I need some advice on where I might have screwed up.

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

iR Polly

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Location
Randfontein South Africa
Back in January I bought a secondhand BIAB setup including two fermenters, and the associated must haves. I read John Palmer's How to brew, and bought a Pale Blonde Ale partial mash from my local home brew shop. That Sunday I brewed according to the recipe the only difference being I made a yeast starter with the DME (but I never checked the starter temp might have been a bit hot I'd guess 45°c).

Monday I got home rather late checked my brew and saw no signs of yeast activity Tuesday I visited the home brew shop to buy some more yeast, the owner told me it might just be a slow start and not to worry too much. When I got home I saw very slow activity (one bubble every 2 minutes in my S-type airlock) so I decided to forgo adding more yeast. a week later my gravity reached 1.005 that Sunday (2 weeks after brew) I racked to second fermenter, a week Later I bottled(4 Feb), on bottling I tasted it and the taste reminded me of my gran's rhubarb beer.

Soooo I waited with baited breath to taste my 1st brew after a week I decided to try one popped it in the fridge the day before and when I opened it it gushed like a teenager in love over her crush, (I used coopers carbonation drops 1 per bottle) and the taste was foul. I spoke to a few people and they told me to let it mature a bit more which I did but alas after a month the taste is just as foul (a very bitter metallic taste). When I open it it still gushes like mad, and the sediment floats throughout the bottle, my other brews haven't done this and the sediment at the bottom of the bottle is not as thick this batch (about 5mm).

Yes everything was clean an sterilized, the only thing I think I messed up was my yeast starter but why the funny flavor? it doesn't have a cardboard taste like oxidized beer. I have had a few good beers since but I'd like to know the cause as to avoid in future.
 

Rob2010SS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
2,262
Reaction score
706
Location
Spring Grove
Almost sounds like an infection to me. If it was one bottle I wouldn't know but being in every bottle, the only thing I can think of that would explain gusher and foul taste is an infection of some sort.

What was your cleaning/sanitization process during bottling?

The other variable I'm not familiar with is the cooper's carbonation drops. I don't know much about these as the ones I've bottled I've always done priming sugar measured out specifically for the CO2 volume I want. Doing a quick search though, I see quite a few people who have used these and ended up with an overcarbonated brew. This could be part of your issue.

The foul taste though, still sounds like infection. Detail out your process for bottling - how you cleaned, how you sanitized, new or used bottles, how'd you fill the bottles, how'd you cap, etc. List every detail you can think of, it may help trigger someone to pinpoint what the issue was.
 

cactusgarrett

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
1,821
Reaction score
517
Location
Madison, WI
Gushers are often associated with an infection, and for the reasons Rob laid out, i would put my money there. Did you taste along the way or only after bottling? It's possible that you didn't have viable yeast due to your hot starter, and the resulting delay in fermentation kick off opened the door to an infection (or spontaneous fermentation by something other than your selected sacc).

Other than that (infection aside), I would suggest taking grav readings and only consider bottling after you've obtained the same reading on two consecutive readings. Even though you were at 1.005, an error in that reading or even a drop of 0.002 can contribute more carbonation than you'd think.
 

mongoose33

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
7,944
Reaction score
7,270
Location
Platteville, WI
The final gravity at 1.005 is a clue to me that it's infected. I once had a porter that, upon bottling (carbed in a keg) was at 1.020, which was about right. After I opened some bottles later, gushers.

I degassed the beer and measured its gravity. Down to 1.013, which means something in there moved it down 7 gravity points.

A gravity of 1.005 sounds awfully like an infection.
 
OP
iR Polly

iR Polly

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Location
Randfontein South Africa
Almost sounds like an infection to me. If it was one bottle I wouldn't know but being in every bottle, the only thing I can think of that would explain gusher and foul taste is an infection of some sort.

What was your cleaning/sanitization process during bottling?

