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Old 01-11-2013, 01:46 PM   #1
Whippy
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Default kegging an infected beer

I opened my brown ale after 2 weeks fermenting and wanted to cry when I saw that familiar white scum on top that tells me I have gotten an infection AGAIN

I tasted the beer and unlike the last two times this happened, the beer does not have that disgusting taste I have learned to depise, but still tastes nice.

Although I am a week earlier than when I planned to keg, I am going to keg the beer tonight in hopes that it will not become completely ruined.

Since this will be my first kegged beer, I would like to ask...when I transfer this beer to the keg and purge the vessel with Co2, will this prevent the infection from taking hold of the beer in the keg, as it did in my fermenting bucket? I'd rather let it sit for another week or more after transferring before I carb it up and start drinking and would rather not have to just try and guzzle it all down at light speed, trying to outrun the infection. I think the infection is one of those lacto-somethings based on what I have read.

Is there anything I can put in my beer to try and kill off this infection after I transfer?



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Two weeks to ferment, two more in the kegs
but in just one night it was drained to the dregs

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:02 PM   #2
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Are you sure its an infection - many yeasts (especially the top-cropping ale yeasts, which I imagine are in your brown) can form rings of scum and all sorts of nasty-looking floating rafts.

As the saying goes - a picture is worth a million dollars (or, at least, the ingredient costs of a batch of beer).

If it tastes good, I'd say go for it.

Bryan

EDIT: also, if you're having repeated infection issues, it suggests that you have developed a stable growth of a spoilage organism somewhere in your brewing system. If this is the case, it may be time to replace some of your equipment. Scratches in plastic fermenters can harbour spoilage organisms, and protect them from sanitizers. You can try to fill everything with a 5% bleach solution for 20min, then rinse well; that should kill any persistent biofilm - but if there is a place where these can grow once, they can always grow there again. Also, take a serious look at your sanitation and handling procedures, in case this isn't an equipment issue.



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Old 01-11-2013, 03:03 PM   #3
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Those are all very great tips, Warthaug, and I appreciate the advice! Thank you.

I am certain this is an infection, as I am familiar with the look of it. I was using the same plastic fermenter the first two times I had this problem, and subsequently disposed of the fermenter. Now that I am having the problem again, I now suspect my wine thief, as this is the only other thing that has had contact with the beer.

I will take your advice and soak everything in a bleach solution and then clean again before using. I suppose I will also do the same for my keg after I drink this beer

Do you feel having a Co2 barrier over the beer once I keg will help to protect it from further harm? I can keep checking it every other day to see for myself, but at the same time it would be nice to know what I might expect from someone who may have done this before.

thanks again

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Old 01-11-2013, 05:28 PM   #4
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Do you feel having a Co2 barrier over the beer once I keg will help to protect it from further harm?

No. If there is a spoilage organism growing in there, it is in the beer and not in the air. The CO2 'blanket' in the keg will keep O2 off, but not keep the spoilage organism from doing its thing. The fridge temperatures (assuming you force-carb in the fridge) should slow the growth of the spoilage organism.

Bryan
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