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Old 11-27-2012, 12:40 PM   #1
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Default Cross-State Infection

Hey guys,
So headed home for Thanksgiving this past weekend to see the family and friends. A few friends actually homebrew so I brought my stuff with me and ended brewing up an ESB. Threw it in the bed of the truck with an airlock (vodka) on and headed home on Sunday. Last night (Monday) I went into my closet to pitch two packets of British Ale yeast and came to find a nice layer of foam on the top of my beer. Figured I'd let it play out and see what happens. This morning I checked and it has brown stuff forming on top of the foam (krausen possibly?). Was wondering what everyones thoughts were. I drove across the state of Florida, might have picked up a wild yeast. Gotta come up with a name for it... if it turns out good! Cracker Sour... Highway 60 Wild... Should I just let it play out for a week or two, or just pitch some dry yeast on it now? Never had an infection before, if this is even one.


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Old 11-27-2012, 01:03 PM   #2
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I would have pitched the yeast after brewing, but since you didn't you must have picked up some wild yeast/bacteria. I've never had any decent results with wild yeast contamination, but maybe you'll get lucky.

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Old 11-27-2012, 01:05 PM   #3
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Yooper - I didn't want to pitch it and it get all shaken up over the trip across the state, but guess it wouldn't have been a been a problem as oxidation occurs after fermentation is over, correct? What do you think I should do? Let it run it's course or pitch some dry yeast on it as well? Should I move this out of the room of other fermenting carboys, as you would with a lambic?

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Old 11-27-2012, 02:54 PM   #4
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Taken a gravity reading to see if it's actually fermenting yet? If it is dropping in gravity, so sense in wasting good yeast. If not, pitch away!

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Old 11-27-2012, 03:10 PM   #5
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I'll take a gravity reading tonight. If the beer is infected and taste like crap, what are some things I can do with it? Turn it into liquor?

Also, for Lambic's I know you can never make a normal beer in the same carboy ever again. Is this going to be the case here? Should I label this a "lambic carboy"?

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Old 11-27-2012, 03:18 PM   #6
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I would be surprised if gravity is not dropping. But I would be worried about what is eating the sugar. If I wanted to try to salvage it, I would smell it. If it smells okay, I would taste it. If it tastes okay I would figure it's got a shot. I might save a quart if the brew in a mason jar and let it ferment out just for curiosities sake, but the rest I would boil to kill whatever is in there. Then take a gravity reading, add some sugar if it is low, and then pitch some yeast.

... but you might be more adventurous than me.

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Old 11-27-2012, 03:23 PM   #7
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Most worts, once chilled, are contaminated with some amount of mold, fungi or bacteria. In a home setting, it would be almost impossible to keep it sterile. Its getting the yeast in there and active in the shortest amount of time that keeps the infection from taking hold. I wouldn't pitch the yeast just yet, like Amanda says, see if the gravity is dropping and then decide, if its fermented too much, there could even be too much alcohol present for the yeast to get going.

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Old 11-27-2012, 03:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodlandBrew View Post
I would be surprised if gravity is not dropping. But I would be worried about what is eating the sugar. If I wanted to try to salvage it, I would smell it. If it smells okay, I would taste it. If it tastes could I would figure it's got a shot. I might save a quart if the brew in a mason jar and let it ferment out just for curiosities sake. Then I would boil the rest of it to kill whatever is in there. Then take a gravity reading, add some sugar if it is low, and then pitch some yeast.
Wait so I can reboil the wort and be fine? I might just do that.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:43 PM   #9
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Wait so I can reboil the wort and be fine? I might just do that.
I probably wouldn't use the word "fine," but it might be salvageable. Boiling will kill whatever is in there, but it's going to be a very different beer than it would have been originally. Whatever is in there has probably eaten a fair amount of sugar and produced some flavors in the processes.

You might get lucky with whatever is in there and it could come out fine. I'm just saying what I would do if I was in your shoes.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:50 PM   #10
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Ok, I'll smell and taste it tonight and decide from there. If it isn't good, how long should I boil it for? Glad I didn't make a 10 gallon batch over Thanksgiving. The recipe was expensive enough as it is with 12 lbs of Maris Otter! Want to save what I can. Should I add some simple sugars (cane or corn sugar) to keep the ABV up there?

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