Author Topic: How Common Are Infected Batches?  (Read 1871 times)

Offline denny

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Re: How Common Are Infected Batches?
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2010, 08:36:47 AM »
I would bet the farm most of us wouldn't drink beers from wayy back then, sorry but I have little romantic notions of the good old days re: beer.
 ;)

I agree.

I've been brewing 12 years, 381 batches as of today, and I've probably had 6-8 infected batches in that time.
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Offline denny

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Re: How Common Are Infected Batches?
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2010, 08:39:13 AM »
"But that doesn't mean the ancient beer wouldn't bee good, I think we just won't ever know."

I think we can be sure that most beer was crap in the good old days. Don't believe it, try brewing without a thermometer, sanitizer, yeast, electricity/propane and stainless steel. Get your water from the nearest creek, river, pond or lake. It would probably be a good idea to pee in the water to replicate the good old days lack of sewage treatment. If there were sewers, somebody else's untreated "discharge" was probably just far enough upstream to not see "floaters."

People will eat, drink, smoke, and inject anything to kill a few brain cells.
I don't think so.  How long would a local brewpub last if it made an undrinkable product?  Think of the ancient brewers/brewsters as local brewpubs who learned their craft from generations of experimentation.  After a while you've got to hit on the right formula.

I think standards were very different back then.  Probably a lot of their food would be infected and sour, but since that's the way everything was, it didn't generate much notice.  Add in the fact that even if infected, beer was safer to drink than water and hey, it had alcohol!
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Offline maxieboy

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Re: How Common Are Infected Batches?
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2010, 08:41:10 AM »
10+ yrs. brewing, 300+ batches, 1 infection ( batch #2 ). Sanitation is rule number one, right?  ;D
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Offline hokerer

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Re: How Common Are Infected Batches?
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2010, 09:01:07 AM »
My one and only (so far, knock on wood) infected batch...

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=2692.msg30878#msg30878
Joe

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: How Common Are Infected Batches?
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2010, 10:07:26 AM »
I have been brewing for almost 18 years, maybe 280 batches counting todays, and have had maybe 6 or a little more.  Some don't show signs for a long time.  Most of these were back in the mid 90's before Star San.

There was one last year that had some bret in one carboy, but not the other.  It was a Saison, so the infected one was a happy mistake, as it was tasty.   This beer was fermented in a conical then, split to carboys at the same time for aging, so it was the carboy.

The first part of sanitizing is cleaning to get rid of soils.  You can't sanitize dirt.  I am making sure to do a PBW soak on thigns to get ride of any deposits.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: How Common Are Infected Batches?
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2010, 11:11:06 AM »
I think standards were very different back then.  Probably a lot of their food would be infected and sour, but since that's the way everything was, it didn't generate much notice.  Add in the fact that even if infected, beer was safer to drink than water and hey, it had alcohol!
Yeah, but who says sour is automatically bad?  Not lambic brewers, that's for sure.

I definitely think you can make good beer without any tools, but I haven't done a 10 year apprenticeship to figure out when the water is the right temp for mashing :)  With some math though we can figure it all out to hit temps no problem, something that brewers probably figured out through trial and error.  You can heat water to body temp, that is easy to feel.  Then you can add measured quantities of boiling water to hit whatever temp you want.  Physics works, even if the brewers way back when didn't understand exactly why or how.

There were probably good batches and bad batches, and the brewers who made more good beer than bad were probably more successful.  It might have been ugly, murky, chunky, but that doesn't mean it was bad, just different.  We'll just never really know what successful brewers were making 2000 years ago, despite residue found in old jars.

I've been to China and eaten a lot of different foods, and I can say without a doubt a lot of it was delicious and some of it was terrible.  But the people I was with liked it, so it was good to them.  And beets taste like dirt to me, but my wife loves them and that's fine.  So I don't think we can assume that ancient beers would be terrible, especially if you were brewing for a king/pharaoh and your life depended on making good beer :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline denny

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Re: How Common Are Infected Batches?
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2010, 11:38:56 AM »
Yeah, but who says sour is automatically bad?  Not lambic brewers, that's for sure.

Agreed
I've been to China and eaten a lot of different foods, and I can say without a doubt a lot of it was delicious and some of it was terrible.  But the people I was with liked it, so it was good to them.  And beets taste like dirt to me, but my wife loves them and that's fine.  So I don't think we can assume that ancient beers would be terrible, especially if you were brewing for a king/pharaoh and your life depended on making good beer :)

And that's my point...standards and tastes change over time and differ from person to person.  Maybe those kings/pharaohs expected beer to taste a way that we wouldn't find acceptable now.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: How Common Are Infected Batches?
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2010, 01:34:38 PM »
And that's my point...standards and tastes change over time and differ from person to person.  Maybe those kings/pharaohs expected beer to taste a way that we wouldn't find acceptable now.
Then we agree.  I just don't think we can assume that we'd hate them or that they were bad, someone around today would probably like them, maybe even you or I.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline majorvices

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Re: How Common Are Infected Batches?
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2010, 01:49:21 PM »
You'd go maybe 2 or 3 weeks without a beer and then you would drink whatever the hell was available.  ;)

Obviously no one knows for sure wether today's palates could tolerate the beers of yesteryear - but there is plenty of documented evidence that people found some beers to taste better than others. Remember, they selected yeast from batches of beer that tasted "good" by using the same fermentation vessels and the yeast from previous batches (even though they didn't know that the yeast was really yeast.) So they were obviously interested in selecting beers that tasted "good".
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Offline denny

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Re: How Common Are Infected Batches?
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2010, 01:55:58 PM »
And that's my point...standards and tastes change over time and differ from person to person.  Maybe those kings/pharaohs expected beer to taste a way that we wouldn't find acceptable now.
Then we agree.  I just don't think we can assume that we'd hate them or that they were bad, someone around today would probably like them, maybe even you or I.

I agree that we might not hate them as long as you agree that we might!  ;)
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: How Common Are Infected Batches?
« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2010, 01:58:17 PM »
I agree that we might not hate them as long as you agree that we might!  ;)
I hate some of the beers made with modern techniques and fancy equipment, so I have no problem with that :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline dhacker

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Re: How Common Are Infected Batches?
« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2010, 02:00:32 PM »
I can only remember 2 . .one batch with incredible acetaldehyde, and the other that looked like a jellyfish had moved into my carboy.  
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Offline svejk

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Re: How Common Are Infected Batches?
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2010, 02:02:02 PM »
I can only remember 2 . .one batch with incredible acetaldehyde, and the other that looked like a jellyfish had moved into my carboy.  

So how did the jellyfish taste?

Offline dhacker

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Re: How Common Are Infected Batches?
« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2010, 02:04:50 PM »
Slick and slimy . . . like boiled okra.

Thought about calling Sponge Bob.
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Offline jptheelder

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Re: How Common Are Infected Batches?
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2010, 03:40:06 PM »
after 161 batches, I have had 2. they both had the same taste. kinda like the black stuff on the under side of raw mushrooms. People describe DMS as a cooked corn or vegetable flavor, and a flavor in Rolling Rock. I dont think it was that, but it did get much worse with age. I hope to some day take the off flavor class or something, to figure out what it was and how to avoid it.