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-   -   Infection! (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/infection-150436/)

MrGaryFish 12-06-2009 01:50 AM

Infection!
 
So I've been brewing for a few months and have been pretty meticulous with sanitation, but apparently I've got an infection. I took a couple pics, and I was wondering if anybody could identify it. Its pretty freaky looking.

MrGaryFish 12-06-2009 01:51 AM

http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/5605/dscn0110j.jpg

gallagherman 12-06-2009 02:04 AM

That sucks. Beautiful pellicle though! Dump it. Sorry to hear about this. Sniff sniff.

weirdboy 12-06-2009 02:06 AM

You don't have to dump it. Just let it sit for a couple years and enjoy it as a sour instead.

By the way, the fact that it's sitting right next to a vent may have something to do with it.

WillPall 12-06-2009 02:09 AM

I see what looks like some hops around the pellicle. Did you dry hop? If so, did you boil them before adding them? Just wondering what could have caused your infection.

gallagherman 12-06-2009 02:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by weirdboy (Post 1721614)
You don't have to dump it. Just let it sit for a couple years and enjoy it as a sour instead.

I can't tell if this is sarcasm or not. A beer gone bad doesn't really make it a Flanders Red or a Lambic. Just makes it nasty. How can you ensure that these bacteria are safe? These are bacteria that were not planned for not the beautiful blend in the Wyeast Roselare #3763. I wouldn't drink anything with an infection of this magnitude.

Revvy 12-06-2009 02:19 AM

That doesn't look like a pellicule or an infection, that looks like trapped co2 bubbles from the oil slick that is often produced by dry hopping. The bubbles are form co2 tapped beneath the skin...NOT AN INFECTION...

AND you would be silly to Dump it based on anyone's suggestion. Especially if you didn't taste it first.

The only way to know if it is an infection is to smell it and taste it. Even if it is a pellicule, that doesn't mean it is infected....Pellicules are often formed to PROTECT the beer from an infection, it forms a skin to keep the beer safe, and if you racked under it you often find that the beer is perfectly fine.,

But I am pretty sure that what I am seeing here, is the same thing that I have seen in my fermenters when I dry hop....nothing to worry about.

Again, you have to taste it to make sure.

Revvy 12-06-2009 02:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gallagherman (Post 1721623)
I can't tell if this is sarcasm or not. A beer gone bad doesn't really make it a Flanders Red or a Lambic. Just makes it nasty. How can you ensure that these bacteria are safe? These are bacteria that were not planned for not the beautiful blend in the Wyeast Roselare #3763. I wouldn't drink anything with an infection of this magnitude.

What do you mean by "safe?" Nothing pathogenic can live in beer...Even our worst infection in a beer, will not harm us!!!!

Daily many of us have to answer threads about that very topic, people thinking that if they make a mistake that their beer can kill people, make people extremely ill, or cause yeast infection and other illness.

Nothing pathogenic can live in beer, including botchuism. So the only "poisoning" you can get is liver poising...but we're all in the same boat with that anyway, so you are in good company. :D

I came across this from a pretty well known and award winning homebrewer railing against a fellow brewer (it was on one of those "color coded" brewboards where they are a little less friendly than we are.) I just cut and pasted it and stuck it in a file...here it is.

Quote:

Can you get a PATHOGEN from beer. No. NO *NO* Did I make that clear? You have a ZERO chance of pathogens in beer, wine, distilled beverages. PERIOD!

Pathogens are described as organisms that are harmful and potentially life threatening to humans. These are some 1400+ known species overall encompasing viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and helminths. Of that group, we are only interested in those that can be foodborne. Quite simply, if it can't survive in food, it isn't in beer. That knocks out all but bacteria and fungi. Viruses need very specific circumstances to be passed around... like on the lip of a glass or bottle, not the beer in it. **Ahhh...CHOOO!**

Pathogens as a rule are very fastidious beasts. Meaning that they want very specific temperatures, acidity, nutrients and other conditions to thrive.

Bacteria that *could* live in wort, cannot survive even a little bit of fermentation. There are several reasons for this. One is in the 'magic' of hops. It is the isomerized alpha acids that provide a preservative effect to the beer, which happens to inhibit pathogens! Good deal for fresh wort!

Another reason is the drop in pH from fermentation. Next, yeast emit their own enzymes and byproducts, all in an effort to make the environment hostile to other creatures. The major one is alcohol, of course, but their enzymes will break down less vigorous organisms and they become sources of trace nutrition. Now the latter is very minor compared to the effect of alcohol, but it exists! Most of the time these enzymes work on the wort, not organisms until late in the process. Good deal for beer! ...uh, wine too.

Oh, Botulism specifically... did you know that this is an anaerobic pathogen? It's toxin is one of the few that is broken down by boiling. Did you know tht it is strongly inhibited by isomerized alpha acids, even in water? Since fresh wort has a healthy amount of oxygen in it, the beastie cannot even get started, then once the O2 is used up, it doesn't have a chance against the hops or the yeast.

All that is left are a handful of acid producing bacteria that'll ruin a batch of beer. Overall, there are less than 200 organisms that can survive in beer and lend flavor effects. None of these for very long, or very often. Lambic being the sole exception, and if pathogens *could* survive, that'd be the style where you find 'em.

It's important to remember that one of the reasons we have beer today (one of the oldest beverages in existence) is because it was made to be drunk in places where drinking the WATER was deadly....By boiling the wort, adding hops (which is an antiseptic), changing the ph, and pitching yeast, you killed of any microorganism that good be harmful.....in fact the third runnings of the brewing process was fermented at an extremely low gravit 1-2% ABV, and it was called "table beer" or "Kid's Beer" this is the stuff that people drank with meals...it was their water replacement, like Iced tea or soda pop...because again the fermentation process insured thatit was safer than the water.

So even a beer that may taste and smell like a$$ is NOT going to be harmful if consumed.

Only to our pride. ;)

WillPall 12-06-2009 02:24 AM

And the Reverend steps in for the win.

Revvy 12-06-2009 02:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WillPall (Post 1721644)
And the Reverend steps in for the win.

LOL!!!! Thanks.

Neither the idea of dumping a beer without tasting it, NOR the ignorant idea that somehow this hobby, even during our WORST mistake could be harmful gets my craw in a knot....I just want to make sure that any scared noobs looking on doesn't actually believe we can get hurt from homebrewwing...or that everything that looks weird in a fermenter, isn't necessarily infected, and shouldn't be dumped indiscrimanently.

:mug:


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