The introduction of unwanted organisms or chemicals into the beer. Typically, this refers to unwanted bacteria or wild yeast propagating to levels to cause spoilage of the beer. Often incorrectly called an "infection".

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Can Infected beer cause death or major illness?

Basic question. Can you get sick and die from drinking infected brew? I know that it must taste terrible, was just wondering. Can't seem to find any references where people have died from infected ...
13
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4answers
2k views

How to add adjuncts (hops, fruit, spices, etc) to the fermenter without contaminating the beer?

What is the best way to sterilize things like dry hops, spices or fruit before putting them in the fermenter? Some stuff you can obviously boil. But boiling hops, say, would defeat the purpose of ...
10
votes
3answers
10k views

Consequences of infection in a beer?

Everyone learns during their first brewing experience that you have to carefully sanitize anything that touches your wort after the boil to avoid infection. What happens when wort gets infected? How ...
9
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2answers
4k views

does starsan kill yeast

Is Starsan effective against yeast? After resuming homebrewing again after a 2 year break, I started having pellicle appearing on my starters (after fermentation had completed), which has now spread ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

What prevents contamination during primary fermentation?

I'm about to start my first beer and I've been doing lots of research.. but a question I haven't seen answered is why isn't there more contamination during primary fermentation. For secondary the ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Possibly infected mead: is it worth keeping?

I tried making cherry mead again (the first time I tried this it got infected). I tried again yesterday, and it looks like I've got some sort of contamination ("infection"). This time I thought that ...
7
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10answers
2k views

Spigots: What's the consensus

I like to use an ale pail with a spigot for my secondary. It makes it super easy to test the gravity before actually bottling/kegging/etc. However, that sort of installation in plastic can open the ...
7
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3answers
691 views

cleaning vs. sanitizing

I have made over 50 batches of homebrew, and I have a confession: I rarely CLEAN my equipment. I take a quick look to see if there is any visible debris/dust, etc., and if so, I will spot clean it or ...
7
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4answers
2k views

Can a contaminted brew be identified by sight?

I brew ten-gallon batches of beer split into two fermentors. The last batch that I kegged had one infected fermentor, while one remained uninfected. One bucket showed a white powdery substance ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Cherry vinegar (was supposed to be mead)

Last week I started a cherry mead and discovered yesterday that it had turned to vinegar (and not even nice-tasting cherry-flavoured vinegar - it smelled and tasted awful, though the colour was ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Lacto contamination in plastic fermenter = new fermenter?

Just bottled my first contaminated beer, got lazy and didn't freeze/boil the watermelon I added to a wheat beer and got lacto(?) contamination and an amazing sour watermelon beer as a result! But, ...
6
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4answers
2k views

What is this white stuff on the surface of my beer?

I've just gone to rack & bottle a witbier that has been in primary for about 5 weeks and noticed this white gunk floating on top of the beer. It doesn't look too healthy, what is it? Is it safe? ...
6
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1answer
3k views

How to identify a brett contamination

I brewed a single hop American pale ale with palisade. It's not the greatest beer in the world, but seemed passable to me. Another brewer tasted it and thought he picked up brett in it. Palmer ...
6
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5answers
1k views

Help! My secondary fermenter exploded!

So, I was brewing a nice IPA the other day. I walked in to check on the carboy and the stopper had popped out and there were hops everywhere! I stopped it back up and bottled it a few days later ...
6
votes
2answers
249 views

interesting formation in fermenting beer

Anyone have a clue what these formations are in my Kolsch style beer? Been in secondary for about 3 weeks due primarily to lazyness. I cleared with gelatin about two weeks ago and it's nice and clear ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Can a little human spit spoil fermented beer?

The other day, I was with my friend getting ready to bottle a batch of modified cream ale (our second homebrew so far). We were using an auto-siphon to transfer beer from fermenter to the bottling ...
5
votes
5answers
17k views

What kind of infection is this and is the beer ruined?

Picture of Infection This is my first all-grain batch and unfortunately it has developed some kind of growth. It didn't smell like death, actually smelled pretty good, and the samples I have been ...
5
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5answers
7k views

What is on top of my wort? Mold? Lacto?

