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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: BrodyR on April 10, 2014, 11:37:56 AM

Title: Gusher Infection?
Post by: BrodyR on April 10, 2014, 11:37:56 AM
I think I've experienced my first gusher infection. After a few months a pale ale gushes out of the bottle and has a bone-dry gravity of 1.00. I assume if it was a priming sugar issue there would still be residual sugars from the dextrine?

My questions are is it still fine to drink if it tastes ok? And I assume the main way to prevent this in the future is to be more thorough with my sanitation?
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: BrodyR on April 10, 2014, 11:42:45 AM
Well that's odd. It was reading around 1.000 out of the bottle but is 1.004 out of a mini-keg (1.008 was gravity at bottling).
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 10, 2014, 11:55:06 AM
Is it every bottle?  An infection would continue to ferment the available sugars, which would account for the lower gravity.

The mini-keg being lower might indicate it was not done fermenting when you packaged it.  But the bottles being even lower would indicate an infection.

Are you taking your readings after degassing the beer?
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: BrodyR on April 10, 2014, 12:01:01 PM
Is it every bottle?  An infection would continue to ferment the available sugars, which would account for the lower gravity.

The mini-keg being lower might indicate it was not done fermenting when you packaged it.  But the bottles being even lower would indicate an infection.

Are you taking your readings after degassing the beer?

The gravity read the same for a week before I bottled so I assumed it was done fermenting.

It is every bottle now but was not initially. I think when I first began drinking the beer I had 1 or 2 gushers but now that it's 2 months since bottling they are all gushers.

I didn't do anything special to degas but I let the beer sit out for a while and flatten.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 10, 2014, 12:10:37 PM
I'd chill them all so you don't have bottle bombs, or else drink them soon.

You could open and recap quickly to let off some pressure, but with gushers that might just be a mess.

I'd also review how you're cleaning your bottles. A long soak in oxyclean and detergent should get most everything, bottle brush for stubborn stuff (or just throw those out) and then sanitize.

Alternatively, perhaps you over-primed?
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: BrodyR on April 10, 2014, 12:15:13 PM
I'd chill them all so you don't have bottle bombs, or else drink them soon.

You could open and recap quickly to let off some pressure, but with gushers that might just be a mess.

I'd also review how you're cleaning your bottles. A long soak in oxyclean and detergent should get most everything, bottle brush for stubborn stuff (or just throw those out) and then sanitize.

Alternatively, perhaps you over-primed?

Thankfully all that's left is a 5L mini-keg which I just released (sanitised and popped the top then recapped) in the fridge.

Yea, maybe I need to use some PBW or something. As is, I just rinse and strip the bottles then soak in Starsan for a minute or so before laying them out on a towel to bottle.

Overpriming was another thought. I measured out the sugar to hit the level I wanted but estimated the volume. It may have been a little high from some trub leftover in bucket. But would an over-prime lower the gravity? The reason I figured infection was because something seemed to be eating the dextrine to get the gravity so low.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 10, 2014, 12:20:02 PM
The bottles need to be cleaned with something.  Sanitizer doesn't clean.

I've had bottles that look visually clean but have a nasty film in them that lifts off when they are soaked.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: BrodyR on April 10, 2014, 12:24:17 PM
The bottles need to be cleaned with something.  Sanitizer doesn't clean.

I've had bottles that look visually clean but have a nasty film in them that lifts off when they are soaked.

I think it's high time I switch to kegging.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 10, 2014, 12:25:01 PM
Kegs need to be cleaned too...
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: BrodyR on April 10, 2014, 12:29:11 PM
Kegs need to be cleaned too...

Haha, yea I know - but easier to clean one keg than 50 some bottles.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 10, 2014, 12:34:57 PM
Kegs need to be cleaned too...

Haha, yea I know - but easier to clean one keg than 50 some bottles.

