Author Topic: almost a lost year brewing  (Read 7328 times)

Offline kramerog

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Re: almost a lost year brewing
« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2015, 01:06:26 AM »
Can you get idophor or star san? you might just need to shock your system with something new. you might even do a bleach wash down on everything. Rinse well after.
Rinse the bleach solution off. When using iodophor or starsan there is no need to rinse and rinsing could possibly reintroduce bacteria. 

Offline larsmm

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Re: almost a lost year brewing
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2015, 04:30:59 AM »
Are you sure the plate chiller is absolutely clean?

Not only clean. After cleanning it with boiling water, then NaOH hot solution and then Acetic acid with hydrogene peroxide  solution, I put the plate chillet into a oven for 36 hours at 250°F. If any bacteria can survive that treatment, has to be McGiver's.

Offline theoman

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Re: almost a lost year brewing
« Reply #32 on: April 14, 2015, 06:53:32 AM »
It sounds to me like there's something left over from the acetic acid. Are you diluting it at all?

I'd say don't bother with the homemade acetic acid/peroxide mix and go for something commercial like Star San or Chemipro Acid (which is what I use). Follow the instructions to dilute, soak and drain well (no rinse). 

Offline larsmm

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Re: almost a lost year brewing
« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2015, 07:16:43 AM »
It sounds to me like there's something left over from the acetic acid. Are you diluting it at all?

I'd say don't bother with the homemade acetic acid/peroxide mix and go for something commercial like Star San or Chemipro Acid (which is what I use). Follow the instructions to dilute, soak and drain well (no rinse).

I rinse a lot, I'd say "very well". In fact, after rinsing, I use Chemipro oxi. I bet there's no drop of acetic acid left. First three or four times of contamination I didn't use acetic acid.

When I mix acetic acid and hydrogene peroxide, I'm trying to get peracetic acid (it's not just the same, but the efect should be quite similar). It's an excelent oxidizing agent and must kill any kind of life (bacterias, virus, molds...).

More information: I said I pitched Safale 04 and Safale US05. I've also pitched Safbrew WB-06 and Danstar Bry-97. Four diferent yeasts and all of them give me the same smell...

Offline JT

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Re: almost a lost year brewing
« Reply #34 on: April 14, 2015, 08:11:39 AM »
The one time I got a major acid vinegar smell almost immediately in my fermentation I had acidified sparge water (house tap water) with lactic acid in an attempt to lower it's alkalinity.  This may not be the case for you but still leaves the question: Are you checking your mash and sparge pH at all? 

Offline larsmm

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Re: almost a lost year brewing
« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2015, 08:28:48 AM »
The one time I got a major acid vinegar smell almost immediately in my fermentation I had acidified sparge water (house tap water) with lactic acid in an attempt to lower it's alkalinity.  This may not be the case for you but still leaves the question: Are you checking your mash and sparge pH at all?

Tap water in the village where I live is hard water so I mix filtered tap water with bottled water and this mix is used both in the mash and in the sparge. I've never checked the pH of the water and I guess it's slightly acid (although it could be a surprise). First times, when I got just beer (no contaminated), I used only filtered tap water; I didn't checked the pH neither.

Offline majorvices

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Re: almost a lost year brewing
« Reply #36 on: April 14, 2015, 11:15:54 AM »
Well, I guess you've stumped us. You should quit brewing. ;)

Seriously, I can't see what we are missing. I would recommend stop using the acetic acid. Use Star San or Iodophor. Acetic acid even in minute amounts can cause the sourness you are describing.

Plate chillers can be a cause of infection, though it does sound like you properly tackled sanitizing yours. But you may try an immersion chiller.

Aside from that, it is really difficult to infect a beer as badly as you are saying yours are getting. I mean, you either have a super bug, or you have a really dirty piece of equipment you are over looking, or you are misdiagnosing a fermentation problem for an infection.

You are fermenting a little warmer than I would recommend. Try cooling your wort down to the low 60s (F or about 16C)  before pitching your yeast and keep the fermentation temp, which will be several degrees above ambient, below 68. If you have a fermentation chamber then the temp of that chamber should be set to 60 to keep your temp in the proper zone.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: almost a lost year brewing
« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2015, 11:37:37 AM »
I admire your willingness to keep going after so many failed batches.  I'm pretty sure I would have given up by this point.

I don't know that it would help but can you post a couple of the recipes you are using and maybe some pictures of your equipment and brewing space?  It might trigger something that hasn't been thought of yet.

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline majorvices

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Re: almost a lost year brewing
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2015, 12:08:19 PM »
I want to go back to my comment about the pickle jars. I had gallon size jars I had made some homemade pickles in. I never could get the pickle smell out of the glass jars, I used bleach, PBW, setting out open in the sun, they always smelled sour. It was weird. I thought to myself, heck, they are clean and sanitary. No way that aroma will carry over. I'll harvest yeast in them.

But the yeast ended up smelling sour, and then the beer ended up smelling sour too.

And what is the byproduct of pickle fermenatation? Acetic acid!

