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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Could use help with persistent infection
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:19 AM   #21
RonPopeil
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wait, you've already bleached everything?

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Old 10-01-2013, 04:08 PM   #22
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alright, a few things.

there's a difference between sterilization and sanitation. a 20 minute boil will sanitize but will not sterilize your gear. from what i've gathered their's a process to sterilize by boiling and it requires at least 3 successive boils over time. there's a name for the process.

you need to sterilze everything. the easiest way is bleach. go old school and bleach all your stuff. pull your fermenters out and mix up a bleach concentration and soak all the stuff you can. run the mixture through your mash tun, kettle, etc. everything. my LHBS guy calls this shocking. get the clorox spray cleaners and wipe everything. break down everything you can etc etc. check out your fermentation area. use a sponge mop on the walls and ceiling/overhanging parts. check your ball valves for corrosion and debris. replace your carboys if you haven't already.

thoroughly rinse everything and then clean it with soap and water or vinegar just to make sure the bleach is gone.

this is gonna suck but it's the the only thing left short of iodine. it may be overkill too but i wouldn't enjoy dumping money into infected brews. if i were in your spot i'd bleach everything i safely could. just go to town.

i'm a bit germophobic so i tend not to have issues with this stuff.
while bleach is an effective sanitizer there are better sanitizers for use in a brewhouse that you don't have to rinse or "be sure is gone". i have used bleach to combat a persistent infection (early on in my brewing) but i've turned away from bleach since the brewery specific products work just as well and are no rinse.
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:26 PM   #23
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Just a thought, but maybe the brushes/sponges/cloths, etc, that you're using to assist you in all this cleaning is harboring the infection.

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Old 10-01-2013, 11:36 PM   #24
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Thanks again for the input:

For sampling: I only sample initially and once after fermentation to confirm FG and that fermentation is complete. I was using a wine thief before, but switched to stainless steel baster for this last brew (so that I could boil & sanitize to eliminate as a source). I spritz the hell out of my carboy cap & re-seal wet when I take it off.

I did bleach my carboy already, and then rinse with vinegar/water, and then normal star-san sanitation before use. I boiled stainless components, and used all new plastics.

I have a theory which may explain my issue: after reviewing my notes, I believe I used the same carboy cap for the first three bad brews. Even though it was sanitized thoroughly, is it possible that this carried the infection? For the latest brew, I'm thinking it was the hops now, as it looked/tasted great right up until dry hopping. It was 5 days after dry hopping that I noticed the film return. I believe I am pretty thorough & over the top with my sanitation in general, but these two combined may explain my issue.


On a side note, I bottled the last brew anyway, and even though it's still green, it tastes great right now (two hearted clone, it's a little heavier than two hearted IPA, tastes more like an imperial, but still good). I can taste a hint of the sourness, but it's not terrible yet. I plan on drinking it quickly as I can (without losing my job), as I understand lacto gets progressively worse quickly.

Thanks again for the help, I'll post how my next one comes out.

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Old 10-01-2013, 11:37 PM   #25
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Also - I do use a carboy brush for cleaning the glass carboy combined with oxyclean soaks.

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Old 10-04-2013, 05:42 AM   #26
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I have noticed that using a muslin bag when dry hopping almost guarantees i will get a lacto infection. Besides not doing a secondary, I also have a small fleet of cony kegs that I have ready to take any infected brews. First sign of an infection and I rack it keg and hit it with gas and leave it in a cold area or the kegerator. This seems to prevent off flavors developing and I suspect that lacto being an aerobic bacteria not liking CO2 much is the reason. Rudimentary microbiology knowledge might be unfounded but I gave up stressing about sanitizing everything to death quite a while ago. kegging and previously mentioned habits have reduced the lacto menace in my brews.

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Old 10-04-2013, 06:32 AM   #27
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When I "dry hop" I actually boil some water, take it off the heat and toss the hops (and bag etc) in that for a min or so, then toss it all, water and all into the keg or fermenter.

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Old 10-04-2013, 07:50 AM   #28
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I'm sorry about your infections.

I had a string of them last year, got super frustrated and quit brewing for a while. That wasn't the solution. I went back and looked into every little detail of my process and found a few things that I thought could cause infection, and I eliminated them. Only time well tell if it worked, but so far it seems that way.

Don't give up, you will beat this, your process is sound.

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Old 10-04-2013, 08:20 AM   #29
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Use safale 04 for the next few brews - make a starter with 100 ml cooled boiled water, after 30 mins add 1 level ts of brewing sugar, keep covered with cling film, should have 4 inch rocky head within an hour. If you still have this same problem, move all your equipment to a friends house and do a brew there. If that is ok it proves there is a rotting dead body under your floorboards....

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Old 10-04-2013, 01:44 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtheUKbrewer2
Use safale 04 for the next few brews - make a starter with 100 ml cooled boiled water, after 30 mins add 1 level ts of brewing sugar, keep covered with cling film, should have 4 inch rocky head within an hour. If you still have this same problem, move all your equipment to a friends house and do a brew there. If that is ok it proves there is a rotting dead body under your floorboards....
Why s-04?
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