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First infected batch

I just had my first infected batch, after probably 75 or so batches. Apart from needing advice (That thread is here:
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=105064
), I need people to commiserate with me.

When did you have your first infected batch? How many batches have you done, and how many have been infected? Make me feel like I’m not alone in this disappointment.

Thanks guys.

I had a couple of batches with wild yeast infections. They were fine at first, but later bottles were super-fizzy, oddly bitter and had less and less body to them. I had to change my bottle washing regimen and insistent that those who donated empty bottles to the cause cleaned them first.

Don’t be discouraged. It happens to everyone. Brew on, brother! :cheers:

Plenty of bad batches back in the late 80’s and early 90’s but as more types of sanitizing products came to the homebrewing market there have been almost none since then. Back then one of the only options was bleach and I’m sure my technique has been refined over time. One out of 75 isn’t bad at all. Many times, it’s hard tracking down the source so just try to think through your steps. A lot of times, something that you don’t give a second thought to may be a weak link but again, your percentage is admirable. Keep up the good work!

I had my first infection after five or six batches. It smelled and tasted like an old ham and cheese sandwich. I never bothered to figure out what the problem was, I just poured it down the drain and switched from buckets to carboys.

Yea, I brewed for along time before my first,2nd 3rd infection then crapped canned that plastic fermenter bucket. Ok ,now the 3rd infected batch was a sasion , so I just let it age longer and it tastes pretty good. I was able to reuse my second bucket ( post infection ) because I used a soft towel with bleach to clean out the micro scrapes in the plastic from my dumb a** using a greenie weenie to clean it; the IPA I fermented in it came out fine :cheers:

It happens :mrgreen:

I just had my first infected batch after around 50 successful batches. I made a Russian Imperial Stout (10 gallons) and one of the carboys became infected for some unknown reason. I always super clean my carboys with PBW and a carboy cleaner ( the one you put in a drill), rinse well, and then soak them in star san solution for around 5-10 mins. I think the reason for this carboy infection was because I had to re-use it to put the beer back into it after I racked it off of the yeast and I may have not cleaned it well enough. However, infections do happen from time to time even though it really does suck. Having to dump a batch down the drain is enough to make a homebrewer cry! I look at it as a learning experience and to make sure that everything is clean and sanitary before putting a batch into a carboy. I have gotten into the habit of deep cleaning and even sanitizing my surfaces such as tables, counter tops, etc before dealing with a batch just to ensure that it will not become infected. It may sound a little overzealous of me to do that, however in my house we have 3 cats and a dog, so it is very easy for a pesky little microorganism to get into a freshly brewed batch. I even clean my house the day before I brew.

All in all, what you had happen is not that big of a deal in my opinion because you have done very well so far on keeping your batches coming out right. Every homebrewer has this happen at some point in time even if you have brewed 200 batches without an infection. It is bound to happen at some point!!

I’ve been recently plagued by several infected batches in a row. It’s starting to drive me insane! My cleaning and sanitizing is (not to brag) impeccable, but I can’t seem to shake this funky wild yeast strain. Everything tastes fine at kegging time then it gets an odd sour taste. I replaced all my tubing, bungs, and everything else plastic. It wasn’t my draft system, because I batch that I had bottled had the same issue. Also, my saison (on tap) was not affected.

Then it came to me one day. I had a bottle of home brewed framboise explode in the freezer and leak down into the refrigerator compartment where I keep my yeast strains. Brett infection. 10 growlers of yeast poured down the drain, a few tears and I was confident I had it beat.

Alas. I tapped my Octoberfest last night which was from a new strain that had not been in the fridge and it has the same sour taste. I’m stumped again. The only thing I can think of is I introduced a new oxygenation system in the early Spring. The bottle and regulator were purchased from a not terribly reliable source. I have one batch in the primary that was not oxygenated. Hopefully I’ve discovered the culprit. I can’t bear the thought of another 10 gallon batch dumped.

Ouch, some rough stories! But it happens. I probably dumped 2 of my first 10 (sour) and then was good for years. I’m getting ready to dump another 2. Recently I’ve run into problems again, trying to transition to all grain. I am having the wet cardboard/wet dog smell/taste and it’s coming that way out of the primary, only from AG batches tho. I brewed AG this past Sunday and didn’t oxygenate this time. ? I’m feeling your pain! I’m starting to tear up…

I hope you aren’t dumping batches based on smells and tastes coming out of primary fermentation. I have had beers that I thought were going to be terrible turn out to be very nice once they were allowed to completely ferment and age a bit.

I’d never dump a batch, unless it clearly had some sort of infection and had some sort of off-taste I could attribute to the infection. I’m with you; I’ve had batches that smelled terrible and tasted awful when I sampled them early, but after a few weeks (or months) in the secondary, became quite delicious.

In fact, I saved the batch that prompted this thread, thanks to a10t2(r2d2-c3po) and Dimik’s advice. Turned out to be acetobacter, so I was able to get it under CO2 in a keg, and hopefully it’ll be fine (it was still a little flat when I tried it last night, but it tasted fine).

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