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Old 07-10-2008, 06:21 PM   #1
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Default Vinegar smell to beer

I made a Steam beer clone and decided to use knox gelatin for the first time as a clearing agent.

I used 1 knox pk to 1 cup of water and heated it up to around 170.
I then crash cooled and added to the secondary.

I left it in there for around 3 weeks maybe 4.

Today when I went to keg the beer out of my conical I noticed white spots on the top of the beer. Im guessing it must be the gelatin.

My issue is the beer smells like vinegar. I have never had a spoiled batch before so i'm not sure what exactly to look for.

All I know is before I put the gelatin in it did not smell remotely like that.

I tasted the beer and it does not seem to taste like vinegar it didn't seem bad.

But the fermenter does smell alot like Vinegar.

I was wondering do you think that the batch has spoiled?

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Old 07-10-2008, 06:31 PM   #2
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I think you have an infection that causes this taste and it may not go away. You can age it and see if it goes away. If you ferment above 70F and the yeast take a while to get started then that can contribute to getting this type of infection. I suggest that your next brew to cool the fermenter to 67 and keep it there for the primary fermentation.

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Old 07-10-2008, 06:38 PM   #3
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As much as I hate doing it I think I am going to dump it.

I'm almost sure the infection took place when I added the gelatin because before that point it was fine.

I was also using a conical for the first time and I did a few dumps.

Another question when I do a dump of the cake with a conical do I have to sanitize the dump valve ever time I do a dump? I was just dumping then closing the valve.

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Old 07-10-2008, 06:53 PM   #4
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Hmm, maybe you can just use it as malt vinegar? I think that's basically what you have on your hands now. My understanding was that oxidation causes this to happen, but I'm almost certain vinegar can be made by introducing bacteria, too, so it could be an infection.

Either way, it might be interesting to let that stuff age and use it as a condiment.

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Old 07-10-2008, 06:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewjunky View Post
Another question when I do a dump of the cake with a conical do I have to sanitize the dump valve ever time I do a dump? I was just dumping then closing the valve.
Yes you should always spray Starsan in the outlet and on the ball valve because the ball part of the valve can transfer anything on the ball to the inside of the fermenter when the valve is turned. I keep plastic bags over mine for extra protection. I spray right after a dump too to remove any sugar residue so it won't be a breeding ground for bacteria.
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:09 PM   #6
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When I smell it in the Keg I cant smell that Vinegar like smell.

I may just throw it in the fridge and test it out.

My father is having a 60th birthday bash and if it doesn't taste bad or stink by Saturday I will use it their. It will probably be gone in like a few hours.

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Old 07-10-2008, 07:19 PM   #7
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If you have an acetobacter infection in your beer, I would personally first run some BLC Brewery line cleaner through the conical, to make sure that you get every nasty little microbe out of there especially, in the valve system.

Then I would do a "slash and burn" sanitization with bleach water, then rinse and follow up with starsan...I would also toss out any tubing that might have come in contact with the beer/wort and make sure any plastic items (like your winetheif if you used that) gets a good soaking/sanitizing as well....it may seem like overkill, but acetobactor is nothing fun to play with, and you don't want to ruin another batch of beer.

I've been tasting more and more kegged beer in bars that have that problem lately....I think since I started brewing my palate has gotten more sensitive, I've so wanted to send the beers back and ask the bartender when they last cleaned their lines....

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Old 07-11-2008, 05:44 AM   #8
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I was told that Bleach is not good for SS. Its pits the steel and increases chance of contamination.

I have powdered line cleaner. I will also use oXI clean

I wont throw my lines out I will soak in bleach and line cleaner then rinse well nothing can live thru that.

I also am going to start using 40% spirits in my air lock.

I believe that the infection could have been from doing a dump with the lid on and sucking dirty water from the airlock into the fermenter.

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Old 07-11-2008, 09:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
"slash and burn"
KILL THEM ALL. I think that is a little more "scorched earth" process, but sanitization is SANITIZATION.

For the OP: Bleach will pit SS after long use or extended exposure. A light flush if rinsed well will not impact anything in the global sense, or even overnight. But vinegar is OK for some cooks, but it needs to evicted from homebrew. Take no prisoners and retake your territory back from the nasties.
Good luck.
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:44 PM   #10
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Get a good soft scrub pad, fill the conical up with near boiling water and add some PBW. let it sit until you can comfortably put your hand in there and give it a good scrub. Drain and rinse well with fresh water.

Take apart the ball valves and let the conical air dry.

Remove the rubber handle grips from the ball valves and all of the seperate fitting for racking cane and everything and toss the whole lot into a pot of boiling water and boil for 15 min.

Drop parts into small star san bowl and let sit for a bit while you get your thread tape ready.

reassemble conical

Sray the hell out of it with star san.

Seal up

Place air lock full of vodka in airlock hole.

Relax knowing you have just cleaned the hell out of it.

This is my routine for my 14.5 blichmann and i have had no troubles up to this point and i have been able to knock out 6 batchs in it since christmas.

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