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Infected Beer Through Keg - Is it Safe?

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kenche

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So after 14 batches without an infection, I cracked opened my primary tonight and was greted by a stanky-a$$ smell, and a small layer of bacterial growth.

As per advice read countless of times, I racked the beer from under the infection. As I wasn't planning a secondary for this batch, I racked into a cornie.

My question is whether it is advised to pour an infected batch through my kegerator. I am obviously worried that I may infect my beer lines / faucet.

What is the consensus?
 

Bob

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So...you're planning to drink this anyway? Er, okay.

If the beer is infected, it's going to infect whatever it touches. So yeah, your lines, tap, faucet, all of it are going to be infected. And it's gonna be a cast-iron bitch to get rid of the nasties after you introduce them. That's why smart brewers keep their sour beer equipment seperate from the stuff they use to brew "regular" beers. Maybe I'm being a drama queen (king?), but I utterly fail to trust my ability to clean anything that has touched bacterially infected beer short of boiling or autoclaving it. ;)

I wouldn't let the infected batch anywhere near my draught system, unless I wanted to dedicate one line - from tap to faucet - to sour beers for ever more.

Cheers,

Bob
 

broadbill

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kenche said:
As per advice read countless of times, I racked the beer from under the infection.
Is this actually recommended by anyone? I wouldn't think it could possibly work. In similar experiences I have had with bacterial contamination in laboratory cell culture (no homebrew experience with contamination yet!), once bacteria are in there, there is NOTHING you can do to get rid of them.

Even if the bacteria where localized to the surface of the beer I would think that pushing a racking cane through the surface would pick up enough bacteria to infect the supposedly non-contaiminated beer flowing through it.
 
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kenche

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I have read countless times on this forum that you should never dump your beer, until you are sure that it was affected. Mould growth on the surface of the beer may not affect the flavour underneath.

I agree however that if the beer tastes sour or vinegary after secondary conditioning, then it should be dumped. However, I secondary in the cornie and usually serve from the same cornie.

I guess that I will just manually pull a sample out and taste it. If it is off, it gets dumped.

I guess that I will also have to replace all of my plactics that were in contact with the infected beer.
 

Soulive

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kenche said:
I have read countless times on this forum that you should never dump your beer, until you are sure that it was affected. Mould growth on the surface of the beer may not affect the flavour underneath.
I agree. It ain't over til its over. Never say die! :rockin:
 

CatchinZs

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Soulive said:
I agree. It ain't over til its over. Never say die! :rockin:
I'm with ya!

A 10% bleach/water mix will take care of everything in the equipment with the exception of anything post cornie. Stainless and bleach don't like each other much.

I imagine some boiling water in a corny would take care of that and the beer lines as well as for killing off wild yeast by denaturing it. Then follow that with beer line cleaner to kill off any bacteria that are left.
 

jds

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Why not pull the first few pints from that keg through a picnic tap? If it does have the nasty, then you'll have a lot less cleaning to do.
 
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kenche

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jds said:
Why not pull the first few pints from that keg through a picnic tap? If it does have the nasty, then you'll have a lot less cleaning to do.
Good idea. I do have a picnic tap lying around. I wouldn't want to infect my shirron faucet!
 

Beerthoven

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I would rather drink Bud Ice Light for a month than drink infected beer. I'm just not that hardup for homebrew.

I haven't had an infection yet, but if (when) I get one I'll dump that beer in the garden without a second thought.
 

HP_Lovecraft

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kenche said:
I have read countless times on this forum that you should never dump your beer, until you are sure that it was affected. Mould growth on the surface of the beer may not affect the flavour underneath.
I've definetly heard the comment about mold repeated.

With bacterial infections, I've also heard some say "if it doesnt taste bad, who cares". I've also heard "drink it quick, before the it turns sour". and "call it a lambic....".
 
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