From the HBD Archive
From: <BROWN%MSUKBS.BITNET@CORNELLC.cit.cornell.edu>
Subject: infection problems
Date: 1989-11-15 17:30:00 GMT

Doug Allison writes:

> Some thoughts on recent comments about water and sanitation. I have had a
> lot of trouble with my homebrew kicking into a late fermentation, resulting
> in gushing after being in the bottles for 3 or 4 months. Many of my beers
> have a slight sour flavor, which I think is caused by lactobacillis. (Can
> someone more knowledgeable confirm this?) I have tried repeatedly to be as
> clean and sanitary as I can, but my results are mixed.
> So I made two batches of beer on 10/21, one all-grain, and one
> grain/extract. . . The grain/extract finished
> working and was bottled on 11/4. The raw beer tasted great, without a hint
> of bacterial sourness. The all-grain batch, however, is still slowly
> working.

I had similar problems a couple years ago. I moved to an extremely damp
house that was prone to mildew (and I assume other airborned microbes). I
immediately started having the same problems describe above, i.e. beers that
initially taste good, but eventually developed infections which caused
gushing. I eventually got rid of the problem by (1) Brewing only in the
winter when mold counts in my house were presumably low (2) Replacing old
hoses, lauter-tuns and generally keeping it clean and (3) Boiling the entire
batch. From your experiment described above I would guess that your source of
infection was somewhere in your lauter-tun or wort-cooling equipment (since
only the all-grain is working slowly). If you used EXACTLY the same
procedures on both batches, then I'd guess that the all-grain batch has
more complex sugars which only the wild microbes can break down (the extract
batch is mostly simple sugars which the beer yeasts completely convert). The
yeast may be the problem, although I've made super-clean batches of beer with
Edme ale yeast. Before I spent a lot of time culturing yeast, I'd make sure
the other aspects of the process are super clean -- I believe, for example,
that it's just not possible to sanitize an old hose. Buy a new one. Good
luck -- this sort of problem is infuriating.

Jackie Brown Bitnet: Brown@msukbs

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