Author Topic: Been in a slump lately  (Read 1021 times)

Offline dbeechum

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Re: Been in a slump lately
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2022, 11:43:30 am »
Really? The product I used was specifically made for the restaurant industry.

The only real problem with Quat as a food grade sanitizer is you've got to be on the spot about your concentrations. It's nasty stuff if you're not careful
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Offline wesbrew

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Re: Been in a slump lately
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2022, 07:25:22 am »
I made a series of dumpers around 2015. Sanitized everything. Started soaking bucket too. Beer kept getting infection.  I had to retire my 7yo bucket for a stainless bucket. I also switched to iodophor, wiped down brew area and equipment with it. I  make a small bucket of sanitizer on brew day for hands dipping, tools and parts. Zero infections since. My grains are only 5ft from my brew area but all milling takes place outside.
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Online Megary

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Re: Been in a slump lately
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2022, 08:34:57 am »
I made a series of dumpers around 2015. Sanitized everything. Started soaking bucket too. Beer kept getting infection.  I had to retire my 7yo bucket for a stainless bucket. I also switched to iodophor, wiped down brew area and equipment with it. I  make a small bucket of sanitizer on brew day for hands dipping, tools and parts. Zero infections since. My grains are only 5ft from my brew area but all milling takes place outside.

I hear this from time to time...that we should mill our grains away from the brew area.  Why?

I mill, mash, boil, cool, transfer and pitch within a 6' triangle in my kitchen.  I small batch brew and crush my grains in a Kitchen Aid Grain Mill.  Some dust, yes.  But obviously, the kitchen gets a good cleaning after I mill the grains (usually the night before) and before I brew (the next day).

What devilry am I exposing myself to? 

Offline denny

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Re: Been in a slump lately
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2022, 08:50:23 am »
I made a series of dumpers around 2015. Sanitized everything. Started soaking bucket too. Beer kept getting infection.  I had to retire my 7yo bucket for a stainless bucket. I also switched to iodophor, wiped down brew area and equipment with it. I  make a small bucket of sanitizer on brew day for hands dipping, tools and parts. Zero infections since. My grains are only 5ft from my brew area but all milling takes place outside.

I hear this from time to time...that we should mill our grains away from the brew area.  Why?

I mill, mash, boil, cool, transfer and pitch within a 6' triangle in my kitchen.  I small batch brew and crush my grains in a Kitchen Aid Grain Mill.  Some dust, yes.  But obviously, the kitchen gets a good cleaning after I mill the grains (usually the night before) and before I brew (the next day).

What devilry am I exposing myself to?

Grain carries lactobacillus. In the past one of the primary ways of producing sour beer was to toss in a handful is grain in the fermenter. But obviously, as you point out, while it might be a risk it's not a given. I both Brew and mill in my garage, but I take the minimal step of brewing at one end and milling at the other. I think that as long as you're aware of the risk, its easy to avoid.
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Offline Cliffs

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Re: Been in a slump lately
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2022, 09:12:27 am »
Every few years I fall into a slump. I take a month off from brewing and feel much better.

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Re: Been in a slump lately
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2022, 09:19:20 am »
I made a series of dumpers around 2015. Sanitized everything. Started soaking bucket too. Beer kept getting infection.  I had to retire my 7yo bucket for a stainless bucket. I also switched to iodophor, wiped down brew area and equipment with it. I  make a small bucket of sanitizer on brew day for hands dipping, tools and parts. Zero infections since. My grains are only 5ft from my brew area but all milling takes place outside.

I hear this from time to time...that we should mill our grains away from the brew area.  Why?

I mill, mash, boil, cool, transfer and pitch within a 6' triangle in my kitchen.  I small batch brew and crush my grains in a Kitchen Aid Grain Mill.  Some dust, yes.  But obviously, the kitchen gets a good cleaning after I mill the grains (usually the night before) and before I brew (the next day).

What devilry am I exposing myself to?

Grain carries lactobacillus. In the past one of the primary ways of producing sour beer was to toss in a handful is grain in the fermenter. But obviously, as you point out, while it might be a risk it's not a given. I both Brew and mill in my garage, but I take the minimal step of brewing at one end and milling at the other. I think that as long as you're aware of the risk, its easy to avoid.

So if I understand you, the takeaway is to keep the grain and grain dust away from the fermenter.  Makes sense.  Or is there more to it than that?

