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Author Topic: stabilize beer?  (Read 1762 times)

Offline copachino

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stabilize beer?
« on: May 11, 2021, 12:23:37 pm »
hi all,

im having a bit of problems during my secondary fermentation of beer, after fermentation stop pellicle infect my beer, the beer taste good so i believe the problem its on my racking tools, so, i was wondering if anyone stabilized beer before secondary or before kegging just to stop any infection attacking your beer, by stabilization i mean the same as mead with potassium sorbate and campden

Offline fredthecat

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Re: stabilize beer?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2021, 01:02:47 pm »
hi all,

im having a bit of problems during my secondary fermentation of beer, after fermentation stop pellicle infect my beer, the beer taste good so i believe the problem its on my racking tools, so, i was wondering if anyone stabilized beer before secondary or before kegging just to stop any infection attacking your beer, by stabilization i mean the same as mead with potassium sorbate and campden

it may not be a pellicle? infection is very rare in most homebrewing. the fact that it tastes good, also indicates it might not be. could you post a pic?

re: stabilizing - i have honestly only had one or maybe two infections ever, and i cant even remember the particulars they were so long ago. but if youre kegging i can imagine that campden tabs then force carbonation could work.

Offline majorvices

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Re: stabilize beer?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2021, 01:45:22 pm »
Beer should be pretty stable when fermentation is finished due to the lower pH and reduction of fermentables. You shouldn't need any additional additives to stabilize it.

A lot of homebrewers on this forum and elsewhere will advise to skip the "secondary" for most beers unless you are doing an actual secondary fermentation (such as adding fruit) or if you have the ability to purge the secondary wth co2. You don't want to leave the beer on the yeast too long because of problems with autolysis but a couple weeks will be fine and should give you all the time you need to clear the beer sufficiently for packaging (in most cases. You can even fine in the primary fermenter if you want).

If you do use a secondary be sure to minimize headspace as much as possible. e.g., don't put 4.5 gallons in a 6.5 gallon carboy. If possible purge the vessel with co2 first or add some fermentables to introduce an actual secondary fermentation which should help scavenge and reduce the damage of the inevitable oxidation.

If you are having problems with pellicles forming double check your sanitation. A lot of time pellicles form because of an aerobic microorganism. Poor racking techniques and oxidation from secondaries confound the problem.

Rather than looking at ways to "stabilize" the beer, use proper techniques and the beer will be stable without any additves.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2021, 03:22:43 pm by majorvices »

Offline majorvices

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Re: stabilize beer?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2021, 01:52:36 pm »
hi all,

im having a bit of problems during my secondary fermentation of beer, after fermentation stop pellicle infect my beer, the beer taste good so i believe the problem its on my racking tools, so, i was wondering if anyone stabilized beer before secondary or before kegging just to stop any infection attacking your beer, by stabilization i mean the same as mead with potassium sorbate and campden

it may not be a pellicle? infection is very rare in most homebrewing. the fact that it tastes good, also indicates it might not be. could you post a pic?


I think what is meant is that the beer tastes good before the transfer to secondary. Also, infection is only "very rare in homebrewing" when homebrewers follow strict sanitary procedures.

Offline kramerog

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Re: stabilize beer?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2021, 08:30:15 am »
I don't know anyone who stabilizes beer but plenty who stabilize mead, cider and wine.

Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: stabilize beer?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2021, 05:35:18 am »
Beer should be pretty stable when fermentation is finished due to the lower pH and reduction of fermentables. You shouldn't need any additional additives to stabilize it.

A lot of homebrewers on this forum and elsewhere will advise to skip the "secondary" for most beers unless you are doing an actual secondary fermentation (such as adding fruit) or if you have the ability to purge the secondary wth co2. You don't want to leave the beer on the yeast too long because of problems with autolysis but a couple weeks will be fine and should give you all the time you need to clear the beer sufficiently for packaging (in most cases. You can even fine in the primary fermenter if you want).

If you do use a secondary be sure to minimize headspace as much as possible. e.g., don't put 4.5 gallons in a 6.5 gallon carboy. If possible purge the vessel with co2 first or add some fermentables to introduce an actual secondary fermentation which should help scavenge and reduce the damage of the inevitable oxidation.

If you are having problems with pellicles forming double check your sanitation. A lot of time pellicles form because of an aerobic microorganism. Poor racking techniques and oxidation from secondaries confound the problem.

Rather than looking at ways to "stabilize" the beer, use proper techniques and the beer will be stable without any additves.

+1 ^
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: stabilize beer?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2021, 05:47:36 am »
I had a beer once with an unintentional Lactobacillus infection where I attempted to stabilize with sorbate and sulfite.  The finished beer still turned out sour so I'm not sure whether adding the chemicals actually helped much or not.  If you are not experiencing off-flavors yet, it may be worth a try.  However if you ever plan to prime and carbonate in bottles, understand that this could result in low to no carbonation, or that it will take a very very long time to carbonate.  My beer was low carbonation with diacetyl for several weeks.  Several months later, the diacetyl was gone and the beer did carbonate.  Just took a long time.  If you are kegging, then the diacetyl might still be a problem but obviously you can easily overcome the carbonation issue.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: stabilize beer?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2021, 12:01:50 pm »
If I was in your shoes I would work on eradicating the infection over trying to chemically control it.
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