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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * January 9, 2004 * Infection questions < Previous Next >

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Steve Pierson (63.187.16.191)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 03:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bottled some beer about ten days ago. I have rings in the bottle necks - a solid white substance - about the size of a grain of rice. Beer has a very tart flavor - like lemons. Any idea what this is? Likely point of contamination? I brewed another batch on this yeast cake - is it likely to be contaminated as well?

I will obviously be dumping beer and sanitizing everything. Any pointers appreciated.
 

Jeremy S (205.188.208.75)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 10:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Could be a Lacto infection. Did you start any siphon with your mouth? I'm sure someone else will elaborate on what I just said.
 

Brandon Dachel (63.238.222.190)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 12:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

First things first - what was the recipe?

Rings around the bottle necks are very common in beers that aren't contaminated.

This wasn't by chance a wheat beer was it? What kind of hops did you use?

> I brewed another batch on this yeast cake - is
> it likely to be contaminated as well?

Even if the beer in the bottles has been contaminated, you need to figure out where the contamination took place. *IF* the beer is contaminated it is more likely that the contamination took place in bottling, not fermenting.
 

Tim W (56.0.84.110)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 04:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How did the beer taste during hydrometer readings how did it taste on bottling day . List proceedures for cleaning ,sanitizing ,products used , siphoning procedure . How does your current batch taste .
 

Steve Pierson (206.207.78.210)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 04:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Recipe was a Cooper's Sparkling Ale clone - partial mash some two-row and crystal - 5 lbs. DME - 1 1/2 oz. Hallertauer - and some yeast nutrient (listed in the recipe). Full wort boil 60 minutes - pitched two packets of Cooper's dry yeast. Fermentation was normal - I tasted the hydrometer samples - tasted ok - gave my wife (a Bud drinker) a sample - she said it was tasty as well.

I always sanitize everyhing in iodophor - 12.5 PPM. I use the two hole carboy caps and blow into the carboy to start the siphon from primary to secondary. I did the secondary in a plastic bucket with a spigot. Racked to a stainless kettle with spigot for priming and bottling.

Bottles had been cleaned and stored - some clear Corona bottles and some brown bottles. Checked bottles visually - gave the interior a blast with hot water from a bottle washer - then a iodophor soak. Bottled and capped as usual.

Opened one beer last night - it was a gusher. Beer tasted tart or sour - like lemon juice.

Thanks for your help.
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 05:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>Recipe was a Cooper's Sparkling Ale clone...
>>...it was a gusher. Beer tasted tart or sour - like lemon juice.

I think you have made a perfect clone of this beer - it descibes my experience with the commercial product to a tee. :)
 

Brandon Dachel (216.177.117.110)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 05:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> Opened one beer last night - it was a gusher.

That rules out a lacto contamination. Lacto is not a gas producer. What was the gravity when you bottled it?

I'm starting to think that there is nothing wrong with the beer other than it may have been racked too soon. If Chumley is correct (in that the taste is normal) a gusher would indicate in this case that there was an excessive amount of yeast still in the beer and it 'collected' on the neck of the bottles. Excessive yeast still in suspension leads me to believe it wasn't done yet - hence the gusher.
 

Steve Pierson (206.207.78.210)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 09:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>I think you have made a perfect clone of this beer - it descibes my experience with the commercial product to a tee.

Thanks for the kind words, Chumley. Ironically, I made this beer to serve to the light beer crowd that I will see through the holidays. I have had Cooper's Sparkling Ale - it was ok - just not my preferred type of beer.

Brandon - OG was 1.047 - FG was 1.011 - about 76% attenuation - right in line with Cooper's specs of 72 to 77%. There was some yeast still in suspension when I bottled - I did not think it was excessive - but this is my first brew with this yeast. I will open another tonight and check the gravity.
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 09:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I wasn't kidding. The two or three bottles of Cooper's Sparkling Ale I have tried have all been gushers. And they all had a sour flavor. I think that's the way they're supposed to taste - I recall reading an article on "Adelaide" ales in Zymurgy a couple of years ago.

Not my favorite, either, but not bad. In fact, that fizzy sour ale is pretty good when its 95°F outside when its served icy cold.
 

aquavitae (134.84.195.46)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 09:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Steve, not that I think your beer is contaminated, but I personally would use a siphoning method other than blowing into the carboy. I think this is as bad or worse than doing "the Chumley" ie sucking on the tube, since by blowing you are basically inoculating with whatever's in your mouth that day. When I go this route I stick a sanitized pipet in the tube, suck on that to start the flow, and then remove it.
 

Brandon Dachel (216.177.117.110)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 11:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> Brandon - OG was 1.047 - FG was 1.011 - about
> 76% attenuation

Ok, yeah, that seems perfectly normal. There seems to have been alot of questions lately where people are racking waaay before they should so I thought I'd make sure that wasn't the case.
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 11:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey aquavitae, should I be taking offense that you equate "doing the chumley" with "sucking on the tube"? (Not that there's anything wrong with that). :)
 

aquavitae (134.84.195.46)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 11:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

No offense meant (each man's tube is his own). Just recalled that you were a bit old school on siphoning.
PS sounded like a nice Christmas party, better than the crap Iv'e been to so far.
 

