Author Topic: First batch of homebrew. Is it infected?  (Read 488 times)

Offline bustyraker

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First batch of homebrew. Is it infected?
« on: February 03, 2018, 01:31:19 AM »
I brewed a chocolate stout 2 weeks ago and plan on kegging tonight. Just removed the lid and there's a bunch of crud floating at the top. Is this normal?

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First batch of homebrew. Is it infected?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2018, 01:41:20 AM »
Looks like hops

Offline charlie

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Re: First batch of homebrew. Is it infected?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2018, 01:53:54 AM »
Is this normal?

That looks about right to me. You have a little bit of residual fermentation going on, and the usual yeast crud around the top. Totally typical for kegging day.

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Offline bustyraker

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Re: First batch of homebrew. Is it infected?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2018, 02:00:47 AM »
Thanks! One more noob question. I accidentally got ahead of myself and started shaking my keg to force carb before I purged it to get the oxygen out. I only shook it a few times. Will letting it set for a few minutes and then purging be ok? Or did I totally screw myself....

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Offline charlie

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Re: First batch of homebrew. Is it infected?
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2018, 02:17:36 AM »
I'm going to out myself as a pagan here, but I don't purge my kegs, and I have never noticed any oxidation whatsoever. It might help that the brews are consumed fresh, but I don't really know.

There's a lot of esoteric minutia in brewing that only makes a trivial difference. I don't want to minimize the value of these things, but save that for a later day. Concentrate on the big stuff for now, and save the little stuff for later.

Cheers!
Charlie
Yes officer, I know that I smell like beer. I'm not drinking it, I'm wearing it!

Offline Bklmt2000

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Re: First batch of homebrew. Is it infected?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2018, 02:18:51 AM »
Thanks! One more noob question. I accidentally got ahead of myself and started shaking my keg to force carb before I purged it to get the oxygen out. I only shook it a few times. Will letting it set for a few minutes and then purging be ok? Or did I totally screw myself....

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The batch will likely be fine.  Purging the O2 first would've been ideal, but not doing so as you described above isn't necessarily a deal-breaker. 

That said, you'll probably want to drink this batch sooner than later, as I'd wager at least some oxidation occurred, so drink up!  :)

Offline charlie

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Re: First batch of homebrew. Is it infected?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2018, 02:34:10 AM »
Back when I was a noob I once forgot to add Irish Moss to the boil, and I'm all "Holy Crap! Should I pitch it and start over?" And the club prez told me don't worry about it. And he was right. I couldn't tell that the brew was more cloudy than any other brew that I made before or since!.

I did screw one batch up royally: I hit 165F at mash in on a partigyle ESB. My brew log does not say how that happened, just that it did. I immediately quenched the mash with cold water, but the damage was done. The ESB only got to FG 1.030, and the small beer was like water. Both were completely undrinkable, and I tossed them after fretting about it for two weeks.

I think that brewing beer is a bit like fighting the Hydra: You can't take it all on at once. Attack the head that is the most threatening at the moment, and then the next one, and the next one. And pretty soon the Hydra doesn't have so many heads.

Charlie
Yes officer, I know that I smell like beer. I'm not drinking it, I'm wearing it!

Offline BrewBama

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Re: First batch of homebrew. Is it infected?
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2018, 01:21:42 PM »
I think that brewing beer is a bit like fighting the Hydra: You can't take it all on at once. Attack the head that is the most threatening at the moment, and then the next one, and the next one. And pretty soon the Hydra doesn't have so many heads.

Charlie

Well said. Knock down the 25 meter targets before engaging the 300 meter target.

On an aside, I rarely dump beer. There’s usually a salvageable solution.


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Offline bustyraker

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Re: First batch of homebrew. Is it infected?
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2018, 04:00:29 PM »
Turned out pretty good. It should be much better in a week or two.

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Offline Andy Farke

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Re: First batch of homebrew. Is it infected?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2018, 04:56:09 PM »
Turned out pretty good. It should be much better in a week or two.

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Cool! Most of my ales (especially stouts) hit peak after a week or two in the keg (and if you keep it cold, will stay nice and fresh for the next 1-2 months). Related to your initial post, I had the same panic about the floating gunk in my first few batches...enjoy your beer, learn from any mistakes on this batch, and good luck on your future homebrew projects!
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: First batch of homebrew. Is it infected?
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2018, 06:24:48 PM »
I think what you saw was merely CO2 and yeast.  Plenty fine and no huge problems...it goes without saying(?) that you should check the beer with a hydrometer to assure yourself that the fermentation is complete, but in fact, I rarely do it anymore.

FWIW, purging a keg for me means filling with sanitizer solution and forcing it out of the keg with CO2 until dry, then I rack to the keg in a closed system under a CO2 blanket in the fermenter.  I tend to purge several kegs with a keg to keg transfer in succession and then leave with CO2 pressure until ready to rack.  YMMV, of course, and many people "purge" after racking by using the PRV in a filled keg of beer with 10-12 pulls.  Some here would be able to explain why that is less favorable due to a blending of the gas and O2, rather than elimination of the O2 up front.

Cheers.
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Offline charlie

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Re: First batch of homebrew. Is it infected?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2018, 01:38:10 AM »
... you should check the beer with a hydrometer to assure yourself that the fermentation is complete, but in fact, I rarely do it anymore.

I like to take an OG and an FG on all my brews. These can reveal subtle things when comparing brews, and the FG is particularly valuable when comparing yeast. I like to get as low an FG as possible because I like a dry beer, so WLP-001 is my go to yeast unless I'm screwing around with something I captured from a commercial brew. And if I am I'm particularly interested in the FG so I can get a feeling for its attenuation.

Charlie
Yes officer, I know that I smell like beer. I'm not drinking it, I'm wearing it!