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Questions tagged [contamination]

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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Beer attenuates too much too fast

I am brewing with fermentis S-04 and from experience (three years ago) I know that this yeast is slow. This weekend I brewed a small batch and today the attenuation is 83% (according to the yeast's ...
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Beer attenuation too high

I have made ~30 batches of beer during last winter and ~7% ABV beer had FG of 1.010 to 1.020. But in the last month the weather got warmer and my beer FG has dropped to below 1.010 to almost 1.000. ...
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How clean does your equipment really need to be?

For example has anyone done an experiment where they either didn't wash/sterilise any equipment including the fermenter, spoon, jugs, other etc or at most they just rinsed out the equipment with water....
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Beer's susceptibility to contamination over time?

I'm curious if anyone has any information about beers susceptibility to infection over time/stages of fermentation? My understanding is than beer becomes less susceptible over time but I specifically ...
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Kombucha has dark, green grey dust/moss inside liquid

Some of my kombuchas form a strange, greenish-grey powdery substance inside them. This looks like moss or dust, and appears embedded in the transparent matrices of strands inside the liquid, although ...
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Contamination from airlock

Long story short...I didn't have Vodka so had to use distilled water in the airlock. Life got in the way and over a week later I finally got back to the beer today. Fermentation has completed but the ...
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What lab equipment could be used to effectively ensure a quality home brew?

For example how could you identify toxins in the simplest manner? I've got a few ideas such as microscopes and spectrometers. A microscope could be used to look at the morphological structure of what ...
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1answer
177 views

What are these insects in my malt?

Bought a bag of malt yesterday at the local homebrew store, and when I opened it today I noticed dark gray to blackish insects in there. I had some unmalted wheat in there with the malts. The store ...
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Is it possible to decontaminate wine?

Is it possible to decontaminate my wine after some (not too clean) objects fell into it? I was straining my blackberry/elderberry wine through a straining bag. The brew is about a week old at this ...
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Will car/motorbike fumes affect beer fermentation?

I plan on brewing my beer and letting it ferment for 2 or so weeks in my garage. Unfortunately there are a lot of fumes (eg. From the car and motorbike) and I'm worried that the fumes may affect the ...
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1answer
135 views

Flies in wine before airlocking

I picked some wild blackberries, mashed them up with sugar and water, plus yeast and two campden tablets, and put these into a bucket and covered (loosely, with a t-shirt - that was probably my ...
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Potential fat in wort, what's going to happen?

I had some bad luck the other day and half way through my boil a small but significant amount of water fell in my brew from my extractor fan. I haven't given the extractor a good clean in a while and ...
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If you make wine in higher quantities, is there a higher chance of contamination?

I am currently only making wine in one gallon quantities but I am looking at increasing that. As a beginner is there more room for making a bad wine if there is more of it?
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White film at top of bottle

After 7 days in bottle I find out a white film at the top of the beer. This film isn't in every bottle, just in 1/3 of batch. I openned one and it's tasted good. I need to know if it's an infection ...
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1answer
91 views

Floating fibres in Bochet mead

I made a Bochet style mead (burnt honey mead) and it's spent about a week bubbling away, but there's some strange fibrous floaties that I've never seen before, circulating around the must. They ...
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238 views

Safe to return sampled wort to the primary after sampling?

I made my second batch of beer (ever) last Friday night, and in a few days' time I'd like to sample a bit of it so that I can check its gravity. Provided that I sanitize all of my equipment (siphon, ...
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758 views

Does opening the tap of a fermenter bucket increase the chance of contamination?

Sometimes when I want to take a sample of my beer I open the tap of the fermenter (in my case a plastic bucket) and let drip a little bit of beer (primary fermentation). Does this increase the chances ...
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134 views

Does the amount of air left in the fermenter increases the chance of contamination?

Usually when the mashing process is over and the liquid is transferred to the fermenter there's a head-space of air. Lately I've made smaller batches of approximately 5 liters (a huge inefficiency, i ...
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Does this look contaminated?

This is the first all grain I made, it's a coconut porter and seems like some grains made it through. This is right before I transferred to my secondary fermenter, I know you can't tell much by only a ...
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Is H2S poisonous in wine?

