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Old 04-28-2010, 03:13 PM   #11
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What is your set up? I battled this last year. I first took steps to minimize grain dust. You can easily generate lots of dust when mashing in. I've taken to wearing rubber gauntlets for all steps through the mash-out to keep dust off of my arms.

Of course that was not enough. I use a pump and thought I had been cleaning all of my tubing well enough. I finally disassembled that part and was amazed at all of the gunk trapped inside. I suspect that was my main culprit.

I also bought a second pump so now I have one for pre-boil uses and one dedicated to only post boil uses. I had used one pump for both, which was likely the major source of my problems. After coming to this diagnosis, for awhile I would flush the system with hot PBW after the mash, rinse, and flush with Starsan before using the pump for the cooling step (previously I would jsut rinse, and then Starsan after mashing. I got tired of having to do the PBW step then so I bought the second pump. This way I'm more flexible in when I do my PBW flushing.

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Old 04-28-2010, 03:21 PM   #12
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Just one question different from everyone else's. Did you use a lambic blend in your fermenter at some point? I have not personally made a lambic, but have read( from the yeast manufacturers) not use the that fermenter for anything else as the blend is much more potent than other yeasts and virtually impossible to kill.

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Old 04-28-2010, 03:26 PM   #13
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Most grocery stores will give you free food grade buckets. just go to the bakery and ask if you can have all their used frosting buckets. I have about 10 of em. the only down side is they range in size from three to four gallons.

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Old 04-28-2010, 03:30 PM   #14
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Before you go nuclear and/or throw anything away, look at your process and try to determine where the infection is happening. To really make this a learning experience you should try to figure out where your methods were lax in the past so you can correct for the future. Was the infection happening in the fermenter? Did it happen after you kegged/bottled? Since the infections just started and are now happening in all of your batches, i would think it is not just a general lack of sanitation when brewing but a concentration of bacteria somewhere. Do you use a bottling bucket with a spigot? Have you taken that apart and cleaned it recently? Ask questions about where the infection is from and then try to isolate the problem so your fix doesn't have to be as drastic as throwing everything away and starting over (although that might be necessary if you can't lock down the porblem and much cheaper in the end than wasting time and money on numerous infected batches). Good luck.

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Old 04-28-2010, 04:18 PM   #15
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What about your water supply? Are you using tap water? You might try a batch using purified water from the store and see if that makes a difference.

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Old 04-28-2010, 04:26 PM   #16
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Just wanted to +1 the grain dust issue. That was my problem (Well, I can't say 100%).

I like to grind far away from any equipment that post boil wort will touch, and even the night before if possible. I also condition the malt, which cuts down on dust quite a bit

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Old 04-28-2010, 04:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsdude View Post
What about your water supply? Are you using tap water? You might try a batch using purified water from the store and see if that makes a difference.
The water can definitely cause off flavors. Try your tap water out of the tap than through a filter. The results can be surprising.
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:37 PM   #18
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All of the above suggestions are pretty good. A scratched and infected plastic piece or a bit of crud in a corner are your most likely culprit. Are you using a auto-siphon? While I would never do without one, they have loads of places that a bit of crud could be hiding, even with a good scrubbing. Tubing is cheap and readily available, replace that also.

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Old 04-29-2010, 02:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
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The water can definitely cause off flavors. Try your tap water out of the tap than through a filter. The results can be surprising.
That is true but what I was suggesting is that the water supply may be contaminated with coliform bacteria. This is more likely if you are on a well, but even city water can be contaminated.
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Old 04-29-2010, 03:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppymonkey View Post
Just one question different from everyone else's. Did you use a lambic blend in your fermenter at some point? I have not personally made a lambic, but have read( from the yeast manufacturers) not use the that fermenter for anything else as the blend is much more potent than other yeasts and virtually impossible to kill.
Lambic blends aren't difficult to kill at all.



This is why I no-chill, and ferment in cornies. There's pretty much no chance of any sort of infection.
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