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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: trapae on May 22, 2016, 12:59:29 pm

Title: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: trapae on May 22, 2016, 12:59:29 pm
 We all worry about and go through all the painstaking measures to stay sterile,  and I'm just wondering how many of us have actually gotten a batch infected to the point where you had to throw it out?
 I remember my second batch was a two hearted clone before I went to all grain and I ended up throwing it out. Not sure what happened but I was so new could've been anything at that point.   Now my wife makes fun of me because after flameout, I put on a hairnet, close all the doors in the garage, sweat my balls off and act like I'm in a surgical suite until I close up the fermenter.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: denny on May 22, 2016, 01:06:13 pm
I've had a few infected to the point I tossed them, but I would never go to the lengths you do. That destroys the fun for me.  And losing maybe 3 batches out of 500 is a pretty good average.  So I'm careful, but not obsessed.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: HoosierBrew on May 22, 2016, 01:15:37 pm
I've dumped two in over 20 years from infection. Friends thought I was overreacting as both were pretty low level infections - but I could tell it and that's all that mattered.  Like Denny said, that's a pretty decent batting average. I don't go to extremes with sanitation, but I've done it enough times to have a good routine.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: trapae on May 22, 2016, 01:19:23 pm
 500 batches,,, 20 years,,, just when I start feeling like I'm getting the hang of things, I get humbled.   Tons of good well-earned knowledge on this forum!
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: tommymorris on May 22, 2016, 01:20:14 pm
I don't worry too much about infection from airborne yeast or bacteria. Yeast pitch quantities are designed to quickly overwhelm the small quantities from that vector. I worry more about lingering bacteria in a piece of tubing or in the fermenter. Both get put up slightly wet in a warm garage and seem like they would be good environments for bacteria to grow. Of course, I clean those before use.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: Hand of Dom on May 22, 2016, 01:24:46 pm
I've had one that turned a batch of raisin dubbel (from BLAM) into vinegar.  Touch wood, that's been it.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: jweiss206 on May 22, 2016, 01:35:54 pm
For my first lager I used 6-row as the base malt. I didn't boil it vigorously enough and the whole batch tasted of creamed corn. That's was procedural error rather than an airborne infection, but it's the closest I've come to tossing a batch. I still managed to drink it all down....quietly...in the dark.....alone....with my eyes shut  :o
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: brewinhard on May 22, 2016, 02:26:25 pm
I have had a few in my years of brewing, but none in the past 6. Mainly when I first started brewing and was unaware of proper chemicals for sanitizing. I used to only use bleach and one-step. Man, how my brewing has changed.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: erockrph on May 22, 2016, 04:37:09 pm
The only batch I lost to infection was after I threw a couple of cinnamon sticks into secondary on a batch of winter warmer. Any other infected batches have been intentional :)
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: yso191 on May 22, 2016, 05:24:36 pm
I've only been brewing a few years, but the answer for me is never.  My neighbor had an infection once but it turned out a very tasty sour, so no dump there!
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: BrewBama on May 22, 2016, 05:40:11 pm
I've had a cpl dumpers but not due to infection. I've found I do not like certain beers.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: ibrubeer on May 23, 2016, 04:48:47 am
Ironic topic! I currently have a batch in the fermenter that I need to dump. 3rd batch in over 20 years. Mine is due to a persistent infection in my minibrew conical though, I believe.  Now I just need to figure out a way to ensure that I have eradicated the infection from the conical!!!


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Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: rob_f on May 23, 2016, 07:12:19 am
I've dumped a couple of batches long ago for band-aid wild yeast flavor.  Lately I'm seeing a lacto sourness showing up in some kegs after several months and I keep drinking those until I need the keg.  Right now I have and English Pale that is starting to sour and I like it.  I am working on isolating the problem.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: pete b on May 23, 2016, 08:07:22 am
I recently dumped my first batch but it wasn't due to infection, it was because I pushed the limits with too many variables on an English pale Ale and ended up with a beer I simply didn't want5 to drink. I have had 2 infections that I know of, neither a dumper, one arguably an improvement.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: reverseapachemaster on May 23, 2016, 09:04:55 am
I've dumped a few due to infections. It happens.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: Phil_M on May 23, 2016, 09:14:55 am
I've had it happen twice, both infections came from the same source. (contaminated blowoff tubing.)