The other variable I'm not familiar with is the cooper's carbonation drops. I don't know much about these as the ones I've bottled I've always done priming sugar measured out specifically for the CO2 volume I want. Doing a quick search though, I see quite a few people who have used these and ended up with an overcarbonated brew. This could be part of your issue.

The foul taste though, still sounds like infection. Detail out your process for bottling - how you cleaned, how you sanitized, new or used bottles, how'd you fill the bottles, how'd you cap, etc. List every detail you can think of, it may help trigger someone to pinpoint what the issue was.
1st Off it was all Bottles I bought with the secondhand setup, secondly the bottles and most of the gear was filthy, I washed it first with dishwasher soap in warm water to get the mold and solids out then with cleaner, then used perasan sanitize (got this with all the stuff).
Filling was via siphon and filler tube (also washed and sanitized) Caps were also sanitized prior to use
 
OP
iR Polly

iR Polly

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Location
Randfontein South Africa
It sounds like you killed your yeast with a super hot temperature, and then wild wild/bacteria took hold and started fermentation. It’s infected, I’m afraid.

Next time, never let your yeast/fermentation get above 20C.
so basically chuck it?
 
OP
iR Polly

iR Polly

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Location
Randfontein South Africa
The final gravity at 1.005 is a clue to me that it's infected. I once had a porter that, upon bottling (carbed in a keg) was at 1.020, which was about right. After I opened some bottles later, gushers.

I degassed the beer and measured its gravity. Down to 1.013, which means something in there moved it down 7 gravity points.

A gravity of 1.005 sounds awfully like an infection.
My gravity was at 1.005 for 4 days before I bottled, I checked the gravity of a opened bottle and it is now below 0.900 (My hydrometer does not go below that)
 

cactusgarrett

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
1,821
Reaction score
517
Location
Madison, WI
If it's undrinkable, toss it for sure. Sometimes you get serendipitous infections that turn a batch sour or funky, but despite this for sure being an infection, it's not for the better. Very, VERY rarely will you ever experience a typical beer (regular sacc yeast) finish below 1.005 (or around there).
 
OP
iR Polly

iR Polly

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Location
Randfontein South Africa
Tried to upload a video, 1st it was to large (6.6MB mp4), then unsupported format (3.1MB mp4), what are the rules regarding video?
 

Rob2010SS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
2,262
Reaction score
706
Location
Spring Grove
@iR Polly I would chuck it and chalk it up to a learning experience if it's not drinkable. I actually just dumped my first batch yesterday. I experimented and it came out bad so I dumped a full 5 gallon keg of it.

I know it's hind sight but my personal opinion is that if you got anything with mold on it, I would not use it for brewing or bottling. Even if you clean it and sanitize it. People may disagree but to me it's not worth the risk.
 

bleme

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Messages
4,620
Reaction score
2,682
Location
Visalia
I always toss bottles that have gunk in them, but I have way too many bottles anyway. Only way to kill that stuff for sure is to bake or boil them.

I would dump this batch for sure and do your best to replace those bottles. If you have to reuse those bottles, I would clean them, boil them for 15 minutes, then clean again and sanitize.

Sometimes cleaning seems like 80% of this hobby...
 
OP
iR Polly

iR Polly

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Location
Randfontein South Africa
I always toss bottles that have gunk in them, but I have way too many bottles anyway. Only way to kill that stuff for sure is to bake or boil them.

I would dump this batch for sure and do your best to replace those bottles. If you have to reuse those bottles, I would clean them, boil them for 15 minutes, then clean again and sanitize.

Sometimes cleaning seems like 80% of this hobby...
I don't think it is the bottles I did a lager the next weekend and it came out ok same batch of bottles same cleaning
 
OP
iR Polly

iR Polly

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Location
Randfontein South Africa
It sounds like you killed your yeast with a super hot temperature, and then wild wild/bacteria took hold and started fermentation. It’s infected, I’m afraid.

