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Old 04-11-2013, 11:55 AM   #1
qmax
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Default wooden spoon infection

This was my first batch, a dark chocolate stout with lactose and cocoa powder in it.
It fermented fast in about 4 days and I bottled it after a week or so.
It went perfectly fine until after the bottling time.. So I was dumb enough to just dunk my wooden spoon in a sanitizer and then use it for mixing in the priming sugar in the bottling bucket.
The result was this infection. The beer is 8 months old now and it gushes out of the bottle and leaves no head.
My question is, can I salvage this beer if I pour it back into the fermentor, aerate it, and leave for a year? (I've heard pellicles can't grow without oxigen and there was none in the bottle). It doesn't taste too bad but still unpleasant though with a lot of cocoa powder in suspension and those awful bubbles. Maybe you can name this infection too?

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Old 04-11-2013, 12:03 PM   #2
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You might consider posting your recipe... then we could determine if in fact you have an infection....

All I see is suspended coco powder.

Coco has a lot of oil in it and can affect head retention... I add a bit of wheat malt to help with this when I do a "Milk Chocolate Stout" I also boild the choclat a long time in a effort to break up the oils.

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Old 04-11-2013, 12:06 PM   #3
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By it doesn't taste to bad mean it's sour or funky but in a good way or it tastes like it should but just gushes? I would think by 8 months you would be getting some serious off flavors.

IMO if it is just gushing it may not be infected. I have had 1 gusher in my time and it was a beer that had lactose added. No off flavors, the beer just had a high FG purposely to give it more body. The beer would gush but then tasted great if you let it sit for a bit, no off flavors at all. Maybe that lactose is fermenting out just a bit more than you thought. If you look in the wiki it is listed as "not fully fermentable". I think that could be your culprit unless of course it tastes off.

Those bubbles are interesting though

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Old 04-11-2013, 12:20 PM   #4
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f68/dark...-stout-136707/
This recipe. I knew about the oils in cocoa powder so I tried to find the one with the minimum fats in it. But I think I might have used it later in the boil.
It doesn't taste sour. I would say a bit funky if anything. Some bottles more than others. And I'm pretty sure those bubbles aren't normal at all.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:16 PM   #5
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Mate, what was your og and ferment temp?
It may just be that it was not fully attenuated at bottling.

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Old 04-11-2013, 06:12 PM   #6
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No idea.. I broke my hydrometer before its first use.. ferment temp around 68`F (20`C). But I can't connect those bubbles with anything other than a full infection. And I think there was an off-flavor which I can't describe, more in some bottles. Maybe the pellicle and its off-taste could not grow much because of the lack of oxygen in the bottle. And those bubbles and cocoa or trub chunks floating around are off-putting enough.

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Old 04-11-2013, 06:18 PM   #7
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Sounds like you were impatient and didn't give it enough time to fully ferment.

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Old 04-11-2013, 06:26 PM   #8
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When did you add the cocoa powder? How did you sanitize it?

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Old 04-11-2013, 06:33 PM   #9
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If you didn't have a hydrometer, how did you know that it was fully fermented? 1 week to bottle seems pretty fast. Looks like just regular gushers to me. It looks "infected" because that's all the yeast and cocoa coming out with the CO2. I have a stout right now with cocoa in it and it did the same thing when I cracked one a little young (which causes gushers too). Obviously yours isn't young at 8 months, but I'll bet that's whats going on.

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Old 04-11-2013, 08:11 PM   #10
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I added cocoa powder in the boil about 15 mins until flameout.
Without a hydrometer I was relying on the airlock activity. So it started slowing down by day 4-5.. and after a few days when it was not bubbling at all I considered it done fermenting. And it tasted very nice at bottling as well. Now it definitely seems interesting that so many of you doubt it being infected looking at all those photos. Especially the last one down the neck of the bottle. If you ask me this beer well deserves its place in the 'post my infection' threads.

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