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Old 07-26-2012, 01:18 PM   #1
Indian_villager
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Default Recovering a Fermenter after infection.

Hello folks. It has been a long while since I have posted but I had been brewing away.

Recently I had my first infections. Yes that is plural.

Bucket Fermenter:

A brew bucket that I have used multiple times before developed an infection. The beer in question is Austin Homebrew's Orange Creamsicle. I suspect that the bacterial strain is a lacto that consumed the 1lb of lactose that was in the beer. It doesn't taste bad.

But I am wondering if it is worth it to try and resanitize the bucket. If it is even possible. I will have no major issue throwing this bucket away if it is not possible.


6Gal Glass Carboy:

This is the one that kinda sickens me. I love this carboy, it is what I started with. I use it as a secondary. I had a strong beligan wheat IPA in there which I though was infected. But cleared up and tasted fine so I bottled it and am drinking it.

To be on the safe side I flushed the carboy through with water and bleach. Heavy on the bleach, rinsed with water, then sanitized again with Star San like I usually do. Now I have a blonde rye in there that is showing clear signs of infection. I have looked through every infection picture on this site and it looks bang on.

How can I go about saving this carboy. I really would not like to lose this one.


Thanks in advance,
Alex

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Old 07-26-2012, 01:20 PM   #2
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The bucket I would just pitch and get a new one. The glass fermenter should be fine scrubbed, bleached and star-sanned. Are you sure you're not introducing it at some step on the way INTO the fermenter?

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Old 07-26-2012, 01:23 PM   #3
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Pitch the bucket or save it for sour beers.

The carboy is not the source of any infection if it was cleaned and sanitized properly, I would look elsewhere in your process for introduction of infections.

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Old 07-26-2012, 01:30 PM   #4
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I tought it was my racking lines. They have been bleached through as well. And the beers I have racked with after have not been infected. So I have gone through the deductive reasoning and am stuck on the Carboy.

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Old 07-26-2012, 01:39 PM   #5
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Bleach bomb anything in question / rinse thoroughly. I'd probably ditch the bucket and get new lines if suspect, they are cheap enough.

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Old 07-26-2012, 01:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indian_villager View Post
I tought it was my racking lines. They have been bleached through as well. And the beers I have racked with after have not been infected. So I have gone through the deductive reasoning and am stuck on the Carboy.
Well nothing can live inside the glass (unless there is a crack, which you should check carefully for). If it is scrubbed well and bleached, everything is dead.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:42 PM   #7
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If you had a lacto infection, you'd most likely know it by taste. It would taste sour. I use lacto as a primary strain for one of my beers, and here's a couple neat things about it. First, most strains are gram-positive, meaning that they have difficulty surviving in worts over 20 IBU. Second, some lacto strains look pretty much exactly like sacc when fermenting and form sediment pretty much identical. They can even produce alcohol and CO2. The lacto strain that I use looks like a weizen yeast when fermenting and is capable of blowing an airlock off. So it's difficult to identify a lacto infection by sight--what was it that made you believe you had one? The bottom line anyways is that lacto won't "infect" your equipment. That is, unlike brett it cannot really stick around and pop up later.

Your carboy will be fine as long as you scrub anything stuck to the sides off and sanitize it. If you want to be careful, pour some boiling water in there. People often overlook boiling water as a sanitizer. If there's anything that you ever worry bugs are hiding in, even a water bath of 160 degrees for a minute will kill them.

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Old 07-26-2012, 01:46 PM   #8
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Please don't pour boiling water in your carboy, that is just asking for a broken carboy.

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Old 07-26-2012, 03:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexbanner View Post
If you want to be careful, pour some boiling water in there.
I can't believe anyone would actually suggest this.
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexbanner View Post
If you want to be careful, pour some boiling water in there. People often overlook boiling water as a sanitizer. If there's anything that you ever worry bugs are hiding in, even a water bath of 160 degrees for a minute will kill them.
DO NOT DO THIS!! First, it takes more than a minute of boiling to achieve sanitization. As soon as you pour a little boiling water in there, it immediately cools and isn't doing anything. The only thing you're doing is stressing the glass. That's it.
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