The resulting beers had a horrible vomit-like stomach-acid flavor. Completely undrinkable.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: chumley on May 23, 2016, 09:45:18 am
About 10-12 years ago, I had a nasty pediococcus infection in my brewery, which came about the same time I was brewing lambics.  Think I threw out at least 4 batches.  I did get rid of it, eventually, through a combination of bleach soaks, heat, and quaternary ammonium.

Now I have a low level brett infection, which slightly sours some long sitting beers.  I haven't decided whether to get rid of it yet or not.  I am preferring the soured keg of doppelbock over the too sweet unsoured version that I had at Christmas.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: dbarber on May 23, 2016, 11:12:01 am
I've dumped a couple batches in 200+ batches, but only because I didn't like the finished beer.  I've never had an infection that required dumping.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: Slowbrew on May 23, 2016, 11:51:36 am
In 18 years I've had a few infected bottles but I can't specifically say I've had entire batches infected.  Some where just "not quite right" and we drank them faster than we normally would, just in case.

I have had absolutely awful beers because of bad temp control and messed up processes but nothing I would write off as "infected".  The problem kids have always been my fault.    ::)

Paul
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: udubdawg on May 23, 2016, 01:46:38 pm
Amanda and I have decided this thread is full of liars.    ;D
at the very least you guys are entering competitions a lot less frequently than those making the infected stuff I keep running into at the judging table.

Sure, I've tossed batches.  Certainly more because of oxidation or just being tired of it, but infections happen.  Occasionally the effect is lovely, and sometimes others don't even notice it.  Friends couldn't detect the mouse in a batch of cider, but it was there, and I didn't keep that **** another day.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: Slowbrew on May 23, 2016, 02:38:10 pm
Amanda and I have decided this thread is full of liars.    ;D
at the very least you guys are entering competitions a lot less frequently than those making the infected stuff I keep running into at the judging table.

Sure, I've tossed batches.  Certainly more because of oxidation or just being tired of it, but infections happen.  Occasionally the effect is lovely, and sometimes others don't even notice it.  Friends couldn't detect the mouse in a batch of cider, but it was there, and I didn't keep that **** another day.

That's probably a good working theory.   ;D

For what it's worth I have never entered a competition.  Just isn't my idea of fun.

I was told once by an owner of a brewery here in Des Moines that he thought my beers were awesome.  Didn't find out who the guy was until weeks later so that's the sum total of the appraisal.   ::)

I'm sure some have had infections but they were not so obviously terrible they got thrown out but I would never intentionally tell you guys lies. ;D

Paul
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: ynotbrusum on May 23, 2016, 03:03:47 pm
My chief problem on recent dumpers (2 in the last year) were due to mold and wild yeast taking hold post fermentation, when I left the beer in the primary for over a month beyond fermentation ending.  Those buggers arose, because they were present (perhaps from airborne contamination, but also a possible result of the yeast used on a re-pitch getting contaminated...)  In any event they didn't show up for several weeks and were pretty mildly impactful (though enough effect on flavor to make me say "dump it!").

Why so long in the primary?  No empty kegs...now I will bottle beers from keg and get on with a quicker rotation to the kegs.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: Joe Sr. on May 23, 2016, 03:44:19 pm
Why so long in the primary?  No empty kegs...now I will bottle beers from keg and get on with a quicker rotation to the kegs.

Or buy more kegs.

Amanda and I have decided this thread is full of liars.    ;D
at the very least you guys are entering competitions a lot less frequently than those making the infected stuff I keep running into at the judging table.

Sure, I've tossed batches.  Certainly more because of oxidation or just being tired of it, but infections happen.  Occasionally the effect is lovely, and sometimes others don't even notice it.  Friends couldn't detect the mouse in a batch of cider, but it was there, and I didn't keep that **** another day.


