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Wort started fermenting in no-chill cube

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Dxxxx

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Hey all, I have a bit of a problem here.
I'm still a pretty amateur brewer, I BIAB and have probably done around 10 homebrews in my life.
Earlier this week I brewed an oktoberfest style beer, which all went ok and put it into a cube until I had some fridge space. I am fairly confident in my sanitation process. Cubes get pressure blasted and soaked in napisan after each use, then they soak in some bleach and water for a couple of days. When I next need to use it, I pour 4 or 5 litres of boiling water through it and swish it around for 15 minutes or so, then empty and pour in some starsan and shake it up before transferring hot wort.

Last night I managed to clear my fridge out, so I went to put the cube in to lower the temperature, this was supposed to be my first attempt at a lager, but I noticed the cube had swollen a bit. I opened it up and it had a krausen!
Anyway, I wasn't sure what to do with it, so into the fridge it went to cool down overnight, and this morning I transfered it to the FV and pitched my yeast.
Now I'm not sure what will happen to it, I should note the cube was kept inside in airconditioned temps for the most parts, it didn't smell bad at all but had dropped a couple of gravity points.
I'm wondering how the yeast got in, I had been drinking my beer nearby the cube and left a couple of bottles on my desk for a while, so at the moment I'm assuming the lid wasn't sealed properly and some yeast managed to get in.

What would anyone else have done in this situation? I just couldn't bring myself to pour it out, so now I'm just hoping everything will turn out ok.
 

Tony

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Its infected.

Billions of wild yeasts and bacteria were having a big party in your cube, and it will probably taste questionable.

Taste it and see. That's the best way to tell.
 

QldKev

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As Tony said, infected.

Did you chill the wort before putting it in the cube? Normally when cubing you don't chill hence the term no-chill. Only thing I can thing off at the moment.

Best thing to do is tie it to the back of your car and drive really fast down the highway. (only joking don;t do this and if something bad happens don't blame me.)


edit: just noticed you said transferred hot wort. From flame out to transferring how long?
 

Dxxxx

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QldKev said:
edit: just noticed you said transferred hot wort. From flame out to transferring how long?
Wasn't long, maybe 5 to 10 minutes while I got my crap together.
 

Florian

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If I were you in that situation and wanted to see how it turns out, I would have left it in the cube to ferment, rather than transferring it to another vessel.

No you have two vessels to either nuke or better dump.
 

treefiddy

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Does the cube have a hole cut for a tap or a bung. If yes, which are you using?

Do you press the air out of the head space before sealing the cube?
I only ask this, because it's how I know that the cap has properly sealed. If it hasn't then it refills with air.
Some people have trouble sealing the blue willow jerry's. Myself included.

The only cube infection I've had was in a blue willow, but I caught it quickly and reboiled it before too much damage was done (interesting result).
 

treefiddy

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Maybe, not quite.
It was more like a slightly sweet smell in the final product, but kind of off.

By off I mean similar to whites that aren't quite "white" are referred to as "off white".
 

Dxxxx

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Florian said:
If I were you in that situation and wanted to see how it turns out, I would have left it in the cube to ferment, rather than transferring it to another vessel.

No you have two vessels to either nuke or better dump.
Why will I need to dump them? Can't I just give it a very good clean?

treefiddy said:
Does the cube have a hole cut for a tap or a bung. If yes, which are you using?

Do you press the air out of the head space before sealing the cube?
I only ask this, because it's how I know that the cap has properly sealed. If it hasn't then it refills with air.
Some people have trouble sealing the blue willow jerry's. Myself included.

The only cube infection I've had was in a blue willow, but I caught it quickly and reboiled it before too much damage was done (interesting result).
It has a tap, which gets boiled and the threads checked for gunk and cleaned. In this case I ended with a bit less wort than I expected so was unable to to squeeze all the air out, it's not a willow cube by the way, I got them from a chemicals supplier for a previous job. (New, unused)
 

Florian

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Dxxxx said:
Why will I need to dump them? Can't I just give it a very good clean?
Yes, you could just clean and sanitise them, but apparently reality has it that infections like to hang around the brewery, even when everything gets properly cleaned and sanitised.

It's up to you which route you go, but the common advice around here would be to cut your losses and dump the affected vessels rather than risking to dump more brews in the future in which you have invested time and money.

I'm not speaking from experience but there are quite a few brewers on here that had infections in every single brew for up to a year! You decide how much risk you are prepared to take, it might be all good, or it might turn you off brewing forever, who knows.
 

