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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2 answers
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ABV question in 5 gallon melomel batch

I started a melomel batch two weeks ago. Below are a list of batch details: 5 gallon batch frozen blueberries (roughly 4-5lbs per gallon) 18.5 lbs of honey (raw, unpasteurized honey from my fathers ...
1 vote
2 answers
232 views

Can I distill contaminated wine?

15 days ago I started a batch of wine from a Wine Kit. I went to measure the SG to begin the next step when I found the wine had a film layer at the top. Anyway I phoned the place that sold it to me ...
13 votes
4 answers
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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 dry-...
6 votes
1 answer
4k 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 ...
2 votes
3 answers
2k views

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

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
323 views

What kind of contamination 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'...
4 votes
1 answer
493 views

Is this pediococcus contamination?

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 ...
10 votes
5 answers
49k views

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

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 taking have all tasted ...
3 votes
1 answer
73 views

Suggestions on how to deal with contamination?

When I was about to leave this morning, I noticed that one of my carboys has this white mold growing on the surface. In 8 years of homebrewing, this is the first time it happens. This is a braggot I'...
1 vote
4 answers
3k views

Overcarbed or gusher contamination?

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?
3 votes
2 answers
829 views

Raspberry Stout contamination?

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
348 views

Contamination (SCOBY/Acetobactor) or possible over-use of a fining agent?

Situation Never mind the two hop bags that didn't sink, those things are more buoyant than what I gave them credit for. This is the beer in a secondary vessel. I wanted to get it off the yeast cake ...
1 vote
1 answer
44 views

Last stage before bottling. Film appeared around top edge on glass and a few bubbles on surface

My batch of wine has been stabilized, degassed, and clarified. It is in the last stage before bottling and a film has appeared on the top at the edge on the glass. Also, there are a few bubbles on the ...
2 votes
1 answer
170 views

What contamination do I have and is it salvagable?

This is my first time posting to this forum, so if I make some edict mistakes I apologize in advance. I have brewed this recipe, https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrew-recipe/beer-recipe-of-...
2 votes
2 answers
506 views

Consecutive (lacto?) contamination 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 my ...
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do I have contamination?

Beer Kit: Brewferm Tarwebier This was my first time using StarSan as it's hard to get in my neck of woods. Is this some ugly Krausen or contamination, if so what type? Is there any recovery from this, ...
1 vote
1 answer
812 views

Mead is infected/discolored

I brewed a sweet mead on February 24th, 2013, racked it to secondary on April 4th, 2013, and was getting ready to bottle it now (end of July). I had been out of town for a few weeks and when I came ...
11 votes
3 answers
13k views

Consequences of contamination 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 contaminated? ...
2 votes
1 answer
42 views

How to do I mitigate diacetyl in cider that developed during secondary fermentation?

About 10 days after transferring a cider to secondary, it developed a faint diacetyl aroma. I moved it to a warmer location (~70degF) for a few days for a diacetyl rest, but the smell is now more ...
3 votes
2 answers
92 views

Possible contamination or mold?

Our marshmallow porter seems to have some type or mold or sediment floating atop the beer after 17 days fermenting in a wide-mouth plastic carboy. They look like flakes. Not fuzzy or spider-web like. ...
2 votes
1 answer
39 views

Will taking the top off my vessel on day 9 spoil my brew?

I’m on day 9 of my home brew and the top has been taken off for about 5 seconds. Reading up on the CO2 layer that the yeast creates in wort and that exposure to oxygen can spoil your beer, I fear my ...
17 votes
8 answers
32k views

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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
264 views

How can I make maple bacon mead?

I never made a beverage with meat in it so I'm a little scared. I think I can bake the bacon to make it crispy, then crumble it into the mead. Will it be safe to sit for a month of fermenting? Is that ...
1 vote
1 answer
71 views

Toxic compounds, weirder situation then usual, much weirder

Ok so I'm making some hard alcohol from a sugar-wash. I used too little yeast and fermentation ended up halting at like 7% ABV, it then stood around for like a week and a half till I got the new yeast....
7 votes
2 answers
294 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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
221 views

Didn't reach expected FG. Should I postpone bottling? Also: It looks weird!

I'm a newbie brewer currently trying his luck with an irish red ale kit. I've followed the instructions (which weren't complicated since it's a kit), and I've let it brew for about 6 days now (...
1 vote
1 answer
78 views

FG is 10 points under expected. Contamination?

I brewed an Imperial Stout and was aiming 1.099, but got 1.090 OG (By adding 1 pound of DME) After 13 days, my FG was 1.022 which was exactly my target. 5 months later, I took a reading and got 1.012....
6 votes
2 answers
449 views

Is my beer infected? from an amateur. Posted a picture

I used only DME and hops to boil the wort. Added dry yeast directly. I looked up on the internet for similar pictures but couldn't find any. I know every beer ferments differently. So I thought I ...
2 votes
0 answers
85 views

Strands Like Hair in Fermenting Beer

I am brewing a schwarzbier using US-05 because I don't have a setup to brew a real lager. The OG was 1.047 and I have a current gravity reading of 1.012 after 5 days of decent fermentation at an ...
7 votes
4 answers
2k 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, ...
2 votes
2 answers
253 views

Fruit flies in airlock led to contamination

I have some mead and cider going, and left for a month. When I returned there was a layer of white mold that ive heard referred to as air mold. I think it is because fruit flies got in the airlock and ...
2 votes
1 answer
109 views

Contaminated batch - what went wrong?

After a number of successful brews, I think I finally have a contaminated batch. I've always been good about sanitation (or so I thought) but I've steadily progressed from paranoid germophobe to a ...
8 votes
4 answers
2k 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 great)....
1 vote
3 answers
3k views

Ways of saving an band-aid beer

I am exploring what in my process could have possibly caused this flaw, but it is likely old yeast propogated in a starter and then pitched, as this has not happened to me ever before. What I am ...
4 votes
1 answer
451 views

Photo dictionary of things going wrong

Sometimes things don't go so well. Sometimes relaxing and having a homebrew doesn't quite do the trick. Sometimes it's not just going to fix itself. It would be helpful to have some images to compare ...
6 votes
5 answers
10k 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
4 votes
3 answers
117 views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
1k views

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, ...
4 votes
2 answers
682 views

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. ...
10 votes
5 answers
2k views

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....
11 votes
3 answers
15k 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
756 views

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 ...
3 votes
3 answers
882 views

Wild yeast taking over?

I brewed a belgian triple last week. I was making a starter using white labs trapist yeast, but it didn't take off; must have been a bad vial. So, I picked up a packet of wyeast trapist yeast and ...
1 vote
1 answer
239 views

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 ...
4 votes
3 answers
160 views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
79 views

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 ...
4 votes
4 answers
234 views

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 ...