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Non stop infection.Anyone had it?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Techniques' started by Nick667, 16/5/19.

 

  1. Nick667

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    Posted 16/5/19
    I use a plastic fermenter with a press on lid. I know these can be a bit problematic but I have had an infection either inside the groove of the lid or on the rim of the barrel all through summer. I have tried everything, Starsan boiling water, the pink stuff, sodium perc you name it. I must be getting close to 100 all grain brews (BIAB) and I get a good beer most of the time so I am reasonably experienced you could say.
    Has anyone had this problem?
    Everything points to it happening when I dry hop but I boil the hop bags and sterilise everything. I have even sprayed the fermenting fridge with neat bleach.
    I am REALLY careful!!!
    I have just replaced the fermenter with a new one and just dont want it to happen again. Any Ideas or similar problems?
     
  2. MHB

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    Posted 16/5/19
    Persistent infections can be a real PITA.
    Plastics are often the problem, I wouldn't only replace the fermenter but every piece of plastic you use.
    Transfer hosed can be a seat of infection, flexible plastics are by their nature less resistant to bacteria getting imbedded than are ridged materials.
    Its very unlikely that its your dry hops, if you are reusing hop bags, boil them or try going commando and just adding the hops loose.
    I don't know why you would think its the dry hopping, other than the fact that you may be noticing the infection late in the brewing process. This can be misleading, a small number of bacteria can grow in to a problem by the end of the brew, and be noticed late, but be caused by something that happened much earlier, so its easy to ascribe the problem to the last process, rather than the first which was in fact the cause.

    Try to describe the infection, the smell and taste, have a look at something like the Complete Beer Fault Guide and search for terms that describe what you smell/taste, pinning down what the infection is can help with treatment.
    Mark
     

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  3. DU99

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    Posted 16/5/19
    Taps can be a great place for infections to hide
     
  4. Nick667

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    Posted 16/5/19
    Thanks for your input. I pull the tap apart almost every time but I hadnt thought about an infection earlier. What about the Auto siphon? I have replaced the hose but not the body although I give this the full treatment every time as well. I transfer from boil pot to fv with it.
    Mould is black and starts as spots inside the lid or on the top of the fv rim but never seems to go further. The beer is drinkable but depending how careful I am with not disturbing the mould, can be over bitter or very bitter. No bottle bombs and carbed normally. I have a lot of trouble with Palmers taste comparisons but to me it is like harsh hop bitterness. No signs of infection on the beer surface.
    If there is an infection in the fv when I dry hop could it be livened up with the gulp of fresh air that comes with opening the fv?
     
  5. shacked

    I like beer

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    Posted 16/5/19
    Do you chill or no chill?
     
  6. ThirstyFish

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    Posted 17/5/19
    Plastic fermenters and hose are cheap - I'd just replace them. Losing even 1 AG brew costs more both in time and $$.
     
    onemorecell likes this.
  7. Nick667

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    Posted 17/5/19
    I chill. Copper immersion chiller boiled during last 15 mins.
     
  8. shacked

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    Posted 17/5/19
    You could be picking something up on the transfer from the boil kettle to the fermenter. You could isolate by doing a no chill batch (or buying a fresh wort kit) and giving it a go.

    Some of the folks in our brewers union [nee club] noticed a sharp decline in infected batches after transitioning to no chill.
     

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