Next time, never let your yeast/fermentation get above 20C.
So if I had a spare sachet of US-05 on hand I could have saved my brew by sprinkling the wort when I saw no action the next morning?
 

mredge73

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2011
Messages
1,339
Reaction score
229
Location
La Porte
Unless there is a bunch of adjuncts in the kit like sugar, beer yeast won't usually get as low as 1.005.
And it is very unusual for a beer to get down to 0.900.

I would put your second hand equipment through rigorous cleaning; previous owner may have made sour beers.
First remove any visual gunk and debris. Boil small SS parts and trash most plastic pieces. On things that you cannot boil like glass carboys, use an alkaline cleaner (like bleach or other high PH oxidizers) first. Rinse well. Then switch to a no-rinse acid sanitizer like starsan.
 

BrewInspector

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
334
Reaction score
163
Location
Charlotte
No. Adding the 2nd 05 would not have saved the brew... or it might have temporarily. It is not unusual to see no signs of fermentation 24-48 hours after pitching. Yeast will be in a growth phase and you may not see anything.

Had you pitched the 05 it might have overwhelmed an infection and you just wouldn't know immediately that it had taken hold possibly showing its presence later.

Did you degas the sample from the bottle before taking your last hydrometer reading?
 

seatazzz

Well-Known Bloviator & Pontificator
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
2,201
Reaction score
2,220
Location
Seattle
Gravity below 1.00, with gushing bottles, definitely screams infection to me. You'd be amazed at where those little infectious bacterial buggers can hide. You'll hear it many times, and read it many more, but good (almost maniacal) sanitation practices are essential to homebrewing. A good bleach water soak overnight will take care of most of it (as said above, trash anything "soft" plastic like vinyl and replace), rinse extremely well with clean water, sanitize with starsan, and try again. A vinator (bottle washer) is cheap and works great to clean bottles.
 
OP
iR Polly

iR Polly

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Location
Randfontein South Africa
No. Adding the 2nd 05 would not have saved the brew... or it might have temporarily. It is not unusual to see no signs of fermentation 24-48 hours after pitching. Yeast will be in a growth phase and you may not see anything.

Had you pitched the 05 it might have overwhelmed an infection and you just wouldn't know immediately that it had taken hold possibly showing its presence later.

Did you degas the sample from the bottle before taking your last hydrometer reading?
Nope didn't degas
 

eadavis80

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2014
Messages
1,933
Reaction score
259
Yeah, if you're at below 1.000 for an FG and all the bottles are gushers and the gravity was 1.005 on bottling day (which itself seems low) it certainly sounds like you had an infection. I know it sucks to brew and bottle and then lose your beer. However, if you've used the same set of bottles in other batches and those beers are fine, maybe something happened on bottling day itself like the bucket or spigot got something in there on accident. I had a similar thing with stouts. I bottled with a "stable" gravity of 1.030, but 4-5 weeks into bottles they were all gushers and gravity was 1.015. The beer tasted okay, but it was way too carbonated and embarrassing to have to wait 10 minutes for a beer to settle. I ended up dumping about 25 bottles down the drain. Sucked.
 

whiskeyjack

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2011
Messages
266
Reaction score
68
Location
quincy
If infections continue get rid of all your plastics and as previously mentioned boil/sanitize what you can't get rid of. It's pretty hard to get an infection if you use some form of sanitizer, and your equipment is clean. I would say it's either your yeast were dead, or your equipment was dirty or both
 

hammy1983

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Messages
63
Reaction score
22
its not the bottles. Your infection happened way before. If it was the bottles, and after your cleaning process you described, you'd have some that would be fine.
 

cactusgarrett

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
1,821
Reaction score
517
Location
Madison, WI
Had you pitched the 05 it might have overwhelmed an infection and you just wouldn't know immediately that it had taken hold possibly showing its presence later.
This. Having a quick, strong ferment battles any downstream infection, but it doesn't mean infections or their causes aren't present - it's just that they might not be perceived or take hold due to the pH drop and alcohol presence that result from fermentation.
 

