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What happened to my wort ?............. 1st Infection

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Desert Brewer

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Hi all, I have been breweing for about 4- 5 years, i currently sanatise with phosporic acid and central Australian sunlight - something there is a lot of out here, this combination hasnt let me down until now.

I suspect that i know the orign of the infection is - most likely the cube or plate chiller - but i was wondering if any one had any idea on what type - variety - strain of infection my equipment may have accquired and how difficult it may be to kill.

After a 90 min boil i chilled as per normal - a 2 stage process via an imerrsion chiller (placed in boiling wort for 15 min) then through a plate chiller (i had that sucker in boiling water for 30 mins, drained and left in direct sunlight for 45- 60 mins before use) - wort into cube, no dramas, done this before. I checked the cube on Thursday arvo, which was being stored at 18d, and noticed that the cube had expanded somewhat - i released some pressure and noticed the foam that came out was very snot like - none to happy i tighted the lid, shut the door on the fridge to deal with it on the weekend.

So.....much to my dismay i poured out my previous Sunday afternoons work this morning. There was a bit of pressure behind the lid as the cube had distorted significantly, ( i did take photos but i forgot to replace the SD card in the camera - so no photos) - the substance that came out was a viscous slime with a head that reminded me of camel snot - not only in texture but volume, i could grab that slimey foam head a stretch that slime a good 20cm before it would break. The wort was thick,slimey, brown, with the occasional yellow spec/streak in it - the smell was one of cold baked beans, malt and cabbage - nothing very offensive.

All the hoses used in the transfer process, are all food grade, were in boiling water for 15 mins and rinsed in my phosporic acid mix and dried in direct sunlight for 45 - 60 before use. The tap on my brew kettle is flushed with boiling wort during the boil for 5 x 30 - 40 sec runs, the cube i transferred to had my usual phocporic acid treatment - about a litre in the bottom shake for about 40 seconds left to stand for a couple minutes - repeat 3 - 5 times, drain, stand upside down and leave in sun until inside is dry - add beer.

If anyone has any idea what the species/variety of infection is and a method to kill it - i am all ears.

Cheers,

DB
 

Desert Brewer

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Sorry ........... not sure how this post got in the recipie discussion - anyone who has the control feel free to move it to its most appropriate spot.

DB
 

doon

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The problem is you chilled before you put into cube.
 

Yob

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Why would you leave the sanitised equipment in open air? Wouldnt that negate the sanitising you had done? Thats my first guess, airborne contaminants.
 

doon

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And yeah leaving everything exposed to open air isnt the best
 

Diesel80

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Also,

you stored the cube at 18d. A nice temp for things to start growing.

Different story if it was 18d and you have pitched yeast and started fermenting it.

I cube hot but don't leave my cubes more than 3 days before pitching. Just a habit i have.
Tried extended storage once, seemed to end much like yours. Kicked that cube to the curb and then decided to only store for a couple of days tops and then get them fermenting.

With this approach I am going pretty well thus far.

Cheers,
D80
 

warra48

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Get yourself a 3 piece ball valve for your kettle.
Then dissemble it after every brew., and clean.
Sanitise again before next use.

You'd be surprised how much crud is left behind in the average ball valve.
Flushing with boiling wort ultimately is not enough, although you may get away with it for I don't know how long.

Having said that, the tap may not be the culprit, but it's one thing you need to look at.

I used to have a one piece ball valve on my kettle. Immersed it in boiling water once, with the valve closed. When I took it out and opened the valve, there was a spurt of disgusting crap that had been hiding in there for I don't know how long, even though I was fussy with my cleaning. That's when I changed to the 3 piece valve.
 

goomboogo

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Can you confirm that you put chilled wort into the cube without yeast? I'm seeking clarification as some people do ferment in cubes. If you're just storing wort in the cube, I agree with Doon. I know you say this has worked ok for 4-5 years but I'll suggest you've been lucky for that period of time.
 

doon

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Pretty sure he has chilled then stored in cube at 18deg for a few days. Thats where this has come from
 

doon

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I cube at 90 deg and would have no trouble storing for ages as I know the bugs have been scorched to all hell
 

Desert Brewer

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OK.........so i dont normally cube - but i hadnt realised the yeast i was going to pitch was dead - it was stored in a fridge that i turned off when i want away for a summer holiday - the shed regularlly gets to 45d +, inside the fridge with no power - not much cooler.