Belly Buster Bob (142.177.6.205)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 11:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Adelaide Ales" funny you should mention that. 2 years ago I was in Adelaide for a competition and found the beers of Aussie land to be exactly that sour and unfinished. 1/4" of yeast in the bottom of a commercial beer is not my idea of crisp and clean. I found only one beer in the area that I could drink more than 12 of.
Belly
www.bellybuster.noadweb.com
 

Marlon Lang (68.18.113.91)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 11:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

FWIW & FME:
I advocate using at least one clear bottle in every case to check for ring-around-the-collar(RATC). Corona is a good choice. If you see RATC, open a bottle and taste the beer. RATC + gusher = contamination. May not taste bad but the overcarbonation will spoil the drinking. Beware that bottles tend to explode. Don't re-use the yeast. RATC + normal carb + OK taste = OK beer, probably yeast.
 

Brandon Dachel (216.177.117.110)
Posted on Wednesday, December 17, 2003 - 12:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> RATC + gusher = contamination.
I disagree.

That said, I've had a few bottles that were gushers that tasted awful (like metal).
 

gene phares (24.229.187.18)
Posted on Wednesday, December 17, 2003 - 12:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I do what Aquavitae does and let some run in to a cup that I discard. this "flushes" any bugs that may have backwashed. I sanitize everything including the 'mouthpiece'.
 

Steve Pierson (206.207.78.210)
Posted on Wednesday, December 17, 2003 - 01:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Regarding the gusher - The recipe called for 1 cup corn sugar for priming. I used the carbonation calculator in the Recipator and came up with 5 oz - I don't remember the CO2 volumes. I weighed out the priming sugar on a postal scale. I know that is more sugar than I normally use. Maybe the beer is just sour and cloudy (due to the yeast variety) and overcarbonated.
 

Jeremy S (198.81.26.39)
Posted on Wednesday, December 17, 2003 - 09:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is just me being annoying...but could it be a protein ring?
 

Bill Aimonetti (143.183.121.1)
Posted on Wednesday, December 17, 2003 - 01:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

- Recipe was a Cooper's Sparkling Ale clone - partial mash some two-row and crystal.

How did you partial mash the two-row? If it wasn't fully converted, you could have residual starch in your wort.
 

Doug Pescatore (141.232.1.10)
Posted on Wednesday, December 17, 2003 - 02:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

my vote is for over carbed and yeast.
 

Steve Pierson (206.207.78.210)
Posted on Wednesday, December 17, 2003 - 03:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>How did you partial mash the two-row? If it wasn't fully converted, you could have residual starch in your wort.

Bill - I heated the water to 166 - added the grain - settled at 152. Covered the pan and placed it in a warm oven for an hour - was still at 152 when I took it out. I did not do an iodine test - so I don't know if it was fully converted.

Thanks, everyone, for your input.
 

Hoody (65.178.72.144)
Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 02:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Steve,

I would put them in the fridge pretty soon. You may end up with bottle bombs if the yeast is still going. At fridge temps, it will stop the yeast production (if that is the problem) and maybe after a week of conditioning at cooler temps they will taste better. I like to wait about a month after bottling before drinking it. Some ales to can taste too tart if consumed too early. I say wait a few more weeks before dumping it.


Just a guess,
-Jason.
 

Steve Pierson (206.207.78.210)
Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 04:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jason - Why would the brewing yeast continue to be active? According to my gravity readings, I had attenuation of 76% at bottling. I think it must be a wild yeast of some type.

I will try cold conditioning, but I think this beer is toast. I had a wheat beer (brewed back in May) produce gushers as it aged - cold conditioning did not help - eventually dumped the last 12 beers. I had a stout finish very low (1.076 to 1.011). And now these problems with this ale. But in between I brewed a porter that turned out fine. I may have something in the house or my brewing equipment. Time for major cleaning and sanitizing.
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2003 - 04:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Steve - Yeast are notoriously bad at math and will continue past what is the normal attenuation given the right conditions. They also are illiterate and therefore can not read a hydrometer to know when to call it quits. All kiddin' a side, numbers and readings mean nothing if the yeast are not done with their job. Be careful not to jump to the wrong conclusion.


PTA
 

Steve Pierson (206.207.78.210)
Posted on Friday, December 19, 2003 - 04:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tnanks, PTA. These Cooper's yeast cells are apparently math challenged. I normally give my batches a week in the primary and a week in the secondary. But I do not check the gravity except at the transfers.

I may have bottled too soon - before fermentation was complete? If so, could I uncap the bottles - release the excess pressure - and recap? I am considering this - or just dumping the beer.

Thanks to everyone for your input.
 

Brandon Dachel (63.238.222.190)
Posted on Friday, December 19, 2003 - 05:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> I am considering this - or just dumping the
> beer.

Dumping the beer would be foolish. I mean, you're going to have to take the caps off to dump it so why not just recap them and see how it turns out.

The worst thing that would happen is you'd dump the beer anyways and be out some bottlecaps.
 

Hoody (65.179.240.181)
Posted on Friday, December 19, 2003 - 07:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I agree with Brandon. I am just guessing that you bottled to soon. That very well may be the case. It really is important to take hydro readings in the end. I always wait until the reading hasn't changed for three consecutives days. That was back when I bottled. Now that I keg, if there was any type bev that I didn't want to continue fermenting so it wouldn't turn into rocket fuel, I would keg it, and put it in fridge as it would then stop fermenting.

When you bottled, you did add more sugar, more for the yeast to eat. Try and cold cond a few, and try a few others by uncapping and recapping. But when you do that, I would still chill them first to help reduce foaming.

Good luck,
Jason.

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