Infections don't just happen, though.  There's a weak link somewhere that allows them to happen.  I've had a couple over the years, but nothing persistent or even really traceable to specific equipment.  Probably due to way underpitching or using old yeast such that the infection took hold before the yeast did.

I used to be a little more worried about it until I realized that the strange tart flavor in certain beers came from Nottingham yeast.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: brewinhard on May 23, 2016, 03:51:57 pm
Why so long in the primary?  No empty kegs...now I will bottle beers from keg and get on with a quicker rotation to the kegs.

Or buy more kegs.

Amanda and I have decided this thread is full of liars.    ;D
at the very least you guys are entering competitions a lot less frequently than those making the infected stuff I keep running into at the judging table.

Sure, I've tossed batches.  Certainly more because of oxidation or just being tired of it, but infections happen.  Occasionally the effect is lovely, and sometimes others don't even notice it.  Friends couldn't detect the mouse in a batch of cider, but it was there, and I didn't keep that **** another day.


I used to be a little more worried about it until I realized that the strange tart flavor in certain beers came from Nottingham yeast.

Poor Nottingham.  No love do you have. That's okay, I think its just ooookay too.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: Joe Sr. on May 23, 2016, 03:58:39 pm
Maybe I need to give it another try.

Maybe.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: brewinhard on May 23, 2016, 04:00:22 pm
Maybe I need to give it another try.

Maybe.

Don't waste your time.  There are tons of great strains out there to dabble with.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: ynotbrusum on May 23, 2016, 04:14:54 pm
Why so long in the primary?  No empty kegs...now I will bottle beers from keg and get on with a quicker rotation to the kegs.

Or buy more kegs.

Amanda and I have decided this thread is full of liars.    ;D
at the very least you guys are entering competitions a lot less frequently than those making the infected stuff I keep running into at the judging table.

Sure, I've tossed batches.  Certainly more because of oxidation or just being tired of it, but infections happen.  Occasionally the effect is lovely, and sometimes others don't even notice it.  Friends couldn't detect the mouse in a batch of cider, but it was there, and I didn't keep that **** another day.


Infections don't just happen, though.  There's a weak link somewhere that allows them to happen.  I've had a couple over the years, but nothing persistent or even really traceable to specific equipment.  Probably due to way underpitching or using old yeast such that the infection took hold before the yeast did.

I used to be a little more worried about it until I realized that the strange tart flavor in certain beers came from Nottingham yeast.

As to more kegs - at 17, I am pushing my storage space limits already!

As to causes of infection, I think the airborne contaminants can be minimized, and good cleaning and sanitation can root out most issues on the containers and transfer tubing, but what about those that are in the yeast pack?  I noticed that on the yeast packaging or website, some of the wild yeast are present and given enough time may be able to take hold to a noticeable degree....
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: HoosierBrew on May 23, 2016, 04:27:33 pm
As to causes of infection, I think the airborne contaminants can be minimized, and good cleaning and sanitation can root out most issues on the containers and transfer tubing, but what about those that are in the yeast pack?  I noticed that on the yeast packaging or website, some of the wild yeast are present and given enough time may be able to take hold to a noticeable degree....


I don't doubt there's a slight possibility of that. I've just never had an issue leaving in primary for 3 weeks, 4 weeks on big beers. Part of it has been wanting to let beers clean up (especially certain strains) and part has been work/ family schedules. Definitely never a bad idea to keg a beer that's ready, though.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: pete b on May 23, 2016, 04:41:55 pm
Amanda and I have decided this thread is full of liars.    ;D
at the very least you guys are entering competitions a lot less frequently than those making the infected stuff I keep running into at the judging table.