So my only hypothesis is, you are using acetic acid as a sanitizer and that is where you sour smell is coming from. You may need to replace every soft plastic and rubber piece of your brewery. Stop using the acetic acid and use a common sanitizer like Star San or Iodophor.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: almost a lost year brewing
« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2015, 12:18:45 PM »
I thing keith is right. It's not an infection it's residue of the acetic acid. If you have any pictures of the foam you are describing it might clinch it. What you describe with the white foam under the brown krausen and yeast sounds pretty normal to me. The hard sourness that makes you step back could easily be either a big dose of co2 and/or residue of the acetic acid.

clean your carboy really well, without adding any acetic acid, just cleaner and hot water. rinse well and then see if the smell is there.
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Offline larsmm

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Re: almost a lost year brewing
« Reply #40 on: April 14, 2015, 01:00:22 PM »
Well, I guess you've stumped us. You should quit brewing. ;)

Seriously, I can't see what we are missing. I would recommend stop using the acetic acid. Use Star San or Iodophor. Acetic acid even in minute amounts can cause the sourness you are describing.

Plate chillers can be a cause of infection, though it does sound like you properly tackled sanitizing yours. But you may try an immersion chiller.

Aside from that, it is really difficult to infect a beer as badly as you are saying yours are getting. I mean, you either have a super bug, or you have a really dirty piece of equipment you are over looking, or you are misdiagnosing a fermentation problem for an infection.

You are fermenting a little warmer than I would recommend. Try cooling your wort down to the low 60s (F or about 16C)  before pitching your yeast and keep the fermentation temp, which will be several degrees above ambient, below 68. If you have a fermentation chamber then the temp of that chamber should be set to 60 to keep your temp in the proper zone.

I think I rinse a lot after using acetic acid. First I rinse just with water and then with Chemipro Oxi. But in the case of any drop of acetic acid stayed wherever, I rember you that I've used acetic acid just in the last batches, so there've been some contaminated batches in which I didn't use acetic acid. Furthermore, when I use acetic acid, previusly I've used NaOH solution.

I'd like you smell the sour smell. It's like you put a glass of vinager into your nose.

Although I'm fermenting from the middle to the top of the recomended temps, I know many homebrewers who ferment even at higher temps and don't have any problem.

Next time  I'm gonna brew outside, in order to avoid any kind of bug that could stayed in the air of the brehouse.

Thanks, thanks, thanks a lot.

Offline larsmm

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Re: almost a lost year brewing
« Reply #41 on: April 14, 2015, 01:02:57 PM »
I admire your willingness to keep going after so many failed batches.  I'm pretty sure I would have given up by this point.

I don't know that it would help but can you post a couple of the recipes you are using and maybe some pictures of your equipment and brewing space?  It might trigger something that hasn't been thought of yet.

Paul

My wife asked me some months ago: when are you gonna give it up? ;)  Now I can't post any recipe. Maybe later or tomorrow.

Offline larsmm

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Re: almost a lost year brewing
« Reply #42 on: April 14, 2015, 01:05:48 PM »
I thing keith is right. It's not an infection it's residue of the acetic acid. If you have any pictures of the foam you are describing it might clinch it. What you describe with the white foam under the brown krausen and yeast sounds pretty normal to me. The hard sourness that makes you step back could easily be either a big dose of co2 and/or residue of the acetic acid.

clean your carboy really well, without adding any acetic acid, just cleaner and hot water. rinse well and then see if the smell is there.

OK. I'm gonna try again, without acetic acid and following your intructions. Thank you very much.

Offline stevecrawshaw

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Re: almost a lost year brewing
« Reply #43 on: April 14, 2015, 03:35:06 PM »
I feel your pain. I had a similar problem 3 - 4 years ago. I resolved it through meticulous attention to cold side sanitation.

You will only get an infection after the boil (cold side). So why not experiment with no chill to eliminate some of the sources? A simple beer like an english bitter with no steep hops. fill an HDPE container straight from the boiler and seal it. let it cool to ambient and pour it directly into a new fermenter sanitised with star san with a healthy yeast pitch. Pressure cook your rehydrating container and water, chill to ambient before rehydrating.

This will at least eliminate the chiller, and rehydrated yeast process from the list of potential infection sources.

cheers
steve
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Offline larsmm

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Re: almost a lost year brewing
« Reply #44 on: April 14, 2015, 05:46:24 PM »
I feel your pain. I had a similar problem 3 - 4 years ago. I resolved it through meticulous attention to cold side sanitation.

You will only get an infection after the boil (cold side). So why not experiment with no chill to eliminate some of the sources? A simple beer like an english bitter with no steep hops. fill an HDPE container straight from the boiler and seal it. let it cool to ambient and pour it directly into a new fermenter sanitised with star san with a healthy yeast pitch. Pressure cook your rehydrating container and water, chill to ambient before rehydrating.

This will at least eliminate the chiller, and rehydrated yeast process from the list of potential infection sources.

cheers
steve

And finally what was the source of your contamination?

In one of the last batches I divided it in various parts in order to do some different tests. In one of them I used an ice bath instead of chiller plate and the rest I cold them by the chiller plate. Al parts got contaminated so I'd say chiller plate is not the source.

For all of you who think I could be confused, I compare the smell from the fermenter to those vapours from a bottle of hydrocloric acid. Well, a vit softer...

Thank you for your advice.