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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17
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7answers
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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
11
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3answers
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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 ...
11
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3answers
13k 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 ...
10
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5answers
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....
10
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5answers
47k views

What kind of infection 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 ...
9
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5answers
3k 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 ...
9
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1answer
3k 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 ...
8
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10answers
3k 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 ...
8
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3answers
879 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 ...
8
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4answers
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)....
8
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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 ...
8
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4answers
9k 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? ...
7
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5answers
2k 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 ...
7
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1answer
6k 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 says:...
7
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4answers
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, ...
7
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2answers
290 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
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3answers
451 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, ...
6
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5answers
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 ...
6
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2answers
352 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 ...
6
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1answer
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 ...
6
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1answer
180 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 (...
5
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1answer
124 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 ...
5
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4answers
116 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 ...
5
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4answers
3k 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
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2answers
4k 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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3answers
303 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
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1answer
170 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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2answers
490 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 ...
4
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1answer
447 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 ...
4
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3answers
107 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 ...
4
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4answers
219 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 ...
4
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3answers
150 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 ...
4
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2answers
2k 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, ...
4
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1answer
659 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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1answer
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 ...
4
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3answers
5k 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
1answer
443 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
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2answers
276 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
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2answers
594 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. ...
4
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1answer
2k 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 ...
4
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4answers
2k 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 ...
4
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2answers
207 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 ...
3
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6answers
1k 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
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1answer
265 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 ...
3
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2answers
278 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 ...
3
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2answers
1k 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
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1answer
86 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
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2answers
5k 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
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2answers
810 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 ...