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Old 11-07-2011, 10:12 PM   #1
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Default is it possible for yeast sludge in a bottle to "turn wild"?

I have had several beers from recent batches exhibit symptoms of infection/wild yeast. I don't think it is happening at the bulk level (fermenter or bottling bucket) since some bottles seem fine. When I pop the cap, I get a very strong fizzing/like champagne, but just keeps going. If I pour it into a glass it will foam for 10-15 minutes, overflowing the glass multiple times. Other times the foam head will "break up" in clumps rather than titling with the liquid when poured. There is a somewhat sour taste that wasn't there at bottling, and the gravity is lower than when I bottled.

I usually run the bottles through the dishwasher before StarSan, but I have skipped the first step on some batches. I wonder if the leftover yeast in the bottom of the bottles is somehow surviving/adapting to be a "super attenuator". Is this even possible?

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Old 11-07-2011, 10:24 PM   #2
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U ever inspect the bottles, if you don't rinse them when they're empty u develop mold that's sometimes hard to get out, maybe this could effect the beer. Are u individually pouring sugar into the bottles or boiling sugar in a small amount of beer and adding back? And are u using the same yeast for fermentation and carbing?

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Old 11-07-2011, 10:55 PM   #3
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How long did these beers sit in the fermenter before bottling? How long have they been in the bottle?

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Old 11-07-2011, 11:13 PM   #4
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I doubt it's a bottle issue if it's affecting all of the bottles.

I had a batch of wee heavy with this problem. Every bottle was infected. I think I narrowed it down to the washed yeast that I used that was 1.5 months old. It was drinkable, but I almost had some bottle bombs. It was at 1.016 when I bottled it. After a month in the bottles, it was down to 1.002 and would shoot several feet in the air when opening a room temp bottle.

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Old 11-08-2011, 02:15 AM   #5
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Sounds like you have a bottle contamination problem. Star-san (or any other sanitizer/disinfectant) will only sanitize clean smooth surfaces. Any mold or other bacterial/yeast colonies will only have their top layer killed by the sanitizer, there can be many millions still waiting to infect your beer in a single speck of mold.

I always rinse my bottles after emptying them, and that is good enough, but I usually end up running any bottles that friends return to me through the dishwasher. Just to be safe.

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Old 11-08-2011, 02:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KuntzBrewing View Post
U ever inspect the bottles, if you don't rinse them when they're empty u develop mold that's sometimes hard to get out, maybe this could effect the beer. Are u individually pouring sugar into the bottles or boiling sugar in a small amount of beer and adding back? And are u using the same yeast for fermentation and carbing?
Yeah, sometimes I can see a few patches of yeast residue leftover - hard to tell in a brown bottle but not all of them are pristine. Which is why I've started running them through a hot dishwasher cycle before sanitizing.

I make a sugar water solution and heat it int the microwave for 4 minutes before mixing it into the bottling bucket. Same yeast for fermentation and carbing (I don't filter anything so there is plenty of yeast left in suspension).
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:36 AM   #7
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How long did these beers sit in the fermenter before bottling? How long have they been in the bottle?
Most batches sit in the fermenter for 3-6 weeks. The bottles are anywhere from 4 weeks to 3 months old. The problem seems to get worse with time (post-bottling).
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seabass07 View Post
I doubt it's a bottle issue if it's affecting all of the bottles.

I had a batch of wee heavy with this problem. Every bottle was infected. I think I narrowed it down to the washed yeast that I used that was 1.5 months old. It was drinkable, but I almost had some bottle bombs. It was at 1.016 when I bottled it. After a month in the bottles, it was down to 1.002 and would shoot several feet in the air when opening a room temp bottle.
It doesn't seem to affect every single bottle, and some of them are less affected than others. Although it's hard to tell since it gets worse with time, and it takes me several weeks to drink and entire batch.

I haven't had any bottle bombs, but I have no way of measuring what the final pressure is. Did your bottles show the weird foam, or excessive champagne-live bubbles?
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theredben View Post
Sounds like you have a bottle contamination problem. Star-san (or any other sanitizer/disinfectant) will only sanitize clean smooth surfaces. Any mold or other bacterial/yeast colonies will only have their top layer killed by the sanitizer, there can be many millions still waiting to infect your beer in a single speck of mold.

I always rinse my bottles after emptying them, and that is good enough, but I usually end up running any bottles that friends return to me through the dishwasher. Just to be safe.
Yeah I'll try to be more diligent about running them through the dishwasher.
I also rinse the yeast after drinking but it's not enough. I just don't have confidence that the dishwasher stream reaches into the bottom of each bottle due to the narrow neck opening.

It also seems odd that infection would take place so far downstream in the process - when the beer is finished - with high alcohol % and acid pH to kill off most nasties...
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:56 AM   #10
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Boil the bottles in the same pot you use the heat the wort. Dishwashers get hot, but boiling gets hotter.

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