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Tried everything! Infection again!

Discussion in 'General Brewing Techniques' started by Nick667, 10/12/19.

 

  1. Nick667

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    Posted 10/12/19
    For the last year or so and probably at times before that I have had an infection that I just cant get rid of.
    It shows as a mold in small areas around the rim of the fermenter after fermentation.
    I use a plastic FV and do all grain BIAB in a stainless pot and siphon into FV with an auto siphon. Everything is spotlessly clean and sanitized with sodium perc and usually the pink sanitizer especially around the rim/lid area. I used to use Starsan but we have trouble getting it here lately and occasionally pour boiling water through everything.
    I have replaced everything plastic and even stopped dry hopping just to try and eliminate this greebly. I had a couple of brews go through with no problem and thought I had it nailed but then out of the blue, again!!!!
    There is no infection anywhere in the fermentation chamber/fridge and I use mold killer spray before closing it up. The problem has to be coming from inside and before I close it up. I must have brewed something like 80 AG beers and kits for years way back before that.
    I will try to post a pic and would really appreciate any ideas.
    .......... For some reason I cant post pic.....
     
  2. Brads Biabs

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    Posted 10/12/19
    Do you pull apart your taps as they are one common cause.
     
  3. Truman42

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    Posted 10/12/19
    Why dont you buy a cheap plastic Bunnings 20 litre water drum and ferment in that next time and see what happens? if you dont get an infection then its obviously the fermenter and I would just throw it and get another one.
     
  4. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 10/12/19
    Company of one likes this.
  5. Barge

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    Posted 10/12/19
    I had a persistent infection that I think was coming from where I brewed. Outside under the patio roof. There was some black mould on the roof that I assume was the culprit
     
  6. scomet

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    Posted 11/12/19
    I got an infection just reading that! Good article weal btw

    Nick667, they used to burn breweries to the ground to get rid of persistent infections, the little bastards are hiding somewhere!
     
    wide eyed and legless likes this.
  7. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 11/12/19
    I don't think he needs to go to that extreme, a lot of people seem to rely to much on the acid wash to sanitise equipment but a good alkaline clean before the acid should eliminate most troublesome bacteria and mould/fungal infections.
     
  8. splitice

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    Posted 11/12/19
    Don't let this get you too down, it's really bad luck. I know people who have barely washed their fermenters for years and never had an issue.

    I'd hit the fermenter with a few different sanitizers. Including warm/hot water (check fermenter material limits) Make sure to get into any threads and let it soak in each.
     
  9. Grmblz

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    Posted 11/12/19
    Ok, flame suit on "check" skin thickener applied "check"
    Forgot to rinse a long neck once and had black mouldy blobs in the bottom, out of interest filled it with perc solution (warm) and left it overnight, zip no result, filled with starsan solution and left overnight, same result, filled it with bleach solution and after one hour blobs were floating (presumed dead) rinsed bottle and later filled it with no issues. I know all the reasons for not using bleach (never let it anywhere near stainless btw) but the fact is chlorine kills bugs (it's why it's in your municipal water supply and used in hospitals) I'm not suggesting you use it as your regular cleaner/sanitiser but in an instance like this I'd be inclined to nuke absolutely everything with it, use a garden sprayer and do the walls, ceiling, fridge, underpants, anything and everything, then rinse it all off with clean water (if like me you are on tank water then boil it first and then treat it with starsan) rinse, repeat, and rinse again. I agree with weal about people relying on acid too much. As for your fermenters fill the bathtub/suitable container with bleach solution and fully immerse them, if that's not possible buy new ones, they cost the same as a brew. fwiw I have HDPE fermenters (buckets) that are 20yrs old and still used regularly, any sign of trouble and it's "off to the bath tub" from memory I've had about 3 "down the drain" (due to infection not bad recipe formulation) in the last ten yrs. I await the howls of indignation.
    :hairout: lol :fallingoffchair:
     
    malt and barley blues and mud13s like this.
  10. malt and barley blues

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    Posted 12/12/19
    Yes, anything that is in real bad shape bleach is a sure fire way to kill whatever may be lurking there.
    All I use is hot alkaline wash but if given some grotty old bottles I will hit them with the old bleach.
     
    Grmblz likes this.
  11. Hpal

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    Posted 12/12/19
    I've got a plastic fermenter thats got to be 20 years old, it's still in use and i've never had an infection. I use boiling water on everything and clean taps out each time. For stubborn stuff I use bleach sometime eg cubes.
     
    Grmblz likes this.
  12. peterlonz

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    Posted 13/12/19
    I had my fair share of repeat & unexplained infections 50 years ago. Never actually discovered the reason but a shift to filtered water, use of strong bleach & change of venue fixed the problem & not once an infection in subsequent years. I remain meticulous about thorough sanitizing the FV with bleach which I run through the tap. I always rinse well with our domestic hot water which is probably around 70 Deg C. I only use yeast which quick starts when pitched at about 22 C, but can't claim that this is a factor. Once started I try to maintain a ferment temp of 18 - 19. I use grain & 1.7 Kg extract kits. Consider making changes where possible & see if that helps, a new FV would be a low cost way to start again. Good Luck!
     
  13. Tim Smith

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    Posted 22/12/19
    What does everyone clean their fermentation chambers with? I use lo suds cleaner and then spray with Starsan type sanitizer.

    I do see at times dirty lines in the corners and find it difficult to fully remove soils or mould whatever it is. I have thought about using a silicone sealant around the edging with a nice rounded bead to help with cleaning.

    I don't have an issues with infection but I don't want an infection in the future.

    So from reading this post and it's comments I am thinking of cleaning with a chlorine solution. What ratio? And then sealing with that sealant Feldon has posted up a few times, Kason Food Grade Silicone.

    Any other recommendations.

    Cheers

    Tim
     
  14. Coalminer

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  15. Tim Smith

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    Posted 23/12/19
  16. yankinoz

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    Posted 23/12/19
    Plastic fermenter 10 years old, never had an infection. Wash with soft cloth and a little sodium percarbonate, then soak along with tap in percarb, turning the fermenter to reach all surfaces. Sanitize w Defender.
     
  17. Tony M

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    Posted 24/12/19
    A couple of years ago I had an ongoing infection in my conical fermenter. After pulling everything apart for the umpteenth time I found a hairline crack in the 1" coupling between the gate valve and fermenter bottom. Replacing this solved the problem; so it doesn't take much to harbour bacteria.
     
  18. Coalminer

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    Posted 24/12/19
    Brewman Brewery Wash:
    Online or pickup in Newcastle region

    Use 1 Teaspoon per 2.5 Litres of warm water

    Soak for a couple of hrs or overnight
    Rinse with cold water
    Better than PBW (my opinion) brilliant for SS - no scrubbing or rubbing needed
     
    Brewman_ and Tim Smith like this.
  19. Donz

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    Posted 24/12/19
    I've had 4 brews gone bad,
    I only used plastic fermenters and binned the one suspect.
    if you scratch it, throw it out. (or try and clean it and HOPE)
    They are not worth saving, for a brew to go to the garden or to NOT.
    just get a new one or get your kegs filled from a micro brewery.
     
  20. mossyrocks

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    Brown bottle betadine. 1 cap full in a spray bottle. Plus a cap full in the kegs when cleaning plus run through your taps and dip tube of the kegs.
     
    Tim Smith likes this.
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