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How Far Can Wild Yeast Float?

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ekul

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I have just had to chuck out the last 4 double batches of beer that i made due to infection. Well i haven't chucked them ALL out as the bottle shelf would be nearly empty (I have 4 tallies left of 'good' beer and some extract stuff :( ) and that would be too sad.

What i am thinking is that i have a wild yeast infection from the fruit tree that grows right next to the shed i berw in. Its so close that i actually sit under the shade of it whilst i brew.

I have to be pretty careful of fruit flies as they are always buzzing around. I usually get a few in the brew but i figure that as long as they are boiled they won't hurt, this could be wrong bhut i have had brews with flies in them that have turned out fine.

I'm not even sure the yeast is getting in when i'm making it, as the last batch tasted 'alright' at bottling and then really developed the infection in the bottle. Its a real gusher!! Another batch had a few bottles explode even though it stopped at 1010 and sat there for a few days.

I have a batch in the fermenter at the moment. It is too heavy to carry (46L) to another area without oxidising it. If i load the weed sprayer up with iodophor and spray all the fruit will this kill the wild yeast? Its just for when i'm bottling as i really need this batch to work.

Today i am moving my kit (except fridge with fermenter in it) to another shed. This shed is about 100m from the other trees but it does have a mango tree behind it. There's no mangos on it so hopefully it will be fine. Can anyone see any problems with this?

I'm also going to investigate nochill so that the wort isn't sitting around waiting to get infected whilst it cools. My IC has to work for awhile to get down to temps. I did a nochill brew recently that worked well but unfortunately i used yeast from a brew that had been infected (unknowingly) so it got infected too.

I'm thinking that the nochill will sort out any yeast that may float onto the wort whilst i'm brewing. Now i just need to sort out fermentation and bottling.

Does anyone else have any suggestions? LIke do i need to throw out my fermenters or will a good vinegar bleach solution kill everything?

thanks all
 

razz

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Perhaps seasonal brewing ekul? Don't brew when the local flora are in bloom. If you want to brew this time of year then no chill will obviously limit the wort to exposure of what's in the air around the brewery.
 

ekul

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that is a good idea razz, however i don't have any beer! I think i may have sorted a cheap cube source from a farm so next year i will fill alot of cubes.

If the new shed works i will try fill as many cubes as possible before the dastardly mango tree fruits. If it doesn't work, a mate may let me brew in his shed. He doesn't drink (much) which is a real shame because then it would be too easy to get him to agree! He's a little uptight about mess. PLus it would be annoying having to go over there all the time to brew. I like to spend alot of time in the brewery just sitting.

The cubes i have found are from a farm and have contained a wetting agent or phostar. I haven't got any cubes yet so i haven't been able to check the msds but they should both be fine once i wash them out. My main concern is whther or not the plastic is food grade or not. Underneath it says its hdpe but i'm not sure whether all hdpe is created equally. I will find out before i use them. May have to just buy some, but i don't want it to get to that.

I'm going to vegas next week so maybe i will buy some of those fresh wort kits from ross's. That way i get some beer AND a cube :)
 

razz

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Sounds like your mate needs a drink!
When you get down to Craftbrewer ask Ross about the same problem he had with a tree near his brewery.
 

brett mccluskey

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Sounds like your mate needs a drink!
When you get down to Craftbrewer ask Ross about the same problem he had with a tree near his brewery.
This a very interesting thread.i live on an orchard with 10,000 apple and pear trees within 20 metres of my house.I brew outdoors and i've never had any issues at all,but then maybe the fungicides we spray keep things in check. :drinks:
 

Lecterfan

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Sounds like your mate needs a drink!
When you get down to Craftbrewer ask Ross about the same problem he had with a tree near his brewery.

And then tell the rest of us about it...it sounds interesting. Good topic.

:icon_offtopic: I sometimes wonder that airborne infections aren't more common. I can starsan everything around me but I don't wear a hair or beard net, I have a dog that lives inside the house (and I brew in the kitchen), quite often I have the back door and/or some windows open...all variables that can only be controlled so far. I had two bad batches 4 years ago, but had 3 in a row ruined (gushers) at the start of this year. Never cleaned the house and my brew gear as thoroughly as I did then haha.

Admittedly now I'm AG the post boil wort is rarely exposed except for being splashed in the fermenter and then when being racked. There is the high possibility that I was becoming somewhat nonchalant in my extract brewing days.
 

