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Old 12-02-2011, 02:43 PM   #1
elproducto
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Default Acetobacter infection, toss the beer?

Imagine my surprise when I opened my bucket of Lake Walke Pale Ale only to find it had a pellicle, and smelled of Nail Polish Remover.

I'm assuming this is acetobacter. I haven't tasted it yet, but is there any chance the beer is salvagable? When I dry hopped last friday there was no evidence of infection, so this has happened since then.

I can keg right away if need be, will refrigeration stop the infection?

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Old 12-02-2011, 03:30 PM   #2
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If its the same type of infection i have been struggling with time will only make it worse. putting it in cold might slow it down a bit but the damage has been done.

The flavours of hoppy and sour are disgusting together.

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Old 12-02-2011, 03:31 PM   #3
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Refrigeration won't stop the infection, it'll just slow it down. I've had one beer infected with acetobacter, and I tried to save it by adding some fruit to the beer. It turned out horrible. I wouldn't dump it though. Just keg it, and try it in a few weeks. If it tastes bad at that point, you should just dump it. No amount of time will save an infection like this if it is in fact acetobacter.

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Old 12-02-2011, 03:41 PM   #4
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infection could have come in on the hops. acetobacter should smell or taste more like vinegar since that is exactly what it produces; not sure i would describe it as acetone-like.

if it is actually acetobacter, there isnt much that you can do to remove the acetic acid (which is what is giving off that smell/taste). its not a bad idea to wait a few weeks if you can before dumping it just to make sure that is in fact what happened, and that its definately not going to clear up on its own.

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Old 12-02-2011, 05:04 PM   #5
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It's definetely not vinegar smelling, very solventy.

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Old 12-02-2011, 05:49 PM   #6
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http://www.bjcp.org/docs/Beer_faults.pdf

any of those come close to what you are describing? acetobacter definately smells and tastes like vinegar. perhapse "medicinal" or "astringent"? i dont really know of any common problem that is usually described as smelling "solvent like", though its possible some infections might smell this way.

could it have been plastic leeching? does the smell remind you of fresh vynal tubing or perhapse rubber gloves?
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audger
[...]could it have been plastic leeching? does the smell remind you of fresh vynal tubing or perhapse rubber gloves?
He did find a pellicle...

Cheers!
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audger View Post
infection could have come in on the hops.
From what I understand, hops are naturally resistant to infectious bugs. This is why we don't need to sanitize them before adding them to our fermentors. Chances are, the infection was picked up due to poor sanitation. I've never seen an infection spring up in a week...so it's doubtful that it's from the hops. It usually takes 3-4 weeks for an infection to show signs. This is just my experience though, I could be wrong.
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