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Old 05-10-2009, 11:12 PM   #1
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Default What is wrong and how do I fix it??

I have had a few (four) brews that have not turned out correctly. None of them concurrent. They were a dortmunder, two newcastle clones (all extract kits), and Edwort's haus ale. All of the beers taste "normal" at bottling time, or so they seemed. They all have the exact same characteristics, except one of the batches was a gusher, the dortmunder.
Ok, the characteristics are:
1. Ring around the bottle, right at the top of the beer. It looks like a bunch of little dots.
2. There is a coating of these "dots" all over the bottle, I need to scrub the bottles with a brush to get them out.
3. They all have the same bitter, antiseptic flavor. The one batch that was the gusher was undrinkable, and I have been able to choke down the latest batches, but they are not quite as bad.
I have never fermented any of these over 70 degrees. I use starsan to sanitize everything with the exception of the bottles, which get the dish washer treatment. I did put a temp probe in the dishwasher and the temp made it over 170 degrees.

I did a bunch of searching, and am thinking it is Bret or lactobasillus, but there was no film on top of the beer when in the fermentor.

Any Ideas?


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Old 05-10-2009, 11:19 PM   #2
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Sounds like your bottle sanitizing is lacking- maybe that's why you're having an infection in the bottles. I'd try cleaning the bottles well and then using a no-rinse sanitizer on them for the next batch.


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Old 05-11-2009, 12:08 AM   #3
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Assuming the little white dots aren't dishwasher detergent........which would cause your exact issues.

When I use the DW to sanitize bottles..........I use no detergent. I do add bleach to the dispenser, and that is it.

You sanitizing your bottlecaps?
Sounds like your dishwasher is getting past the magic temp, plus I doubt that's the problem because odds are that at least some of the beer would be ok...... If it's EVERY bottle, my guess is that the infection is occuring elsewhere in the process. How about your bottling equipment? Racking tube, filler, etc? Are they well sterilized? I store all my equipment in the freezer to make sure nothing grows on it, plus I thouroughly sterilize it as well.

May be time for a scorched earth session with clorox..................put every single thing you use for brewing in the bathtub with a few cups of bleach and soak it for a while......probably do it a couple of times.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:13 AM   #4
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I vote for infected racking tube or fillter.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:20 AM   #5
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I agree with all on it being a problem with your bottle sanitizing.

I use a powder based sanitizer, fill my sink, fill up the bottle and let it sit on the counter for a few hours, then place the bottle upside down on a paper towel or bottle tree.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:21 AM   #6
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I agree with Yooper, sounds like it could be the bottles. I never trusted sanitizing in the dishwasher. The few batches that I did botle I think I baked the bottles in the oven after a bleach solution and rinse.

After a few batches of bottling I got so sick of bottling that I purchased a keg system. So the answer to the second part of your question about how to fix it is to start kegging
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:22 AM   #7
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Yoop, I do plan on using star-san on the next batch of bottles. I have a vinator as well as a bottling tree.
It does seem that some bottles are worse than others, but it may be because it was fresher/greener/newer beer. Kinda like what ewbish said. I do not add any dish detergent to cycle when I sanitize the bottles. As for the caps, they spend about 5-10 minutes in star-san. We do take them out and set them on a paper towel?? Maybe the problem? Like I said before, I do run star san through all of my bottling equipment before I bottle, but I was thinking also a good bleach bath could do some good.
One other thing I was thinking is that maybe cross contamination in the dishwasher? Some bottles have it, and then spread it to the rest while in the the dishwasher? Is that possible? I wouldn't think so because of the high temps attained in the dry cycle.
The white stuff in the the inside of the bottle is key I think. It is almost like a film, but not consistent. The dots could be clumps. They are very close together, with the most being at the top where the beer meets the head space.
What type of infection could this be?
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:41 AM   #8
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histo320, my grandparents live just down the road from you in Hendersonville. You folks are pretty blessed to live in such a beautiful area.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:47 AM   #9
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I bottled a clone of a popular local IIPA and have noticed the "haze" or "cloud" inside the bottles again. Those pesky dots. They don't seemed fused to the bottle as much at this time. The beer has been bottled for seven days now. I tasted one, full carbonation, tastes fine, just green as to be expected. I did have the scum on the bottle that needed the bottle brush to remove it. I had soaked some others that had the same scum in oxyclean for 4 days, and they were clean as new. The same day I bottled the above beer, I bottled "the" apfelwein, and have no dots or scum on any of the bottles. To much alcohol for the nasties to take over?
Anyone know what infection I am fighting?
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:36 AM   #10
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One other thing I have noticed is that the Dots or Film, arranges itself in vertical lines in the bottle around the neck. down the bottle farther they become more erratic, and looking more like a film.


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