Author Topic: Leaky fitting = infected beer (A bad & good discovery)  (Read 829 times)

Offline Beer Monger

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 484
  • ---Michael Dieterle--------- ---Seattle, WA
    • View Profile
    • Beer Monger - Adventures In the Wonderful World of Beer.
Leaky fitting = infected beer (A bad & good discovery)
« on: April 19, 2011, 08:50:27 AM »
Well, I made a couple of discoveries in the past couple of days, one good, one bad.  

I had a batch of IPA that I'd kegged back on April 2nd.  It was my first batch in a few years, so I was far too impatient and rushed things a bit (brewed on March 20th).  

The Bad:
When I first started drinking the beer, I attibuted some of it's faults to it being so 'young' and forgave it and kept drinking.  As I continued to drink it, hwoever, it seemed to be getting slightly worse over time - not better.  

This past weekend, however, I made a discovery.  The ball-lock fitting on the keg I'd been serving from had a very slow leak.  Closer inspection revealed a crust of yeasty film around the edges of the fitting, down the side of the keg and even a nasty little puddle of goo right under the keg.  After pulling the keg from the fridge, I found more yeast crusties on it.  I dumped the keg and cleaned it up.

The Good:
After dumping and cleaning out the leaky and infected keg (it had clearly been infected - the taste was getting progressively worse and the last glass I had a day or so before discovering this left a faint white ring on the glass), I decided to try tapping off a beer from the other keg, which I had not touched since filling and carbonating it back on April 2nd.  

Well, the combination of no infeciton from a leaky connection and allowing it to sit in the keg to condition longer before serving definitely made a difference.  Even before I took a sip I could smell a wonderful citrusy, grapefruit-like hop aroma with some subdued caramel malt aromas in the background.  The taste was very good and I knew then that this keg was good.  

So I unfortunately lost one keg due to infection from a bad fitting, but the silver lining was another keg of the same beer - but MUCH better!  Is still has a slight haze, but this now is a beer I enjoy drinking - one I would be proud to serve to my friends.  :)  

Of course, I now have a ball-lock fitting to replace - and I'm gonna double-check all the seals on that keg before using it again (and replace any seals that need it). 
Beer Monger's Blog
Follow my Beer Monger page on Facebook!

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.