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Infected

16/09/2013

infection

I was pretty sure that something was amiss with the dubbel when airlock activity started again after about 3 weeks. As it turned out on bottling day, there was a nasty film floating on top of the beer with some white spots of growth that from what I can gather from the internet is probably lactobacillus. The taste was sour, in an unpleasant kind of way so down the drain it went.  No sweet malty dubbel for me in the fall and this means I won’t be making a Belgian quad for Christmas. I suppose that the low levels of alpha acids combined with the high temperatures allowed some lacto to overwhelm the beer. Perhaps it got into the wort from the washed yeast, maybe from airlock suck-back  (even with some starsan I don’t believe the water in the lock is absolutely sanitary), who knows. Be as it may, this serves as a good reminder of the importance of sanitation. I think I’m pretty thorough but obviously not thorough enough.

Brewing is a humbling exercise, the minute you think you have started to get a grasp of it something reminds you that you are dealing with living organisms that have a tendency to, well, live. In my beer.

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One Comment
  1. Cliff permalink

    Hi. I have had success treating beer infections with either sodium or potassium metabisulphite. I use 0.1 grams per litre. This has worked for me a number of times. I put the chemical which is dissolved in a little water into a sanitised container and rack the infected beer onto it.
    FYI metabisulphite powder seems to lose it’s potency over time.
    Cheers -Cliff.

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