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Old 07-19-2012, 01:41 PM   #11
johnnytaco
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Well, I was wrong about my infection being gone. I have used PBW, then Idophor and finally StarSan to try and knock this out, to no avail. The problem as I've seen it is this. It doesn't seem to show up until after primary fermentation is completed. It seems to thrive in highly hopped beers and ones with rather high alcohol content, as well. They almost all turn hazy after fermentation has occured for at least two weeks and the taste is disgusting, almost a rotting turnip smell. Now that I have tasted this in quite a few different beers and at different stages of infection, I have tracked it back to a batch of IPA we made in January.(At least the first time I tasted it) There is a rotting fruit/vegetable taste in all of them, but using Citra hops makes it taste like decaying fruit and Cascade makes it taste more like vegetables. It thrives in alcohol, almost not showing up until it is there, and must be in a fermentor, because we have split batches and only one gets funky. What is making me crazy is that it looks different in different beers, and the fact that no mattere how much I clean, it keeps showing up. All beers have been made from CO, foothills of Denver, well water. I have thrown away 50 gal of beer in the last few weeks. Please help!

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Old 07-19-2012, 01:43 PM   #12
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PS. Whatever it is gives you the runs when drank and didn't show up in an arrogant bastard clone that was in the same fermentor. I'm confused.

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Old 07-19-2012, 02:33 PM   #13
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Are you just soaking in a sanitizer or are you actually cleaning first? Brett and some bacteria can form biofilms (pellicles) that will act as a barrier between it and the sanitizer so it won't go away. You need to get in your equipment and clean by contact with pbw then sanitize.

Are you using washed yeast? It's probably the source of repeat infections.

If not, give your equipment a solid (but careful) scrub and sanitation. Consider boiling your carboys and treating any soft plastic in water over 165F for a few minutes (does not have to be boiling, 170F is ok). Small components definitely need the most attention because they are the hardest to clean and the easiest place for unwanted guests to reside.

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Old 07-21-2012, 12:59 AM   #14
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The easiest solution to eliminate the fermenter and plastics is to get new replacements. If that's too much, you can try cleaning with bleach.

Clean fermenter, and soak fill with mild bleach solution (about a tablespoon per gallon of water) for a week or more. Maybe double the amount since you are believe you have a real problem, just remember, too strong a bleach solution will not work as well as a weak one. Fill tubing with same solution, and leave in fermenter. Any other plastic, soak in fermenter. Metal doesn't do well in bleach.

When emptying the fermenter, siphon the bleach solution out with the tubing, to ensure you get to everything.

After the bleach solution, everything needs to be rinsed with very hot water to get rid of the chlorine. Bleach will leave a film, and you need to get it off. You don't need to fill with hot water, just rinse a couple of times with a small quantity of hot water.

If you want to use temperature, pasteurizing occurs with 10 seconds exposure to 160 F water, or 20 minutes at 145 F temperature. Boil a kettle and pour the hot water over all the surfaces. It gets difficult to run the water thru the inside of tubing though.

Good luck.

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Old 08-03-2012, 04:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReverseApacheMaster View Post
Are you just soaking in a sanitizer or are you actually cleaning first? Brett and some bacteria can form biofilms (pellicles) that will act as a barrier between it and the sanitizer so it won't go away. You need to get in your equipment and clean by contact with pbw then sanitize.

Are you using washed yeast? It's probably the source of repeat infections.

If not, give your equipment a solid (but careful) scrub and sanitation. Consider boiling your carboys and treating any soft plastic in water over 165F for a few minutes (does not have to be boiling, 170F is ok). Small components definitely need the most attention because they are the hardest to clean and the easiest place for unwanted guests to reside.
No, I'm not just soaking in sanitizer. I pbw for 24 hrs before using any fermentor. I thought that it may be because of the washed yeast, but then it happened with yeasts directly from White labs. I did get a carboy scrubber and replaced all smalls to avoid cross contamination. The infection seems to have been more prevalent at my LHBS, where I do brewing demos on Saturdays. The one fermentor that had it @ my house has had three brews in it, without any bad results.(fingers crossed) After throwing away 55 gal, I think our cleaning and sanitation has worked. No signs in the last three to four weeks. Sucks pitching that much brew, but definately a learning experience. I have a microbiology professor at Metro State in Denver checking out four obviously tainted beers and should have results in the next few weeks. Will keep you posted.
JT
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:01 PM   #16
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I recently learned that PBW works kind of like Oxy Clean, in that it continues to produce bubbles until it has totally finished working. I started soaking my fermentors 24+ hours before use, sometimes a week+ so they're never just sitting empty, then a good rinse and 4+ hours with fresh Star-San every time I brew. A little more expensive, but cheaper than throwing away 50 gal again! Seems to be working. I appreciate all your help. -JT

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Old 09-19-2012, 03:35 PM   #17
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If anybody cares, I recently had a couple beers tested by a microbiologist professor here in Denver and she confirmed my worries. It was the exact same mix of brett and saccromyces that was in the White labs American Farmhouse blend, mixed in with the yeast that I pitched. I had my suspicions, but after it showed its ugly head again, two weeks after my (former) boss made a sour saison, I knew I was correct. That was a lot of work to have the contaminants re-introduced back into the environment. I have learned how to control it, but am finished wasting my time and energy at his store. He blamed me and my "poor personal hygiene" on all this. I guess brett doesn't live in my hair. Whew! I just wish I hadn't thrown away all the beer, because I tried one the other day and the nasty funk flavor has faded substantially and is turning into a nice cidery/leathery funk, as well as having a pellicle ring in each bottle. I like it! If I was patient, I'd be set for the next few years with sour beers. Live and learn.

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Old 09-19-2012, 04:30 PM   #18
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I don't understand. Were you brewing this at a homebrew store?

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Old 09-21-2012, 08:38 PM   #19
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I was employed there, part-time all summer and since last December, I have been doing an all-grain demonstration for newbies on Saturdays, even though I am one as well. So yes I was at my LHBS, and the owner was there and just as clueless as I was as to what was going on. The off flavor showed up in a lot of different batches, so I started to teach myself about where they come from and how to avoid them. The problem was that none of the off flavors I researched were exactly like what was in my beers. The mircobiologist I spoke with said that off-flavors can be created by two competing saccromyces strains in the same beer, as well as by the Brett we saw. Sometimes, multiple strains of yeast make sweet music when mixed in the right proportions, but not what I had going on. It was with multiple diferent kinds of yeast, too. Not a problem that I ever want to see again. I'm afraid to buy a brett beer unless I can drink it outside.

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