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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2007 * Archive through April 17, 2007 * The bugs are loose in my brewery < Previous Next >

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Graham Cox
Senior Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 1026
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From:
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 03:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ever had a Brett-flavored, slightly sour Dunkel or Bock? It makes for an interesting beer but not exactly what I had in mind.

I have read in numerous pieces of literature that you should keep separate equipment for sour beers due to the possibility of cross-contamination. I have read on this board that these bugs are no more resistant to normal cleaning regimens and sanitation procedures than are other bugs. I went with that advice.

There are a lot of vectors from which this problem could have arrived - new kegs, new force-carb setup, new and unsanitary bottling location (my dirt-and-concrete basement - can't be sanitized, can't even be cleaned very well). I was scrupulously careful with all of them, and yet the problem still arrived. The real damning evidence is that I bottled a Flanders Red and a Framboise somewhere along the line, and the infection in the two lagers tastes suspiciously lambic-like - not really unpleasant, but totally skewing the beers out of the intended style (or any style, for that matter.)

I primarily use Star-San. In my experience, it doesn't completely do the job on something, probably tubing, when placed up against relatively high concentrations of certain "spoilage" organisms.

Be warned. Sometimes advice is worth what you pay for it.

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 2724
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From:
Posted on Monday, April 09, 2007 - 08:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, sorry to hear about your re-purposed beers but I have read on here that StarSan is not completely effective on Brett. Even though I really like StarSan I still sanitize post fermentation with Bleach and occasionally still use some C-Brite and iodophor just to keep the critters on their toes.

And it's not as bad as I expected from your title and the time of year. Thought you were going to say all your grain was infested with creapy crawleys. Guess we'll get that post from someone a little later in the summer.

Andrew Bales
Intermediate Member
Username: Bales

Post Number: 452
Registered: 10-2002
Posted From:
Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 01:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I feel your pain.

I got a 6 month old keg of foriegn stout that just went sour on me. The keg had held a beer that went sour while sitting around for years, and I did soak it for a day in starsan and replaced all of the rubber parts. First 5 months it was fine - then whamo - back to sour. Can't clean that with bleach. Have to soak it longer I guess. Scrub it harder. Make sure and work that minibrush down into the outlet tube better I guess.

I do use seperate equipment for the lambics and berliners and brett beers, and would not mix them otherwise (the sour beer was just beer left by the seller in the keg, years old). My time is worth too much to mix the hardware.

I am debating on marking this keg for sour beers only. Might keg up the lambic downstairs and just put it in there after a minor clean up.

All of my stained or old bubblers, hoses, bottling hoses get labeled with "LAMBIC" in bold letters all of them. Every two years I rotate all of the good parts to the lambic bin, and all of the lambic parts to the trash.