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Old 03-17-2013, 02:32 PM   #1
ColoradoJon
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Default Honey Blonde - Lacto infection?

Hi all - Got a bit of a problem, I think... a week ago I brewed the base beer for a strawberry blonde ale. I started with a honey blonde recipe from Austin Homebrew, all grain. The recipe included 1 pound of honey which I opted to add after the boil once the wort cooled to 110F. I did this based off a post that I found on this site, but in retrospect I believe it was the wrong thing to do.

Brew day was perfect and fermentation started within 12 hours. Primary fermentation was good and vigorous but did not blow out the blow out tube, so I put on the standard 3 piece airlock filled with Star San. On the fourth day I checked the fermenter and the beer had blown through the airlock and drained down the side of the carboy. It was thick with yeast. I cleaned it up and all was fine.

After a week I racked the beer into the secondary on top of 4 pounds of strawberries, heated to 160F for 20 minutes and then cooled to 65F. The next day the secondary headspace is full of fluffy, white bubbles. When I racked the beer I tasted it and it was bitter, but not overly sour.

Take a look... Lacto infection?



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Old 03-17-2013, 02:38 PM   #2
midfielder5
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It looks like normal star-san foam.



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Old 03-17-2013, 02:39 PM   #3
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It looks just like my strawberry brewing adventures. The strawberries look really gross when they've been sitting like that. Not sure of I can help with the taste part...

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Old 03-17-2013, 02:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lebucheron
It looks just like my strawberry brewing adventures. The strawberries look really gross when they've been sitting like that.
Agreed. The berry color blanches out into the beer.
I once got brett in my strawberry beer somehow and it was delicious.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midfielder5 View Post
It looks like normal star-san foam.
It's definitely not Star San, there was no foam in the secondary when I racked. As far as the taste... well... the first strawberry blonde that I made was definitely infected as I used fresh, un-sanitized strawberries. That one was horribly sour and bitter!

I'll leave it on the strawberries for a couple more days and then cold crash it for a week. Hopefully the bitterness was just the trub and yeast left behind.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:33 PM   #6
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it isn't starsan. I do not believe you have an infection as you would need much more time for that to occur. Infections normally come from someone who has let the primary go too long and the yeast have finished doing what they do best. While the yeast are active they compete for resources with other bacteria, this helps prevent infection. What i would do, if you choose to continue with an airlock, fill it with isopropyl or rubbing alcohol, that way when/if it comes into your solution it will evaporate out with the respiration of the yeast. If I were you I would go and buy myself a piece of plastic tubing from a hardware store which fits into your bung and drop that into a jug of rubbing alcohol... this will prevent the bubbling over. Hope this helps

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Old 03-17-2013, 04:57 PM   #7
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I would steer clear of adding isopropyl alcohols in your airlock. (Poison) If you're worried about suck back, use vodka or something. (Edible poison)

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Old 03-17-2013, 05:18 PM   #8
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I normally use a blow off tube during primary fermentation and then switch to a standard airlock. What concerned me about this brew was the 1 pound of honey that was not sanitized during boil (it was added when cooling the wort, at 110F).

On the third day primary fermentation started to subside and the krausen began to fall. On the fourth day it blew up, and that is where my concern is. It was like something else began fermenting, and violently - could the un-sanitized honey had something in it?

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Old 03-17-2013, 05:31 PM   #9
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What probably happened was as the yeast folculated they hit a large patch of undissolved honey. What I do with my ciders is take about a half gallon of my apple juice, in your case some of your wort, and heat it in a seperate pot I staralized with alcohol and heat it on 2 or 3, i have an electric stove, and put the honey in there for about twenty to thirty mins then pour this HOT into my fermenter(why does this site show this word is misspelled?) and add the rest which is cooled to the proper temp. I then aerate which will drop the temp to the ambient room temp. This will make sure that the sugar is dissolved properly. Yeasties will prevent contaminate as long as they are active and even then it will take a while for another bacteria a bit to replicate enough to show signs of alternate fermentation. You are fine. Hope this helps!

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Old 03-17-2013, 05:38 PM   #10
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If I remember correctly for a post in the mead thread honey is anti bacterial so I wouldn't worry about infection it could be renewed fermentation from the sugars in the strawberries. When I made a strawberry blonde it foamed up a little bit but I used frozen strawberries



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