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Old 12-01-2011, 03:39 AM   #21
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@brewtus: no worries, I've dealt with mold in the past so I appreciate your post without being freaked out. No, unfortunately due to timing and other issues I rented this place sight unseen and moved in around 3 weeks ago. To the eye it looks good but for mold, who knows. I did have similar thoughts. If the problem is not water, some sort of fungal culprit was my thought. Yeast can not move around on it's own (if lid is on, brew is safe) but fungus can move around and get into areas.

Is there a test that you're aware of that can be used in an apartment type setting?

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Old 12-01-2011, 03:41 AM   #22
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What kind of shape is your faucet in? Maybe a shot in the dark... but could there be bugs on the underside of your faucet that may get into the water and are strong enough to live until they get a new home in your wort?

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Old 12-01-2011, 03:43 AM   #23
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Definitely the water. Blame canada.

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Old 12-01-2011, 03:46 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brek81 View Post
just a stupid question, what is your indication that the batches are infected. 7 days would be pretty quick for an infection to take over a proper pitch of yeast i would think.

I was just reading along and I am sorry but did you ever answer this question by Brek81?
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:52 AM   #25
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Pascal - Not sure. I am a chemist, but biochemistry is not my specialty. I know that at my place of business, we were having people with all sorts of sinus/respiratory issues. We asked our Environmental/Safety guy to check into what was in the air. He got some environmental company to come in and they placed what amounted to petri dishes all over the office for a few days and then collected them. They did the analysis and it came back as black mold. After searching the building, they eventually found mold in the plenum air space in a couple of areas.

Maybe you could talk to the local health department or whatever it is in Canada. I think that there are online places that can do mold analysis for you, but I'm not sure what they cost. Try an online search.

Not sure if you want to trust your landlord, he may be biased.

Good Luck!

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Old 12-01-2011, 04:07 AM   #26
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From reading this whole thread, I'd suspect the top up water from your tap too, but there might be something else you are missing. Here are my suggestions.

Boil your top up water the day before you brew and store it covered in a sanitized container in your fridge. Or buy bottled water. I saw where you said that buying water would be inconvenient due to use of bus transportation and living on the 3rd floor, but just suffer it for one batch. It's not like you need that much water for top up.

Make sure you completely DISASSEMBLE and CLEAN and SANITIZE EVERYTHING that touches your wort post-boil. Remove airlock from bung. Sanitize stirring spoons, measuring cups and spoons, hydrometer, thermometer, et. al.

Sanitize the outside of your yeast packages before opening them.

Ferment in a glass carboy, or buy a brand new fermenter.

Buy a new airlock and bung.

Switch sanitizers. If you are using Star San, switch to Iodaphor, or vice versa.

The chloramine can influence the taste of your beer. Otherwise it is harmless. John Palmer says that metabisulfite (Campden tabs) will neutralize it. Chapter 4 - Water for Extract Brewing

Just a blog, but worth a read regarding chloramine: Beer Geeking: Water: Chlorine, Chloramine and Chlorophenols, my nemeses


As the previous poster and a couple others earlier mentioned, it might also be worth having the air quality in your apartment checked. You might have a mold problem.

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Old 12-01-2011, 04:18 AM   #27
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@ReverseApacheMaster: Yep, blame Canada. But the water in Prince George was great!

@Brek81 & jgln: Fermentation starting properly, for a few days. Then batch turns rancid in a matter of 12-24 hours. When I say rancid I mean largely the stench coming from the brew. Hard to miss. Not a whole lot to speak of visually, except for what I've already mentioned. Yes, 7 days is very quick for such a thing to happen, 12-24 hours is ridiculous. As I mention earlier, I've never seen anything so aggressive as far as an infection is concerned. Then again, I haven't seen very many infections.

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Old 12-01-2011, 04:29 AM   #28
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thanks billtzk. As far as the switching cleaners and sanitizers & replacing equipment I've tried those. I agree, I'll suck it up and pack the water for next batch in order to eliminate that variable. I figure I'll bring enough for the entire bath though, not just top-up. I'm also changing to glass carboy for primary instead of plastic bucket style primary.

With regard to chloramine, I didn't suspect it was the culprit. My question was if that treatment would kill wild yeast or bacteria that could be causing issues from tap water. After all, it is treated, isn't that what it does?

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Old 12-01-2011, 04:43 AM   #29
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Quote:
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@ReverseApacheMaster: Yep, blame Canada. But the water in Prince George was great!

@Brek81 & jgln: Fermentation starting properly, for a few days. Then batch turns rancid in a matter of 12-24 hours. When I say rancid I mean largely the stench coming from the brew. Hard to miss. Not a whole lot to speak of visually, except for what I've already mentioned. Yes, 7 days is very quick for such a thing to happen, 12-24 hours is ridiculous. As I mention earlier, I've never seen anything so aggressive as far as an infection is concerned. Then again, I haven't seen very many infections.
Ok, I was just wondering if what he was getting at was how familiar are you with brewing and not assuming some of the strange smells coming out were normal. Most of us love the smell of beer fermenting but I am sure some would think it unpleasant. Sounds like you had a couple good ones though.
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Old 12-01-2011, 04:52 AM   #30
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lol, the smell of fermenting beer is a wonderful thing indeed!

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