Infection Help with a Porter (pellicle?) - Home Brew Forums

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Old 10-03-2011, 01:01 AM   #1
Apr 2011
Stockton, Ca
Posts: 48

Hey everyone I have my first infection. After about 20 brews under my belt this showed up in my newest Porter. I made it and it sat for 4 weeks in the primary and after one week in the secondary this happened almost overnight, it has nothing on top of it up until last check on Thursday. It doesn't smell bad, but not super good either. I have not tasted it. Final Gravity was high at 1.02. My question is two-fold.

1. If it is infected as I suspect, is the bottom salvageable, I was planning on bottling all of it and letting them sit for a month or more. I read on here that you can save it young and drink it, but there is almost no was unless I keg it and even then, it would take me a month or better to give it away and drink it. So what do I do? Can I bottle off the bottom? Keg it? or dump it? Will it spread once kegged/bottled? Gushers?

2. How do I sanitize all my stuff, obviously something is infected in my tubing, ditch it all, chlorine bath? Right now I use star san in proper quantities, and I always thought I was anal about sanitation. (guess not). I am planning on ditching my tubing and chlorine bath my other things for about an hour in a 5 gal bucket.

Any help would be great.
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:10 AM   #2
Mar 2010
Posts: 7,610
Liked 630 Times on 551 Posts

Hard to tell what is going on. Not sure I would be worried. Check gravity, and taste sample, and come back in a week and see if anything has changed.

Might be a Brett infection ..... if it is, ride it out, it might be a great beer.

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Old 10-03-2011, 03:20 AM   #3
Aug 2008
, New York
Posts: 1,565
Liked 132 Times on 82 Posts

Definitely infected. Looks like the start of lacto bugs. If it tastes good now, drink up.

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Old 10-03-2011, 05:42 AM   #4
Feb 2011
, Australia
Posts: 607
Liked 33 Times on 28 Posts

Those images look like the effect of Lactic acid bacteria.

This bacteria is the most frequently encountered beerspoilage bacteria, and can render beer undrinkable due to the production of lactic acid, diacetyl, and turbidity.

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Old 10-04-2011, 01:21 AM   #5
Dec 2010
Langley, BC
Posts: 934
Liked 24 Times on 23 Posts

How does it taste?

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Old 10-04-2011, 01:35 PM   #6
Aug 2011
Trois-Rivières, Québec
Posts: 15

I don't think you need to change your cleaning processes. Probably you are doing your manipulations like us, in your kitchen so it's normal to have contaminations sometimes, don't worry!

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Old 10-04-2011, 02:03 PM   #7
Registered User
Jul 2009
Keller, Texas
Posts: 4,882
Liked 254 Times on 196 Posts

I agree -- it looks like lacto. Rack underneath and give it a taste. If it tastes good you have a couple choices. You can let it keep souring or you can bottle it. IF it is only lacto then you should be fine to bottle without creating bombs. The problem though is that brett might show up later and decide to get busy which probably would create bombs over time. Brett is probably not going to show up in a month so I think you might be ok if you bottled it and drank it right away. However it's always a risk.

If you can afford to wait I say ride it out for 6-12 months. You will have a nice sour porter. If you don't like it I'm sure you'll be able to find other brewers happy to trade you beers for it.

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Old 10-04-2011, 02:53 PM   #8
Apr 2011
Stockton, Ca
Posts: 48

Thanks for all the input, 2 days later the infection doesn't seem to have grown. However, This is my first rodeo, so I have not idea. Here is my plan of action. I would love to let it sit for 12 months, but that's a long time and I am impatient.

Haven't tasted the beer yet, but tonight I will taste the beer (and if it's good) and begin to bottle it. Couple questions. My bucket I use to bottle doesn't have a spigot so I just auto-syphon it. My bucket has never seen infection, so should I put the infected beer that I rack off the bottom into the "clean bucket"

Now for preventative measures, right now the things that have touched this beer after pitching yeast are: Auto-syphon, tubing, primary, and secondary, and airlocks (didn't reall "touch" it). Do I throw out all of it or can I, wash them and let those sit in bleach solution then rinse, rinse rinse, and a final star san? Also I am gonna throw out tubing!

Thanks for all the help.

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Old 10-06-2011, 02:54 AM   #9
Apr 2011
Stockton, Ca
Posts: 48

So, I bottled it today bottled the bottom 2/3. It tasted ok not sour, not great either. I took extra precautions to sanitize and I'm still unsure about the auto siphon if o can still reuse it I might bleach it, is that a good idea?

I'll keep everyone notified if after 3 weeks, to see if its good.

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Old 10-06-2011, 07:23 AM   #10
Jun 2010
Posts: 481
Liked 15 Times on 13 Posts

Well, bleach is a good sanitizer in the proper proportions. But make sure to really rinse it well with hot, hot water. Not boiling, but where you wouldnt want your hand in it. My thought would be, replace your soft tubing. Your autosiphon you should be able to save.
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