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Old 12-02-2010, 05:42 PM   #1
Jan 2009
Elmhurst, IL, IL
Posts: 631
Liked 14 Times on 11 Posts

Here is the story, I have a 15 gallon plastic conical that I have been using for over a year with no issues. Things got messed up about 5 weeks ago when I had a batch of beer that was ready and I needed to rack it and carbonate it for a party but I was sick as hell. So I forced myself out of bed and racked the beer with no issues. Usually once I rack the beer I rinse the conical out with hot tap water to remove the gunk and trub, flush everything and then mix up a gallon of one step and was it out again. Then before I brew again I take all the valves off clean them in some fresh one step put them back on then wash the fermenter with the one step rinse with water then fill with a sanitizer and let sit while I am brewing.

Well again I was sick as a dog and thought that I did my pre clean rinse after racking the beer. However when I went to brew the next weekend and opened the fermenter I almost died! The trub and about 1/2" of beer and all my hoses that I used were still in the conical and the beer has such a strong vinegar smell that it burned my eyes and I almost lost my lunch. It was just rancid and white/grey powdery mold was everywhere.

Here is what I did to clean the fermenter. Filled the fermenter with hot water and some oxyclean and let sit. Then with a sponge removed all the mold and crap and dumped and rinsed over and over until all the visible debris was removed. Then I cleaned it with one step, bleach mix, my steam cleaner, boiling water, and finished it off with star san. Rinsing with clean water between every step but the boiling water. And before I filled it again I put 10 gallons of fresh star san in and let it sit on the brew day for a good 6 hours.

So it looked good and smelled good once cleaned but when I racked my Fat Tire clone last night I was immediately hit with a sweet sour smell. So I pulled a sample and yet she is sour. It's not horrible and I was able to drink the sample and I do like sours. So I racked 1/2 into a keg and 1/2 into a carboy.

2 questions I have is what else can I do to clean this thing to kill these bugs? And for the current beer would pitching a sour yeast blend into the carboy batch and putting it away for a few months work to create a sour or would I just end up with vinegar or something undrinkable.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated!


shat happens

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Old 12-02-2010, 06:07 PM   #2
Aug 2008
Portland OR
Posts: 5,387
Liked 63 Times on 59 Posts

Strong bleach solution.

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