Author Topic: Gusher Infection?  (Read 2217 times)

Offline BrodyR

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Gusher Infection?
« 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?

Offline BrodyR

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Re: Gusher Infection?
« Reply #1 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).

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Gusher Infection?
« Reply #2 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?
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline BrodyR

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Re: Gusher Infection?
« Reply #3 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.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Gusher Infection?
« Reply #4 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?
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline BrodyR

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Re: Gusher Infection?
« Reply #5 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.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Gusher Infection?
« Reply #6 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.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline BrodyR

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Re: Gusher Infection?
« Reply #7 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.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Gusher Infection?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2014, 12:25:01 PM »
Kegs need to be cleaned too...
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline BrodyR

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Re: Gusher Infection?
« Reply #9 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.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Gusher Infection?
« Reply #10 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.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline S. cerevisiae

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Re: Gusher Infection?
« Reply #11 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
Mark V.

Just say "no" to yeast rinsing
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=19850.msg252492#msg252492

Friends don't let friends use Star San as their primary sanitizer

"Acid-anionic sanitizers are broad spectrum against bacteria and viruses, but not very effective against yeasts and molds."

Offline S. cerevisiae

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Re: Gusher Infection?
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2014, 12:53:40 PM »
I used to wash my bottles in the my dishwasher with heat dry.
Mark V.

Just say "no" to yeast rinsing
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=19850.msg252492#msg252492

Friends don't let friends use Star San as their primary sanitizer

"Acid-anionic sanitizers are broad spectrum against bacteria and viruses, but not very effective against yeasts and molds."

Offline BrodyR

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Re: Gusher Infection?
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2014, 12:57:35 PM »
I used to wash my bottles in the my dishwasher with heat dry.

With soap?

Offline S. cerevisiae

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Re: Gusher Infection?
« Reply #14 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.
Mark V.

Just say "no" to yeast rinsing
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=19850.msg252492#msg252492

Friends don't let friends use Star San as their primary sanitizer

"Acid-anionic sanitizers are broad spectrum against bacteria and viruses, but not very effective against yeasts and molds."