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Old 10-19-2012, 04:15 PM   #1
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Default Infection Question Please Help

My Questions First w/ Background below:
1) Is it possible to have an infection without noticeable visible signs of infection? I am assuming Yes but would like some confirmation.

2) Can an infection take hold and have a flavor impact in a week? What I mean is, can I pinpoint the infection to kegging or is it something that crept in on the front end and took 5 weeks to bloom? Beer tasted great wk 4, kegged by week 5 it was sour.

I used an Octoberfest Grain Bill w/ WLP 036. Fermented in High 50s Lows 60s, until beer attenuated then stored at room temp around 68* in my basement. I left in primary for 4 weeks. Upon racking to the keg the beer tasted great (wk 4). I racked into a keg and added some priming sugar to give it a little jump start carbonating while it waited its turn to go into the kegerator. I got a little curious after about a week and popped open the lid and tasted the beer (wk5), It was rather sour at this point. I am guessing I have some sort of infection maybe lacto.

This is my first infection ever, it sucks. It almost tastes oxidized but without the sweet sherry flavor but more sour. Plus I think I can rule out oxidation as I have a pretty good process for kegging and purging o2 in addition I naturally carb so the yeast probably would have metabolized the o2 when I introduced the sugar.

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Old 10-19-2012, 06:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RmikeVT
My Questions First w/ Background below:
1) Is it possible to have an infection without noticeable visible signs of infection? I am assuming Yes but would like some confirmation.

2) Can an infection take hold and have a flavor impact in a week? What I mean is, can I pinpoint the infection to kegging or is it something that crept in on the front end and took 5 weeks to bloom? Beer tasted great wk 4, kegged by week 5 it was sour.

I used an Octoberfest Grain Bill w/ WLP 036. Fermented in High 50s Lows 60s, until beer attenuated then stored at room temp around 68* in my basement. I left in primary for 4 weeks. Upon racking to the keg the beer tasted great (wk 4). I racked into a keg and added some priming sugar to give it a little jump start carbonating while it waited its turn to go into the kegerator. I got a little curious after about a week and popped open the lid and tasted the beer (wk5), It was rather sour at this point. I am guessing I have some sort of infection maybe lacto.

This is my first infection ever, it sucks. It almost tastes oxidized but without the sweet sherry flavor but more sour. Plus I think I can rule out oxidation as I have a pretty good process for kegging and purging o2 in addition I naturally carb so the yeast probably would have metabolized the o2 when I introduced the sugar.
Sounds like an infection and from your description it came from the keg, time break that thing down completely and do a thorough cleaning and sanitizing, rings, seals, poppits the whole deal
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:37 PM   #3
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The really shi**y part about it is I actually broke down the keg and completely sanitized/cleaned the whole thing before I put the brew in. If I had to make a bet on what caused the problem I would say the racking cane/tubing that I used to transfer the beer from fermenter to keg.

I am going to LHBS today and picking up all new o-rings seals etc for the keg.

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Old 10-19-2012, 09:42 PM   #4
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So it's only been naturally carbonating in the keg for a week? And you opened the lid to try it?

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Old 10-19-2012, 11:51 PM   #5
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Not to be obvious, but did you boil or sanitize the priming sugar in any way? Something may have gotten in when you transferred to the keg, and since it was at room temp and not cold, then the infection was able to take hold.

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Old 10-20-2012, 11:56 AM   #6
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So it's only been naturally carbonating in the keg for a week? And you opened the lid to try it?
I knew someone was going to ask about that. I thought the keg had a leak. I built a sounding valve and it was my first time using and after a week the pressure hadn't really gone up. So I just popped the lid off to reset the seal. I figured I would just reapply the same pressure that was in the headspace and I wouldn't lose too much CO2.

Plus with sounding valve I add a little extra sugar and set the pressure release.
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:59 AM   #7
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Not to be obvious, but did you boil or sanitize the priming sugar in any way? Something may have gotten in when you transferred to the keg, and since it was at room temp and not cold, then the infection was able to take hold.
Yup boiled 1 cup of water with corn sugar for 10 minutes. I think it was my racking equipment. As I sanatized but didn't give the normal soak in oxiclean before using.
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:03 PM   #8
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Its just like if you cracked open a bottle after a week of carbing wont be that good. How much priming sugar did you use for the keg? What temp are you storing it at? Possible you are getting some bite from the co2

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Old 10-20-2012, 03:29 PM   #9
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Its just like if you cracked open a bottle after a week of carbing wont be that good. How much priming sugar did you use for the keg? What temp are you storing it at? Possible you are getting some bite from the co2
In my experience my half carbed bottles still taste good. Just don't have carbonation. This beer is sour. It was malty going in now its malty and sour.
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:39 PM   #10
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I never naturally carbed a lager but I was just thinking of the yeast taste being at room temp. I guess sour is different and might be infected. I would personally let it carb fully, chill it and try it then just to be certain.

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