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Gunk in my HME

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Got some American Lager standard refill started on Sunday afternoon.  After I dumped the hot HME/water mixture into the keg, I noticed 4 or 5 black splinter-looking things left in the pan.  I'm not sure if this came from inside the HME can or possibly the label of the can (it gets mushy because it sat in the hot water for 10-15 minutes).  I work with the spatula to get every ounce of HME out, maybe a few pieces of the black label came off into the mix.  I don't think so.  I was hoping it didn't transfer into the keg, but after 24 hours, it looks like I see a piece of it on the foam on top in the keg.  Couldn't find anything about this in the forum search - Any ideas?  Thanks.

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Welcome to the forum.  Probably the label, your not the first. There has been plenty of good "label" beer been made here. Next time remove the label before opening the can. BTW avoid opening the LBK. Your inviting infection every time you open it.

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Cool.  I didn't open the LBK, saw it with the flashlight thru the top.  Just hoping the 'gunk' doesn't screw up the taste of the batch.  Also hoping it settles with the cold crash.  :D

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If it's still floating on bottling day, I'm really leery about passing it into the bottles.  In my searches of the archives, I've seen where filtering beer is not recommended.  How about some coarse filtering, like with cheesecloth or something else sanitary?  

 

Man, I love this hobby so far.  So cool.

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No filtering.  You can aerate the beer.  On bottling day, if you see it floating, take a sanitize pair of tongs and remove it if you'd like.  

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I bottle from a 2nd LBK, but the process I use would work with any kind of bottling bucket.  I attach one end of a length of sanitized clear tubing to the fermentor LBK's spigot.  Onto the other end of the tubing I tie a small sanitized muslin sack (the kind used to hold spices or hops) and place that end into the sanitized bottling LBK, usually submerging the sack into the priming solution.  Then I transfer the beer into the bottling LBK.  The muslin sack will trap hop particles or other debris without filtering out the yeast still in solution.  I don't get any aeration.

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How do you sanitize the muslin bag, JWB? I use one for hops which I always sanitize, but it takes so long for the thing to dry out (20 minutes or so) that I wonder sometimes if it doesn't get re-contaminated before I put the hops in it.. I've never had an infection that I know of, but I'm curious to find other techniques that may be more effective.

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Every step is aeration once you remove the lid.  The only way to avoid this would be to pump CO2 into your LBK during bottling.

 

The trick is to keep the aeration to a minimum to avoid oxidation.

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How do you sanitize the muslin bag, JWB? I use one for hops which I always sanitize, but it takes so long for the thing to dry out (20 minutes or so) that I wonder sometimes if it doesn't get re-contaminated before I put the hops in it.. I've never had an infection that I know of, but I'm curious to find other techniques that may be more effective.

Tea cup, boiling water, 1 muslin bag for 5 minutes...

 

Or you can put it in the microwave for a minute or two.

scientists reported that simply microwaving sponges (completely wet, never dry) for two minutes at high power killed or inactivated over 99 percent of pathogens in sponges that had been soaked in a “witch’s brew” of fecal bacteria, viruses, protozoan parasites and bacterial spores.

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How do you sanitize the muslin bag, JWB? I use one for hops which I always sanitize, but it takes so long for the thing to dry out (20 minutes or so) that I wonder sometimes if it doesn't get re-contaminated before I put the hops in it.. I've never had an infection that I know of, but I'm curious to find other techniques that may be more effective.

 

No need to dry the muslin bag after sanitizing.  Just put in the hops and plunk it in.

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I got some bits of the label in my 3rd batch, Canadian Blonde deluxe. I was pretty excited because it was first deluxe batch and had high hopes. Then dispair as the label crumbled and fell into the pot. After all was said and done though, turned out to be one of my favorite brews so far. Who knows, maybe the label bits made the difference.

Since then I always take the label off of the HME can before I open it.

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I got some bits of the label in my 3rd batch, Canadian Blonde deluxe. I was pretty excited because it was first deluxe batch and had high hopes. Then dispair as the label crumbled and fell into the pot. After all was said and done though, turned out to be one of my favorite brews so far. Who knows, maybe the label bits made the difference.

Since then I always take the label off of the HME can before I open it.

That is great to know.  Thanks for the info!  Definitely going to remove the label from now on.  Did those label bits make it into the LBK and go through the whole process?

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I'm thinking I might go to a double puncture system on my HME cans so I can slosh around more and get more effective malt removal.  Then the Great Label Bits Crisis will be averted.

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I'm thinking I might go to a double puncture system on my HME cans so I can slosh around more and get more effective malt removal.  Then the Great Label Bits Crisis will be averted.

 

 

I remove the entire bottom of the can, pour as much as I'm able, use rubber spatula then finalladd a little bit of the hot wort swish and dump. M first batch I tried the double puncture, on the top of the can, what a pain.

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That is great to know. Thanks for the info! Definitely going to remove the label from now on. Did those label bits make it into the LBK and go through the whole process?

I threw a fork in my sanitizer bowl and then used it to fish out as much as I could, but who knows if I got it all. Good thing the wort was still pretty hot, so anything that fell in could have been sanitized by the heat.

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