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Old 09-02-2013, 02:19 PM   #1
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Default Oak infection?

Hey all. Brewed a porter with plans for bourbon soaked oak cubes in the secondary. Soaked the cubes in Makers for about 72 hrs prior to dumping into the secondary with a good amount of the bourbon (about 10 ounces). It appeared to me that the fermentation restarted slowly with this move, had some thin bubble groups on the surface again but these died down over 48hrs. The infrequent bubbling in the airlock did not die down so I took a gravity reading and a taste. Taste not bad, gravity pretty close to the gravity from about a week earlier. Closed er back up. Now 48 hrs later, the thin foam on the surface is back and I definitely do have some bubbling in the airlock...at three weeks. The attached photo makes it look a little more dramatic but it's there. Could this be a smoldering infection fermenting from the cubes? Fermentation of residual sugars in the whiskey? Thoughts appreciated. Thanks!!

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Old 09-02-2013, 02:33 PM   #2
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It sure doesn't look good.

I wonder if it's not the oak cubes, but instead the huge amount of headspace and the opening to take samples, that caused the infection to be able to take hold. Most infections love oxygen, and need it to get going.

I've oaked beers and wines for years, and never once had an infection from that, even without soaking them in liquor.

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Old 09-02-2013, 02:48 PM   #3
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Hello, I would give it a week and take a sample and taste it, if its not sour tasting after a week its probably not infected, it might have been just fermenting out the sugar in the bourbon.
If its sour tasting its infected, if its infected you can age it for a very long time (like a year) and maybe come out with a nice sour.

If it is infected do not use any plastics that came in contact with that brew on your next brew, it will also become infected, the only way I have found to reuse my plastics (after a nasty infection) is to soak in a 50/50 mix of hydrogen peroxide and water for 3 full days.

Hope this helps.

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Old 09-02-2013, 04:11 PM   #4
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Will see what develops over the next week. Under the gun a little as I'd like to get it off the oak in the next few days on the off chance that it's not infected.

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Old 09-02-2013, 04:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efkrug View Post
Will see what develops over the next week. Under the gun a little as I'd like to get it off the oak in the next few days on the off chance that it's not infected.
I would rack it off the oak whenever you were planning on that to begin with.

Then age it a bit and taste.

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Old 09-02-2013, 04:30 PM   #6
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Will do. Thanks WileE and Frau

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Old 09-02-2013, 05:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WileECoyote View Post

If it is infected do not use any plastics that came in contact with that brew on your next brew, it will also become infected,
That is not necessarily true. If there are no scratches in the carboy, then a good bleach bomb and star san rinse should kill any leftover microbes.
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:27 PM   #8
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That is not necessarily true. If there are no scratches in the carboy, then a good bleach bomb and star san rinse should kill any leftover microbes.
If you would have used my entire statement it is very true, Maybe you should read it again.
If it is infected do not use any plastics that came in contact with that brew on your next brew, it will also become infected, the only way I have found to reuse my plastics (after a nasty infection) is to soak in a 50/50 mix of hydrogen peroxide and water for 3 full days.

Some infections a bleach bomb will not touch, I know this from personal experience, absolutely no scratches in my plastics and bleach did nothing.

Hydrogen Peroxide did kill it however.

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I have spent more $ on brewing equipment than my truck cost!

Green beer sucks, let it age/condition/finish and become great before drinking it. WileECoyote

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Things come and go. Good beer will live on for ever ! WileECoyote

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Old 09-05-2013, 07:42 PM   #9
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Just racked this to a tertiary. It still looked pretty much like the photo at the beginning of this post. Slow bubbling in the airlock. About 9 days on the oak and bourbon so wanted to get it off those. Took a taste and not only not sour but pretty tasty. Full bodied, good oakiness in the background, light bourbon, kind of a late strange dryness in the back of the throat after swallow. FG unchanged at 1022 (OG was 1064) over past week despite very slow bubbling. I think it is slow fermentation of the whiskey sugars. Going to leave it in the tertiary for awhile and make sure that's done before bottling. Some fusels present 3 weeks ago are pretty much gone with conditioning without adding much ester flavors (or at least they're covered up by the oak and bourbon). All in all, much better than expected. Anyone have thoughts about that strange "dry" sensation in the back of the throat with swallow...is that typical of any specific off flavor or contaminant. It's subtle but there.

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Old 09-08-2013, 05:22 PM   #10
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Im glad its working out, sounds like your going to have a very good beer when it gets some age on it.

No thoughts here, on the dry sensation in the back of your throat.

Cheers

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I have spent more $ on brewing equipment than my truck cost!

Green beer sucks, let it age/condition/finish and become great before drinking it. WileECoyote

Good/Great beer takes time! if you want a quick beer go to the store or bar!

Things come and go. Good beer will live on for ever ! WileECoyote

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