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Old 12-17-2007, 05:09 PM   #1
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Default Infected in the bottle, less infected in the keg?

I brewed a Scottish 80-/ back in October (at the yankee ingenuity session) and kegged most of it up but bottled about 6 as there was more than 5 gallons.

I just popped a bottle (swingtop) and it was a gusher. Definately not drinkable. So, I popped the rest in case it was a one off deal. All gushers.

The kegged beer is "fine". I say that with hesitation because it is not perfect. Until now I just thought it was ingredients or procedure and it just needed tweaking next time. It has a flavor I do not care for but I did not think it was infection-like.

So, the question:

Is it possible to have an infected beer and not have the infection get too bad if it is kegged versus bottled? Meaning, does kegging somehow hamper the infection some way? Or, was it merely that my bottling procedure (including priming) was off and the kegged beer is fine?

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Old 12-17-2007, 05:21 PM   #2
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Thinking more about it. perhaps it is the priming sugar?

In the keg there is less for the infection beasties to munch on, whereas in the bottle you give them a bit more easily digestable sugar to get started?

Man, I thought my infection problems were over. Maybe it's just the new keg setup and I haven't infected them all yet.

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Old 12-17-2007, 05:26 PM   #3
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I'll wager that your bottle wasn't clean/sanitized.

The only infection problems I have had (*yet*, knock on wood) were a couple of individual bottles. Not an entire batch, though, just a couple of bottles that were gushes. I'm suspecting that a couple bottles just didn't get cleaned out as well as the others, maybe there was some crud inside that was just REALLY stuck on, and so they were bad.

Although... if you're kegging, you've probably kept the beer cold since it was kegged, so that might inhibit an infection from growing. You'd be keeping bottles out warm so that they'd carb up, but you force-carb cold... so, there COULD be something to the whole keg-vs-bottle issue with respect, at least, to how quickly an infection would show up.

I still would think that improperly sanitized bottles would be the most likely culprit.

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Old 12-17-2007, 05:27 PM   #4
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No personal experience or backing to state this, but just a thought:

EDIT: <delete Most> Some yeasts, bacterias, etc. need oxygen to thrive (not all - obviously there are anaerobic [sp?] bacterias). When you keg something, you purge the keg of all oxygen, so that all that remains is the beer, the CO2 dissolved in the beer, and the CO2 in the headspace? If the bacteria is aerobic, it wouldn't thrive very well in this environment...

For all I know, the common infections in beer may be of anaerobic type, in which case this theory would probably go out the window, but I just am not sure since I never had an infected batch yet (wheres the wood?!)...

If thats the case (anaerobic is the common infections), then I guess all I would say is that the risk of infecting something might be SLIGHTLY higher in bottling since you use an extra bucket, the bottling bucket, and you add another product, your priming sugar or DME. <Oh and the bottles need to be individually sanitized>. Just a few more chances to infect it if you don't sanitize equipment or the product well enough...

EDIT: On second thought, there wouldn't be much O2 in the headspace of a bottle either, so this is probably (I'm holding out hope) incorrect. Also, even beer yeast are working without (or without much) O2 after the initial aeration O2 is used up to reproduce... Hmmm I don't know... I tried though!

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Old 12-17-2007, 05:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
Although... if you're kegging, you've probably kept the beer cold since it was kegged, so that might inhibit an infection from growing.
Another good thought... nasties would probably reproduce faster at warmer temps as well. Your keg wouldn't have seen much of these warmer temps at all, but bottle conditioned bottles might have sat warm for (minimum) weeks to carb and then maybe even longer in storage?
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Old 12-17-2007, 05:46 PM   #6
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Well hopefully it was just the bottles. I do not remember the filling process but perhaps I was less thorough bottling since I was more excited about the kegging.

Though, when I was having infection issues last summer I was rather draconian in my bottle sanitizing...

Bleach soak, hot water rinse, Oxyclean soak, power scrub with a brush attached to my drill, super thorough multiple HOT water rinses (sometimes in a pot full of boiling water for a few minutes), and sanitize with iodopher!

Guess I won't bottle up some for gifts just in case.

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Old 12-17-2007, 10:48 PM   #7
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it was likely that one bottle only. 2 cases of bottles per 5 gallons...eventually one isn't gonna get cleaned or sanitized perfectly.

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