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FWK - Infected or paranoid?

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Newts

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Hey guys,

I've recently finished a FWK and I have a feeling I may have my first infection :( That or I'm being paranoid. I said previously that I was going to keg this a few days ago but I was worried that fermentation was incomplete so I let it sit for a while. It was an NDBrewer FWK - Amarillo Pale Ale. I used Pink Neo on the fermenter, let it sit overnight, gave it a good wiping down with a clean non abrasive cloth then rinsed heavily after. I then swished diluted San Star around in the fermenter and let it sit for a little before mixing the FWK. I even sprayed the pouring area of the FKW cube with Star San.

I did final gravity readings over 4 days and it stayed constant so I decided to keg. Did the same as above with the keg except I used a keg and line cleaner which is supposed to sanitise but I also used Star San just to be safe. When I took the final gravity yesterday I had a taste and it's amazing compared to my kits but I swallowed a bit and there's a very strong bitter aftertaste I wouldn't expect with this beer. I only tasted a small amount but I'm afraid it's infected. I took a pic with my Iphone (not the best quality) I've attached.

IMG_0340.JPG

Other details:
OG - 1041
FG - 1010
US05 yeast
Fermentation Temp - 18-19 (had it at 20 for one day before I turned it down to 18 after peoples advice on here)

What are others thoughts. Am I just being paranoid? It's in the keg now so I'll wait on bubbles and try again later.

Another question associated with this post - is using Star San with Pink Neo safe? I have heard that bleach and Star San don't mix. I've been rinsing very thoroughly before I do use Star San but is there still a risk involved?

Cheers,

Newts
 

mwd

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Looks pretty normal to me from the picture. Get it carbed up leave for a week and try a taste test.
 

Yob

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there is always risk with home brew.. no single method is bullet proof. Everything we do 'minimises' the risk but cannot eliminate it altogether.

an anal approach to cleaning and using a product like Starsan is just about as good as it gets.
 

Nick JD

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"Bitterness" is not really an infection descriptor. What the IBUs of the FWK?

If you mean "sour" then that's an issue. But that photo doesn't look abnormal to me. If it's lacto it looks like The Plague on the surface.
 

Damien13

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Yeah I agree, looks pretty cool to me! Is it lacto when you get those weird slimy bubbles that don't burst??? That's the only infection I have ever seen personally... well the only one that wasn't intentional.
 

JDW81

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Newts said:
Another question associated with this post - is using Star San with Pink Neo safe? I have heard that bleach and Star San don't mix. I've been rinsing very thoroughly before I do use Star San but is there still a risk involved?
I've done this in the past when I've been a bit paranoid about the cleanliness/sanitation and never had any dramas. I just made sure I rinsed the pink stuff out of the fermenter really well, then sprayed with starsan.

If you clean your fermenter well with a soft cloth and napisan (or something like it) and then starsan you will be 99.9% covered, but nothing wrong with going hard on the sanitation if you're worried about something.
 

beachy

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I find US05 suspended in an uncarbed sample gives a very bitter aftertaste.
 

Florian

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To answer your question I'd say yes, you're being paranoid.

As pointed out bitterness is not usually a result of an infection.

If the beer turned out too bitter for your liking then give it a few more weeks, the bitterness will likely mellow out a bit over time.
Also, drinking a whole glass of the beer often helps to get used to flavours that had offended initially.

Just keg the batch and keep it cold, looks like you got a big enough keg fridge to store it for a while.
 

Newts

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Thanks all, as usual a number of informative posts in a short amount of time.

Ah, I hope you're right beachy! Hopefully next taste test after carbing will be spot on :)

Yeah, I did think it looked alright but there were suspended particles in there and after the taste test I was a little concerned. Then I thought I'd ask people who may know.

On the Pink Neo/Star San thing I didn't know that I could use Napisan to clean my fermenter. For some reason I think if it's not sold in a HBS I can't use it but then again I am a noob ;) If this is an alternative i'll use that in future as it's far easier to obtain.

Anyone else have comments on this one? Is the active ingredient in Napisan friendly with Star San?

Cheers,

Newts
 

Newts

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Oh, and on the other one asking if it's sour or bitter - I'd have to taste test again to confirm. Basically it was unpleasant, I only swigged a little straight out of my hydrometer jar to test so when I taste test next I'll take a bit more notice.
 

rotten

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Napisan is sodium percarbonate. Just make sure it's UNSCENTED. I always check the ingredients just to make sure.

As for the beer, stop being paranoid. Carb it up and go from there.
 

Scottye

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Hey Newts

JDW81 is spot on with regards to the Napisan/Starsan regime. I think anything extra will involve a lot of extra effort for very little benefit. In fact I haven't used Sodium Percarbonate to clean my FV since I started using Starsan about 12 months ago. I clean the FV with hot water and a soft cloth, rinse then use Starsan. However my brewing was continuous, but because they have been empty for two months both my FVs will get the full Napisan/Starsan treatment this week.
 

peterlonz

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Being paranoid about cleaning & sanitation is often a waste of energy & time.
Yes you need to practice sound hygiene & as far as possible every item should be sanitised before & during use.

But lets be realistic:
Effective cleaning of your fermenter & appropriate storage after brewing, will facilitate easy sanitation before brewing.
If in doubt about your sanitation products ( those mentioned here are all good products that have been shown to work well) you can keep it simple & just use strong bleach.
It's low cost & very effective BUT you will need eye protection & old clothes ( generally difficult to avoid some minor splashes that potentially can be dangerous.
I never allow anything to touch the walls of my fermenter during sanitation (no brushes, no clothes).
Remember that rinsing out with cold tapwater is not sound practice, you should rinse out with domestic HOT water supply (assuming it is allowed to reach 70 Deg C in the heating cylinder) OR with 0.5 micron filtered cold water.
Utensils that may need cleaning after initial sanitation can be similarly rinsed.
Remember your hands are likely the dirtiest tools around, keep them washed & DRY.
 

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