I just opened the top of my scotch ale bucket, and it looks like there's mold inside. The recipe is pretty standard, plus some oak chips soaked in whiskey, in a muslin bag. What is this? Edit: Some ...
5
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2answers
1k views

White Stuff — is it bad?

I just brewed a raspberry wheat w/ ~2.5 lbs of frozen (organic) raspberries added to the secondary. I waited about 23 days after adding the berries to bottle, and when I went down to the basement to ...
5
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1answer
3k views

What is the white film on my beer in my bottles?

I brewed a double batch of IPA with a buddy about 8 weeks ago. We split this into two 5 gallon pails and 2 weeks later into two carboys. His was fine, but mine developed a bit of white stuff on ...
5
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3answers
252 views

What about opened LME cans?

Most LME come in 3 pound cans, which is a quite large quantity if you want to add just a little to your wort, just one pound for example. It's a shame to throw away the rest. If I open a LME can and ...
5
votes
1answer
71 views

Would boiled vinegar contain any acetobacter?

I love the taste of Balsamic vinegar, and I think having just a hint of it would be fantastic in a stout's flavor profile. My concern is what would happen to a beer after this is added. Would it start ...
4
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4answers
74 views

Contamination concerns when removing stopper?

This might seem dumb to most, but it's only my third batch and I just need some reassurance. So, I occasionally pop out the rubber stopper on my carboy to smell the brew and see if anything funky ...
4
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1answer
485 views

contamination? what's this?

I brewed a hoppy red ale on Tuesday and pitched some washed wyeast 1084 into it that evening. I had an og of 1.070 and went ahead and put a blowoff tube on the fermenting bucket in case I had a huge ...
4
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3answers
387 views

Water level low on airlock. Is it contaminated?

About 48 hours into my ferment I noticed a significant amount of liquid (about an inch) is missing from my airlock. Reading up on the subject I've realized that water was probably sucked into my brew ...
4
votes
2answers
250 views

New brewer, question about state of beer prior to bottling

Tomorrow is the Big Bottling Day. I snuck a peek about a week ago and took a hydro reading, and all is well I believe. I took another peek today (14 days in) just to make sure I'm not about to bottle ...
4
votes
1answer
145 views

Is this pediococcus contamination('infection')?

A berliner weisse we forgot to bottle for around a month and a half. Did not introduce pediococcus or lactic acid in the fermentation. Did a sour mash before the boil so lactobacillus shouldn't have ...
4
votes
1answer
545 views

Is this wort infected? (*Picture)

This is my 30th or so batch and I've never seen this before. The best way I can describe it is that it looks like summer in the Arctic and pieces of ice are breaking off the ice caps. Any idea as ...
3
votes
6answers
204 views

My cooled wort got contaminated by tap water. What are the primary consequences of re-boiling?

One of the hose clamps for the cooling spiral malfunctioned, so my cooled wort got contaminated by roughly 10 liters of tap water (in a 55 L batch). This is a lager beer which will be stored for five ...
3
votes
2answers
112 views

I waited 48 hours to pitch and detected fermention prior to pitching

I brewed on Monday but pitched over 48 hours later on Wednesday, because my temperature control was finicky and I wanted to wait until the wort hit the proper temperature before pitching. Normally I ...
3
votes
2answers
85 views

Yeast not settling or contamination?

Having trouble understanding what I'm looking at here (see pic): http://imgur.com/1OH9TQj Made an Amber ale with LME and used Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale. Racked to secondary after 2 weeks to get ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

When racking my beer, it looked like someone had poured cream in

I made my first beer from a kit and followed the instructions carefully as well as reading around. Specifically, I was very careful about cleaning and sterilisation. I had a 2 FV setup and after 2 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Is my batch contaminated / infected?

Me again with another question. So there's not been much activity from my brew lately (no bubbling, only 3rd day in the fermenter). I opened up to take the gravity and temperature (1022, 21C), so it ...
3
votes
3answers
943 views

Preparing water for brew day

I'd just like to get some opinions on the most efficient way to prepare the water for my brew day. I'm pretty new to brewing and still using extract with a few specialty grains. I've read it's good ...
3
votes
4answers
847 views

Does Dry Hopping create a white film with bubbles?

