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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * December 31,2003 * PH in finished beer & ufo in beer < Previous Next >

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Fredrik (213.114.44.229)
Posted on Saturday, November 29, 2003 - 03:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I suppose most people regularly doesn't measure the pH in the finished beer. But I am curious to hear what the variations are from those who have tried.

I recently discovered that my xmas honey beer taste a bit sour. (Not much but a little). I KNOW I have been very sloppy cleaning my siphon :) I desinfect everything, but the siphon - no. So I suspect I may have some acetic acid bacteria in it.

I measured pH and found it to be around 3.5. As reference I measure pH on a commercial lager and found it to be 3.8.

The question is wether 3.5 is normal?

I tried to check the beer in microscope.

ufo

The other options I have are that (1)it's something with the cloves. I did have quite a bit of it. But the beer was better tasting when it was young. (2) Molecular oxygen oxidizing ethanol or acetaldehyd. But somehow I have sceptic to this explanation. Then I should have felt acetaldehyd too shouldn't I? but I don't.

What do you think? Anyone want to identify that elongated thing I found in the beer? It wasn't many, but in a drop I found a few similar objects. The limited res of mu microscope prevents me from probing deeper into it.

/Fredrik
 

Rob Beck (64.219.129.199)
Posted on Saturday, November 29, 2003 - 04:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I measure pH of my finished beer and I generally find it to be in low to mid 4's. I would tend to think that 3.5 is a bit low (except for maybe Berliner weiss).
Rob
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.229)
Posted on Saturday, November 29, 2003 - 11:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Rob. I also have clear feeling that it shouldn't be that low. I think one of the 3 above ideas must be the explanation. I did some research and it seems the object in the microscope shot is way to big to be an acetic acid bacteria. They are indeed rodshaped, but smaller than a normal S.Cerevisae. 3-4 um, when S.C is 8-10um. That must be something else, I'm not even sure if it's something alive, could be some junk, but I did find a few of them. Possible some other contaminating yeast. I'll keep looking. The beer is drinkable and my guests today didn't seem to think it was a big deal, but I think something is wrong with it.

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.229)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 11:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Looked further in microscope and found another candidae for acetobacter, size-wise I think it could be acetobacter. Also I found two of them very close, possible after division?

aceto

(Note, I am investigating the bottom sample of the bottle)

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.229)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 12:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hmm maybe they are still too big :( It seems to be alot of strange things in this beer. The question is what I can NOT find in here. I think I'm going to start examine my tap water as well as the wort before adding yeast so I know what stuff comes from where. Some things are probably just dead junk. I guess I could use a better microscope too.

/Fredrik
 

Jared Cook (24.1.247.22)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 06:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I guess you could add some boiled sugar to the sample and see what multiplies later. That would tell you what is still alive.
 

chumley (216.161.216.52)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 08:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fredrik, if I recall correctly, your "honey beer" is actually more of a braggot (I think of honey beers as having up to 20% honey).

Honey is acidic. When making mead, oftentimes the must needs to be adjusted with calcium carbonate to raise the pH in order to allow fermentation to proceed. Since fermentation lowers the pH, I guess I would think that a braggot that ends up with a pH of 3.5 is possible, and may not be due to contaminating bacteria and/or wild yeasts.
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.229)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 09:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hmmm thanks Chumley, maybe you are right, yes it has alot of honey, and mmm alot of cloves :) I actually I was leaning towards something like this tonight. I tasted some of it again, and maybe sour tasting isn't the correct word. Although I like it spicy, I think I just might have had a bit much cloves. or maybe even the honey as you suggest. The strange thing is that this acidicy/burn has increased with 6 weeks of lagering. Actually, the flavour was more pleasant less harsh directly from secondary. My gf has said the same, so it's not just imagination. Perhaps I don't have an infection after all. The taste is very clean still, except for this burning/apparent acid flavour wich could well be the honey or cloves. The beer is definitely drinkable, but the flavour has a certain "wine" characteristics to it which isn't necessarily bad but it's not quite what I expected.

In any case I'm discarding that siphon.

/Fredrik
 

Randy McCord (216.174.177.168)
Posted on Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - 05:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Wow! I might be afraid to drink my beer if I looked at it through a microscope!;)
 

chumley (209.180.187.99)
Posted on Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - 06:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would be more afraid of drinking my beer if I saw my liver through a microscope. :)
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.229)
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 07:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have concluded that there are a bunch objects that keep appearing all the time in the microscope. I have decided to make a list of "commonly found" objects and try to identfiy each of them.

Hey, who else out there is using a microscope? Anyone who might have some ideas to identify the objects? I have identifued at least two kinds of "junk", thready junk, probably grain junk, and some other junk, looking like folded sheets or crystals. Could it be crystalized protein chunks?

And a load of confusing small spehrical and elongated objects that could be anything from bacterias to yeasts. Some have specific colours, some appear yellow some blusih. My microscope is simple, it may be some light decomposition due to the shaping, but the colours are always the same
so they seem characteristic.

/Fredrik

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