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Old 06-02-2013, 04:16 AM   #1
woozy
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Default Cleaning up after an infection.

So... what do you do if you get an infection?

Seeing as people talk about keeping separate sour equipment from their non-sour equipment ... logically implies that once you get an infection you can *never* clean your equipment again???? So I just throw it away????

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Old 06-02-2013, 04:46 AM   #2
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you can clean your equipment of sour bugs and you don't have to throw it all away. after my first (and last) infection i washed everything with soap then a bleach solution (at the time i didn't know about star san). i did this twice in the same day then let it all dry, never had another infection. once i discovered star san it's all i use and it will kill every bug you spray it on.

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Old 06-02-2013, 04:58 AM   #3
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carpet bomb the house.

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Old 06-02-2013, 05:06 AM   #4
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Hmm, ... but then I'm confused.

I was under the impression people washed everything with StarSan anyway. If so then why keep sour equipment separate from regular equipment. As you are going to wash/sanitize it all with StarSan then either 1) StarSan will kill all souring agents and there's no need to keep the equipment separate or 2) StarSan will not kill all souring agents and I am straight back to my quandry-- What will?

Or 3) there is some extra or special care or procedure to actually eliminate an infection once it occurs. If so what is it? I wanna get my stuff clean and I have zero desire to start setting aside special sour equipment.

... or *sigh* 4) There's *nothing* that will clean infected equipment.

Those are the only 4 logical possibilities I can see. I *want* the answer to be #1. I really, really do. But if it is, I'm a bit put out by all the talk of separating equipment.

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Old 06-02-2013, 05:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chumpsteak View Post
carpet bomb the house.
Well, *that's* useful.

No, seriously the reason I ask is: I got the infection and ... I cleaned all my equipment. That seemed sensible. The batch I bottled today (I had the bottling day from hell but that's another story) seemed to have a slight milky film making me think I had an infection again.[*] I figured I was probably just a slob having real bad luck and screw it, *next* time I'll try to figure out my bad habits. (Or I might just be being paranoid and it's not an infection.) But then it occurred to me that people had suggested I dedicate my infected equipment to brewing sours. [Yeah... That's not going to happen.] So, I figure, maybe my equipment is still infected from the first infection.

I have but using Io-star, starsan's pathetic iodine laden little brother, rather than StarSan (I'll accept that StarSan is better-- it's on the shopping list for next week). I've been washing with soap and the sanitizing as normal. If that's not enough what more should I do? Or was it enough and my stuff is just fine? Or is there nothing I can do?


=====
[*] (Actually that's slightly related to the bottling day from hell. Because of the demons hanging around my kitchen poking me with pitchforks and doing all sorts of *weird* things to the laws of physics and circumstance, I actually found myself pouring the primed beer *back* into the formentor and stirring up the trub and yeast. Yes, bizarre occurrences actually conspired to make *that* seem like the most sensible option. That's just how *weird* my bottling day was today. Anyhow, there was a white milky sheen on the top of my beer after I did that.)
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woozy View Post
Hmm, ... but then I'm confused.

I was under the impression people washed everything with StarSan anyway. If so then why keep sour equipment separate from regular equipment. As you are going to wash/sanitize it all with StarSan then either 1) StarSan will kill all souring agents and there's no need to keep the equipment separate or 2) StarSan will not kill all souring agents and I am straight back to my quandry-- What will?

Or 3) there is some extra or special care or procedure to actually eliminate an infection once it occurs. If so what is it? I wanna get my stuff clean and I have zero desire to start setting aside special sour equipment.

... or *sigh* 4) There's *nothing* that will clean infected equipment.

