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Old 23-12-2013, 10:57 PM   #1
WilliamGladstone99
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Default Dealing with contaminated ale

Hallo, I have a beer which has been sitting in second fermentation vessel for about two weeks. It has a bad taste noticeable as well as all the good taste coming from hops and malt. Theoretically I suppose the alcohol might kill the germs but perhaps this is impossible since ABV is only about 4%.
I was thinking of taking the beer out of the container and boiling it before returning to it. I am aware this may kill live yeast ( whose presence is the very definition of real ale) but might kill germs too. I suppose I might end up with a bottled-if-not conditioned ale. Might at least become uncontaminated and hence drinkable. Has anyone else found a way to deal with contaminated ale?

So frustrating after sterilising everything and boiling wort.
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Old 23-12-2013, 11:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dealing with contaminated ale

Boiling may kill the bacteria but may not remove the bad taste. Also you will probably boil off all the alcohol.
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Old 23-12-2013, 11:06 PM   #3
WilliamGladstone99
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Default Re: Dealing with contaminated ale

Then what is the solution? More sterilising and boiling of wort?
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Old 23-12-2013, 11:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dealing with contaminated ale

Can you describe the "bad" taste in a bit more detail? Eg-apples,corn,cardboard,TCP,astringent.
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Old 24-12-2013, 07:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: Dealing with contaminated ale

By boiling the whole lot you will sterilise your bad tasting beer, but my guess it will still taste bad. By boiling you will kill the yeast. If you then prime and bottle it it won't secondary ferment and so won't carbonate.

Are you sure the bad flavour is a true sign of it being infected? As big Jim said if you can identify the taste it might give a clue as to what has gone on/wrong.
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Old 24-12-2013, 08:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Dealing with contaminated ale

If it tastes bad now, one of two things will happen if you bottle it:

1) It really is an infection and it'll likely get worse
2) It's not an infection, just some off flavour and it *may* get better with time

Either way, making it better is the last thing that boiling fermented beer is going to do.
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Old 24-12-2013, 09:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: Dealing with contaminated ale

I agree with C I would get it bottled and leave it. If it is infected you will know about it. SOme of my best beers were terrible to begin with but 3-4 months in the bottle see's improvemnet and 6 months they were sublime.

You will usually know it is infected by some form of growth on the surface.
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Old 24-12-2013, 10:34 AM   #8
WilliamGladstone99
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Default Re: Dealing with contaminated ale

Well I'm not much into bottling. I suppose I could leave it in the keg for a couple of months and see if it improves.
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Old 30-09-2014, 05:25 PM   #9
WilliamGladstone99
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Default Starting brewing again

Now that the cooler weather is approaching I intend to start brewing again.
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Old 16-12-2015, 11:50 PM   #10
WilliamGladstone99
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Default

Hello,
Hope you folks remember me. I haven’t done any home brewing in a long time but hope to get some done before Christmas.

I believe my last posting dealt with off-flavours. I believed my sterilisation had not worked properly so I was left with a bad taste.

I recently spoke to a Brewster in a brewery. She told me that temperature may be responsible for off taste. I placed wort in primary fermentation vessel in kitchen whose temp was about 20 C. She said this would mean temp in pfv would have been about 30 C which would definitely create bad flavours.
The only alternative place I have to brew is my garage which is about 10 C. My Brewster said fermentation here would take much longer.
So is this the solution or not?
How much longer would it take? What temp should wort be? Should I do like Craig Faraway and buy a heat belt?

Thanks in advance
WG
Britain’s greatest prime minister
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