Tony

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Ahhhhhhhhh a TAP

They tend to suck air in through the tap as they cool, and this air contains bacteria that will ruin the brew.

Ditch the tap, put a bung in the hole, and just pour it out the top into the fermenter.

Dont wory about any hop or break in the cube, it all settles out just fine!

The other ting i do religiously is tip the cube on its side once the lid is on to heat treat the lid and top of the cube. I let it sit on its side for 5 min and then stand it back up.

cheers

Edit.......... i often get busy (lazy) and let my cubes sit and go mouldy and rancid. 3 inches of hot tap water and 1/4 cup of uncented bleach kills all. I remove the seal from the cubes cap, and put it in the cube with the bleach bath, and leave the lid a bit loose so when i give it a shake up, it runs into the thread as well. 2 hours later its as good as a new one.

I currently have these cubes full that have spent months full of god knows what god awful mould, fungus, cures for cancer, dead insects, you name it........ and they are fine. One has been sitting for over a year now.

The 3 big killers for no chill are low temp into the cube, poor seal (lid or tap) sucking in air or not heat treating the top/cap.

hope this helps

cheers
 

white.grant

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I had a similar problem late last year, it seems that the cap on the cube did not seal effectively so it drew in some air and away the miserable wild yeast went. The cube was toast, it stank of nail polish remover and I disposed of it and it's cap.
 

MaltyHops

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Tony said:
... I remove the seal from the cubes cap, ...
And if anyone is wondering, a good way to do this is to put a tea towel
on the kitchen bench and a quick sharp whack of the cap (open end
downwards) will loosen the seal from the cap.
 

Tony

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MaltyHops said:
And if anyone is wondering, a good way to do this is to put a tea towel
on the kitchen bench and a quick sharp whack of the cap (open end
downwards) will loosen the seal from the cap.
Good point! .........exactly what i do...... only i just bang it on the garage work bench.

Trying to dig it out with a screwdriver or the like can damage the seal
 

Yob

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The only cube I've had an infection in I cleaned repeatedly for a month or two, left it in the sun the whole time, is now my best cube, holds an easy 24 - 25lt due to stretching as it swelled. I was very nervous about putting another brew in but seems to be fine.

Spewing I threw out a cube last week that had a bit of mould in after reading Tony's post above.. was lazy/busy and didn't get round to cleaning it. (and couldn't be arsed)
 

punkin

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MaltyHops said:
And if anyone is wondering, a good way to do this is to put a tea towel
on the kitchen bench and a quick sharp whack of the cap (open end
downwards) will loosen the seal from the cap.
There is a much easier way.

Begin by pouring your wort from the cube to the fermentor, splash as much as you can to create lots of aeration and foam a few inches thick. Pitch your yeast and seal the fermentor, then go to wash your cube.

You will be surprised to find the seal missing, this is good as you have removed it to the fermentor without even noticing how easy it was.

The seal should now be already sanitised by laying several inches of foam and krausen, and is still available to you in a few weeks when you go to wash your fermentor.


The only downside to this teqhnique is on brew day when you brew 4 cubes of beer and then after trying to seal the last one for half an hour you remember the seal in your fermentor.
 

scottc1178

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Tony said:
Its infected.

Billions of wild yeasts and bacteria were having a big party in your cube, and it will probably taste questionable.

Taste it and see. That's the best way to tell.
Bargain!! Free Yeast!! :lol:
 

mark0

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I have only ever had one cube go bad, and that was a very low fill level (like half) from a bad brew day. The low fill and high air content just didn't pasteurise the cube like it should.

What was your final volume Dxxxx?

I ferment in my cubes, so mine was yeast, just the wrong one! I am still waiting to find out what a saison yeast x vienna lager tastes like.
 

Bribie G

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I have lost 3 cubes that way. When I moved from Qld I brought 2 cubes of wort so I could quick start the brewery.

They were both about a month old and all I can think of is that during the move the caps got a bit jiggled/deformed and lost their seal and let in some filthy infected air. They both went off a week after arriving.

I reinvested in two 10L cubes and find them far easier to keep clean. Now I always pitch the next day as the surface to volume ratio cools them extra fast.
 

seamad

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I flip the cube upside down for 10 minutes after sealing. When tipping back up I re-tighten as I always get another 1/4- 1/2 turn on the lid, must be the heat, tempting murphy but never had an infected one yet.
 

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