I agree.  But there are those who will argue the point.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: S. cerevisiae on April 10, 2014, 12:43:29 PM
The first question that I ask people who want to learn how to make quality beer is, "How well can you clean?,"  not "How well can you cook?"   ;D
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: S. cerevisiae on April 10, 2014, 12:53:40 PM
I used to wash my bottles in the my dishwasher with heat dry.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: BrodyR on April 10, 2014, 12:57:35 PM
I used to wash my bottles in the my dishwasher with heat dry.

With soap?
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: S. cerevisiae on April 10, 2014, 01:36:11 PM
With soap?

I used automatic dishwasher detergent. 

The process requires two passes through one's dishwasher.  The first pass is made with automatic dishwasher detergent.   The second pass is made with only water and heat dry.   The second pass ensures that one's bottles are residue free and sanitary, as bottle temperature exceeds 60C/140F (the temperature at which most vegetative cells are killed).   This technique only works if the people who live in one's house rinse their dishes well before placing them into the dishwasher.  The dishwasher used in this process must clean, free of food debris, and empty before the second pass is made with only bottles on bottling day.  The first pass can be combined with the day's dishes (i.e., as the bottles are used).  Beer must be rinsed from the bottles before they are placed into the dishwasher on the first pass.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: micsager on April 10, 2014, 01:39:15 PM
With soap?

I used automatic dishwasher detergent. 

The process requires two passes through one's dishwasher.  The first pass is made with automatic dishwasher detergent.   The second pass is made with only water and heat dry.   The second pass ensures that one's bottles are residue free and sanitary, as bottle temperature exceeds 60C/140F (the temperature at which most vegetative cells are killed).   This technique only works if the people who live in one's house rinse their dishes well before placing them into the dishwasher.  The dishwasher used in this process must clean, free of food debris, and empty before the second pass is made with only bottles on bottling day.  The first pass can be combined with the day's dishes (i.e., as the bottles are used).  Beer must be rinsed from the bottles before they are placed into the dishwasher on the first pass.

Whenever I do bottle, I also use the dishwasher.  But rather than dish soap, I use PBW.  So far, so good. 
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: S. cerevisiae on April 10, 2014, 02:43:43 PM
PBW is little more than a modified form of powdered automatic dishwasher detergent combined with sodium percarbonate.

I would like to add that one must use powdered unscented automatic dishwashing detergent in this process, not dish soap.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: gmac on April 10, 2014, 03:24:20 PM
Buy kegs, wash them with PBR, sanitize them with Star-San, put beer in them.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: fmader on April 10, 2014, 03:38:39 PM
I soak bottles in oxiclean for several hours. Then the night before I bottle, I run them in the dishwasher on high heat with no sops to sanitize. I leave them in there until I bottle.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: gmac on April 10, 2014, 03:47:31 PM
I soak bottles in oxiclean for several hours. Then the night before I bottle, I run them in the dishwasher on high heat with no sops to sanitize. I leave them in there until I bottle.

I'm sure that'll work too.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: Pinski on April 10, 2014, 04:32:51 PM
With soap?

I used automatic dishwasher detergent. 

The process requires two passes through one's dishwasher.  The first pass is made with automatic dishwasher detergent.   The second pass is made with only water and heat dry.   The second pass ensures that one's bottles are residue free and sanitary, as bottle temperature exceeds 60C/140F (the temperature at which most vegetative cells are killed).   This technique only works if the people who live in one's house rinse their dishes well before placing them into the dishwasher.  The dishwasher used in this process must clean, free of food debris, and empty before the second pass is made with only bottles on bottling day.  The first pass can be combined with the day's dishes (i.e., as the bottles are used).  Beer must be rinsed from the bottles before they are placed into the dishwasher on the first pass.

I don't do this anymore, but when I did just ran the bottles in a clean dishwasher with no soap on the "sanitize" setting. Single pass, no problems. 

Now i just go with a hot rinse, scrub ifr necessary and sanitize with StarSan when i bottle. I don't bottle all that much so it's not that big of a chore.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: morticaixavier on April 10, 2014, 05:27:37 PM
Buy kegs, wash them with PBR, sanitize them with Star-San, put beer in them.

