IMHO mead does not generally need any adjustment of pH levels to ferment correctly. It is generally fermented to have a similar level of alcohol to a strong wine - which will not generally support bacterial growth. As the fermentation progresses the pH of the mead will naturally drop due to dissolved carbon dioxide. Mead has been made this way for a long ...
Ginger juice alone does not have enough sugar to be fermentable. However, ginger beer is a popular, slightly alcoholic beverage made from ginger root, sugar, water and citric acid. Take a look at this question and answer.
First, technically all beer is infected, since you pitch yeast. To be pedantic, what you're talking about is contamination. And yes, I'd say pretty much all homebrew (and even commercial beer) is contaminated to some extent. The type and severity of the contamination can vary, however.
The short answer: Beer is susceptible to whatever can live in the wort/beer given it's specific condition at the time. As fermentation continues, fewer and fewer micro-organisms are able to colonise the beer.
The wort-production process gradually increases the sugar content, and importantly lowers the pH of the beverage as each stage progresses.
Time for a good sterilizing.
Break all your equipment down that comes in contact with cooled wort, and use a sterilizing cleaner or boil the parts if they can handle the temperature.
Dismantle all valves. (even on hot kettles)
Remove fittings from lines.
Use line brushes on all lines.
Dismantle bottling wand.
If you use a plate or counter flow chiller, ...
Band aid flavours are related to phenols, which can only have a few possible causes.
Chlorine compounds in the wort (either residue from cleaning or as a result of using chlorinated tap water) may produce TCP (tri-chlorophenol) during fermentation.
Excessive levels of tanning may have been extracted from the grain husks (tannin is a phenol) due to ...
The cider / vinegar smell is normal, it is acetaldehyde and is a normal byproduct of fermentation. But it's a temporary byproduct, the yeast will consume it to recover NAD+ from NADH after all oxygen has been gone for a while.
If I recall correctly, even acetobacter needs oxygen to actually make vinegar. So the problem is apparently oxygen more than ...
The human senses are actually very fine tuned to alert you to the presence of bacteria and mold and prevent botulism (though I think you probably understand this implicitly and just want an authoritative answer).
Firstly, look at your brew. Infection will typically manifest as black spots or a layer of pellicle on the top of the drink. Second, smell it -- ...
If you want to play it safe, over-pitch (sorta) by pitching a regular amount of yeast to ferment the beer, and as a secondary fermentation pour in a bottle of your favorite basic kombucha with no flavor additions after the first fermentation has completed. The hops may slow the souring, but in reality, that's probably a good thing unless you're aiming for a ...
If it doesn't taste off, well...
Maybe it's just hop residue? You have a ton of hops in there. No telling how tight those bag walls held-up.
I believe that I've noticed something similar when I've brewed IPAs, and have added pellet hops straight to the fermenter, without the use of hop bags.
Sometimes the pellets will sink, but (like in my last batch) ...
Ginger Bugs can provide very sharp amounts of ginger flavor depending on the quality and quantity of ginger used in the ginger bug. It is a fun, easy, inexpensive and surprisingly versatile ferment that I encourage noobs to master first. Then also do the GingerBeerPlant (GBP) grains when you can find a source of GBP. GBP grains are very similar to water ...
A good article about bacteria and beer brewing can be found in this link:
Its an article in a blog about sour brewing. But if one scrolls down halfway(ish) the author discusses other biological agents and their preferred brew environments - and the sort of tastes/odours associated with them.
Lactobacillus breques is the most common one, followed by Pectinatus spp. The latter and Zymophilus can grow in pH between 4.3 and 4.6, with ethanol below 5%.
Other ones are:
All biological contaminations (infections) take time to do thier thing. So yes there are levels to an infection. Acetobactor for example, can be at a range of non detectable to the palet to full on vinegar.
Yes there are some sub species of lactobacillus that consume sugar and create latic acid, but don't create ethanol. (homofermentative)
Many others can be forced to only produce acid and cO2 by depriving them of oxygen.
Is a great one page resource on the subject.
Has far as the bactiera you mention I'm not ...
See the question I just answered 2 days ago about a similar issue. In your case I would say it's your water. Use Campden tablets, get a good filter or buy reverse osmosis water at your local grocery store at one of those filling stations.
The worst bacterias and fungi that could destroy your beer are most likely to impact your beer in the early stages of fermentation because the yeast has not had time to establish itself in large numbers yet. Once your chosen yeast has had time to establish and propagate, it becomes harder for outsider organisms to compete. In addition to competing for ...
Note that apart from bacterial infections you can also have mold infections. I've seen some weird stuff floating on top of the beer and in the krausen over the years, and quite a few times that was some sort of mold.
Osmotic pressure does retard cell devision in most micro organisms making it hard to grow "in" a dense solution but they will have no problem growing "on" such a solution. High sugar content does little to inhibit growth of bacteria and yeast as long as it's still a solution and not a "gel".
That being said, you can sour your juices you mentioned with lacto ...
I have made ginger beer from regular old yeast before so there is nothing inherent about ginger that makes it unsuitable for yeast fermentation. Yeast technically speaking is a fungus not bacteria so how things that have anti bacterial qualities interact with fungi I'm not sure.