Author Topic: Bottling likely infected beer  (Read 1004 times)

Offline gcupples

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Bottling likely infected beer
« on: July 12, 2014, 07:33:39 PM »
After a year of homebrewing, it looks like I'm dealing with my first infection.

I brewed a 2.75 gal SMaSH saison with 100% belgian pils - mashed at 152, I pitched a packet of rehydrated Lalleman's Belle Saison yeast, and fermented on the upper end of the 70s/lower 80's (ambient temps).  OG was 1.049 and 6 days later I'm at 1.002. I can only conclude that I have an infection. The beer has a mild sourness to it which I would describe as lactic. While I don't have any homebrewing experience with sour beers, this doesn't taste nearly as funky or wild as the commercial Brett beers I've had - this is much more mild.

While I'm concerned that I have an infection in the first place, I feel like I've lucked out on a good style to have a little sour character. I'd like to bottle it but I have some concerns about it:

Can the infection be easily spread to my bottling equipment: vinyl tubing, racking cane, auto siphon, bottling bucket, beer thief, etc..? (all plastic and vinyl)

Is it likely for the beer to finish lower still? There is still minor activity in the airlock so I'm obviously going to wait until that subsides but I don't want to use my beer thief again to test if there's any chance of it being infected long term.

The fermenter is a glass carboy so I'm not too worried about about residual problems after a good overnight soak in PBW. Should I be?

Or maybe it's possible that there is no infection in the first place and I'm imagining the light sour taste. But the gravity just seems too low.

Any feedback is helpful


Cheers,
Glen
Brooklyn, NY

« Last Edit: July 12, 2014, 07:38:20 PM by glencupples »

Offline Kinetic

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Re: Bottling likely infected beer
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2014, 08:09:06 PM »
Your conclusion of infection is premature.  The yeast you used can drop a beer down to 1.002.

If you are infected, there isn't much left for the bugs to chew on.  Bottling should not be a problem.  Let them carbonate for 2-3 weeks.  Sample them.  If they seem sour or funky, put all of them in the fridge to prevent the unlikely bombs.

The rest of your gear should be fine with normal cleaning and sanitation.  I use the same plastic gear for wild beers as clean beers and haven't had a problem. 

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Bottling likely infected beer
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2014, 12:05:48 AM »
Your conclusion of infection is premature.  The yeast you used can drop a beer down to 1.002.



+1
Jon H.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bottling likely infected beer
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2014, 12:09:21 AM »
Not only will it drop a bee3r to 1.002 or lower, it is a very tart yeast strain.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Bottling likely infected beer
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2014, 02:32:18 AM »
Congrats on your well-brewed saison! I'll echo what has been said so far. It sounds like your brew has turned out pretty much how I'd expect. Let it sit another week or so before bottling. Believe it or not, it may not be finished yet.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline gcupples

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Re: Bottling likely infected beer
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2014, 03:13:00 AM »
Thanks for the positive feedback everyone.

Part of me thought I had jumped to a conclusion quickly. This is only my second time working with saison - the first one is on a wyeast belgian saison yeast and has currently ground to a halt around 1.020 but that's for a different post - so I was a little shocked to see such extreme activity in such a short time.

Cheers!