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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > "The Ring" = contamination?
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:42 PM   #1
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Default "The Ring" = contamination?

Big Charlie P. in his classic book on homebrewing wrote that a visible ring formed at the liquid line in the bottle is an indicator that the batch may be contaminated.

My 2 contaminated batches formed "the ring" after about a week of bottle conditioning. I have a batch conditioning now that has likewise formed the ring, and this has me all worried. However, I did closely inspect bottles from 7 mature batches I have on hand and 3 of the 7 also has visible rings. None of these beers taste contaminated or were inoculated with bacteria. So my question is what people think about "the ring" in beer bottles and if this indeed a sign of contamination, or just more outdated info. Thanks!

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Old 09-04-2010, 10:36 PM   #2
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Big Charlie P. in his classic book on homebrewing wrote that a visible ring formed at the liquid line in the bottle is an indicator that the batch may be contaminated.

My 2 contaminated batches formed "the ring" after about a week of bottle conditioning. I have a batch conditioning now that has likewise formed the ring, and this has me all worried. However, I did closely inspect bottles from 7 mature batches I have on hand and 3 of the 7 also has visible rings. None of these beers taste contaminated or were inoculated with bacteria. So my question is what people think about "the ring" in beer bottles and if this indeed a sign of contamination, or just more outdated info. Thanks!
maybe or maybe not
wait and see
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Old 09-04-2010, 10:36 PM   #3
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Hard Water leaving a mark maybe? Other than that possibility, maybe it is an infection which hasn't developed a taste yet. What's the oldest batch you have with that marking on it?

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Old 09-04-2010, 10:41 PM   #4
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*phone rings*

"seven days"

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Old 09-04-2010, 11:00 PM   #5
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It could also be a mini-kreusan from whatever sugar you used to bottle. I understand DME leaves a ring. That would make it a coincidence that you had rings and contamination at the same times.

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Old 09-05-2010, 12:12 AM   #6
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*phone rings*

"seven days"


LOL.

I've seen it before but never heard it was a sign of infection though. Only time will tell. Or you could pour a beer into a sanitized jar and aerate it to see if the culure grows.... Just a thought.
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Old 09-05-2010, 02:19 AM   #7
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A couple of the beers that have "the ring" are over 3 months in the bottle and taste great.

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Old 09-05-2010, 02:30 AM   #8
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The sad thing about papazian and even palmer, is that they often present the "worst case" scenarios about things, WITHOUT pointing out the alternatives. This ends up often causing undo agitation to new brewers.

You said the beers tasted great...that more than likely means they AREN'T infected....

DiD you actually taste the so-called "infected batches" that had rings? More than likely it was simply bottle krausens, and not an infection at all. carbonation is a mini fermentation and it often happens, and I believe happnes much more frequently that people realize, it is just that other than new brewers bottling their first batch and hovering over them like an expectant mother, most brewers stick the bottles in box, and shove them in a dark closet for 3 weeks...so they don't see them form and fall....

ALe yeast is top fermenting..that means during the process the first thing it does is build a little house...and towards the end it falls.

It's normal..and it will fall (it probably already has, because it usually forms and falls quite quickly) and it basically becomes the sediment layer at the bottom of a bottle conditioned bottle of beer.

It's really noticeably in bottles primed with dme...but it is normal...

I had a couple san pelligrino bottles that I put a couple of saisons in them. And since they were only a few ounces they formed really quick on those too, within only a couple hours after I bottled, and fell by the time I woke up the next morning.

I talk about that here- Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning.

Don't be to quick to declare somethign "wrong" just because you read something in a book. As it's been proven a lot on here, even authors don't tell the whole story, and later end up having to revise things.

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Old 09-05-2010, 03:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy
The sad thing about papazian and even palmer, is that they often present the "worst case" scenarios about things, WITHOUT pointing out the alternatives. This ends up often causing undo agitation to new brewers.
Word.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy
You said the beers tasted great...that more than likely means they AREN'T infected....
Word #2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy
Don't be to quick to declare somethign "wrong" just because you read something in a book. As it's been proven a lot on here, even authors don't tell the whole story, and later end up having to revise things.
Word #3.

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The new brewers tend to worry too much around here, and I understand why, but you guys need to just relax. Just keep it sterile and you'll be fine.
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:20 AM   #10
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DiD you actually taste the so-called "infected batches" that had rings?

Oh yeah, the two that had the rings and were infected tasted like compost pile meets vinegar. They never cleared after 6 weeks in the bottle, and their head was like diet Mt. Dew. So I think its fair to say they were contaminated. Like I said before, I do have 3 other batches that have been in the bottle for 8 weeks plus (with "the ring") and they taste great. So when I look back at this thread, it does appear that I answered my own question in the original post, but I am interested in other people's views.
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