I know PBR us not great but will it actually clean a keg?
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: jamminbrew on April 10, 2014, 05:50:45 PM
Buy kegs, wash them with PBR, sanitize them with Star-San, put beer in them.

I know PBR us not great but will it actually clean a keg?
Lol... You beat me to it!

Before I started kegging, I would clean out my bottles as soon as I emptied them. And to sanitize, I would throw them in the oven the night before, at 250* for an hour. In 60 batches in the bottle, not one infection or gusher.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: HoosierBrew on April 10, 2014, 06:02:47 PM
I thought there must be some higher purpose for PBR. Worst tasting cleanser ever.   ;)
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: HoosierBrew on April 10, 2014, 06:04:25 PM
And I used to use the oven to sanitize bottles too before I started kegging.  If I bottle now, it's usually with a Beer Gun.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: rodmanxxx on April 10, 2014, 06:27:02 PM
Interesting. I just rinse by running tap water into the bottles and swirl and dump, do this about 4 times immediately after pouring the bottle into the glass. Then after a few hours or the next day, i pour out what little water is left in bottle and put it in the case upside down. Next bottling day I sanitize using a vinator bottling rinser, place bottles on sanitized bottom rack of dishwater to drain, then fill. Seems to work for me.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: fmader on April 10, 2014, 06:41:59 PM
I soak bottles in oxiclean for several hours. Then the night before I bottle, I run them in the dishwasher on high heat with no sops to sanitize. I leave them in there until I bottle.

I'm sure that'll work too.

I forgot that I also spray a couple shots of Starsan in the bottles too.


Indeed kegging is easier.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: klickitat jim on April 11, 2014, 02:25:11 AM
Do you guys dilute the PBR or just run it full strength
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: morticaixavier on April 11, 2014, 04:44:26 AM
Do you guys dilute the PBR or just run it full strength

Full strength it'll eat through the keg
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: gmac on April 11, 2014, 07:05:19 AM
Do you guys dilute the PBR or just run it full strength

Full strength it'll eat through the keg

Stupid fingers...PBW, not PBR. PBR is poisonous.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 11, 2014, 07:20:25 AM
And I used to use the oven to sanitize bottles too before I started kegging.  If I bottle now, it's usually with a Beer Gun.

How does the beer gun change your bottle sanitation procedures?
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: HoosierBrew on April 11, 2014, 07:34:06 AM
And I used to use the oven to sanitize bottles too before I started kegging.  If I bottle now, it's usually with a Beer Gun.
[/quote

How does the beer gun change your bottle sanitation procedures?

It doesn't. Just that way back when I used to bottle batches I sanitized them all in the oven. Now , on the odd time that I bottle a few from the keg, the bottles get a good soak in Starsan , or sprayed thoroughly with it.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 11, 2014, 07:46:01 AM
And I used to use the oven to sanitize bottles too before I started kegging.  If I bottle now, it's usually with a Beer Gun.
[/quote

How does the beer gun change your bottle sanitation procedures?

It doesn't. Just that way back when I used to bottle batches I sanitized them all in the oven. Now , on the odd time that I bottle a few from the keg, the bottles get a good soak in Starsan , or sprayed thoroughly with it.

I was just being a d*ck.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: HoosierBrew on April 11, 2014, 07:50:36 AM
And I used to use the oven to sanitize bottles too before I started kegging.  If I bottle now, it's usually with a Beer Gun.
[/quote

How does the beer gun change your bottle sanitation procedures?

It doesn't. Just that way back when I used to bottle batches I sanitized them all in the oven. Now , on the odd time that I bottle a few from the keg, the bottles get a good soak in Starsan , or sprayed thoroughly with it.

I was just being a d*ck.

All good  ;)
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: troybinso on April 11, 2014, 07:56:05 AM
When you guys use the dishwasher, how can you be sure that the spray is getting up in to the bottles? It seems like that is a pretty small hole for the spray to get all the way up in to.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 11, 2014, 08:20:52 AM
I don't know about PBR, but back in the day Old Style was notorious for it's ability to "clean the system."