So I have a batch of wine that seems to have been contaminated and has the sulfur smell that is characteristic of H2S. Clearly I can't sell or give away this wine, but is it still safe to drink?
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1answer
657 views

Dangers of non-sterile cider

Come the time of the year when apples are ready, and the excellent harvest this year in Finland, I have decided to give cider making a try. I have a fair amount of experience making beer at home and ...
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1answer
230 views

What kind of infection shows a white film with dots in secondary?

Hi! Okay, so around month ago I made a saison with some mixed frozen strawberries (1 week in the freezer) added to the primary fermentation (fermented with S.Cerevisiae strain). After three weeks I'...
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How long can mead store when not temperature controlled?

I was given 10 gallons of homebrewed mead in a carboy. It was made by my brother-in-law and his friend almost 10 years ago. His friend moved away and he's kept the mead in the carboy, in a box (so ...
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390 views

How to troubleshoot for either bad wort or bad yeast?

Brand new to brewing, 2.5 days ago I brewed my first extract kit (Brewer's Best Amber Ale) and racked it into my fermenter. By tomorrow morning I'll be at the 3 day (72 hours) milestone, which is what ...
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1answer
528 views

Can a homebrew with a FG of less than 1.000 become infected?

My 100% pilsner mashes that are fermented with Wyeast 3711 French Saison routinely hit a FG of 0.996. If bacteria contamination was introduced after fermentation was complete, is it possible for the ...
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Will Brett C contaminate my equipment?

Thinking about doing a 100% Brett C beer. If I was to do this, would the Brett flavor seep in to my equipment, forever dedicating it to Brett and sour beers? I ferment in glass carboys then use a ...
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167 views

What do I risk for leaving my beer exposed to open air through the airlock hole?

I brew away from home, and last weekend I has to rush away before I was completely racking from primary to secondary. I can only go back in about 10 days. As a result, my beer is now sitting in a ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
601 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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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3answers
242 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?
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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 ...
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I can't differentiate between OCD or the smell of vinegar, and need some guidance

Here's my brief story: Bought a Mr. Beer kit and didn't have a clue what I was doing, and out of impatience would squeeze the fermentor to smell the brew, resulting in an infection. I now have cheap, ...
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1answer
76 views

Why is my pre yeast pitch lager bubbling in the fridge?

I have been placing my lager wort in the fridge overnight to get down to my desired pitch temp. This time I opened the fridge to see my airlock bubbling... I understand about possibility of ...
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123 views

Wort Contamination?

Making my first beer and during my last temp check I dropped the thermometer into my wort bucket, instinctively i immediately reached in and pulled it out. My hands were cleaned and sanitized and my ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
385 views

Possible wild yeast contamination?

In May I brewed the following beer: 81% Pale 2 row malt 16% Brown malt 3% Black malt Single step mash at 73C. With 290g of hops for a total of 103 IBUs. The OG was 1.077 and it went into primary ...
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1answer
78 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 ...
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2answers
357 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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1answer
280 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 ...
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1answer
845 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 ...
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3answers
180 views

How (and how soon) can I determine if my primary is contaminated?

My brew day ran long and by the end of the process I was tired and ready to be done. Due to this lapse in concentration I had a major failure in my sanitation process - I forgot to sanitize my better ...
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1answer
194 views

Has My mead gone south?

This is rather my first time doing a mead. It has been a month since i put it up for fermentation. Its been locked in a relatively stable temperature and totally dark enviroment. Today, after a full ...
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3answers
3k 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 ...
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4answers
2k views

Overcarbed or gusher contamination('infection')?

Is there an easy way to detect whether excessive foaming / gushing is the result of over carbonation or a gusher contamination? Perhaps a telltale taste or other indicator?
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266 views

Fermentation - Lost cause?

I believe my first homebrew is a lost cause. I'm at 3 weeks, and each week I've done a gravity reading and a taste. The flavor has gotten increasingly sour(astringent) with each week. It's almost ...
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1answer
38 views

Can I deal with diluted amounts of preservatives and still get good hard cider?

On a whim I decided to throw some Cider in a bucket, so I went to the store and grabbed some. I took a chance and bought 2/3 no preservatives and 1/3 preservative (4.5 Gallons total) in order to ...
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5answers
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trying to ID if my beer was infected!

My brown ale smelt somewhat like beer and possibly vinegar and tasted the same but with a very subtle sweetness but also very dry and puckering. I used only used dry extract and boiled the hops, no ...