Might be a weird question! I have brewed, with a friend, 6 batches of beer so far. An IPA, then a Stout, a Saison, a Doppelbock, an Baltic Porter and finally, the same IPA. All grain, always. Of all ...
3
votes
1answer
297 views

Is this white thing correct in kriek lambic?

I'm making my first lambic beer, a kriek lambic with a one month old, last week I dropped 1lb cherries. Today, I noticed this white thing in top: Should I concern about this? Or just let it go...
3
votes
2answers
32 views

Is beer more vulnerable to contamination than hard cider

I have made about 10 batches of hard cider. I have yet to have a contamination issue ruining a batch. I clean the carboy with washing up liquid and warm water. The bottles are the same. I use a juice ...
2
votes
2answers
388 views

Consecutive (lacto?) contamination('infection') with different fermenters

My two last batches got a sour/white wine taste to them (prior to bottling). The first one was a Hefeweizen fermented in my bucket. The taste was present from day 4 up to bottling a month later. In ...
2
votes
5answers
170 views

Did I just contaminate my beer?

I brewed my very first batch almost 4 weeks ago. I currently have my beer in a secondary fermenter (glass carboy) and plan on bottling in a couple days. I dry hopped it late last week. Today I got ...
2
votes
3answers
140 views

How do I get a turkey baster out of a carboy?

When I was pulling wort out of a carboy to take a hydrometer reading, the bottom part of the baster separated from the head and fell into the carboy. What's the best way to get it out with the fewest ...
2
votes
3answers
102 views

Is my batch contaminated(“infected”)?

Its been fermenting for about 10 days, and I'm just now noticing these white spots. Is this what the start of an infection looks like? If so, is there anything I should do?
2
votes
3answers
869 views

My ferment has small black specs in it, is this an infection?

This seems to be very similar to this question about hop seeds but I have not used fresh hops, I used pellet centennial hops purchased vacuum packed and frozen from homebrew shop. Ingredients (1 ...
2
votes
2answers
260 views

Mold on wort pre-pitch

I've got a bit of mold on top of my wort. My situation is a bit different than what others seem to have encountered... I made the wort about 5 days ago and hadn't gotten around to pitching the ...
2
votes
1answer
34 views

What are the most crucial moments for beer contamination?

I know that sanitization is one of the most fundamental parts of making a beer and I myself wasted two batches already for not being diligent as I should. So, what are the steps / moments when you are ...
2
votes
2answers
450 views

Should dry hopped beer be lightly stirred prior to bottling?

I'm making an IPA and I'm going to be dry hopping it this weekend in the secondary fermentation phase. I've been thinking about the dry hopping process alot, mainly about the diffusion of the ...
2
votes
3answers
80 views

I'm worried about adding germs to my brew when dry hopping

I'm looking at these instructions - http://www.geterbrewed.com/craft-a-beer-instructions/ (I promise I'm not selling anything). In section 13, it says something along the lines of "Add the hops after ...
2
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4answers
1k views

Waited 6 Days after boil to pitch yeast, Wort had what looked like mold, what can be done?

Like the title says, after I chilled my wort I realized the kit I ordered did not come with yeast, an error on the packers fault. Because of my work schedule I wasn't able to pitch the yeast for about ...
2
votes
2answers
510 views

Do I have contamination('infection')?

Beer Kit: Brewferm TarwebierThis was my first time using StarSan as it's hard to get in my neck of woods. Is this some ugly Krausen or an infection, if so what type? Is there any recovery from this, ...
2
votes
1answer
155 views

Is there a way to tell if fruit flies have laid eggs?

I am going cross-eyed trying to tell if there are fruit fly larvae on the walls of my continuous brew kombucha. I have seen fruit flies on the outside, but I don't think they can get in through the ...
2
votes
1answer
295 views

Raspberry Stout Contamination('infection')?

I brewed a 5-gallon batch of Frankenberry Chocolate Raspberry Stout July 20 (11 days ago) using a Scottish Ale Wyeast. The yeast was pitched at 78 degrees, everything was sanitary, I immediately ...