Old Pile, as it was affectionately known.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: fmader on April 11, 2014, 08:41:05 AM
When you guys use the dishwasher, how can you be sure that the spray is getting up in to the bottles? It seems like that is a pretty small hole for the spray to get all the way up in to.

It has nothing to do with water. I'm not washing my bottles in the dishwasher. I wash them in the sink with oxiclean. It's all about the heat of the dishwasher. The heat sanitizes the bottles.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: denny on April 11, 2014, 08:56:53 AM
When you guys use the dishwasher, how can you be sure that the spray is getting up in to the bottles? It seems like that is a pretty small hole for the spray to get all the way up in to.

It has nothing to do with water. I'm not washing my bottles in the dishwasher. I wash them in the sink with oxiclean. It's all about the heat of the dishwasher. The heat sanitizes the bottles.

Be aware that heat sanitizing will shorten the reuse life of your bottles.  That may or may not matter to you.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: gmac on April 11, 2014, 09:31:47 AM
When you guys use the dishwasher, how can you be sure that the spray is getting up in to the bottles? It seems like that is a pretty small hole for the spray to get all the way up in to.

It has nothing to do with water. I'm not washing my bottles in the dishwasher. I wash them in the sink with oxiclean. It's all about the heat of the dishwasher. The heat sanitizes the bottles.

Be aware that heat sanitizing will shorten the reuse life of your bottles.  That may or may not matter to you.

They really get that hot?  I wouldn't have guessed that.  I do think that there is a big difference between the bottles used in the US and the ones used in Canada.  We've had beer bottle re-use by the big breweries for years, I'm unsure if the US does the same but I think our bottles are thicker and they seem thicker when I look at them in order to be re-used more frequently.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: denny on April 11, 2014, 09:33:27 AM
They really get that hot?  I wouldn't have guessed that.  I do think that there is a big difference between the bottles used in the US and the ones used in Canada.  We've had beer bottle re-use by the big breweries for years, I'm unsure if the US does the same but I think our bottles are thicker and they seem thicker when I look at them in order to be re-used more frequently.

The theory is that the repeated heating and cooling induces stress fractures.  No personal experience, but that's what I've heard from people who do it.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: erockrph on April 11, 2014, 11:46:48 AM
They really get that hot?  I wouldn't have guessed that.  I do think that there is a big difference between the bottles used in the US and the ones used in Canada.  We've had beer bottle re-use by the big breweries for years, I'm unsure if the US does the same but I think our bottles are thicker and they seem thicker when I look at them in order to be re-used more frequently.

The theory is that the repeated heating and cooling induces stress fractures.  No personal experience, but that's what I've heard from people who do it.

Maybe that's more of an issue when using dry heat in an oven, where you generally use higher temps for a longer period of time. I'm thinking that if the "Sanitize" setting on dishwashers lead to weakened glass, there'd be some kind of cautions on the machine. It would just take one glass baby bottle breaking in some kids face for some serious law suits.

I have bottles that have been through at least a couple dozen sanitize cycles with no ill effect that I can see. The only bottles that I have trouble with occasional breaks are Sierra Nevada ones. I think that is just an issue of my wing capper not working well with them, since they just seems to snap/crush at the neck.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: HoosierBrew on April 11, 2014, 11:54:58 AM
I don't remember breaking or cracking bottles more often when sanitizing in the oven than when I cleaned by soaking in sanitizer. But I used to buy cases of empty long neck returnable bottles from a liquor store, though. Those were definitely thicker than a lot of the bottles you see today, so I'm sure that helped.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: S. cerevisiae on April 11, 2014, 12:29:24 PM
It has nothing to do with water. I'm not washing my bottles in the dishwasher. I wash them in the sink with oxiclean. It's all about the heat of the dishwasher. The heat sanitizes the bottles.

More specifically, moist heat sanitizes the bottles.   Moist heat is a more efficient microbe killer than dry heat.  For example, it takes around ninety minutes to render lab glassware absolutely sterile at 350F/177C using dry heat.   However, lab glassware can be rendered absolutely sterile in fifteen minutes at 250F/121C using most heat.

