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BuckeyeBrewer

Infection - But it tastes quite good!

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Hey all,

 

Started brewing with Mr. Beer nearly 8 years ago. Gave up the hobby for nearly a decade and now back at it. I made a prickly pear ale based on Mr. Beers old cherry tart recipe with the American lager extract and pale lme. Instead of cherries I added my own prickly pear syrup from frozen and crushed prickly pears (added at the 8 day mark). All was fine, and at the 17 day mark I dry hopped citra hops in a muslin bag that had been boiled for five minutes. Now at day 21 I check and there is an infection! Was it the hops? Was it the prickly pear that I did not pasteurize (next time I'll use campden tablets)? Was it just opening the top and letting in oxygen/bacteria? 

 

Who knows. What I do know is I have a very good looking pellicle on the top of my lbk that I did not plan for. The good news is I just sampled the beer, and there is no off smell I can detect. In fact, this is without a doubt the best tasting beer straight out of the lbk I've ever had. I'm not sure what if anything the infection is doing, but I'm getting a good clean crisp taste, nice citra hop aroma, and nothing off that I can detect.

 

Based on expertise gleaned from these forums, I have decided to forgo the cold crashing and go ahead and bottle straight away today. I'm posting to ask if there are any special precautions I should take bottling? Should I leave extra beer in the keg so that the pellicle doesn't get sucked into the bottles? Any tips and advice would be appreciated, and of course if bottling this is a bad idea please let me know!

 

Edited to add - I will be keeping the bottles in a coleman cooler in case they do explode. Gonna give them two weeks to carbonate and refrigerate them immediately so they don't explode hopefully.

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I should also say, I'll probably throw out this lbk? Although it is 8 years old, it's not been particularly heavily used. Is it better safe than sorry, or do you think a bleach soak would do the trick? I also am not gonna use the bottling wand. And is it ok to reuse the glass bottles with a bleach soak? I'm using my commerical 12 oz bottles so I won't be upset if they explode. 

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You should keep the bottles in 70 or higher temps for 4 weeks, not 2, to properly carbonate.

 

If it tastes good, you may not have an infection.  Opening the LBK doesn't introduce anything, CO2 pushes OUT, not in.  

 

Why would you throw out an LBK?  Or why soak in bleach?  Why not use the bottling wand?  Why soak glass bottles in bleach?  So many questions.  

 

Of course, it could be that it has Buckeye-itis, which is when a pizza delivery driver attempts to brew beer...  HA!  

 

4521f2a7d7fdeebd55cfaaccf70d4c9a--michigan-quotes-michigan-wolverines-football.jpg.16b7d3d24b4b7cdc263aeb69ccfef50c.jpg

 

 

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Sundays are pretty slow here, @BuckeyeBrewer. First, if you're sure it's a lacto infection, I can see it resulting in a good beer. That could likely take while. Maybe they're just funky yeast rafts, if the beer doesn't taste overly sour? Again, it might be too soon to tell. If it is an infection and you plan on bottling now, I'd stay away from glass bottles. These could gush, or worse explode. I understand you're taking precautions, but you could have a ticking timebomb if they don't explode in the cooler. I'd get rid of the LBK afterward, unless you plan on making more sours with it lol. 

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17 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

You should keep the bottles in 70 or higher temps for 4 weeks, not 2, to properly carbonate.

 

If it tastes good, you may not have an infection.  Opening the LBK doesn't introduce anything, CO2 pushes OUT, not in.  

 

Why would you throw out an LBK?  Or why soak in bleach?  Why not use the bottling wand?  Why soak glass bottles in bleach?  So many questions.  

 

Of course, it could be that it has Buckeye-itis, which is when a pizza delivery driver attempts to brew beer...  HA!  

 

4521f2a7d7fdeebd55cfaaccf70d4c9a--michigan-quotes-michigan-wolverines-football.jpg.16b7d3d24b4b7cdc263aeb69ccfef50c.jpg

 

 

I've heard once you get an infection, it can be very hard to clean out. Also I wish this were merely buckeyeitis, but I have a definite white sheen on top and some big nasty bubbles. I'll post a picture once I figure out what to do with this batch. On reflection I'm not worried about using the glass bottles again, but I am worried about future contamination with this bottling wand. So that's why I'm hesitant to keep using this lbk and trying to limit what is exposed to this beer. 

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I'm not so sure it's an infection if it tastes and smells right.

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22 minutes ago, Big Sarge said:

Sundays are pretty slow here, @BuckeyeBrewer. First, if you're sure it's a lacto infection, I can see it resulting in a good beer. That could likely take while. Maybe they're just funky yeast rafts, if the beer doesn't taste overly sour? Again, it might be too soon to tell. If it is an infection and you plan on bottling now, I'd stay away from glass bottles. These could gush, or worse explode. I understand you're taking precautions, but you could have a ticking timebomb if they don't explode in the cooler. I'd get rid of the LBK afterward, unless you plan on making more sours with it lol. 

Hmm I have a predicament then. I'd just really hate to toss this batch, but I have a white sheen and definite pellicles. It looks like the beginning of the infection though, so maybe no off tastes because it's pretty young. I do have a corny keg, so maybe I should do that?

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Hate to take the lid off, but this is definitely infected. The big white bump is just the hop sack but there are little pellicles around it and a white sheen.

20201101_181325.jpg

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6 minutes ago, BuckeyeBrewer said:

Hate to take the lid off, but this is definitely infected. The big white bump is just the hop sack but there are little pellicles around it and a white sheen.

20201101_181325.jpg

uuuugh. that looks pretty bad. Could be it's just on top and bottling it was a good decision assuming you stopped well before getting to the gunk. good luck!

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17 minutes ago, BuckeyeBrewer said:

I hope this settles the adding raw fruit debate!

Yeah, I'd stray away from that. 

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59 minutes ago, BuckeyeBrewer said:

Hate to take the lid off, but this is definitely infected. The big white bump is just the hop sack but there are little pellicles around it and a white sheen.

20201101_181325.jpg

 

That is clearly more than Buckeyeitis.  Yes, it's likely from using unpasteurized fruit.  You can bottole it, and not pull any of that in, and take the steps you suggested.  The worst you can is a bad tasting beer, which you won't drink.  Or, you can toss it.

 

In cleaning the LBK, I would follow these guidelines AFTER washing it.  http://howtobrew.com/book/section-1/brewing-preperations/sanitation/sanitizing-your-equipment

 

First, when you're done dumping or bottling, dump the rest out.  Rinse with water repeatedly (not real hot water, water your hands can take).  Then, use a wash cloth and some unscented dish soap and cover every surface.  Rinse well repeatedly.  Then, follow the sanitizing guidelines.  

 

For the spigot, make sure to put some of the cleaning water, and rinse water, through it.  Then, after sanitizing the LBK and running some of the solution through the spigot, rinse everything and disassemble the spigot (not just into spigot, washer, and nut, but separate the two pieces of the spigot).  Gently use a skinny bottle brush and gentle scrub inside with unscented dish soap, then rinse.

 

I would have no problem using a bottling wand.  After use, flush it, then disassemble and wash every piece.  

 

For your next batch, maybe a local Wolverine can supervise...  BOOM!

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Someone actually asked a MRB question on the MRB forum and everyone is like....😲. LOL!

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Bottled two six packs out of this. Really did not feel worth it at all to try to squeeze a little more out of the gallon left in the LBK. It's a shame really, I got back into brewing because I had prickly pear cactus fruit on hand, and I really liked Shiners Prickly Pear beer 😕

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Ok the beer in the bottles is super cloudy and developing the film on top. Probably gonna pop the lid and throw these out.

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