Infection?

Share your experiences of using brewing yeast.
Fingar
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Infection?

Post by Fingar » Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:33 pm

Hi All,

I'd appreciate your wisdom and thoughts as to whether I am the proud owner (!) of an infected brew.

The brew in question was a Timothy Taylor Landlord approximation - or clone if you prefer - using Wyeast 1469, fermented in a brew fridge at 20 degs C. On bottling day, I noticed a white dusting on the yeast rafts. I can't seem to upload an image. There was no strange bubbles, pellicles or strands, just something that looked like icing sugar. The smell was normal and the flavour, if anything had a slight discernible TCP flavour, but overall, it was just a 'green beer' in need of conditioning. Seeing as I had done all of the prep the night before, I have bottle the brew, so let's see how it turns out in about 6 weeks.

Cheers... Fingar

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Jocky
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Re: Infection?

Post by Jocky » Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:01 am

Some British yeasts will throw slight phenols, but TCP is more unusual, and if it’s there at bottling time I’d be surprised if it goes away. TCP normally means wild yeast infection.

Come back in a few weeks and let us know!

Did you make a starter for the yeast?
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

Fingar
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Re: Infection?

Post by Fingar » Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:06 am

Hi Jocky,

Thanks for the reply. Just to emphasise, the TCP flavour was very, very mild, if that means anything. Yes, I did make a starter: I always give the starter 'beer' a sniff and taste before pitching into the sweet wort.

Cheers... Fingar

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MarkA
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Re: Infection?

Post by MarkA » Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:12 am

I've had a few bottled brews that have had a whiff of vinegar about them when opened young (especially when you sniff the underside of the cap), but the smell disappears after a couple more weeks and taste fine. As Jocky said, It's worth leaving them to mature and see how they are in a few weeks. Fingers crossed!

Fingar
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Re: Infection?

Post by Fingar » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:08 am

Bit of an update. I am not of the opinion that it was an infection, but a stressed yeast. The batch I was using was split at the beginning of 'the season', so at the time of brewing was getting on a bit. It has since happened again: big rafts of yeast at the end of fermentation, smell and taste of TCP and a cloudy ale. The split pack (stored in PETs) was stored for several months; the starter didn't seem to really take off. I've since split a fresh pack of Wyeast 1469 and got the usual great results I know from this yeast: nice, smooth, thick krausen that sinks nicely at the end of fermentation. So there is a lesson for me - stop being so tight and get rid of the old yeast or step it up a couple of times before pitching.

Cheers... Fingar

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orlando
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Re: Infection?

Post by orlando » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:43 am

Fingar wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:08 am
The split pack (stored in PETs) was stored for several months; the starter didn't seem to really take off.
Good of you to update, more often than not people don't. :oops:

Part of the issue maybe the PET bottles themselves. They are known to be suceptible to oxygen ingress over time, some better than others. Were they able to gas off any CO2 produced? CO2 can build up to a point that inhibits healthy yeast, possibly the source of the stress you mention.

Unless you brew regularly with the same liquid yeast or it is a "seasonal" one I wouldn't bother with them. Dried yeasts are excellent these days and are growing in variety, handled properly they rarely fail and of course are relatively inexpensive.
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: Riders On The Storm
Conditioning: He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (Wee Heavy) till December.
Drinking: Kings & Queens (Eldridge Pope Royal Oak clone), Gyle brewed Little Red Ruth(ster) & Red(Ruth)Rain 1867 recipe, From Russia With Love (RIS)

Up Next: Stout! In The Name Of Love, Elusive Butterfly
Planning: Autumn drinking Beer

Fingar
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Re: Infection?

Post by Fingar » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:06 am

Hi Orlando,

Thank you for your reply. The PET's weren't able to gas off... interesting that CO2 can have an affect on the health of the yeast.

I "go in phases" with regard to liquid v packet yeast. I currently have a fresh, split batch of Wyeast 1469 for my British styles but I also use GV12 (English) dried yeast on occasions and get good results from this dirt cheap variety from Wilko's. My foreign style beers tend to be dried, such as US05 for US styles. My wife would very much agree with you that dried is better than liquid as the PETs are taking up part of the fridge!

Cheers... Fingar

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orlando
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Re: Infection?