By the way, OxyClean, like PBW is yet another cleaner that chemically resembles unscented automatic dishwasher detergent powder.

From the OxyClean MSDS (http://www.ahprofessional.com/_downloads/msds/MSDS-1605-OxiClean%20Versatile%20Stain%20Remover.pdf):

Sodium Carbonate  (alkalinity booster)
Sodium Percarbonate  (organic oxidizing agent)
Ethoxylated Alcohol C12 - C16 (surfactant)
Sodium Polycarboxylate (anti-redeposition agent)
Sodium Metasilicate (chelating agent)


Let's examine the list of ingredients that are in a box of unscented Cascade automatic dishwasher detergent powder (my comments are in parenthesis).

Sodium Carbonate
Sodium Sulfate (diluting agent)
Sodium Silicate (the umbrella name for the chemical compound known as sodium metasilicate)
Sodium Percarbonate
Modified polyacrylate  (anti-redeposition agent that belongs to the sodium polycarboxylate family)
Alcohol Alkoxylate  (surfactant)
Polyethylene glycol (processing aid)
Hydrozincite  (etching inhibitor)
Amine Cobalt Salt (bleach catalyst)
Protease Enzyme (this ingredient should be self-explanatory to any all-grain brewer)
Amylase Enzyme  (this ingredient should be self-explanatory to any all-grain brewer)

Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: brick pig on April 11, 2014, 12:34:29 PM
I rinse the bottles with tap water 4 or 5 times immediately after emptying them and then store them upside down in the same plastic crates I use to store the full bottles. On bottling day I visually inspect them and if I see anything that looks like it needs to be scrubbed, I do so with plain water and a bottle brush. Then I send them through the dishwasher, no soap, on the "sanitize" setting.

I have been doing this for very nearly twenty years, and have had a grand total of exactly 1 gusher in all that time. Also, except for three or four that I've replaced because they accidentally got mixed in with recycling, I'm using the same six cases of bottles I got when I first started brewing. If the heat from the dishwasher is hurting them, it is taking an awfully long time to do so.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: gymrat on April 11, 2014, 06:51:04 PM
I think it is ok to drink it..just be sure to get it poured before it gets out of the bottle and makes a mess.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: gymrat on April 11, 2014, 06:58:10 PM
They really get that hot?  I wouldn't have guessed that.  I do think that there is a big difference between the bottles used in the US and the ones used in Canada.  We've had beer bottle re-use by the big breweries for years, I'm unsure if the US does the same but I think our bottles are thicker and they seem thicker when I look at them in order to be re-used more frequently.

The theory is that the repeated heating and cooling induces stress fractures.  No personal experience, but that's what I've heard from people who do it.

I have been baking my bottles at 250 for an hour for 2 years now. No issues yet.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: gymrat on April 11, 2014, 07:01:54 PM
They really get that hot?  I wouldn't have guessed that.  I do think that there is a big difference between the bottles used in the US and the ones used in Canada.  We've had beer bottle re-use by the big breweries for years, I'm unsure if the US does the same but I think our bottles are thicker and they seem thicker when I look at them in order to be re-used more frequently.

The theory is that the repeated heating and cooling induces stress fractures.  No personal experience, but that's what I've heard from people who do it.

Maybe that's more of an issue when using dry heat in an oven, where you generally use higher temps for a longer period of time. I'm thinking that if the "Sanitize" setting on dishwashers lead to weakened glass, there'd be some kind of cautions on the machine. It would just take one glass baby bottle breaking in some kids face for some serious law suits.

I have bottles that have been through at least a couple dozen sanitize cycles with no ill effect that I can see. The only bottles that I have trouble with occasional breaks are Sierra Nevada ones. I think that is just an issue of my wing capper not working well with them, since they just seems to snap/crush at the neck.

