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Old 11-24-2014, 06:11 PM   #1
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Default Infected Stout? Questions...

Ok, so I brewed up 1.5 batch of Founders Breakfast Stout for Learn To Brew day with my club. During the brew process I had an issue where the pump got clogged with cocoa nibs. It was an aggravating problem, but I muddled through and ended up with a 5 gallon keg of wort plus about 2.5 gallons of extra wort.

I fermented each and to the half batch I secondaried with oak and bourbon to emulate a KBS.

The 5 gallons I secondaried in my plastic BMB. When I went to keg I noticed the the small bubbles had started growing strings outward and there was a general coating on the surface that was obviously an infection.

I kegged it anyway because I was out of kegged homebrew and I wonder how long it will take before it starts to get nasty. Any ideas?

Right now it tastes ok, but it's still flat so I am sure it will improve over the next week or so.

I'm not sure how it got infected, but it *could* have been from the keg I used to bring the wort home, or the bucket fermentor. I washed and sanitized both of them like crazy. It may just have been from all of the messing around I had to do to get the wort pumped through the CFC.

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Old 11-24-2014, 06:13 PM   #2
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How did cocoa nibs get in the pump? Did you put those in the boil?

I'd periodically taste the potentially infected kegged stout with a picnic tap before pouring through your kegerator lines. Just in case it is carrying spoilage bugs, you don't want to infect your lines as well.

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Old 11-24-2014, 06:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tiber_Brew View Post
How did cocoa nibs get in the pump? Did you put those in the boil?

I'd periodically taste the potentially infected kegged stout with a picnic tap before pouring through your kegerator lines. Just in case it is carrying spoilage bugs, you don't want to infect your lines as well.
Yes. The directions called for boiling them for 15 minutes.(I'm assuming to sanitize them...) I wondered if they would melt into the wort. I'd always used them in secondary before.

So, apparently they don't melt in boiling wort and after many cloggings I got the batch cooled and had to pull nibs out of my pump (Which thankfully still seems to work fine.)

I already have the keg set up. Tastes good so far. So will I have to replace the lines? I thought a good flushing with some good cleaner and sanitizer would clear the bugs out of the line...

I'm more concerned with the keg, but you know I'm a risk taker. It's that element of danger that makes my wife attracted to me

So, anyone else out there who doesn't know, don't put nibs in your boil if you recirculate. It might sound like a good way to sanitize them, but after several batches the ONLY batch to get infected was the one that I DID boil. The others I just racked right on top of raw nibs.
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Old 11-25-2014, 06:39 PM   #4
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Yes. The directions called for boiling them for 15 minutes.(I'm assuming to sanitize them...) I wondered if they would melt into the wort. I'd always used them in secondary before.

So, apparently they don't melt in boiling wort and after many cloggings I got the batch cooled and had to pull nibs out of my pump (Which thankfully still seems to work fine.)
If you want to add cocoa in the boil, cocoa powder (unsweetened) works great. It's what I do when making my breakfast stouts.

Quote:
I already have the keg set up. Tastes good so far. So will I have to replace the lines? I thought a good flushing with some good cleaner and sanitizer would clear the bugs out of the line...

I'm more concerned with the keg, but you know I'm a risk taker. It's that element of danger that makes my wife attracted to me
I'm sure you won't have to replace the line, but a thorough cleaning and sanitizing of the line, shank, and faucet after this keg would probably be a good idea.

Quote:
So, anyone else out there who doesn't know, don't put nibs in your boil if you recirculate. It might sound like a good way to sanitize them, but after several batches the ONLY batch to get infected was the one that I DID boil. The others I just racked right on top of raw nibs.
Bummer that those nibs caused you so much grief! Lesson learned!

Cheers!
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On tap:
1. Dubbel 2. Oatmeal Amber 3. Camp Beer 4. Pale Ale 5.[Nitrogen] Dry Stout
Primary:
1. Porter 2. Porter 3. IPA 4. IPA 5. none 6. none
Secondary:
1. Brett Ale 2. Lambic 3. Lambic 4. Pils 5. Pils
Bottled:
About 36 gallons of beer & 4.2 gallons of mead
Kegged & conditioning:
Bourbon Barrel Imperial Oatmeal Stout
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:47 PM   #5
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Yeah, I'd previously used powder in the boil and cacao nibs in the secondary. Worked great.

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Old 11-25-2014, 11:02 PM   #6
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If it's tasting fine now I would say keeping it cold would help to limit the bugs growth. They should be fairly dormant at serving temps. But just in case go ahead and drink it up fairly quick.


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