mredge73

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2011
Messages
1,339
Reaction score
229
Location
La Porte
All my bottles look the same 12 -15mm sediment at the bottom
That is a lot, my guess is that you got a wild yeast infection from the second hand equipment used previously for sour beers and then you bottled early.
For all this stuff to be in suspension when you bottled, you had to have on-going yeast activity with a low flocculating yeast.
Wild yeast like Brettanomyces do not flocculate well, meaning that they remain in suspension for extended periods of time and end up at the bottom of your bottle. You have to use techniques like cold crashing or add finings to get them to drop out in the fermentor.
 

PianoMan

My Faak it-list is longer then my Bucket list
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
11,918
Reaction score
14,606
Location
Austin Husker Fan!
As others say, clearly somewhere in the post boil but pre-bottling phase a bug got in causing the infection. I use carb drops with no issues. I do spray my hands with Starsans, along with the caps and bottles. Yes, 3/4in of sediment is ALOT for a bottle.

I don't know your process but keep a 1/2 Homer bucket of sanitizer on hand at all times. Everything that touches my wort/beer goes through it. Racking cane, tubing, spigots, spoons, strainers and hands..among other things. Remember anything and everything must be sanitized that touches post-boiled wort/beer or, for me, the outside of the fermenters before opening.

I've leared to toss any bottles I see mold/build up solidified at the bottle. Rinse your bottles 3x right AFTER drinking and you will not have a build up issue again.

Sorry for your loss but retrace your steps and make corrections you now know about, which may be wrong. Once you solve the sanitation issues you're 90% of the way to making good to great beer.

BTW, I've been fermenting in plastic buckets for 4yrs now also with no really noticeable issues.
 
Last edited:

PianoMan

My Faak it-list is longer then my Bucket list
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
11,918
Reaction score
14,606
Location
Austin Husker Fan!
Had you pitched the 05 it might have overwhelmed an infection and you just wouldn't know immediately that it had taken hold possibly showing its presence later.
Sorry but no. I've repitched yeast for multiple reasons as members suggested. Never has it done anything except when I clearly killed the original yeast prior to piching. But, in this case, there was zero gravity drop after a week.

The chemicals the bacteria added to the finshed product would still be there even if he took the beer and pasteurized it to 175F killing the bugs prior to bottling.
 

cactusgarrett

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
1,821
Reaction score
517
Location
Madison, WI
Sorry but no.
I think we're arguing the same thing. I got the impression that BrewInspector was suggesting that had 05 been pitched, yielding a more "typical" fermentation, it would have swayed the batch towards something more resembling the original target, not the foul (bitter & metallic) taste that resulted. Likely still would have gushed, and have off-flavors, but not as prominent.
 

bleme

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Messages
4,620
Reaction score
2,682
Location
Visalia
When I first started brewing, I was on my 4th batch before I realized that the tip of the bottling wand came off and there was 3 batches worth of gunk in there. It's hard to tell what got missed in your original clean, but something did.

I suggest giving all your infected bottles to your friends. It will keep them from constantly begging you for beer in the future. ;)
 
OP
iR Polly

iR Polly

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Location
Randfontein South Africa
When I first started brewing, I was on my 4th batch before I realized that the tip of the bottling wand came off and there was 3 batches worth of gunk in there. It's hard to tell what got missed in your original clean, but something did.

I suggest giving all your infected bottles to your friends. It will keep them from constantly begging you for beer in the future. ;)
I actually have a few to one of my co-workers he reckons they are drinkable
 

PianoMan

My Faak it-list is longer then my Bucket list
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
11,918
Reaction score
14,606
Location
Austin Husker Fan!
Drink and a show! Actually that's not all that bad. Had some retail beers that shot to the ceiling. That sediment is odd tho. It's not going to get better. It's up to you if it's drinkable. I have no shame in dumping sub par beers. It's a hobby and all hobbies have a price to pay.
 
Top