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Old 08-27-2012, 04:22 AM   #1
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Default outwitting an infection

Back story:
I have a second running black ryePA sitting in a carboy chugging away (2*). Of 1.020, fg 1.004.
back to now:
The other day I saw a layer of what looked like skin, and some small things that could be yeast rafts, but could also be an infection. rather than risk it i whipped up some more sugary nectar and some pureed blueberries (why not?) along with a pint yeast starter, transferred the sugar/yeast concoction to a freshly sterilized fermenter and racked on top of it. I left a good 1/2-3/4 gallons of beer under the potential infection.

By my reckoning, the active infection spores wouldn't travel as freely to my new beer, and on top of that the higher booze content from the additional sugars might kill off anything that did make it.

Not sure how it may have got infected, but my theory is that it was allowed to progress due to the low alcohol content....

Was my methodology accurate? Or did i waste my time.

Side note, it is bubbling away as we speak.

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Old 08-27-2012, 05:06 AM   #2
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If it's infected, it's infected. All you did was feed your yeast but whatever infected the beer will still find something to eat. The pellicle is not the exclusive location of bacteria or wild yeast in a beer any more than krausen is the exclusive location of yeast in your beer.

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Old 08-27-2012, 04:51 PM   #3
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About the only thing you can do when you have an infection is catch it early and get the beer carbed and cooled to serving temps as quickly as possible. Lower temps will slow down the spread of the infection so you can drink the viable beer before it sours.

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Old 08-27-2012, 05:27 PM   #4
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Well then.

All I did was prolong the time required to get it cooled. Oh well. I sincerely hope it wasn't infected.

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Old 08-29-2012, 08:46 PM   #5
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If you're kegging, you can add potassium sorbate, then force carb. If you're bottling, you can try to pasteurize by heating your beer to 175 or so; then chill and repitch clean yeast. High alcohol and hoppiness only impede certain kinds of bacteria. Pedio and brett aren't bothered by either of these things. Of course, even if you kill off the infecting microorganism, you may still be left with whatever off-flavors it imparted originally.

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Old 09-12-2012, 08:45 PM   #6
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Well I definitely have an infection. Time to try the pasteurization method. I will not give up on this beer, it is named after a friends dog who died of cancer, they didnt give up on him so I wont give up on this beer... But if history is any evidence it might be best....
I sincerely hope this doesn't suck. I guess I need to practice better sanitation.
drats.

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Old 09-13-2012, 04:28 AM   #7
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Beer is pasteurized, cooled, and re yeasted. It didnt have any off flavors, so I think I caught it soon enough.

On a different note, I may have jacked up a better bottle. I poured really hot, as in >140*F, beer into it. I had a water heel, but that didnt help a whole lot.

Wishing in one hand and sh*tting in the other, but I hope I didnt denature the poly. That would suck. Stupid temperature requirements.

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Old 09-13-2012, 04:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VonRunkel View Post
Beer is pasteurized, cooled, and re yeasted. It didnt have any off flavors, so I think I caught it soon enough.

On a different note, I may have jacked up a better bottle. I poured really hot, as in >140*F, beer into it. I had a water heel, but that didnt help a whole lot.

Wishing in one hand and sh*tting in the other, but I hope I didnt denature the poly. That would suck. Stupid temperature requirements.
Good luck. That was the best plan. If there was no foul taste, you might have saved it. Can you tell us exactly how you went about pasteurizing it (temps and times).

BTW, here's how you know if the wort you added to your BB was too hot:

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Old 09-13-2012, 12:40 PM   #9
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Wow, and I was worried about a little deformation on the top. Instead of round and smooth it has some flat spots, but no discoloration.

using 2 kettles i heated the beer to 170-190 for 15-30 minutes. I wasn't being exact and not picky because I had little people demanding my attention, but i *think* that should do it. I will admit that there was pretty much no research behind it, just what kingwood-kid recommended and what little i remember from Bill Nye...

Thanks for everyone's help and encouragement, it was really helpful.

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Old 09-13-2012, 02:03 PM   #10
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For all of the time you spent try to "save" this beer you could have been well on your way to brewing a new batch with improved process you learned from this one (i.e. sanitation). Once again, the "NEVER dump your beer" mantra on this forum has been followed to a fault. Yes, sometimes the best thing to do is cut your losses and dump your beer.

I understand the sentimental aspect, but I offer a counter-view: Do you really want to honor your friends dog with a batch of what is undoubtedly be "passable" beer (at best)? Wouldn't you rather honor them with the best you can muster? Also, giving up a beer is NOT equivalent to giving up on a friend, dog, or anything else in life. Its not indicative of a character flaw.

Just saying...my 0.02, etc. etc.

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