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Infection?

I think my beer may be infected. I brewed it on 9/30 it’s still very cloudy and smells/tastes like banana and clove. The O.G. Is 1.071 F.G. Is 1.005 the recipe is :

13.5 lb 2row
.5 lb acid malt
.5 lb crystal 20

FWH 1 oz centennial 1 oz Columbus
60 min 1oz Columbus 1oz chinook
15 min 1oz chinook 1oz cascade
10 min 1 oz cascade 1 oz Columbus
5 min 1oz cascade 1 chinook
0 min 1 oz cascade 1 oz Columbus

Pitched 1800ml starter of wlp001 (harvested from previous batch)

Missed my OG and got 1.064 so 48 hours after pitching added 1 lb of sugar boiled in water and cooled.

Pitched at 58 and kept at 58-60 for 1 week then slowly let raise to 70.

Gravity has been at 1.005 for the last 3 days, it’s not undrinkable but not what I wanted, to say the least. I thinking maybe a wild yeast infection, I hope it’s not from my jar of yeast because I have another batch going right now from the same yeast.

So I have a few questions

  1. is it infected?
  2. can I keg it with out contaminating my keg, taps ect… (Was thinking maybe add Camden)
  3. I’m going to get rid of all the plastic that was used post boil but what’s the best way to clean the carboy. Will a long starsan soak work?

This sucks! I think maybe what happened is I forgot to starsan something, I was watching football and had some friends over and was on auto pilot

Thanks for the help. If you need anymore info let me know.

Did you make a starter or just pitch slurry? I find my repitched yeast to take it consistently lower in FG than a starter from a new tube or smack pack. I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion of infection just because of clarity/turbidity – the mash temp, grains , hops ,etc can all factor in how it clears.

If it tastes way off, let it age even longer, because it may come around eventually.

I made a starter from yeast harvested in April. Also I mashed at 150 for 60 min. I use whirlfloc. I wouldn’t be worried but based on the taste alone I would have guessed it was a bitter heff that was fermented way to hot. It’s the banana/clove and a kinda solvent hot Alcohol flavor that make me think it’s infected. But I will leave it alone for awhile and see what happens.

If you fermented at 60 I dont see any other reason you’d get the flavors you described. Any chance your means of measuring the beer temp is off? Other than that it sounds like your suspicion that something funky is to blame is correct. a

I’m pretty sure the fermentation temps were good, I had the carboy in a insulated tub with 3 gallons of water and ice bottles. I use a temp strip on the carboy to monitor beer temp.

Is it worth kegging if it does have an infection? It wasn’t horrible but I don’t won’t to contaminate my equipment.

5 months is really long time to store harvested yeast. Please tell me you took just a little bit of that to make a starter. If not you put a ton of dead and unhealthy yeast in your starter and then into your beer. It could very well be an infection, but could also just be a poor fermentation. For best results use harvested yeast within two weeks. If you need to keep it around longer you will need to feed it every couple of weeks to keep it alive and healthy. :cheers:

Went back and checked the date of the yeast, I made a starter from 1 vial pitched into 1.062 wort on 5/9. Harvested the yeast on 6/1. Used 1/3 of the cake in a beer on 6/2 (no off flavors in either batch). Did not use the yeast again till this beer (brewed on 9/30). Also used the yeast in another beer brewed on 10/13 OG 1.067 tested gravity today and it’s at 1.012 I’m getting some of the same off flavor but much less. The only things used post boil on both batches is the hose I attach to the kettle to drain the wort and the yeast.

Tubing is cheap, so you should replace that. If it’s bad dump it and try again. Remember to baby that yeast though after all it makes the beer. :cheers:

While I was trying to get to sleep last night it occurred to me that although you used a yeast that does not emphasize phenolics, if the precursers were present, your yeast might have metabolized them the same way a Bavarian Weizen yeast would. One source of phenolics (clove and related spicy flavors in Weizen) is ferulic acid which is produced during a rest at about 110 F. You said you mashed at 150 F, but was there a period where the mash - or a part of the mash - could have held somewhere in the 105 - 115 range for a few minutes?

Your 58-60 F fermentation temperature is also good for emphasizing phenolics in a Weizen, and in my experience it also reduces banana flavor, which you detect.

Of course, all of the above would reduce the hot alcohol flavors you’re tasting.

Assuming your mash produced some ferulic acid (perhaps a bad assumption) the answer could be that although your yeast metabolized ferulic acid to produce some flavors similar to a Weizen, it also did some other strange things that Weizens don’t do.

Obviously I need to drink more beer before I go to bed.

[quote=“Old_Dawg”]While I was trying to get to sleep last night it occurred to me that although you used a yeast that does not emphasize phenolics, if the precursers were present, your yeast might have metabolized them the same way a Bavarian Weizen yeast would. One source of phenolics (clove and related spicy flavors in Weizen) is ferulic acid which is produced during a rest at about 110 F. You said you mashed at 150 F, but was there a period where the mash - or a part of the mash - could have held somewhere in the 105 - 115 range for a few minutes?

Your 58-60 F fermentation temperature is also good for emphasizing phenolics in a Weizen, and in my experience it also reduces banana flavor, which you detect.

Of course, all of the above would reduce the hot alcohol flavors you’re tasting.

Assuming your mash produced some ferulic acid (perhaps a bad assumption) the answer could be that although your yeast metabolized ferulic acid to produce some flavors similar to a Weizen, it also did some other strange things that Weizens don’t do.

Obviously I need to drink more beer before I go to bed.[/quote]

The mash never got below 148. I Took a look at the beer today and it looks a lot more clear then it did a week ago. I think I’m gonna take another gravity reading and if it is stable and the taste isn’t too bad I’m gonna keg it. After that I’m going through all my equipment with a fine tooth comb.

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