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Oh Crap... an Infection

Through some searching around the internet, I have reason to believe that a few of my glass carboys got infected with acetobacter. I’m guessing the kegs the beer went into are infected as well. Probably from fruit flies that were quite persistent the day I brewed this particular batch. Luckily the beer was consumed very quickly and is not a worry.

The carboys, which still have some trub and beer in them, are forming a white, lacey film on top. So realizing that I have an infection, I want to clean the bejeezus out of them. Any suggestions on how best to clean up this infection from the carboys and kegs?

Additionally, assuming I picked up the infection in the brew kettle, after the boil (which is when the fruit flies showed up), will my thermoplastic tubing that I use to whirlpool and transfer to the carboy be ok. That tubing has boiling wort circulated through it for 15 mins before I kill the burner during the brew. Everything else that is plastic on the cold side will be replaced, but that’s the only item I’m unsure about.

I use star san regularly for anyone who might want to know.

Soak the carboys and kegs in a hot PBW or something similar for a day, rinse thoroughly. Then sanitize the kegs and leave pressurized until needed again. That should take care of that. The tubing with boiling wort I would think is fine. I think that should take care of it.

I would think the carboy could be cleaned thoroughly. Like said, use PBW or Oxyclean with hot water to remove any residue on the surface of the glass. Then soak it with a bleach or ammonia solution. NOT both!! Those two in conjunction form hydrazine and chlorine gas. Both are strong bases and are very effective of killing critters. Rinse well, and when you want to use the carboy again, give it a good soak with Starsan.

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