Luka

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Can you tell us any more about your yeast pitching? You mentioned that a second batch was infected after pitching yeast from the first accidentaly, maybe you could try pitching with a clean starter made up from a smack pack. It's my understanding that a good clean yeast will stop any foreign yeasties along with good sanitation of course. Perhaps if you're not getting a fast vigorous ferment going the wild yeasts are taking over. I would also, if you can, change your fermentor. It could be housing some unwanted nasties in there that even with proper sanitation might be hanging around. I would eliminate all other possibilities before spraying the tree, because that may not solve the problem.
 

Tony

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or will a good vinegar bleach solution kill everything?
I bleach bomb everything all the time regardless.

what does the infection taste like?...... do you get a white layer on top of the brew?
 

ekul

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I was going to spray the tree just so that i can bottle. If i carry the fermenter away it will def splash as it is holding 46L of pecious golden ale, and i don't want it to oxidise. After i bottle this batch i will be moving the brewery to a more secure location (the shed with the mango tree behind it.) I wouldn't want to be spraying every time, thats for sure!


I had repitched that yeast a few times and it got infected along the way somewhere. The current batch i pitched 2 fresh packets of US05. I think i will be pitching new yeast for a little while, just to get rid of a variable. If i could get some food grad phos acid somewhere then i would experiment with that. I have some pH down in the shed that is phos acid but i'm not sure if its food grade. But even then it wouldn't sort out wild yeast, which is what i'm pretty sure the infection is. I might use it to wash down the fermenter with. Its 60L and it cost me $70 so if i can save it i will. The current batch smells good tho, so i think its alright.


Toper1- I reckon the fungicide would def sort out all those flying nasties! I have some copper in the shed, maybe i could spray that everywhere! ;)

Tony- it tastes like that smell of fruit that has been sitting under a tree for ages. There isn't any white film on the wort, or any other visible indications of infection, just tastes like fermented fruit. When i first tasted it i thought that the yeast was just needed more time to settle, as i'd never used that yeast before (its recultured white labs Australian ale). But it never settled and some bottles exploded. By then i'd used it for another 3 batches.

I knocked out a heap of batches before uni got hectic and was drinking all my old beer while the new beer aged. BUt then i got to the new beer and every batch was ruined. Such a shame as i was really getting in front. Teaches me for not tasting it as i make it!
 

Nick JD

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What's the infection taste/look like?
 

plaidpaint

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You could slightly pressurise your shed to keep the wild yeasts from getting in. Depending on the size and airtightness of the shed, you might be able to do it with a vacuum with a HEPA filter. If it's a larger volume, or has lots of holes, you could probably get one of those fans they use in construction to keep dust out of the rest of the building.
 

zephon

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I'm not even sure the yeast is getting in when i'm making it, as the last batch tasted 'alright' at bottling and then really developed the infection in the bottle. Its a real gusher!! Another batch had a few bottles explode even though it stopped at 1010 and sat there for a few days.
I found this interesting... it sounds like the infection is occurring in the bottles rather than during the initial fermentation?

Can you confirm whether the infected flavour was there before bottling?
 

ekul

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Simma- nah, thats the problem! Because i had made the recipe a few times before and it is quite simple i didn't think it would stuff up. So id didn't really taste it along the way. I'd just check that the hydrometer had sunk low enough and then bottle it as soon as i could. I have realised that this is poor practice and from now on will always check my beers as they ferment.
 

Lecterfan

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I found this interesting... it sounds like the infection is occurring in the bottles rather than during the initial fermentation?

Can you confirm whether the infected flavour was there before bottling?

I think that's what happenned with me...the gushers I've had didn't have any obvious signs (milky film, fungal spores, runic inscriptions, upside down tarot cards etc) and all smelled/tasted fine at bottling time.

I bleached the living bejebus out of everything after that. Sorry if my post is a little: :icon_offtopic:


:icon_cheers:
 

ekul

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Lecterfan- did the infection go away after you bleached everything?
 

Lecterfan

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Yes. The 3 in a row was Jan this year and I have bottled 25 brews since then (just checked the books) in all the same gear in the same location with no problems (although I bulk primed with a bit less sugar for the first 10 or so as I was sick of pouring beers that were all head and carbonic bite etc).

I am pulling taps apart, taking out o-rings and generally being a touch more pedantic than I was. I bleach and air dry and/or rinse then starsan. I do the same with bottles. I use sod percarb on my SS pots.

Buying new fermenters etc is fine if you are financially endowed, but an entire .99c bottle of bleach from coles in a tub of water seems to kill everything and remove any trace of scent or visible stain from the fermenter. Prudence, prudence, prudence (and then to complete the quote stupidity, stupidity, stupidity haha)...anyway, each to their own, there'll be many here who disagree or have superior advice based on a more scientific understanding of the worldhood of the world (or both).