Sure, I've tossed batches.  Certainly more because of oxidation or just being tired of it, but infections happen.  Occasionally the effect is lovely, and sometimes others don't even notice it.  Friends couldn't detect the mouse in a batch of cider, but it was there, and I didn't keep that **** another day.
I have an impression that 10% of brewers who enter competition are very good to excellent brewers and the other 90% are at least partially deluded. I also bet that most great brewers don't enter competitions.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: jimmykx250 on May 23, 2016, 04:54:02 pm
Pushed the envelope on this topic today and I will see where I end up. Made the stone russian imperial stout and made a starter pitched yesterday and this morning the 5 gal lid was crowned and it was spewing out of one area where apparently my bucket seal is not so good. This happened when I was at work and my wife tried to help but lost the gasket for the blow off tube in the beer so i told her put the bucket in a clean new garbage bag and cover the top with another. Being the clean freak i am i yanked the top and cleaned and sanitized it and cleaned the sides of the bucket when i got home from work. It had an open top for a while. Im hoping because it was so active nothing went in only out! We will see. Hey its home brewing right?   
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: HoosierBrew on May 23, 2016, 04:59:35 pm
Pushed the envelope on this topic today and I will see where I end up. Made the stone russian imperial stout and made a starter pitched yesterday and this morning the 5 gal lid was crowned and it was spewing out of one area where apparently my bucket seal is not so good. This happened when I was at work and my wife tried to help but lost the gasket for the blow off tube in the beer so i told her put the bucket in a clean new garbage bag and cover the top with another. Being the clean freak i am i yanked the top and cleaned and sanitized it and cleaned the sides of the bucket when i got home from work. It had an open top for a while. Im hoping because it was so active nothing went in only out! We will see. Hey its home brewing right?   



You should be fine. Like you say, the active fermentation would've kept the fermenter purged for that amount of time.  And there are still quite a few breweries that open ferment.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: brewinhard on May 23, 2016, 05:09:04 pm
Pushed the envelope on this topic today and I will see where I end up. Made the stone russian imperial stout and made a starter pitched yesterday and this morning the 5 gal lid was crowned and it was spewing out of one area where apparently my bucket seal is not so good. This happened when I was at work and my wife tried to help but lost the gasket for the blow off tube in the beer so i told her put the bucket in a clean new garbage bag and cover the top with another. Being the clean freak i am i yanked the top and cleaned and sanitized it and cleaned the sides of the bucket when i got home from work. It had an open top for a while. Im hoping because it was so active nothing went in only out! We will see. Hey its home brewing right?

Timely. I was just talking with a brewing buddy about a scenario like this that I encountered in my early brewing days...

I too was making my first RIS and could only chill it down to 80F due to summer time blues. I racked it on top of a pre-existing yeast cake (have not done that since) and by the next morning, the lid had completely blown off the bucket and about 6+ inches of foam/krausen was pouring out of the open bucket. I had no temp control and had placed the bucket in the coolest, most dingy, filthy part of my dirt covered unfinished basement. Needless to say, I thought that brew was destined for infection.
I bottled it up as it tasted fine, and about 10 months later, I took multiple gold medals with it along with a couple BOS's. So, long story short, you will probably be fine, or at least the Ninkasi God will smile upon you.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: udubdawg on May 23, 2016, 06:30:30 pm

I have an impression that 10% of brewers who enter competition are very good to excellent brewers and the other 90% are at least partially deluded.

I'm pretty sure I fit both of these though.  8)
You coming to NHC? And perhaps more importantly, if so are you bringing mead?
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: pete b on May 24, 2016, 05:30:53 am

I have an impression that 10% of brewers who enter competition are very good to excellent brewers and the other 90% are at least partially deluded.

I'm pretty sure I fit both of these though.  8)
You coming to NHC? And perhaps more importantly, if so are you bringing mead?
No, I haven't seriously considered going yet. Even tough I have 8 weeks vacation I manage to fill it up with things to do, I think someday I will. I am a borderline introvert which manifests in me very much enjoying socializing but then needing time alone. I try to never book socializing for both days of the weekend. So several days with a crowd of people is a stretch for me. The thing I find most appealing is the forum meet up. I picture myself when I do go attending a manageable amount of events and spending a good amount of my time exploring the host city on my own.
Title: Re: How many of you have truly gotten a batch destroying infection
Post by: Joe Sr. on May 24, 2016, 08:30:24 am
Maybe I need to give it another try.

Maybe.

Don't waste your time.  There are tons of great strains out there to dabble with.

Yeah, but I have two packs in my dry yeast stash that I saw last week.  I'll need to use them for something.