Possible infection: To keg or not to keg

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jason.loxton
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Possible infection: To keg or not to keg

Post by jason.loxton » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:02 pm

Brewed up a fast turn around bitter last Sunday (OG 1.044). My first time back brewing after a four year hiatus, so am a bit paranoid/out of practice reading the ferment. Pitched a full pack of S04 and had full krausen within 24 hours, with primary fermentation done on day three (as expected). I knocked the temp up two degrees C over the two days to clean up and noticed renewed air lock activity. I know that's normal, both as the CO2 equilibrates at the new temp and renewed clean up activity from yeast. However, it seems like the airlock activity has been ticking up, rather than down over the past few days. Things were still before the ramp, but now I've not got a clear gentle effervescence on the surface of the beer and air lock bubbles every 20-30 seconds. There were a couple points in the process where I could have contaminated, so I am thinking of kegging now just in case, rather than waiting to see if things settle down. Would rather not lose this batch and beer is totally clear, so should be fine to keg (was planning on a week to keg anyway, so that this could be a Halloween beer). But if it's still just cleaning up, should probably let it do it's thing.

Curious what others would do.

saosborne
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Re: Possible infection: To keg or not to keg

Post by saosborne » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:38 am

check the gravity that's really the only way to tell. A week is a bit fast in my opinion, I'll usually wait at least 2 weeks before kegging, 10 days for a low gravity if I'm out of beer. You want to give the yeast a bit of time to cleanup the off flavors clear or not

jason.loxton
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Re: Possible infection: To keg or not to keg

Post by jason.loxton » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:18 am

Yeah. I don't know. Week should be enough with a good pitch and low gravity. Problem is that if the gravity is moving, it may well be creeping down from bugs. I've had that happen a lot. At my old place, I had a persistent wild yeast problem that I fought for a couple of years. Was a serious PITA. What's throwing me off is that activity seems to be picking up, rather than tapering off. If I hadn't knocked up temp, I wouldn't hesitate to keg, but the fact that I messed with a variable that could change normal yeast activity makes me pause before doing so.

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oceanic_brew
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Re: Possible infection: To keg or not to keg

Post by oceanic_brew » Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:32 pm

jason.loxton wrote:Brewed up a fast turn around bitter last Sunday (OG 1.044). My first time back brewing after a four year hiatus, so am a bit paranoid/out of practice reading the ferment. Pitched a full pack of S04 and had full krausen within 24 hours, with primary fermentation done on day three (as expected). I knocked the temp up two degrees C over the two days to clean up and noticed renewed air lock activity. I know that's normal, both as the CO2 equilibrates at the new temp and renewed clean up activity from yeast. However, it seems like the airlock activity has been ticking up, rather than down over the past few days. Things were still before the ramp, but now I've not got a clear gentle effervescence on the surface of the beer and air lock bubbles every 20-30 seconds. There were a couple points in the process where I could have contaminated, so I am thinking of kegging now just in case, rather than waiting to see if things settle down. Would rather not lose this batch and beer is totally clear, so should be fine to keg (was planning on a week to keg anyway, so that this could be a Halloween beer). But if it's still just cleaning up, should probably let it do it's thing.

Curious what others would do.

Patience! I can’t remember the last time I opened a fermentor in under 2 weeks. 90% or more of my beers I don’t touch until 3-4 weeks. However I mainly do Belgians and most of them take a couple months before they’re in their prime.

I can get a dark mild ready in 6 days, a hef in 10. But that’s only because I know the yeast, know it is plentiful and healthy , the fermentability of the wort allows for it etc.

How are you taking gravity readings? A wonderful place to contaminate depending.


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jason.loxton
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Re: Possible infection: To keg or not to keg

Post by jason.loxton » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:06 pm

I don't take gravity measurements during fermentation to avoid O2/contamination. I am not normally in any rush, and just give it a solid lag period after it has dropped clean to finish up. I strongly suspect that in this case, however, that I have a progressive infection, and gravity won't help determine that, since sugars are clearly being munched, the question is just who is munching. :)

I see consensus is wait. I think I might keg, just based on my gut, given how I've watched infected beers progress in the past.

Thanks for feedback!

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Re: Possible infection: To keg or not to keg

Post by jeffsmith » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:03 am

I would say if it tastes good and you're concerned about infection, get it kegged and enjoy it for fear you lose the whole batch. :)

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