Author Topic: Accidental lacto infection; help needed  (Read 777 times)

Offline peteywheat_brews

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Accidental lacto infection; help needed
« on: July 15, 2015, 08:04:08 PM »
First time posting here, thanks in advance for any feedback.

I have an English brown ale that I brewed 4 weeks ago, on one of the hotter days of the heat wave we had in NC. The brew process had a number of issues including high fermentation temperatures and I pitched the beer onto a 2nd use yeast cake (first time trying that method.) I realized I had gotten an infection (lacto) when I popped the top on my fermentor bucket but decided to ride the wave and see if I could salvage a decent sour out of it. I have since transferred the beer to a keg and "dry hopped" it with american oak chips for 7 days. Do I need to add anything else to the beer before I carb it up? How long should I wait to put the CO2 on it and drink it? Do I need to throw out that fermentor bucket and any accessories that touched the beer? Thanks again.

-Pete

On tap: Sweet Breezy Wheat, Buzzed Lightyear Session Ale
Secondary: Hoppily Ever After IPA, Lacto Brown

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Accidental lacto infection; help needed
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2015, 09:55:36 PM »
You can keg and drink it as soon as you want.

Any plastic or rubber that touched it will be contaminated forever.  Time to replace that stuff.  A few years ago I was in a rut where a half dozen batches turned out sour.  Eventually I decided enough is enough, and converted from plastic to all glass fermenters.  The only trouble I have had since was when I oaked a batch.  The oak itself contaminated the beer and ruined it.  I guess I should have taken extra precautions against contamination from the oak.  Oh well.  Lessons learned.  We all need to learn the hard way sometimes.  Fortunately, Lacto soured beers taste pretty good, and I had several of those batches that I actually was able to enjoy, some more than others.  It's the other wild bugs out there that cause problems.  I don't know what was in that oak, but whatever it was.... yuck.
Dave

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Offline kramerog

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Re: Accidental lacto infection; help needed
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2015, 09:58:27 PM »
No need to throw the equipment away.  Keep them for future sours.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Accidental lacto infection; help needed
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2015, 02:01:51 AM »
In my opinion, good cleaning and sanitation should do the trick. If you are really worried, fine, but I think good practices and you should be able to use the fermenter again.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Accidental lacto infection; help needed
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2015, 02:19:58 AM »
Jim, I've got a half dozen contaminated plastic buckets with your name on 'em if you want 'em.
Dave

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Offline JT

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Re: Accidental lacto infection; help needed
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2015, 03:29:51 AM »
I sincerely hope I don't have to replace all the rubber in a keg that had my first sour in it.  I'm gonna give it a good cleaning and sanitizing, but I don't plan on tossing the stuff.  I may swap the keg line, but that is rather difficult to clean and I'll keep the old one for my next kegged sour.   

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Offline troybinso

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Re: Accidental lacto infection; help needed
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2015, 04:31:30 AM »
Lacto  won't survive a soak in 180+ water.

 Any bucket or plastic part that has been contaminated with an undesirable yeast or bacteria can be sanitized. It might not be worth your time or effort, but it is possible.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Accidental lacto infection; help needed
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2015, 05:22:30 AM »
Jim, I've got a half dozen contaminated plastic buckets with your name on 'em if you want 'em.
Contaminated 30L Speidels? I would pay shipping!

Offline ajk

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Re: Accidental lacto infection; help needed
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2015, 10:08:31 AM »

I sincerely hope I don't have to replace all the rubber in a keg that had my first sour in it. 
All the small keg parts (rubber, plastic, and metal) can be boiled. Hit the rest of the keg with a couple kinds of sanitizer if you want to be safe.

Online ynotbrusum

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Re: Accidental lacto infection; help needed
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2015, 11:36:41 AM »
I've never had a problem with the keg being contaminated - just a good soaking in PBW for the rubber parts and poppets did the trick.  But the serving line and Covra tap is permanently dedicated as "sour only" and the word sour is written on it with permanent marker to avoid confusion.  And rather than worrying, I did the same labeling on my souring buckets.
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Offline peteywheat_brews

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Re: Accidental lacto infection; help needed
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2015, 12:18:13 PM »
Thanks everyone! So I operate a single line kegerator, can I run my sour on it and then run a keg of star san water through it afterward or should I plan on bottling the sour batch?

Offline kramerog

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Re: Accidental lacto infection; help needed
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2015, 01:31:30 PM »
I don't take any particular precautions with kegs and lines that have dispensed sour beers, but I do disassemble and clean them between beers.  Also all my kegged beers are refrigerated.  So far no problems.

Online ynotbrusum

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Re: Accidental lacto infection; help needed
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2015, 06:15:52 PM »
Thanks everyone! So I operate a single line kegerator, can I run my sour on it and then run a keg of star san water through it afterward or should I plan on bottling the sour batch?

And remember that Star San doesn't preclude cleaning - it is only for sanitizing an already clean item.  I would suggest PBW or BLC or a good soaking in a product that cleans, before rinsing and sanitizing with Star San.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Accidental lacto infection; help needed
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2015, 06:53:52 PM »
No need to throw the equipment away.  Keep them for future sours.

+1.  I also have dedicated kegs/tap lines for just my sour beers.  Keeps it easier when I have lots of beer coming down the pipeline.