sanitation in aftermath of lacto infection

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Sidman

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Hi All,
I could definitely use some help here. After 130 batches I have finally run into an unintended infection. I believe it's lacto after doing some web surfing. This was a Irish red that sat for about three weeks in the fermenter. I tasted a sample from below the surface and the beer was very bitter. This was a 10 gallon batch and I managed to cross contaminate both fermenters by transferring wort from one to another to level out both. Anyway I am going to upgrade when the fermzilla rounders are available but in the mean time I need to try to salvage the fermenters (Fermonster's) and especially the tilt that was in one of them. So here's my current plan, would love some feedback or advice on any further steps that might be needed. As a side note both fermonsters have been cleaned very carefully ( usually only use a cip spray and occasionally soft sponge - never even used a bristle brush in them) so I don't think there would be many, if any, scratches inside.

I filled both up to the very top with approx 145 degree water + bleach solution ( about 1 gallon of bleach in 13 gallons of water.) It's been sitting like that for about 2 days but now water is at room temp. I was thinking I would drain, use my pump and cip with 145 degree pbw to spray for about 30 mins or so. Then rinse with water, mist with iso 70 and let dry, rinse and then fill with hot star san and leave for 24 hours or so.

Any thoughts?
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Vale71

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You should never mix bleach with hot water as that can lead to chlorine gas (toxic) being released. Other than that I see nothing wrong with your regimen.
In any case your infection looks like anything but lactos. Lactos are anaerobic and would never form a pellicle on the surface. It's most likely pichia or candida but it's impossible to say for sure from just the look of the pellicle.
 

RPh_Guy

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I tasted a sample from below the surface and the beer was very bitter.
The contamination is probably not causing bitterness.
Much more likely it's oxidized or there's some issue with the recipe or brew process. (A pellicle will only form when there's oxygen present, which indicates there is oxidation occurring.)

There are many types of microbes that can produce a pellicle, so it's not possible to identify the contaminating microbe(s) without testing.
cip with 145 degree pbw to spray for about 30 mins or so.
I recommend that you soak your fermenter with warm PBW after every brew.
Do not exceed 125°F for any cleaning solution in the Fermonster.
Disassemble the spigot if you have one and soak it separately.
After the PBW soak, it's good to do an acid rinse that removes inorganic residue.

Bleach and Star San do not provide adequate cleaning. These are sanitizers and they only work on a clean surface.
Heating Star San does not improve its efficacy.
 
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Vale71

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Bleach and Star San do not provide adequate cleaning. These are sanitizers and they only work on a clean surface.
For some reason I missed that.

OK, I'll amend my previous post to, "There is nothing wrong with your regimen other than it's backwards. Cleaning must always precede sanitation."
 
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Sidman

Sidman

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The contamination is probably not causing bitterness.
Much more likely it's oxidized or there's some issue with the recipe or brew process. (A pellicle will only form when there's oxygen present, which indicates there is oxidation occurring.)

There are many types of microbes that can produce a pellicle, so it's not possible to identify the contaminating microbe(s) without testing.

I recommend that you soak your fermenter with warm PBW after every brew.
Do not exceed 125°F for any cleaning solution in the Fermonster.
Disassemble the spigot if you have one and soak it separately.
After the PBW soak, it's good to do an acid rinse that removes inorganic residue.

Bleach and Star San do not provide adequate cleaning. These are sanitizers and they only work on a clean surface.
Heating Star San does not improve its efficacy.
appreciate the reply - what acid rinse would you recommend?
 

RPh_Guy

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what acid rinse would you recommend?
Citric acid is what I use. Around 1 Tbsp per gallon is plenty. I buy 5lbs/$15.
There are also other products available marketed as beer stone remover and milk stone remover that contain acid plus surfactants, but I've been happy with citric acid.
 
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Sidman

Sidman

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Citric acid is what I use. Around 1 Tbsp per gallon is plenty. I buy 5lbs/$15.
There are also other products available marketed as beer stone remover and milk stone remover that contain acid plus surfactants, but I've been happy with citric acid.
Excellent,
So PBW soak followed by citric acid rinse followed by starsan soak ought to work OK?
 

RPh_Guy

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Star San soak is unneeded and possibly counterproductive since it can leave a residue with extended contact.
Just use it normally, on clean equipment minutes before use (no rinse).

Proper cleaning procedure removes all the previous microbes and places for microbes to adhere.
The sanitization step (right before use) is to kill microbes that have settled on the equipment during handling and storage.
 

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