Post by orlando » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:37 am

This rather old article by Chris White of White Labs is aimed at so called Craft Brewers but has some relevant informtion for HB'ers too.
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: Riders On The Storm
Conditioning: He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (Wee Heavy) till December.
Drinking: Kings & Queens (Eldridge Pope Royal Oak clone), Gyle brewed Little Red Ruth(ster) & Red(Ruth)Rain 1867 recipe, From Russia With Love (RIS)

Up Next: Stout! In The Name Of Love, Elusive Butterfly
Planning: Autumn drinking Beer

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Jocky
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Re: Infection?

Post by Jocky » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:29 am

Thanks for the update.

Do you step up/start your yeast splits before use?
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

Fingar
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Re: Infection?

Post by Fingar » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:54 am

Jocky wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:29 am

Do you step up/start your yeast splits before use?
I ferment the Wyeast pack in 500g of spraymalt, then split into several PETs for storage. When I want to use the yeast, it is started with about 40g of spraymalt, boiled in water. There is a good guide from Horden Hillbillys 'UK Homebrew' page - http://uk-homebrew.tripod.com/ - which I believe he borrowed from JBK.

Orlando - thanks for posting the ProBrewer article on using yeast slurry. I have tried rinsing in the past and is a bit of a faff.

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orlando
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Re: Infection?

Post by orlando » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:54 pm

Fingar wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:54 am
Orlando - thanks for posting the ProBrewer article on using yeast slurry. I have tried rinsing in the past and is a bit of a faff.
It is and more likely to introduce infection. Just not worth it at our level.
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: Riders On The Storm
Conditioning: He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (Wee Heavy) till December.
Drinking: Kings & Queens (Eldridge Pope Royal Oak clone), Gyle brewed Little Red Ruth(ster) & Red(Ruth)Rain 1867 recipe, From Russia With Love (RIS)

Up Next: Stout! In The Name Of Love, Elusive Butterfly
Planning: Autumn drinking Beer

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Re: Infection?

Post by McMullan » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:44 pm

How we proceed with making a yeast starter depends on the condition of the yeast primarily. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, despite all the online claims. Guff mainly. Just harvested fresh/active yeast can be pitched directly - without a starter - within a few days. Stored for a week or so requires at least a ‘feed’ by replenishing the wort. Much longer and it’s probably best to start over using some of the yeast slurry and stepping up, to produce a vigorous yeast culture to ferment without any issues. We can’t just add starter wort to a jar or bottle of old slurry with a low viability and expect it to perform without any issues. I really don’t see any point in using 5L starter wort and the time and resources to split a pack of wet yeast, tbh. If you brew frequently enough repitch batch to batch. If not, think about storing much smaller volumes (a ml or 2 aliquots) and use the starter wort to build them up when needed. Interestly, you’ll find that they store much better at smaller volumes too and, because you’re stepping up from such a small amount, you’ll end up with a vigorous starter to pitch every time.

Bretty Biscuit
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Re: Infection?

Post by Bretty Biscuit » Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:30 pm

It could be your water, TCP disinfectant taste won’t go away in kegs or bottles, file it and move on. Chlorophenol is very common issue with tap water. I’ve ditched 2 brews having this problem. A 3 stage water metal/dechlorinator filter has completely removed this issue for me & my beers are so much smoother. Here’s mine.

https://www.waterfilterman.co.uk/fish-k ... s_type-1_4

f00b4r
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Re: Infection?

Post by f00b4r » Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:49 pm

[quote="Bretty Biscuit"]It could be your water, TCP disinfectant taste won’t go away in kegs or bottles, file it and move on. Chlorophenol is very common issue with tap water. I’ve ditched 2 brews having this problem. A 3 stage water metal/dechlorinator filter has completely removed this issue for me & my beers are so much smoother. Here’s mine.

https://www.waterfilterman.co.uk/fish-k ... s_type-1_4[/quote]
Or a campden tablet (or appropriate does for batch size) will do the same if it is an issue.

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Jocky
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Re: Infection?

Post by Jocky » Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:12 am

I would use campden/metabisulphite before trying a water filter.

I’ve not heard of someone with chloramine problems in their finished beer in the UK.
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

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