Those are the only 4 logical possibilities I can see. I *want* the answer to be #1. I really, really do. But if it is, I'm a bit put out by all the talk of separating equipment.
that's an epicurean paradox! but star san does kill all of the sour bugs that can affect a beer, or any little living thing, spray an and or spider sometime. there is a bit of paranoia out there where people think they are being safe by segregating their equipment, sometimes they site some brewery that segregates clean and sour equipment. my view is that on the homebrew level star san can take care of the relatively small surface areas we are faced with, a pro brewer has so much more area to clean that they can't chance missing a spot and ruining hundreds of gallons. also there is a myth that sour bugs are somehow stronger than clean yeast or maybe even magical. recently a poster here claimed to have had a lacto infection that bleach would not kill. i don't think so unless he has discovered a brand new super strain that has been unknown to science for the past century. those kinds of stories, and they are stories, are read by new brewers who then start thinking that sour bugs are more akin to evil spirits. they are not.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:33 AM   #7
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Thank you.

Although I did think of two more logical possibilities.

2 1/2)Switching back and forth between this fermenter had lacto, now it didn't, now it did merely increases the likelihood that one day you won't be thorough and miss a bit of lacto in your cleaning. You'll have much better and "cleaner" results if the fermenter for your "clean" beer had simply never been used for sours.

3 1/2) An infection just takes a little more work and effort to irradicate than a simple wipedown. Work at it harder. Bur keep the sour equipment separate so you don't have to always once it occurs.

As this is a free country and I have free will, I'm choosing to go with 3 1/2 and I'm going to do a bleach soak this week.

Um, is bleach "deadlier" than StarSan? I'd rather use StarSan but even *more* I want to kill this lacto in my first attempt.

Anyway, thanks for the answer.

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Old 06-03-2013, 09:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woozy View Post
Thank you.

Although I did think of two more logical possibilities.

2 1/2)Switching back and forth between this fermenter had lacto, now it didn't, now it did merely increases the likelihood that one day you won't be thorough and miss a bit of lacto in your cleaning. You'll have much better and "cleaner" results if the fermenter for your "clean" beer had simply never been used for sours.

3 1/2) An infection just takes a little more work and effort to irradicate than a simple wipedown. Work at it harder. Bur keep the sour equipment separate so you don't have to always once it occurs.

As this is a free country and I have free will, I'm choosing to go with 3 1/2 and I'm going to do a bleach soak this week.

Um, is bleach "deadlier" than StarSan? I'd rather use StarSan but even *more* I want to kill this lacto in my first attempt.

Anyway, thanks for the answer.
i don't know how bleach stacks up to star san in killing power or if it even matters but i know that star san is more compatible with brewing than bleach is if you happen to get the dilution wrong. i have used both without problems.
i started using my sour equipment for clean ferments so that i could see proof for myself rather than rely on what someone else said happened. this is what i encourage everyone to do; experiment for yourself and see the proof before you. my first shot at this was a plastic carboy that had a flanders red in it for a year. first i cleaned the crud off with a bottle brush (something that is supposedly bad) then i poured a few cups of star san in, shook it around then poured a lager in. the lager stayed in that carboy for a total of 3 months and showed no signs of infection. if i scratched the plastic with the bottle brush it apparently didn't matter since the star san apparently killed off all of the sour bugs that were in there. since then i have totally lost track of what fermentor had sour bugs in it and have never had an unintentional sour beer. my point to others in saying this is try it yourself, wondering aloud on these boards will never answer your questions.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastoak View Post
i started using my sour equipment for clean ferments so that i could see proof for myself rather than rely on what someone else said happened. this is what i encourage everyone to do; experiment for yourself and see the proof before you.
Much as I'd like to see the proof before me, I'd like to *stop* my infections completely more.

I'm encourage to know the situation isn't hopeless. But I will need to do a vigorous cleaning. *days* of soaking.
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:31 PM   #10
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If I have been fermenting in a plastic bucket. If I had an infection I would probably just toss the bucket or demote it to more menial tasks. They are cheap enough that it would be easier to buy a new one and move on so I don't have to worry about it. Now, if I thought it were my Pyrex Carboy or any other glass carboy, I would clean it better next time.

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