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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Have you ever infected your beer/wort??
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:19 PM   #11
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I've got 5gal of AHS Northumberland Brown in primary for just about 4 weeks now. I totally forgot that I didn't have any airlocks at the time, so I put some sanitized plastic wrap over the carboy, until I could scavenge an airlock. Like I said, totally forgot about it....Beginning to look like I may have some sort of pellicle forming now. I'm going to secondary it and see how it turns out!

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Old 11-30-2009, 04:32 PM   #12
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I just got my first a couple of weeks ago. I'm certain it was a lacto infection. I still don't know where it came from, so I've gotten new plastic and I'll try a new batch with dry yeast to see if I've solved the issue.

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Old 11-30-2009, 04:35 PM   #13
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I added an unclean, cut beet to the wort while I was cooling it. I meant to add during the boil, but forgot. Not only did it ruin the IRA I was making, but since I used that yeast cake for a barleywine, it got that batch too. Acetaldehide.

The IRA was a dumper (actually, did some creative ice-concentrating that I have yet to taste). The barleywine might be drinkable some day. It is cellared for now.

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Old 11-30-2009, 05:45 PM   #14
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all the time.... oh you mean unintentionally

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Old 11-30-2009, 05:47 PM   #15
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I fear that I have a infected beer going right now. Not sure what caused it and trying to nail down my process to not leave chances for this to creep in.

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Old 11-30-2009, 05:55 PM   #16
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I once had some mold grow on the top of a batch.

NO ILL EFFECTS FROM THAT.

The only bad batch I had was from dumping 4 lbs of brown sugar onto a used yeast cake and topping off......not really beer, but a cheap experiment.

It just kept bubbling.

Evidently the dreaded GUSHER infection.

Probably would have been undrinkable anyways.

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Old 11-30-2009, 07:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punk_rockin2001 View Post
I was just wondering how many people have actually ever infected some beer. In hind site I did some REALLY stupid things when I first started brewing, and I've never infected a beer. My first 4 beers went fine and I discovered on the fifth that my "sanitizer" wasn't even a sanitizer! Only cleaner. Thats not to say I've never made beer that tasted bad, but I've never infected it. I'd imagine the number of infected gallons to non-infected gallons of homebrew would put it in the tenths or hundredths of a percent. If you've ever infected a batch of beer please speak up, and let us know how you did it!
I have used smack-packs and/or starters from the very beginning of my brewing. Now, I try to be clean as possible/convenient, but I admit I have used my mouth to siphon wort from my brew kettle through my chill-zilla and such, and while I clean any visible traces of junk from my carboys I don't go overboard to sanitize.

Getting a good active fermentation going as quickly as possible seems to me to be the key (based on my experience and what I have read) and since I don't use plastic, I have fewer places for little nasties to hide. Between my brew buddies and I, we have some good stories of terribly unsanitary things we've done without resulting in infection.

So, I tend to think using sub-sanitary fermentation options and bad lag times would be my first concern 99% of the time. JMO
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:31 PM   #18
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Just one, about three brews ago-- a porter that got a slimy white coating on top of it which CO2 couldn't even break through... I racked out from under it into a secondary, and it left a slimy white coating on the sides of the carboy as it drained.

It re-grew in the secondary but I bottled it anyway. It was drinkable (by which I mean I didn't go blind after I powered through the two cases of it), but sour and very thin. All of the bottles had a white ring around the neck at the waterline.

I think it was from a combination of old hoses/fittings and old/mistreated StarSan. I replaced all my hoses and made a new batch of StarSan with distilled water, and the last two brews have gone well.

I've also started using big starters and controlling ferm temps and have noticed a big up-swing in quality. That infected porter was the last batch I made with a really long lag time (just pitched a vial of liquid yeast), right in the middle of summer just fermenting in the garage.

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Old 11-30-2009, 07:43 PM   #19
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I made a starter and when cooling I thought did I just get some sink water into the wort. I'll be fine. Before I pitched it it had a funky odor. Well maybe thats what cali ale yeast smells like. Nope it was infected and that batch is currently kegged maybe the print shop odor will fade in time and maybe it will be drinkable. fingers crossed

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Old 11-30-2009, 07:54 PM   #20
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I had several bad batches come out at the beginning of the summer. Turned out to be my bottles. I sanitized every time but didn't use PBW or bleach every few batches. Don't know how the infection started in the bottles but upon close inspection I could see white rings in the neck of nearly all of them. Iodophor would not remove the rings, they needed to be scrubbed, PBW'd, or bleached. I ended up dumping 3 cases of 22's down the sink. I got so frustrated that I purchased a kegging system and have not bottled since.

Forgot to mention that all those bottles were serious gushers. What a fricken mess it was.

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