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Old 12-29-2009, 10:16 PM   #1
Bradinator's Avatar
Oct 2008
Calgary, AB
Posts: 655
Liked 25 Times on 22 Posts

Hi all,

This isn't the standard "Oh god my beer!" thread, but more a general question about determining whether or not a beer is truly infected and destined for the toilet.

Typically after the wort is moved the fermentor and the yeast pitched I practice a rigid -HANDS OFF- policy until bottling day (usually 3-6 weeks), when I will move it from the primary into a bottling bucket then into bottles.

My recent concern is that I found out my sanitizing practices have been flawed. I have been improperly storing and reusing my star-san solution so it may not have been sanitizing at all. I did not notice any funky growths and no off-smells during the fermentation, though I was not monitoring the beers because I was not concerned at this point.

So here are my questions:

Are all infections visible? Can you have a hidden infection in a beer? What are some of the tell-tale signs of an infected batch so when I finally crack one of them open I will know what to look for? Can the be subtle or are all infections quite obvious when you taste it?

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Old 12-29-2009, 10:27 PM   #2
Almaigan Brewing Co.
Shooter's Avatar
Dec 2008
Dublin (No, not that Dublin)
Posts: 4,562
Liked 271 Times on 209 Posts

Well, if you have a gusher type infection in the bottle you probably won't taste it, but you'll me!
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. - C. S. Lewis, English essayist & juvenile novelist (1898 - 1963)

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Old 12-29-2009, 11:14 PM   #3
malkore's Avatar
Jun 2007
Posts: 6,922
Liked 37 Times on 35 Posts

most infections leave you with sour tasting and smelling beer. some will smell just like vinegar (acetobacter infection from fruit flies I think).

and most beer turns out fine.
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10

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