Fear of Brett contamination

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hlmbrwng

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A friend brewer had stopped brewing beers in his house after trying to brew a lambic. Ever since that brew, and even after trying to wipe down the entire house and cleaning all the equipment, every single beer since has gone sour.

Recently, he and his wife brewed and bottled a beer elsewhere, but they used their own bottles when it was time for bottling (the bottles were cleaned, but stored at their house own house). The beer went sour.

I was given one of these beers, because it still sounded like it would taste good. It was a wheat beer with ginger, that had soured. I brought the bottle home, not thinking much about his contamination story. I am brewing an imperial stout on Sunday, after purchasing lots of new equipment, and now I'm freaked out about the same issue. Is it possible that its just a super strong strain of Brett that they used and that a single bottle could messed up my operation permanently? Should it be no different than opening up any other type of sour beer bottle in the house? Is my fear irrational? :confused:
 

TheMadKing

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I think it's far more likely that they were either not cleaning the right thing, or not cleaning with the right product. My money is on his tubing, and/or not using a proper sanitizer. So I wouldn't go pouring the contaminated beer all over your brewing equipment, but simply opening it should have no effect on your operation.
 

hanuswalrus

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Yes, I believe your fear is irrational. As far as I know, Brett cannot fly. As long as you don't pour that Brett beer all over your new equipment, you should be fine.

I second @TheMadKing also. If I had to guess, your friends likely did not clean their equipment properly between uses. Brett/sour beers should always have dedicated equipment (all things that touch the beer between inoculation and bottling, aside from glass and stainless).
 

beergolf

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Brett or lacto is not some super ninja strain that will infect everything in the house. Proper cleaning and sanitizing and you should be fine. Having extra cold side equipment for those beers is good practice.


I brew brett and sour beers all the time.I also re-use those bottles for clean beers and have never had an unwanted infection.
 

broadbill

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Confession time: I had an infected batch and I continue to use to bucket I had it in. NO problems since. My bottle bucket is also scratched and I've never had a problem with it.

I know this goes against of the conventional wisdom of this forum, but there you go.

I think people go way overboard relative to what is really needed for efficient sanitation.
 

Sailingeric

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I plan on doing a brett beer soon and doing some research the fear of Brett may be overblown. Good sanitation is key as with any brewing. When I brew I sanitize anything touching the beer/ wort and when I am do with it I will clean real good and give it good soak or spray with Starsans before putting it away. Never have had a problem. :mug:
 

blizz81

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My bottle bucket is also scratched and I've never had a problem with it.

I think people go way overboard relative to what is really needed for efficient sanitation.

I mean, what kind of a scratch do you have to have to where you have the thing submerged in sanitizer solution (and / or you are shaking the solution to some degree), and yet somehow there is a cave that is spared where a bunch of strong microbes you don't want happen to be hanging out and are somehow safe?

I'm sure it is a valid concern to some degree and my retort could be "scienced" into defeat, but I kind of laugh about the notion in general.
 

MFWINZLOW

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Confession time: I had an infected batch and I continue to use to bucket I had it in. NO problems since. My bottle bucket is also scratched and I've never had a problem with it.

I know this goes against of the conventional wisdom of this forum, but there you go.

I think people go way overboard relative to what is really needed for efficient sanitation.
I believe it also has everything to do with how tight your sanitizing processes are. Your tattered equipment - used by a person with even slightly sloppy sanitizing practices - would most likely yield very different results than yours.
 

broadbill

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Its a noticable scratch, but not a huge gouge in the bottling bucket. My sanitization process consists of swirling about 1 gallon of Star San (usually of unknown age) around in the buckets before use.
 
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