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Infections, Why Are Some Immune?

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jgriffin

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After losing yet another batch of beer to infections, i really wonder why some people manage to get away with no infections, while others like me are cursed (having never had one before moving into this place, i swear i must have some bug in my brew room that is causing me grief)

Take my local HBS guy for example. He swears by using sodium met. He also claims never in his life to have ever pulled apart his tap to clean it, and only rinses his fermenters in sodium met after rinsing them out after the last batch. I was also speaking to him today about racking from his glass carboys, and what he uses. He claims he just uses tubing, then blows (yes with his mouth) down the neck of the carboy to start the suction, or when using plastic carboys, sucks on the tube to get it going.

He does everything wrong, yet claims to never have ever had an infection. I rinse everything with all kinds of sanitisers, use alcohol on my hands, never touch anything after sanitising, yet i can't seem to get rid of my current infection problem. :-(
 

ozbrewer

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have you tasted the HBS guys beer?...maybe he does have infections but is so used to it that he cant tell...

As far as your brewery goes, where do you brew, Inside, outside, in the kitchen?

A silly question, but do you put your Hydro sample back in the fermenter?

Are you noticing your infection in the fermenter?

Areyou using a CFC / Immersion chiller/ Sitting in a wate bath?

is there somthing your adding to the fermenter, sugars? yeast neutrients?
 

Darren

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ozbrewer said:
have you tasted the HBS guys beer?...maybe he does have infections but is so used to it that he cant tell...

[post="68283"][/post]​

I agree. Homebrew shop owner is like a used-car salesman. Listen to, but don't take as gospel what they say!

Out of curiosity, How long you waiting for your beer to mature? Green flavours can sometimes be perceived as infections

cheers
Darren
 

Ross

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Bad luck John...

I thought you'd solved the problem with that rusted regulator -
I dread just losing 1 beer - really feel for you....
 

jimmysuperlative

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I've heard of people having "bugs" in their fermenters ...a bit like golden staph in hospitals I suppose??

I have been lucky -touch wood- in spite of some pretty sloppy sanitation in my early days. But, anyway, reading your post reminded me of an article i read years ago about a bloke in the states who ran a brew shop and successfully brewed batches on his premises without a problem. He moved shop and suddenly found batch after batch becoming infected. I think it turned out to be an "airborne" bug from a suspect air con unit. The upshot of his discovery was to move to a "closed brewing" process -lots of stainless kegs etc all connected and gravity fed ...looked real expensive, and probably out of the normal brewers range, but ....

Not really helpful, was it? I think I was trying to say that you may have to look around your environment for a cause. Your own sanitising methods would be hard to fault. ;)

Whatabout a "jealous" fellow brewer? :lol:
 

Linz

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and again I say..The tap was the place I got my first (and only, touch wood) infection.

It was one of thse twist type of tap(standard chem drum type tap)and the bugs were up in the groove between the two parts of the tap(impossible to see if it were black). Now I ONLY use snap taps that disassemble completely.

wash everything once you have used it; and wash it and sanitise it when you go to use it again.
 

ozbrewer

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the standard taps come apart pretty easy to
 

jgriffin

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Quick note, this wasn't meant to be a "why did i get infected" thread. I sorta already know - i was brewing an alt with WLP029 which i've found to be extrememly slow fermenting, so i pitched, saw the krausen, and left for 2 weeks, only to check after 14 days and find a beer stuck at 1030 and smelling like vinegar.

I'm more curious (and upset) about how some people can do all the wrong things and get away with it. I used to have shocking sanitation as a kit brewer, and always get away with it. Now i'm fastidous, and do AG so the whole bloody lot is boiled for an hour, and i've suffered more infections in the last 6 months than anyone should do in their whole life.
 

ozbrewer

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jgriffin said:
Quick note, this wasn't meant to be a "why did i get infected" thread. I sorta already know - snip.

I'm more curious (and upset) about how some people can do all the wrong things and get away with it.
[post="68292"][/post]​

ok then...that is easy to answer.......cos there lucky bastards
 

Bilph

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I think "where you brew" can influence the risks as well.
Things like proximity to foodstuffs, open air, etc - of all equipment - can have the strangest affect.
I've read somewhere here (a POL post I think) of someone who moved their brewing from kitchen (high volume of foodstuff) to laundry and subsequently brewed infection free.
I brew in the shed out the back, and while I am anal about sterilisation, I'm also happy to say I've never had an infection, even with lagged ferments and a couple of accidental risky procedures. Theoretically there isn't too much out there to cause problems other than airborne wild yeast. Proper yeast activation techniques can guard fairly easily against them.
Sometimes areas which appear clean aren't quite as they seem.
Overall, a few too many variables to say anything definitive.
There's a coupla cheap cents worth. :)
 

Malnourished

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jgriffin said:
I'm more curious (and upset) about how some people can do all the wrong things and get away with it. I used to have shocking sanitation as a kit brewer, and always get away with it. Now i'm fastidous, and do AG so the whole bloody lot is boiled for an hour, and i've suffered more infections in the last 6 months than anyone should do in their whole life.
[post="68292"][/post]​
There are many extra variables (not necessarily sanitation) which can cause infection in AG as opposed to kits I reckon.
Making starters are obviously a big one, and if your beer only got to 1030 in two weeks maybe something went wrong there.
Grain dust is also a great source of beer-spoiling bugs.

