Contaminated fermentation vessel...is it possible?

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davidcaz

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Earlier this summer I set out to brew an Orange Zest Coriander Flavoured Whitbier. I fermented it in a Coopers brand fermentation vessel that a friend gave me, the bucket had a loose fitting lid. As it was a busy summer I forgot about the wort after fermentation started, and eventually some fruit flies got in and turned the beer into vinegar as well a birthed a few generations. Quite gross really. Anyway, it took me a few monthes to get up the confidence to use that particular fermenter again though it was cleaned and sanitized with Iodophor. Last month I began to use it again:

The first beer I attempted was a graff type, apple cider/brown ale hybrid with smoked malts. The beer turned into vinegar within two weeks. So i cleaned it again and sanitized it with Iodophor and the next time brewed an English Mild. This beer also is tasting quite sour at two weeks.


I have been brewing several successful batches with my glass carboys, and also even with a basic 5 gallon bucket. But, with this bucket i am 3 for 3 for brew failures, though I had four successful batches before the fruit fly incident. Do you think its the bucket? Is it possible that the sour bacteria has crept into some hard to sanitize nook or cranny not unlike some lambic cask? I appreciate the bucket bc it has easy to read measuring units and is transparent. Now am beginning to think it is fit for the pit.

I usually sanitize by presoaking all instrument and vessels in Iodophor/water solution for several minutes.


Thanks
 

JohnSand

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True. It is good practice to replace all plastics after an infection: hoses, bottling wands fermenter. I know it's painful, but it's cheaper than ruining more batches. I've been through it too.
 
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Remember, bacteria is microscopic. All you need is a microscopic scratch for it to hide from the cleaning and sanitizing in. As soon as new food is available, it'll wake up and start feeding/reproducing. Whether it was infected before you got it or not, you'll never know, since flies got into it. Time to buy a new fermenter. Buckets are fairly cheap, stop wasting money on ingredients.
 
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davidcaz

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Thanks for your help in figuring this out. Makes it easier to start again and have a little hope that it wont be infected *again*.
 
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