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Mother F#%©|ing Infection (s).


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#1 Gusso

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Posted 20 March 2022 - 03:43 PM

In my 15+ years of brewing, I never had an infection. Until recently that is. I didn't notice at first, as I had a few kegs on hand and kept brewing away. I first noticed when I brewed my English AK recipe. Everything seemed fine, it finished at my expected FG so I kegged it up. When I eventually put it on tap, it was way overcarbed. Since I naturally carbed with corn sugar, I figured I over did it somehow. In the glass it was super cloudy, so I added gelatin. Didn't help. I started sampling it and it was just bland and a bit on the sour side. Last week I made a hefeweizen. Again, it seemed to go fine - expected FG. When I went to keg it, I saw tons of creamy foam still sitting on top. It smelled sour and a sample confirmed that it tasted similar to the AK - bland and slightly sour. I did have 2 successful brews in between the bad ones. Did I use a different fermenter? Maybe, maybe not. I don't really know.

Anyway, yesterday I did everything I could think of to rid this beast. I boiled my brew kettle ball valve and both Speidel spigots. I cleaned my fermenters then soaked in starsan followed by a iodophor soaking. I soaked my chiller in starsan then boiled it. I also did a hardy scrub on my Tilts followed by iodophor and starsan. I brewed today so I'll be keeping a close eye on this. If this turns out infected, I have no idea what my next move is. This BLOWS!!!!

#2 postSingularityHumanoid

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Posted 20 March 2022 - 04:19 PM

In my 15+ years of brewing, I never had an infection. Until recently that is. I didn't notice at first, as I had a few kegs on hand and kept brewing away. I first noticed when I brewed my English AK recipe. Everything seemed fine, it finished at my expected FG so I kegged it up. When I eventually put it on tap, it was way overcarbed. Since I naturally carbed with corn sugar, I figured I over did it somehow. In the glass it was super cloudy, so I added gelatin. Didn't help. I started sampling it and it was just bland and a bit on the sour side. Last week I made a hefeweizen. Again, it seemed to go fine - expected FG. When I went to keg it, I saw tons of creamy foam still sitting on top. It smelled sour and a sample confirmed that it tasted similar to the AK - bland and slightly sour. I did have 2 successful brews in between the bad ones. Did I use a different fermenter? Maybe, maybe not. I don't really know.

Anyway, yesterday I did everything I could think of to rid this beast. I boiled my brew kettle ball valve and both Speidel spigots. I cleaned my fermenters then soaked in starsan followed by a iodophor soaking. I soaked my chiller in starsan then boiled it. I also did a hardy scrub on my Tilts followed by iodophor and starsan. I brewed today so I'll be keeping a close eye on this. If this turns out infected, I have no idea what my next move is. This BLOWS!!!!

 

as  you know it pretty much has to be cold side.  what things touch or is in the vicinity of your beer on the cold side?  valves, tubing, anything you use to pull a sample, jumpers for purging your kegs during fermentation, transfer line assemblies...   what else?

 

does the issue seem to show up in primary before it gets to the keg?  I usually drink at least a few pints straight out of primary before kegging so I'd know if something was up before kegging.


Edited by Mando, 20 March 2022 - 04:19 PM.


#3 Gusso

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Posted 20 March 2022 - 04:27 PM

I did replace tubing from kettle to fermenter too. The most recent infection was detected when transferring to the keg. But I have also thoroughly cleaned all my empty kegs as well - just in case. Rinsed them all in iodophor to boot. I don't think my 10 gallon Torpedo was used in any of the questionable brews, but just to be safe, I might boil water in it just to be safe. Shouldn't be a problem putting the Torpedo on my burner, right? It's essentially a half keg.

#4 postSingularityHumanoid

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Posted 20 March 2022 - 04:38 PM

I did replace tubing from kettle to fermenter too. The most recent infection was detected when transferring to the keg. But I have also thoroughly cleaned all my empty kegs as well - just in case. Rinsed them all in iodophor to boot. I don't think my 10 gallon Torpedo was used in any of the questionable brews, but just to be safe, I might boil water in it just to be safe. Shouldn't be a problem putting the Torpedo on my burner, right? It's essentially a half keg.

 

what kind of nooks and crannies does your primary have?  sounds like it's happening on the way from the kettle to the primary or in the primary, right?

 

I use silicone tubing for kettle to primary but I boil the silicon tubing before every use so there should be no survivors.



