through to bottling and then got bad once carbed. It's obviously not a bottle infection though as the yeast cake was pink in all three batches.

OR is this something else I’m doing to cause the off flavours and the pink slime is a non-issue?

Anyone got any ideas?

Cheers




Shooting in the dark here but could it be some sort of wild yeast that resides in your brew cave? There are some yeasts that do create a pink sediment.

I second getting a new fermentor. Get one of those HDPE ones with the screw on lid. With all the variables you discussed the location seems to be the constant. See how that goes.
 

Bandit24

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Thanks everyone for the ideas.

One of the fermenters is a brew shop one but I ditched the lid and airlock for glad wrap. The other is a bunnings one which I also used glad wrap on. Had infections in both, so can't particular blame the fermenter, BUT might be time to start fresh anyway. Is there any kind of fermenter that is somehow better for keeping infections out than gladwrap or plastic lid/airlock combo?

I still need to find the underlying cause of the infections. Could definitely just be something in the brew space which is causing it, but can it really get into the fridge and through the glad wrap? as mongey mentions above, no issues dry hopping with open laundry. I don't think I'll be able to fit and fridge and ferment anywhere else in my house, so I'm kinda stuck with the space its in.

Is there any possibility the fridge has anything to do with it? I will clean it out with bleach, however, is there anything that I need to know about getting a fridge for fermenting? The one I got is really quite a new/modern type deal, it was a refurbished from manufacture/like new unit, which I thought was about the best thing I could get.

The boiling water is a good idea and I will do that from now on anyway, although it cannot be the cause of infection as I had the issue on a FWK that was 21L with no water added. If I don't want to boil water, are those supermarket tubs of mineral water ok to use or not?

Cheers
 

hoppy2B

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If I don't want to boil water, are those supermarket tubs of mineral water ok to use or not?

Cheers
Nuke the site from space, it's the only way to be sure.
 

MrEflord

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Well, I've just gone through 18 pages and picked up on some good points. I don't think I will remember them all. But definitely a reference point.
 

djsmi4

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Hi all,

Although I've been K&K brewing on/off for 20+ years I still sometimes fall into some basic traps when returning after an extended hiatus. Here's some tips of mine to assist with easier brewing/avoiding mistakes, I hope you find these of use:

- If using a fridge for brewing + conditioning, a ceramic heater in the vegie crisper footwell + an STC1000 or similar temperature controller works great. I stick the temperature probe in a bottle of water to dampen the sensitivity of the heater/fridge cycle. Set this up a number of hours before commencing your brews so that the temperature can even out, or (as I unfortunately discovered recently) a chest freezer I was previously using had given up the ghost. I currently use 2x upright fridges, doors pulled shut with bungee chords due to the heater/probe cables coming out. Place the fermenter tap away from/not above the heater!

- Have a small bin nearby to toss rubbish into, have a roll of chux and an old towel/teatowel to deal with any spills.

- A film canister can hold up to three fermenter bungs (if you want to hygienically store fermenter bungs whilst brewing).

- A small white plastic plant pot makes for a good bottle cap rinser/drain when sanitising bottle caps prior to use. I choose white plastic as it's easier to spot any grit or crud.

- A ~3L white bucket is great for sitting wort tins in a bath of hot water to lower the viscosity for tipping into the fermenter. The bucket can double for sterilising/sanitising smaller items such as fermenter taps, airlocks, bottle caps.

- Photograph the wort tin instructions before sitting in hot water.

- A small atomiser is great for storing/utilising sanitiser solution.

- Sometimes the fermenter tap will not screw on with the outlet pointing down - about 6" of clear food-grade hose will allow for easy hydrometer filling if this happens.

- Attaching a hose to your laundry trough tap makes for easy cleaning and filling of brew equipment.

- When lifting a full fermenter, say from a workbench to a fridge, REMOVE THE AIRLOCK FIRST otherwise its contents will get sucked into the brew. I typically fill my airlocks with a sanitiser solution.

- Bottles are slippery when nuking with steriliser & handling with PVC gloves... Be sure to stand over a soft mat whilst handling bottles in case you drop one. Rinse thoroughly before use!

- Approx 2ft of clear food-grade hose is great for taping a bottle wand to for quick filling of multiple bottles via the fermenter tap. Having a mat under the bottles whilst filling helps with any spills. A small LED torch held to the side of the bottle whilst filling will help show the level.

- A lever-operated bottle capper with adjustable height is worth its weight in gold. Sit the caps on the bottles for ~30 seconds before capping to allow the initial CO2 to purge the air left in the bottle neck.

- A milk crate takes 14 longnecks - a typical 23L brew can fill 30 longnecks. If you use a fridge for brewing you can swap out the spent fermenter for the bottles to condition in the fridge, in their milk crates.

Hopefully the pics upload correctly, cheers

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