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Infected Bucket?

I have the NB “Dead Ringer” AG fermenting at 60-62 degrees using 1056 since Friday. The activity has been vigorous, blowing the lid off twice. This morning when I checked on it after work, the lid had blown off and I caught the distinct smell of green apples (again) I was very careful with sanitation using star san and using a non abrasive sponge that has never been in anything other than star san.

I recently had another brew come out of this bucket that also smelled of green apples and was not able to save it.

Could it be the bucket that is infected? Anything that I can do other than wait it out? I know that the yeast should clean up some of the smell but I have never had a beer smell that distinct at this stage, usually hops and yeast not green apple.

You could try a soak in bleach/vinegar/water (homemade no rinse sanitizer

) to kill it of. But if Star San didn’t do it…

A new pail is a lot cheaper than the ingredients/time for a ruined batch of beer.

A new pail is a lot cheaper than the ingredients/time for a ruined batch of beer.[/quote]


Green apple is acetaldehyde, a by-product of yeast metabolism and green beer. With time the yeast will metabolise it away. Maybe you’re jsut transferring to soon, before the beer has time to mature. 10 days to two weeks os usually enough. Acetaldehyde isn’t necessarily a sign of infection.

If the bucket is infected, a good soak in PBW or Oxyclean followed by sanitizing with Starsan will clean the bucket.

New Pail.

I have a 6 pail rotation for fermenting/bottling. All with spigots so that I never have to siphon or touch my beer. About every 6 months or so, I buy one or two new ones and retire the oldest as a wash bucket for soaking things in cleaner, or for a waste basket, or for collecting ground grain, or whatever.

Just not worth it to ruin a batch due to contamination, so I just try not to take any chances.

Really thought about getting two stainless conicals at one time - then I did the math and figured I could buy two new buckets every 6 months for the rest of my life and still be money ahead.

Good advice above. Could be removing from yeast too soon or infection?

See this “flash card” from BJCP about aceteldehyde.

Thanks everyone. There may have been some mis communication. It is only 5 days into primary and I never rack off until at least 2 weeks. There is still very vigorous activity, it blew the lid off again last night. I am trying to ferment this 1056 lower than I ever have, about 58-60 degrees and it seems to be working well.

As for the green apple smell, it seems to have disappeared. It is perhaps just the fact that I had a chance to smell it after 3 days primary that I caught that whiff. It smells pretty good now, more like yeast and hops.

I think that I will take the advice and buy a few more buckets next purchase.

Thanks again, just one of those homebrewing overreactions I think.

Green apple is not not an infection.

Have you tried a blow off tube so you don’t keep blowing off the bucket? My friend had the same issues with the Dead Ringer Ale. He uses the blow off tubing and all is good with the world. That is one of my favorite recipes from NB.

Try rigging a piece of tubing to your airlock out tube, I can’t remember what size works for that, but there is a size that slips right on. Also, when you do rig this up, make sure you snap/break off the 3 tiny plastic bits in the tube of the airlock… They really help clog up the airlock. Once I switched to the blow off thru airlock idea, I never had a problem.

Also, I’d give that beer 3 weeks before you do anything to it, including make any assessments. 4 weeks would be better, but than I’d be a hypocrite.

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