I don't think it is the heating and cooling that makes a difference, I think it is the how fast you cool that does. I know at our shop we "temper" metal by cooling it fast with water, that makes it much harder, but makes it more brittle. If we let it air cool it does not change it's properties at all. When I bake my bottles at 250 I do not open the oven door at all until I am sure they have reached room temperature in there.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: ynotbrusum on April 12, 2014, 04:16:06 AM
I use swing tops, so baking them could melt the rubber gasket...so StarSan for me.  Also I have the bottle tree with the bottle spritzer attachment, so it's easy peasy.   Only gushers now come from overcarbing.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: Stevie on April 12, 2014, 04:30:57 AM

I use swing tops, so baking them could melt the rubber gasket...so StarSan for me.  Also I have the bottle tree with the bottle spritzer attachment, so it's easy peasy.   Only gushers now come from overcarbing.

Maybe try removing the rubber gasket before sanitizing, sanitize both the bottle and gasket, then reassemble just before bottling.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 12, 2014, 07:29:54 AM
If you watch art glass being made you will see the last step is that it goes into an annealing oven. Those start at the working temps, and the glass is slowly brought to ambient over a day or two. If not it will be brittle.

Glass bottles were made from glass that was a hot glowing slug of material. They are cooled slowly.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: tschmidlin on April 14, 2014, 01:01:08 AM
They really get that hot?  I wouldn't have guessed that.  I do think that there is a big difference between the bottles used in the US and the ones used in Canada.  We've had beer bottle re-use by the big breweries for years, I'm unsure if the US does the same but I think our bottles are thicker and they seem thicker when I look at them in order to be re-used more frequently.

The theory is that the repeated heating and cooling induces stress fractures.  No personal experience, but that's what I've heard from people who do it.

I have been baking my bottles at 250 for an hour for 2 years now. No issues yet.
You know this is not sufficient time or temperature for sterilization?  I'm not saying it's not doing anything, just that it might not be as effective as you think.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: BrodyR on April 14, 2014, 02:54:08 PM
Another question: Would the beer's gravity be an indication of whether or not there was an infection? My thoughts are if the gravity drops significantly it means there is probably some bacteria or wild yeast eating the dextrines that would still be there if the issue was priming sugar related.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 14, 2014, 02:57:54 PM
Maybe that's more of an issue when using dry heat in an oven, where you generally use higher temps for a longer period of time. I'm thinking that if the "Sanitize" setting on dishwashers lead to weakened glass, there'd be some kind of cautions on the machine. It would just take one glass baby bottle breaking in some kids face for some serious law suits.

I always understood this to be one of the main reasons crystal should not go through a dishwasher, but be washed by hand.  Crystal glasses, being thinner, may be more susceptible to cracking/weakening from heat.
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: morticaixavier on April 14, 2014, 03:48:36 PM
Another question: Would the beer's gravity be an indication of whether or not there was an infection? My thoughts are if the gravity drops significantly it means there is probably some bacteria or wild yeast eating the dextrines that would still be there if the issue was priming sugar related.

Yes that's an indication of infection. assuming a stable gravity was reached before bottling. And assuming that gravity was the true terminal for that wort and yeast
Title: Re: Gusher Infection?
Post by: BrodyR on April 14, 2014, 08:26:59 PM
Another question: Would the beer's gravity be an indication of whether or not there was an infection? My thoughts are if the gravity drops significantly it means there is probably some bacteria or wild yeast eating the dextrines that would still be there if the issue was priming sugar related.

Yes that's an indication of infection. assuming a stable gravity was reached before bottling. And assuming that gravity was the true terminal for that wort and yeast

Makes sense. I waited 20 days to bottle and it was a session beer (1.045 OG, 1.012 at bottling, 1.004 now) so I assume the yeast was done working after 3 weeks. I've been thinking in my head what could be infected.

I've now brewed two gusher pale ale batches but in between the two was a successful IPA. The IPA was for a contest so I suppose I was more attentive to my sanitation. As I currently have 8 gallons of imperial stout sitting in the same bucket I used to bottle I'm a bit worried. But I suppose if it was the bucket that was infected the IPA would have been infected as well. I'm hoping that swapping out my tubing and cleaning/sanitizing the hell out of all my bottles & bottling equipment with a fresh batch of star-san solution, my stout will be saved.