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Jeff (Klingdom)

Infected Brew

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I've never had an infected brew that I know of, but what I understand from other posts is that its unmistakable. Apparently there's a strong septic odor accompanied by rotten flavors.

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I've infected some harvested yeast that was in my fridge.  It smelled like concentrated new car smell... specifically like a 1984 Chevy Cavalier Eurosport

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in the fermenter something like these: https://www.google.com/search?q=brett+infection&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=Etc8VZjlDsLAgwSMsoDIAg&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1344&bih=762#imgrc=_  In the bottle, like RickBeer said gushers

 

 

BTW if you get something like the pictures you got to throw away anything plastic that touched it. Including the fermenters.

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Infections are the result of poor sanitation.  If you follow the directions, you should not get one.

 

You should NOT spend time opening your LBK to look and see if you have an infection.  Why?

 

  1. Opening the lid and looking inside allows CO2 to leave which protects the beer, and provides the opportunity for infection.  Taking a picture of your beer, and posting it, is doubly ill-advised (I didn't use the word "stupid" to be PC)...
  2. What looks like an infection to the uneducated is usually yeast colonies floating around, which is normal and fine.
  3. Infections taste bad.  Tasting your beer before bottling is the way to see if you have a problem.  As soon as you taste an infected beer, you'll know.  One common infection (in that as infections go it's common, but getting an infection is not common) tastes like vinegar.  Your grandmother would know it's bad.  You don't need to look at the beer to know it's infected.  It may look normal.

RDWHAHB.

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I made a batch of pumpkin weis  .. kit from mr beer. 

 

mistake 1) used too much puree

mistake 2) used libby's puree processed in mexico

 

beyond that my sanitation was good on everything... so that must be the culprit.

 

the fermenter had big snotty / filmy grey milk bubbles floating on top of the krausen.. not the usual.  the beer came out sour like plain , unsweetened yogurt. 

 

this was my first and so far only lactobacillus infection.

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How can you tell if your batch is infected?  A week ago I added pureed Raspberries as per Velvet Velociraptor's recipe, but a week after high krausen instead.  I could have sworn I sanitized my blender thoroughly.  I go to check my LBK (2 weeks into fermentation) and see the attached.  

 

I can't tell if the clumps are bacteria colonies, trub off the top, or seeds from the raspberries.  Temp in the LBK has been perfect entire time.  No strange odors are permiating out of the LBK - only the smell of typical fermentation.  Any thoughts from the community?

 

Proceed or pitch??

 

Thanks!

 

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post-65553-0-37369800-1430585565_thumb.j

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STOP LOOKING...

Taste it at 21 days, it will be fine, then bottle.

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You're good to go. Let it complete fermentation, then bottle. Don't open the LBK. Like the song says "Let it be".

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Ok guys. I will proceed as planned and let you know. Will quit looking and chill out for a while until bottling day next week. This is my first fruit addition (only 3rd batch overall) and I really don't want to screw it up so I'm a little paranoid.

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repeat: it is really hard to screw up beer if you are even remotely hygienic in your process, give the yeast food to eat , and keep it at the right temp.

 

the yeast do all the real work. 

 

infections can happen but are rare.  let it ride. if it smells like feces when you go to bottle, then maybe you got one in it (infection). don't ever panic and dump a batch out of fear that you MIGHT have screwed something up...ever. you do that and the beer gods will get mad and crap in your hair while you sleep.

 

as for the pics all I could see were yeast rafts. sometimes they like clumping together in little colonies....holding hands and singing kumbaya together. yeast are weird that way.

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One guy at the HomeBrew meet-up yesterday said he tossed a whole 5 gal batch because of diacetyl taste. Can't that be reduced in time? I think he was too impatient to get drinkable beer.

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Yes that should go away with some time.  Plus, it's part of some styles.  I was sad when it fully conditioned out of the last stout I made.  I had come to enjoy it.

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Has anyone legitly ever had and infected brew?

What does it look like? How did you know?

 

This all depends on the type of infection. Some bacterial infections can give off sulfur aromas, but so can some yeasts. If it's the yeast, the sulfur aromas will dissipate by the time your ready to bottle. If it's bacteria, it won't dissipate at all and the wort may taste a bit sour or sulfury. If the beer was infected with an acetobacter, it will taste and smell like vinegar (because it basically is). DMS, or dimethyl sulfide is sometimes produced with lagers during the the heating of the wort, but it can also be produced by bacterias which can cause a rancid cooked cabbage aroma. There are many other symptoms of a bacterial infection such as phenols that create medicinal flavors and lactobacillus infections which can cause sour flavors along with pellicle growth on the beer.

Your beer can also be infected by molds. Contamination is likely if the wort or beer is exposed to musty or damp areas during fermentation. If the infection is caught early enough, it can often be removed by skimming or cleaning of the surface before it significantly contaminates the batch. Chances are though that the spores have contaminated the batch and it could crop up again. Draw a sample of the wort and taste it. If it tastes foul then its not worth keeping. Otherwise the beer was probably not harmed. Infections in beer caused by molds are not dangerous.

Contamination from wild yeasts is possible, too, especially from non-Saccharomyces varieties. The most detected ones are Brettanomyces, which produces acid and strong funky flavors; Pichia which form pellicle films, haze, and various unusual esters; Candida and Hansenula also grow fast and form films.

As long as proper sanitation practices are maintained, you shouldn't experience any of these issues.

 

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As long as proper sanitation practices are maintained, you shouldn't experience any of these issues.

 

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Another guy at the home brew meet up said he did a secondary fermentation using the different intentional yeast, I think  it was the Brettanomyces you mentioned. The beer was quite funky but really good.

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Another guy at the home brew meet up said he did a secondary fermentation using the different intentional yeast, I think  it was the Brettanomyces you mentioned. The beer was quite funky but really good.

 

Yes, Brettanomyces yeast is very common in making sours or "Brett beers". Lactobacillus, Roselare, Peddiococcus are all bacterias that are also commonly used in making sours. I've really been into these beers lately.

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Here are some beautiful images taken by my friend, Dara, of some pellicle growths on her sour beers. Very surreal:

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Has anyone legitly ever had and infected brew?

What does it look like? How did you know?

I had a bottle infection. Looked like a mentos in a diet coke

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