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Old 11-05-2011, 06:03 PM   #11
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i thought it takes A LOT of time and A LOT of oxygen to make vinegar.

i like sour beers that have a moderate/high level of vinegar, Cuvee Rene for example.

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Old 11-05-2011, 07:05 PM   #12
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I wouldn't say its vinegar yet, but it's definitely on its way. Opened a few more bottles and it's in all of them. How stubborn is this stuff in a plastic bucket?

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Old 11-05-2011, 07:27 PM   #13
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if you can afford to buy a new plastic bucket and spigot, do it. if there are any scratches in the plastic bucket then it might be impossible to clean.

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Old 11-06-2011, 02:46 AM   #14
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What are the chances of my current batch becoming infected in this fermenter? As the last batch was my first beer, having 2 out of 2 ruined batches would be awful.

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Old 11-06-2011, 06:11 AM   #15
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If the last batch was your first, and assuming that you got a new bucket when you started, chances are that the fault is in your process, not your equipment. Buckets do wear down over time, but to have one that's infected out of the gate is rare.

That said, there's nothing you can do for your current batch right now, so relax and don't worry about it. For future batches, however, you should look over your cleaning and sanitation procedure. Are you using the proper cleaner? Do you take out the spigot and clean it (inside and out) using a stiff hair brush? Do you scrub your bucket with a scotch pad/brillo? (If you do, stop it! That's how you get scratches in a ferm bucket) Do you clean the lid, including the groove around the edge? Do you sanitize the airlock? What do you put in the airlock? What do you use to pour the wort into the bucket? How do you chill? And so on and so forth.

Basically, from the moment you turn the heat off, everything that touches your wort must be sanitary. With that in mind, look for weak spots, and see what you can do better.

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Old 11-06-2011, 11:06 AM   #16
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+1 to above post. Sanitize the **** out of everything. Better safe than sorry. I had a faulty tap on a fermentor that was leaking beer and fruit flies found it. Real strong vinegar smell around the tap. Sounds dumb now but I had no way of properly sanitizing it, so just bottled it. I normally keg but had wanted to bottle this ipa. it's probably a lost batch but I'll leave it and see. Anyway, I ordered some starsan and hopefully I won't have this prob again. By the way, I'm in oz and starsan isn't that easy to come by down here.

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Old 11-06-2011, 01:22 PM   #17
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Unless you've seriously gouged up your fermenter and don't clean well, the odds that you've ruined a fermenter are negligible.

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Old 11-06-2011, 03:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boist View Post
If the last batch was your first, and assuming that you got a new bucket when you started, chances are that the fault is in your process, not your equipment. Buckets do wear down over time, but to have one that's infected out of the gate is rare.

That said, there's nothing you can do for your current batch right now, so relax and don't worry about it. For future batches, however, you should look over your cleaning and sanitation procedure. Are you using the proper cleaner? Do you take out the spigot and clean it (inside and out) using a stiff hair brush? Do you scrub your bucket with a scotch pad/brillo? (If you do, stop it! That's how you get scratches in a ferm bucket) Do you clean the lid, including the groove around the edge? Do you sanitize the airlock? What do you put in the airlock? What do you use to pour the wort into the bucket? How do you chill? And so on and so forth.

Basically, from the moment you turn the heat off, everything that touches your wort must be sanitary. With that in mind, look for weak spots, and see what you can do better.
There were definitely some rough spots in my process. For starters, I didn't have any Star San. Although I was using bleach and water for sanitation. I now have Star San and used it to sanitize all materials on my 2nd batch. As far as proper cleaner, I am using dishsoap, hot water, and a rag to clean. I am sure there is a better cleaner I should get from my LBHS.

With my first batch, I fermented too hot in the first 24 hours. 79F inside fermenter with Safale S04. I have since made sure to keep my fermenting temps at bay with the swamp method. Once I cooled everything down, the change in temp sucked the ISOPROPYL ALCHOHOL through the airlock into the fermenter. (Yeah, I know) Using Star San solution in my airlock now.

Also with my first batch, I took a gravity reading 2 weeks in. When I did this the beer smelled good and tasted ok. I took the reading through the airlock hole. When I did this I took the airlock off and with me while I went and sanitized my racking cake to take the reading (I need a thief if I am ever going to do this again). This step took a long time and exposed my beer to oxygen and critters and whatnot. Pretty sure this is what got me.

When bottling, the beer smelled...meh. The yeast cake smelled HORRIBLE. So the process up to bottling is where it happened for sure, however bottling was a huge learning experience (and pain in the a$$). I have now bought an autosiphon and a bottling wand.
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Old 11-06-2011, 06:49 PM   #19
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well, if you used bleach and water only for sanitation, you really didn't sanitize anything. You of course had to rinse the bleach from the equipment and in order to do that you had to use water (which would not have been sanitized). I would say this was the major flaw and if you properly sanitized this time, you should be alright.

As for cleaning your equipment, you can use oxiclean FREE and rinse well (important). A lot of people do that (including me) and it works very well.


If all the bottles truly are turning to vinegar, save some if you'd like some vinegar, and dump the rest. Personally i wouldn't reuse the bottles, others may argue otherwise.

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Old 11-06-2011, 06:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwood
well, if you used bleach and water only for sanitation, you really didn't sanitize anything. You of course had to rinse the bleach from the equipment and in order to do that you had to use water (which would not have been sanitized). I would say this was the major flaw and if you properly sanitized this time, you should be alright.
All sani brew is a powdered bleach . Chlorine is a bleach, chlorine is in water from your tap. I have always rinsed my sanitized equipment with extremely hot tap water and never had an issue.

Relative of mine brewed all grain for 20 years and he always rinses with tap water in his fermenter all other instruments he use iodophor in a spray bottle.
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