I have 3 plastic buckets (2 Coopers + another one thats not a pail). I really like them all since they are easy to transport, easy to clean and 2 of them have spigots. I do not want to throw them out but I am in the process of getting 5 & 6.5 gallon carboys.
Here is one kind of "infection" that I sometimes get:
So far this has not caused any off flavors to my beers and I've drank a few batches without any problems.
My very first infection came from a bucket that was kept inside a cooler with some water. I think it developed mold and somehow it got inside the beer (maybe when I opened to peak inside). This was the only batch that I dumped since it still tasted like ass after 2 months in bottles.
This picture is from someone else on the forum but it looks identical to me:
Here is a picture I took yesterday of my 3/14 batch of Half Wit. I noticed with my British Pale Ale that it was going fine and at 2.5 weeks it started getting some funkiness (I believe it is the first kind, white filmsy kind of stuff). Same thing happened to Half Wit but it looks completely different:
The primary that I emptied last week I filled to the brim with hot tap water (~140F) and let it sit for some time. I than added some Coopers sanitizer that I still had from my original equipment kit purchase. It contains Sodium Percarbonate and I left it sitting for ~36 hours. Next step that I did I filled my bucket 95% with used, old Starsan and letting it sit for a few days.
After this I plan to use hot tap water on it again and thinking of buying more sanitizers from AHS - Chloromelamine Sanitizer, Potassium Metabisulphite. After that I guess I can go for another Starsan run but this time with brand new solution.
The Starsan solution I've been using has been at least 2 months old and it was kept covered for a few weeks in my 3rd (non Coopers) bucket filled to the brim for a few weeks. I also kept it in my bottling bucket which has no cover so it might not be as strong as it should be.
I've back traced all my brewing procedures and here are possible infection sources:
1) I have good tap water but always filtered with Brita filters and I only washed out the pitcher I dont think Ive sanitized it every time. I will change that step.
2) Ive used old empty plastic gallons jugs to measure the amount of water I've used. I usually fill them up with old Starsan and let them sit for a few mins. I will try nuking them harder before using them again in new Starsan solution.
3) I've used a stainless steel strainer to pour the wort from the pot to the primary and I've always put it into Starsan for a few mins. Next time I will boil it.
4) I plan to go over everything in my kitchen with Starsan
5) Another option is buying some bleach
What do you think of this plan and is using Chloromelamine Sanitizer, Potassium Metabisulphite excessive or can it help me.
I thought this was an infection in October but since I've learned that its just the way French Saison yeasties like to roll.
Can anyone suggest what kind of infections they might be? I've heard some say it could be mold and some say its lacto (first one)