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Old 12-27-2011, 12:39 AM   #1
BradleyBrew
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Default Sour Beer Cross Contamination

Hey everyone, I have been playing with bugs for about 4 months now. Anyways real quick question... Should I be fermenting and storing these brews in a completely separate area then my regular beers? I understand I will need different equipment (bottling bucket, racking crane, etc) but is there any threat of cross contamination while they are fermenting / conditioning?



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Old 12-27-2011, 12:56 AM   #2
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There's definitely a threat. Yeast can be airborne, after all. That said, I suspect the risk to be pretty badly overstated based on my own experiments with sours. I use the same (plastic) bucket and bottling equipment for everything, and normal cleaning procedures--not even very strict ones--haven't failed me yet. I have yet to have one sour beer that wasn't supposed to be that way. More's the pity.

Anyway, the precautions you take don't need to extend to the beer while it's conditioning. Once things are in bottles there's nothing else getting in.


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Old 12-27-2011, 01:45 AM   #3
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I ferment in the same fridge, sours and non sours and have not had an issue yet. I actually have 10 gallons of all brett in my fridge with a freshly fermenting Hefe.
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:42 AM   #4
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sounds good.. I just did not want to be overlooking something silly. Thanks!
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:55 AM   #5
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I age mine in the same location. Figure there is always wild yeast and bacteria in the air so if you normally can ferment a clean beer you should be able to do it next to your sour. Just have separate equipment like all your plastics and rubber stoppers or hoses should be just for sours.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:50 PM   #6
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We ferment in a rock/wood cellar, There are abundant wild yeasts there, the only problems i have with cross-contamination is when I open the fermentors for an extended period in the cellar. Typically if I have something open in the cellar for that long, it has some problem anyway, so it ends up getting inoculated with the bugs and I will simply add it to my wild brews or start another one.

If I want to check gravity on a saccharomyces only brew, I will remove it from the cellar, it's typically ready for bottling when this needs done anyway. I use all the same stuff to handle the wilds as I do the more conventional brews.


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