3 Batches gone bad in a row! Help! - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > 3 Batches gone bad in a row! Help!

Thread Tools
Old 01-10-2009, 09:46 PM   #1
Jan 2007
Posts: 5

I've been brewing for a few years with a friend but recently moved and started doing it on my own. I have tried 3 batches at my new place and all 3 have gotten a white film on the top in secondary and gone very sour very quickly. So far I had a barely drinkable pale ale, a winter ale that was so sour that I tossed it when I went to bottle it and now have another winter ale in secondary that smells like its a lost cause.

I do mainly extract brewing with some grains. I do a full 6 gal. boil, cool with a wart chiller (put in with 15 min left in the boil) and sanitize everything the beer comes in contact with. For my last batch I switched to StarSan and bought a new siphon kit (I had bought the one where you blow through a "sterile" filter and thought maybe that was the problem. I have only seen the problem in the secondary, each batch has been fine when I racked it. I am getting really frustrated and would appreciate any advice some one can offer. Thanks.

Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2009, 09:52 PM   #2
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,886
Liked 8091 Times on 5646 Posts

Sour sounds like a lacto bacillus infection. I'd suggest throwing away all plastic and then bleach/water bombing the rest of the equipment.

Do you have any kind of obvious source of contamination? Like grain stored by the fermenter, or any other problems.

One thought I had is that since the infection is showing up in the secondary, to stop using the secondary for the next batch and buy a new autosiphon and new tubing, and bleach/water the bottles you'll be using and rinse them well before sanitizing.
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2009, 09:54 PM   #3
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Revvy's Avatar
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,941
Liked 3213 Times on 1897 Posts

Well...biggest thing I see is that despite the "sterile" filter you are still using your mouth to siphon..that worries me...

Have you replaced all your hoses? Made sure yor primary and secondary had no scratches?

You don't rinse after sanitizing do you? THat's one of the biggest mistake people do..

I would suggest you get an autosiphon, and use that...to me mouth and siphon, is still risky...
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2009, 09:54 PM   #4
Nov 2007
Sacramento, CA
Posts: 88

Hmm. Just double-check all sanitation (siphons, racking canes, carboys, wort thieves, airlocks, funnels, colanders), make sure you are using the right proportion of StarSan / water, and use vodka in the airlock.

The only other thing I can think of is maybe the source of your malt extract and ingredients is bad. You said you moved, maybe your new LHBS has crappy quality control, but even that doesn't make much sense because anything in the extract would die in the boil. I dunno. Must be sanitation. :\

Good luck

What remorseless emperor commands me?
I no longer govern my soul!

Primary 1: <empty>
Primary 2: <empty>
Primary 3: Brewdimus Prime's "Prehistoricism" Wheat Wine
Secondary: <empty>
Bottled: Brewdimus Prime's Dubbel Abbey Ale, BierMuncher's "Centennial Blonde", Brewdimus Prime's "Big Slammu" Double IPA
Up Next: 60/40 Oat Ale, Breakfast Stout

My satisfactron rating is off the charts.

Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2009, 09:56 PM   #5
jma99's Avatar
Jul 2006
Duluth, MN, You Betcha!
Posts: 378
Liked 15 Times on 13 Posts

I had 5 out of 7 batches go bad until I replaced all my buckets with better bottles.

I thought the buckets were OK, but they must have been harboring some nasties.

Better Bottles rock! Can't scratch em 'cause I can't reach inside.

I now have 12 batches done using my Better Bottles, and all have been good!
God's own drunk, and a fearless man.

Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2009, 10:10 PM   #6
Jan 2007
Posts: 5

I got an auto siphon, and use all glass carboys, no bucket til bottling day, same LHBS, I'm going to buy all new tubing and the bleach bombing sounds like a good idea. Still open to any more ideas or recommendations. Thanks guys !

Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2009, 10:31 PM   #7
Malticulous's Avatar
Aug 2008
St. George Utah
Posts: 4,146
Liked 72 Times on 57 Posts

I bleach bomb most everything every time (except for bottles I just use the sanitation cycle on the dish washer after a brushing.) I have yet to taste a contamination or use any starsan. I keep wanting to buy some, but...
Everything is better with a beer.

Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2009, 10:39 PM   #8
Plan9's Avatar
Jan 2008
Apopka, FL
Posts: 273
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts

Or you could just start brewing lambics
"So don't put a pissed off cat in your bottling bucket. Problem solved." - cheezydemon

Central Florida Home Brewers


Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2009, 12:03 AM   #9
ifishsum's Avatar
Aug 2008
Portland OR
Posts: 1,447
Liked 9 Times on 8 Posts

I like to bleach bomb all of my equipment every 3-4 brews on top of my normal sanitization, just to be sure. Haven't had any problems yet, knock on wood.
"If you're gonna be an ape, be a hairy one" - Spyder

Primary 2: Edwort's Robust Porter
Secondary 1: LW Pale Ale
Secondary 1: Blackened Soul RIS
Kegged: Dead Guy Ale
Kegged: Rye Pale Ale
Kegged: Haus Pale Ale
Kegged: Nut Brown Ale
Kegged: Afrikan Amber
Kegged: Jock Scott Ale
Kegged: Afrikan Amber

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
5 gal batches in a 10 gal MLT CowboyShootist Equipment/Sanitation 7 04-26-2009 09:22 PM
two batches both low o.g. gasman Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 04-26-2009 08:08 PM
2 batches down underwaterdan Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 10 01-10-2009 07:46 AM
10 gal batches BBboomer All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 9 12-31-2006 10:16 PM

Forum Jump