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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > new home curse...6infected batches and counting
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:55 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Pascal View Post
thanks billtzk. As far as the switching cleaners and sanitizers & replacing equipment I've tried those. I agree, I'll suck it up and pack the water for next batch in order to eliminate that variable. I figure I'll bring enough for the entire bath though, not just top-up. I'm also changing to glass carboy for primary instead of plastic bucket style primary.

With regard to chloramine, I didn't suspect it was the culprit. My question was if that treatment would kill wild yeast or bacteria that could be causing issues from tap water. After all, it is treated, isn't that what it does?

Yes, that is what it does, but it does not eliminate 100% of all bacteria. The water that comes out of your tap isn't sterile.

It doesn't, for example, kill all parasites either. Cryptosporidium, caused by fecal contaminated water, is fairly resistant.


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Old 12-01-2011, 06:03 AM   #32
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I didn't suspect "sterile" or even sanitized for that matter. However, if water is my issue, it would seem odd (at least to me) that something that persistent could be readily present in such treated water. Prominent enough to kill 6 batches from the 2gl top-up?


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Old 12-01-2011, 06:12 AM   #33
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I'd definitely get the tap water tested. But, in the mean time, it seems a simple experiment might prove enlightening.

If you have some malt extract handy, boil up some tap water and make up an average OG test batch, just a couple of cups of worty stuff. Divide it in three, place one third in a sanitized container and immediately cover with sanitized foil. The next third, mix in a quarter cup or so of untreated tap water and immediately cover tight with sanitized foil. Finally, place the last third in a sanitized container, but leave it exposed for, say, 15 minutes or so, then seal with sanitized foil.

Now you have a control and two test samples. Let 'em simmer at room temp and give them a look every so often to see what happens...

Cheers!
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:13 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by day_trippr View Post
I'd definitely get the tap water tested. But, in the mean time, it seems a simple experiment might prove enlightening.

If you have some malt extract handy, boil up some tap water and make up an average OG test batch, just a couple of cups of worty stuff. Divide it in three, place one third in a sanitized container and immediately cover with sanitized foil. The next third, mix in a quarter cup or so of untreated tap water and immediately cover tight with sanitized foil. Finally, place the last third in a sanitized container, but leave it exposed for, say, 15 minutes or so, then seal with sanitized foil.

Now you have a control and two test samples. Let 'em simmer at room temp and give them a look every so often to see what happens...

Cheers!
Fun. I like it.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:15 AM   #35
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Yeah, that seems like a stretch to me too. That's why I suggested complete disassembly of everything that can be taken apart. Airborne contaminants might be more plausible.

What is your lag time after pitching before fermentation starts? Can you describe your process?

day_trippr's idea seems like a good one too. Don't brew beer, just make some wort like you would for a yeast starter.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:16 AM   #36
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Gold!

It just so happens that my order of DME arrived today.

I will be sure to update in a few days after tying this little test out.

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Old 12-01-2011, 06:24 AM   #37
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@billtzk: If you read my original post, I've brewed a few hundred batches with a loss of around 3. I know how to clean and sanitize, not trying to "stretch" anything too much here.

Lag time for active yeast activation: around 4-10 hours, depending on batch & yeast
Process is described in post.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:43 AM   #38
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I overlooked some elements of your first post, but I believe you. No offense intended. It's just that sometimes we can be blind to what we are most familiar with, especially when it is routine.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:54 AM   #39
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Agree indeed. I appreciate your advice. (and sorry if that last response was a bit snappy)

What worked for years is no longer working, so, adapt. But it hasn't worked so far. Perhaps it's what I'm doing, perhaps not. Don't know yet! Looking forward to trying the test outlined by day_tripper. I just finally received my homebrew order today but now I'm so nervous about brewing a batch I figure a test is best.
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:47 AM   #40
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I have no experience with mold infections or the potential off-flavors they can produce (knock on wood) but I would have a professional come in an test for mold in your home, for your health and secondly your beer. Sounds like you may have a lot of spores floating around in your household air, and that's not good for anything.

No amount of equipment sanitizing will prevent mold spores from the imminent collision of ambient air reaching your sterile wort at some point before fermentation begins.


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