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Infection Help Please

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Trent

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Gday guys
Hoping someone can help me identify an infection I have just discovered in my 2nd batch out of 3. I am pretty meticulous about sanitation, so I will just describe what happened. I have 3 fermenters, named 1,2 and 3 for this question. I made a IPA in fermenter 1, and racked after primary to fermenter 2. It tasted good even a few days into secondary (I sneak some occasionally), but come bottling day a week after racking, there was a real wierd fruity/soapy flavour, and stuff floating on top, kinda like soap flakes, and a oily residue. Tossed it out, cleaned fermenter, etc. After that, I decided to try no sparge brewing. Thanks to all who input on that thread, thats the way I am gonna do it from now on. It tasted amazing outta the fermenter. Anyway, primary in ferm 3, racked into ferm 2. tatsed great out of ferm 3, and great after day 4 in ferm 2. Today is day 14 (7 in primary, 7 in secondary), time for bottling. The beer didnt taste that flash outta the hydro sample, so I open the fermenter, lo and behold, that soapy flaky oily shit ontop. is it possible the infection is hiding somewhere in fermenter 2? I usually soak in bleach and water, this is brew #32, and I havent had any probs/infections before. If I soak in a really strong mix of bleach/water will it be good to use again, or should I just pitch it? I dont wanna lose another batch. Palmers book doesnt say anything about an infection resembling this, if someone could help I would be mighty appreciative.
Trent
PS has anyone ever used more numbers in the one post? ;)
 

roach

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could it be the yeast? is it the same for both batches??
 

tdh

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Ask BB, he's the southern hemisphere's authority on these beasties :)
 

Trent

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Its not the same yeast, the IPA was 1099 the other one (porter) was 1084. I'm almost positive its the fermenter, maybe BB will be able to tell me what it is and if I need to turf the fermenter.
Cheers
Trent
 

Gout

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what do you use to kill germs? phos acid, bleach, sod met? combination or only one?

maybe try a alc, then acid cleaner to cover both bases this is what oi am going throught at the moment to limit the chance them buggers have to take over my beer
 

Trent

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GL
I always pull the tap apart and wash it out, maybe I should hit it with full strength bleach, rinse, then put it in the thread for the watered down bleach soak? And Ben, I use about 100-150mL bleach in a fermenter full of water. Like I said, I havent had probs before, but wont rule out changing my cleaners if necessary.
T
 

Gout

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maybe get hold of some phos acid... sanstar in the us? or.... terminator maybe in australia...

anyway i use phos acid, and maybe a combo of bug killers will hit them from both angles

this is my way of thinking at the moment to ensure no buggers get to eat my beer before me

also phos acid is a no rinse hence less chance of them getting in once cleaned
 

chiller

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Trent it is possible you have a scratch or rough area in the fermenter? That is enough for this mongrel to hide even using a potent cleaning regime.

did you remove the O ring and when was the last time you took out the airlock grommet. great hiding places for bugs.


Me .... I'd use that fermenter for grain storage. It has already cost you more than a new fermenter.

Steve.
 

Thunderlips

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Trent, you say you add 100-150ml bleach to a full fermemter, that sounds like a lot of water to me.
For cleaning my fermenter(s) I use 100ml bleach to 2L water and scrub all surfaces with a soft sponge and then let it sit for about 20 or so minutes. Then a good rinse.
I think the faq at Cascades site is a good guide. I don't know about their kits though :)
http://www.cascadehomebrew.com.au/faq/equipment.asp#1
 

RobW

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Trent

Does it look like this:

http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/inde...wtopic=2502&hl=

If so it may be Pediococcus. I've had that once but managed to rack the beer out from underneath it leaving just the last 1 or 2 inches with the white stuff on top. The beer tasted OK and a good clean of taps fermenters hoses etc with bleach seemed to get rid of it.

Rob
 

devilsaltarboy

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Id agree that the fermenter is too suspect to try again. Try the night before you brew fillinf up with water and adding napisan. Then the next day when you brew rinse out thoroughly and use a no rinse sanitiser (I use 70%ethanol). To this date I have only had one mini infection (no one else but me could taste it) and that was in 1 of 3 minikegs due to a leak.
 

Snow

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As an aside, I just read a couple of articles here and here which discuss a unique experiment where over 40 experienced homebrewers from the American HBD all brewed the same beer with the same ingredients to see what kind of differences they got from individual brewing systems and techniques. All the beers were analysed for various thing like IBUs, colour, carbonation, gravity and contamination levels. Unbelievably, something like 90% of all the beers were contaminated with various bacteria, Pediococcus being the most prevalent. However they reckoned that even highly infected beers still tased really good. In fact, the beer judged the best from a taste perspective had Pediococcus at levels that would indicate a very serious sanitation problem in any commercial brewery!

Although it sounds like Trent's infection may have gone beyond acceptable drinking levels, even for us one-eyed brewers, these results show it's not worth getting too anal about sanitation. One of the conclusions is that the best thing you can do to prevent infection is to pitch a large yeast starter to assist a rapid commencement of fermentation and reduce those risky lag times.

Cheers - Snow.
 

Trent

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Thanks for all the input boys. Pediococcus it is indeed, looked exactly like Vlad the Pale Alers picture. I have a new fermenter on the way, I think I will give the old one a good dose of bleach or napisan or something, and then retire to life as a grain silo.
All the best
Trent
 

Tony M

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It is interesting that the 47 brewers in Snows article were targrting 35 IBU and the average came out at 62 with a swing of 25 IBU. A couple of guys hit 90.
I guess it points out the importance of taking good notes and adjusting your materials to suit your system and palate. (I must start doing that!)
 

bradmcm

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Actually, sorry to be pedantic but that looks a lot like an acetobacter infection and nothing like a pediococcus infection.
 

Trent

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Brad
what is the difference between an acetobacter infection and pediococcus? How can I avoid it in the future? and what does pediococcus look like then? Dont worry about sounding pedantic, I would just like to know how the hell I stuffed up twice the same way!
All the best
Trent
 

Gulf Brewery

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Trent said:
what is the difference between an acetobacter infection and pediococcus? How can I avoid it in the future? and what does pediococcus look like then?
Hi Trent

An acetobacter infection can be haze and/or long mucus like rope strands in the beer and often can be seen on top of the beer. This will taste a bit like vinegar. The pediococcus is more likely to be just a haze in the beer and taste sour.

The only way to avoid this again is to really go over you sanitisaton. I would pull absolutely eveything apart (taps, hoses, fermenters) and treat it with a really strong sanitiser. You could use bleach or any of the good cleaners like "One Shot" from Grumpy's. I use dairy cleaner which is excellent for killing the little nasties.

Cheers
Pedro
 

bradmcm

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Yep, Pedro is right. You can also get diacetyl produced by pediococcus.
It doesn't produce a film on the beer.

It's also Gram positive rather than Gram negative but since almost no homebrewers would bother with Gram staining, it's irrelevent really.
 

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