#5 Gusso

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Posted 20 March 2022 - 05:34 PM

I use Speidel fermenters and a 10g Torpedo when using pressurized fermentation. The Speidels have ribs but smooth. Same for the Torpedo except for the weld line. I try to make sure I'm aggressive on the weld line when cleaning.
I assume it's in the fermenters but I did clear out some gunk in the brew kettle ball valve.

#6 postSingularityHumanoid

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Posted 20 March 2022 - 06:13 PM

I completely full my fermenter with hot oxiclean and let it soak for what it's worth.

Do you have quarter turn ball valves? I had some crud in one of mine that was pretty nasty. Make sure to rinse them with the valve half open. I think drez pointed that one out to me.

#7 Gusso

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Posted 20 March 2022 - 07:07 PM

I usually do that with my valve. But to be extra cautious, I boiled the shit out of them open and closed.

#8 Gusso

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Posted 22 March 2022 - 05:41 PM

I don't like where this beer is going. Even though fermentation is very active, it's only dropped 22 points in a day and a half. Mind you, I'm using Hornindal Kveik yeast. The 1.070 OG should be nearly done but it's not close. The sample I took seems ok but I have some serious doubts. Maybe at least I can narrow it down to this particular fermenter. I believe I used the same one on the last bad batch.

#9 Gusso

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Posted 25 March 2022 - 01:02 PM

Infected! Damn - I dumped it, gave the fermenter a long soak in hot oxyclean. Next, I hit it with a bleach solution. Going to do the same with my other fermenters and kegs. Also a deep clean on kegerators. This sucks.

#10 postSingularityHumanoid

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Posted 25 March 2022 - 01:09 PM

Infected! Damn - I dumped it, gave the fermenter a long soak in hot oxyclean. Next, I hit it with a bleach solution. Going to do the same with my other fermenters and kegs. Also a deep clean on kegerators. This sucks.

 

I'm not very famiilar with speidel fermentors.  do they have nooks and crannies to trap stuff?



#11 Gusso

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Posted 25 March 2022 - 01:30 PM

The Speidel fermenters have ribs but they're rather smooth. I only use a microfiber rag when cleaning them. The one I soaked today sat with very hot water and oxyclean for about 2 hours.

#12 Gusso

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Posted 25 March 2022 - 01:33 PM

I plan on a basic pale ale this weekend to see if this particular fermenter is now clean. I bleached the Tilts, too. And to be extra safe, I ordered replacement gaskets for the Tilts.

#13 postSingularityHumanoid

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Posted 25 March 2022 - 02:12 PM

I plan on a basic pale ale this weekend to see if this particular fermenter is now clean. I bleached the Tilts, too. And to be extra safe, I ordered replacement gaskets for the Tilts.

 

bleaching your what???  oh, tilt.  read that wrong.

 

good idea.



#14 denny

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Posted 25 March 2022 - 03:41 PM

The Speidel fermenters have ribs but they're rather smooth. I only use a microfiber rag when cleaning them. The one I soaked today sat with very hot water and oxyclean for about 2 hours.

AFAIK, microfiber can scratch plastic.  No way of knowing if that was the problem, though.



#15 postSingularityHumanoid

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Posted 25 March 2022 - 04:04 PM

AFAIK, microfiber can scratch plastic. No way of knowing if that was the problem, though.


Interesting. I've never heard that. That is surprising since it's recommended for cleaning flat screen TVs.

#16 denny

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Posted 26 March 2022 - 12:44 PM

Interesting. I've never heard that. That is surprising since it's recommended for cleaning flat screen TVs.

I was told that after I ruined a pair of glasses that had plastic lenses.



#17 postSingularityHumanoid

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Posted 26 March 2022 - 12:56 PM

I was told that after I ruined a pair of glasses that had plastic lenses.

 

is it possible the microfiber cloth had something else on it that scratched the lenses?



#18 Gusso

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Posted 27 March 2022 - 10:28 AM

Well, I'm giving it another go. Currently chilling the wort. I don't see how anything could have survived in that fermenter. Bleached it twice and some starsan this morning.

#19 postSingularityHumanoid

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Posted 27 March 2022 - 11:35 AM

do you have a goat to sacrifice?



#20 denny

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Posted 27 March 2022 - 11:35 AM

is it possible the microfiber cloth had something else on it that scratched the lenses?

don't think so. But I can't find any references to it, so I'm willing to believe I'm wrong.




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