Yob.....its pretty hot and very dry here - im not to concerned about airborne contaiminents - if i was in a more industrialised /humid environment then maybe - my bottles get the same treatment - phosphoric acid - sunlight - never been an issue to date.

Goonboogo - wort in cube no yeast.

Warra - a 3 piece valve is on the shopping list and im probably due for a bit of an eqipment overhaul - replace a few bits a pieces.

Diesel - the festy cube will go to the tip - and i will ensure i have a fresh yeast on hand before i brew next.

I think i kind of assumed that becuase my wort was sterile after being boiled for 90 mins and the cube was sterile ( so i thought), that i would be able to store the wort for a while until the yeast arrived - seems that assumtion was wrong.

I have no chilled to cube before and had no dramas - that was before i got my two stage chill sorted - but i can get my post boil temp down to 25 - 28 d so i generally rehydrate yeast and pitch to fermenter. So the wort went into the cube at about that temp on this occasion.

Lesson learnt..........thanks for the feedback and i will tighten up my hygine practices a bit.

Any ideas to what the bug may have been.

Cheers,

DB
 

doon

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Your cube was not sterile it was sanitised. There is a difference
 

Yob

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dust is dust mate, dust carries all sorts of nasty things... I'd be looking to swap the procedure or at least hit with a no rinse sanitiser like starsan following the sunlight treatment if you are going to continue that..

just my take mate FWIW

ed: schpeeling
 

doon

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If you had used no rinses sanitiser then put boiling hot wort in there it would of been sterile. You sanitised it then left it to dry and sit for however long open gathering airborne yeasts etc
 

Diesel80

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doon said:
If you had used no rinses sanitiser then put boiling hot wort in there it would of been sterile. You sanitised it then left it to dry and sit for however long open gathering airborne yeasts etc
Doon,
I thought you needed flames or superheated steam >120 deg c to achieve actual sterilisation?

Everything we do at home is usually sanitising at best (Still pretty good though, don't ge me wrong).

Cheers,
D80
 

doon

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Hmmm maybe shit I am not sure now. I just know that doing what he did is going to result in an infection. First time cubed done at wrong temp and there was an infection
 

doon

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Boiling hot wort would of been far better then exposed cube and cool wort
 

Desert Brewer

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Sorry Doon, my use of an incorrect term that i continually get mixed up .....anyway - i use Grain and Grapes Defender product which claims to be a low foam no rinse acid sanitiser, phosphoric acid being the bulk of the product. I was a bit concerned that there was some solution that hadnt "drip dried " entirely and was leaving a slightly greasy film on my gear - i figured it must have been on the inside of my bottles and fermenter etc - didnt like the idea of phosphoric acid residue in the beer i was consuming - so i started leaving then in them sun for a little longer and all products were spotless and grease free, i realise that greasey film may have been the protective barrier,its a risk i take, It has done me well for the last few years and i am unlikely to change products or procedures to drastically - but i will tighten things up.

Im like diesel, i was under the impression to achieve true sterilisation that you need a vulcaniser or something similar that uses superhot steam - like they use in hospitals to steralise stuff.

I think the whole wild yeast thing is a bit over cooked sometimes - im sure the critters are there - but i think my normal practices would largely keep them at bay, given the ambient envirornment here is very dry and risk of being infected by a wild yeast strain is significantly less than if i lived in a humid environment. ( my theory based on how hot and dry it is here and not much else)

Yob, you are right the dust does carry some nasty shit - literally - i lived in a remote communty for several years and read the dust analysis from the Environmental Health dept - frightning stuff - conditions aren't that bad in Alice due to dust suppression measures and other enviromental health mitigation practices, namely an active dog control program, but im sure there are several different types of fecal matter and god knows what eles in the air - but without an airtight room/filtered ventilation i think your kind of at the mercy of the beer gods to a certain degree, no matter where you live. My shed has that much "ventilation" that you may as well be outside. So that where i do most of my brewing - outside.

If i have been using the sanitiser incorrectly and should be leaving the greasy film or applying a atomised mist - i open to that.

Its pretty fair to say that i wont be putting a chilled wort in a cube and storing for a week any time soon.

Cheers,

DB
 

doon

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i regularly have foam from g&g defender in fermenters and kegs etc havent noticed any ill effects yet
 

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