Offline denny

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Re: Been in a slump lately
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2022, 09:37:05 am »
I made a series of dumpers around 2015. Sanitized everything. Started soaking bucket too. Beer kept getting infection.  I had to retire my 7yo bucket for a stainless bucket. I also switched to iodophor, wiped down brew area and equipment with it. I  make a small bucket of sanitizer on brew day for hands dipping, tools and parts. Zero infections since. My grains are only 5ft from my brew area but all milling takes place outside.

I hear this from time to time...that we should mill our grains away from the brew area.  Why?

I mill, mash, boil, cool, transfer and pitch within a 6' triangle in my kitchen.  I small batch brew and crush my grains in a Kitchen Aid Grain Mill.  Some dust, yes.  But obviously, the kitchen gets a good cleaning after I mill the grains (usually the night before) and before I brew (the next day).

What devilry am I exposing myself to?

Grain carries lactobacillus. In the past one of the primary ways of producing sour beer was to toss in a handful is grain in the fermenter. But obviously, as you point out, while it might be a risk it's not a given. I both Brew and mill in my garage, but I take the minimal step of brewing at one end and milling at the other. I think that as long as you're aware of the risk, its easy to avoid.

So if I understand you, the takeaway is to keep the grain and grain dust away from the fermenter.  Makes sense.  Or is there more to it than that?

Yeah, you want to avoid anything post boil.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Been in a slump lately
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2022, 10:25:18 am »
Another way to avoid the airborne issue is to separate the tasks well enough in time - mill the grain early (or the day before) and then clean and sanitize the fermenter late in the boil period.  I usually have a batch completing up in fermentation and rack it over to keg at the start of chilling the wort that was just boiled.  I harvest the yeast from that batch (if harvesting and re-pitching) and clean and sanitize the fermenter for the chilled batch to be racked to the fermenter.  I think there are always several airborne contaminants (including wild yeasts) during the warm months when the air is loaded with stuff from the surrounding area near my home.  So, I try my best to limit exposures of chilled wort to the air.
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Offline braufessor

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Re: Been in a slump lately
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2022, 07:30:42 am »
Been there myself. In fact, I have a diacetyl bomb on tap right now.  It is a dumper as far as I am concerned, but I have a number of friends who like it... so, I am keeping it (and preserving my Helles and Pilsner for myself :)

I do the same from time to time, and I dump anything I don't like/others don't like.  I never understood the "I'll never dump a beer" crowd.  Hell, I'll dump a marginal beer just to put a new one on tap that I am excited about. (I have 6 on tap generally).  When I reflect on my sub par beers, it almost always comes back to a few things - 1.) Getting in a hurry and rushing a beer to tap/through fermentation faster than I should have (I skipped Diacetyl rest on my current D-bomb because I was in a hurry.  2.) Pushing yeast too many generations, thinking I can get by with using old yeast, underpitching lager yeast because I am in a hurry.  3.) Just rushing things in general trying to get too many batches done, too quickly.

I also second what Denny said - from time to time, just really revisit sanitation and switch it up.  Once in a while, I'll just take a day and instead of brewing, I will deep dive into my brewroom.  Clean it all, use Iodophor instead of Star San, hook my kegs together and pump Iodophor through all of them,replace old tubing, etc.

And, then, go back to a couple "old faithful" recipes to get back on track.

Happens to everyone from time to time.

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Been in a slump lately
« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2022, 08:09:46 am »
I agree. When things get out of control, go back to the basics.

I have a beer I screwed up in the fermenter right now. Jury is out on the results.

Offline dannyjed

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Re: Been in a slump lately
« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2022, 01:58:10 pm »
I still have to dump beers occasionally and there’s no shame on that. I’m just happy that I can still taste the difference between good and bad beer.


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Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Been in a slump lately
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2022, 12:02:40 pm »
I haven't had too many batches I couldn't drink. Even less that I had to flat out dump from the get go. Not that every batch is stellar, but most beer that gets poured out anymore are just past there prime, old or I need the keg. I started brewing smaller batches, it's more or less just me drinking the stuff anymore and I rather brew more often, have more variety on hand and get through the kegs sooner. But no worries, I rather learn from it and re-brew it than drink something I'm not happy with.

I will also advise rotating your sanitizer of choice. A few years ago, I had 3-4 batches in a row that had this nail polish/rubbing alcohol character in the finished beer. It may not of been infection, but couldn't really track down what it was from. I was always a StarSan guy, but this led me to try Iodaphor and occasionally I'll use both. I like starsan for the spray bottle and keeping a big bucket of it out during brewday to have things in and out of it. But for my fermenter, kegging, bottling needs I typically prefer the foam free character of Iodaphor.