There aren't all that many processes in kit brewing to bugger up.
 

FNQ Bunyip

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I only brew kits but lots of them... had a few infections over time and have noted that windy days are no good to start a brew if its blowing it nearly allways gets an infection ... and water from thunder storms brews in 2 to 3 days, and its all over must be the charged state..
Cheers
fnqbunyip
 

sosman

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jgriffin said:
Quick note, this wasn't meant to be a "why did i get infected" thread. I sorta already know - i was brewing an alt with WLP029 which i've found to be extrememly slow fermenting, so i pitched, saw the krausen, and left for 2 weeks, only to check after 14 days and find a beer stuck at 1030 and smelling like vinegar.
[post="68292"][/post]​
Well at least the vinegar smell narrows it down. As for why you, it sounds like a specific bug has taken hold in your brewery and normal sanitation methods are no longer effective. Either try some radically different method or chuck out tubing, fermenters and taps etc.
 

Borret

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FNQ Bunyip said:
I only brew kits but lots of them... had a few infections over time and have noted that windy days are no good to start a brew if its blowing it nearly allways gets an infection ... and water from thunder storms brews in 2 to 3 days, and its all over must be the charged state..
Cheers
fnqbunyip
[post="68299"][/post]​
Interesting....
Growing up on farm I was alway led to believe that there is far more nitrogen in rain from a thunderstorm as the lighting creates nitrogen oxide. Just found this-

"In the lightning bolt the intense heat splits both nitrogen and oxygen molecules into atoms, and as they cool, many combine to form oxides of nitrogen. These compounds dissolve in rain and are carried into the soil. There, converted into nitrates, they provide a vital fertilizer for growing plants. This is a major process for the natural fixation of nitrogen. It is estimated that hundreds of millions of tons of nitrate are provided every year by thunderstorms."

So if yeast like nitrogen (which I believe they do) then this would explain the quicker fermantaion times. :) Obviously it also makes grass grow better for the cattle to munch on.

Cheers

Borret :blink:
 

pint of lager

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There are good HBS and bad. Some could be selling paint, chainsaws or perfume. Others take great pride in their product and advice. I bet JGriff's HBS beer is all infected.

As to the infection, "every beer is infected, it just depends with what and to what degree." After working on culturing yeast on petri dishes, you realise just how much grunge is floating around. Some brewers know the tastes of infected beers, others seem to have tastebuds immune to the sour off flavours.

I am sure you have pulled apart and cleaned every surface in your brewgear and replaced all the plastic hoses.

The suggestion about grain dust is important. It is best to store, weigh and crush your grain away from your brew areas.

Another trouble spot is valves, even nice stainless steel valves often have a trap behind them.

To help rule out something going wrong with your starters, go back to dried yeasts. You could even do a K&K, this would help point out if it is something in your fermnetation, kegging or bottling and rule out your yeast preparation and ag.
 

Kai

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jgriffin said:
Quick note, this wasn't meant to be a "why did i get infected" thread. I sorta already know - i was brewing an alt with WLP029 which i've found to be extrememly slow fermenting, so i pitched, saw the krausen, and left for 2 weeks, only to check after 14 days and find a beer stuck at 1030 and smelling like vinegar.

I'm more curious (and upset) about how some people can do all the wrong things and get away with it
Luck
 

Vlad the Pale Aler

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Interesting point about 'where you brew'.

I am a shed brewer, in addition to the normal brewing hygiene regime I liberally squirt the walls, roof, nooks and crannies and surfaces with a spray mister full of a suitable steriliser before and after each brew session.

You cant be too careful.

my2c worth
 

Darren

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pint of lager said:
The suggestion about grain dust is important. It is best to store, weigh and crush your grain away from your brew areas.


[post="68331"][/post]​

Good point there POL. Now days I shower and change my clothes (the ones I had on whilst crushing) before I pitch the yeast.

cheers
Darren
 

jgriffin

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Well it seems that i may have to move (involuntarily) so we'll see what happens after i move. Probably won't brew till then as it's a pain moving beer.
 

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