Good luck.
 

brett mccluskey

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Yes. The 3 in a row was Jan this year and I have bottled 25 brews since then (just checked the books) in all the same gear in the same location with no problems (although I bulk primed with a bit less sugar for the first 10 or so as I was sick of pouring beers that were all head and carbonic bite etc).

I am pulling taps apart, taking out o-rings and generally being a touch more pedantic than I was. I bleach and air dry and/or rinse then starsan. I do the same with bottles. I use sod percarb on my SS pots.

Buying new fermenters etc is fine if you are financially endowed, but an entire .99c bottle of bleach from coles in a tub of water seems to kill everything and remove any trace of scent or visible stain from the fermenter. Prudence, prudence, prudence (and then to complete the quote stupidity, stupidity, stupidity haha)...anyway, each to their own, there'll be many here who disagree or have superior advice based on a more scientific understanding of the worldhood of the world (or both).

Good luck.
My 2c 's worth. Thinking about it .i find t a bit difficult to believe it;s wild yeast off 1 tree that's causing this problem.I'd be more inclined to look at a few other issues first,before assuming it's wild yeast.What's your shed made of? Metal? Wood framing? Concrete floor? A bit dusty? Cobwebs? ..etc Bacteria can hide everywhere.Wood is a perfect haven for Brett bacteria. i'd clean the shed spotlessly,then look at EVERY bit of brewing equipment i had that touched the cool wort Any perishing o rings.grommets etc,replace them .Scrub EVERYTHING.Spray your shed surfaces with a starsan solution .Consider Glen 7, the anti-bacterial spray from supermarkets.Eliminate all the other options first :icon_cheers:
 

brett mccluskey

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My 2c 's worth. Thinking about it .i find t a bit difficult to believe it;s wild yeast off 1 tree that's causing this problem.I'd be more inclined to look at a few other issues first,before assuming it's wild yeast.What's your shed made of? Metal? Wood framing? Concrete floor? A bit dusty? Cobwebs? ..etc Bacteria can hide everywhere.Wood is a perfect haven for Brett bacteria. i'd clean the shed spotlessly,then look at EVERY bit of brewing equipment i had that touched the cool wort Any perishing o rings.grommets etc,replace them .Scrub EVERYTHING.Spray your shed surfaces with a starsan solution .Consider Glen 7, the anti-bacterial spray from supermarkets.Eliminate all the other options first :icon_cheers:
And if all fails, feel free to dig up and ship the mango tree here As long as it;s a Bowen!! :super:
 

ekul

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My golden ale has fermented down to 1008, this is not good as it usually only ggoes down to 1012. I really hope its not infected as i'm going to drink the last of the beer tmo. The golden ale doesn't taste infected, but it doesn't taste right either. It doesn't really have much amarillo flavour, and it shoudl because there is enough in there. I'm not sure whether i should chuck a bit more in there to dry hop or just leave it be. Don't want to waste hops if its going to be infected.
There is good news tho. I actually looked UP into the offending tree and it has finished dropping all its fruit. So once all the ground fruit has gone i should hopefully not have problems with wild yeast until the the citrus start fruiting. Going to break out the bleach tmo and spray every surface in the shed. Or i might move to the other shed.


Another infection source, and this is probably a long shot, is the kettle. I'm not sure whether i've actually ever made a batch that hasn't been infected with it. Its stainless but it has a small crack where the sides join the bottom. Its a homemade jobby (not by me, got it at a garage sale) and the guy who sold it was in his 60s apparently. He was using it as a fermenter so it should be alright. The kettle should be alright though shouldn't it? It gets boiled pretty hard? I cleaned out the tap yesterday, even though i don't use it (i siphon)

This infection is doing my head in. I really can't afford to replace fermenters etc until i get a job, which will hopefully be soon. If it hasn't resolved itself by the time i get a job i am going to buy new kettle, fermenters, hoses, the lot. It really sucks to spend a day brewing to find out a week or two later that it was in vain.
 

Silo Ted

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I think that's what happenned with me...the gushers I've had didn't have any obvious signs (milky film, fungal spores, runic inscriptions, upside down tarot cards etc) and all smelled/tasted fine at bottling time.
I rarely end up with infections, but one of the batches being drunk at the moment (a lovely American Brown from JZ book) appears to be a gusher. I open the bottle and foam keeps pouring out for at least five minutes. To my taste, theres nothing to suggest an infection, and a mate who has brewed the style several times before seems to think its OK as well. Is it possible that some infections dont present themselves as a bad taste or flavour at least in the short term?
 
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