homebrewtrackworld help

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  • Haze

    Could be a number of things when it comes to sanitisation, spoons, thermometer etc. I just make sure everything that comes into contact with any ingredient is clean.

    May be being over fussy but I’d have cleaned the fermenter properly between brews (particularly if changing beer style). A minor infection that may not have been noticeable could take hold on the next ferment?


    Ta, I am pretty careful, although I do use the solution after the first 5-10 minutes.

    Premier Icon trout

    What are you using for sanitizing.
    I am not that clean but every thing gets a spray of Starsan solution
    before it touches the wort
    No rinse so great ptoduct


    VWP, bought from homebrew shop.


    I soak kegs and fermenters with sodium per carbonate (oxyclean) immediately after every use then a final sanitisation with homebrew cleaner before reusing…used VWP in the past without any problems.

    Are you sure it’s a infection though? I’ve had some pretty rank tasting results from forgetting to add a Campden tablet to the brewing water…(always drinkable though)


    I’ve done 4 batches recently (all from tins) hoping to have lots of nice conditioned beer for the autumn/winter.

    (in age order) 1 batch (keg) is OK, the other (bottled) not tried, one hasn’t second fermented (keg) and the last (bottled) sees some fermented and some not – with an odd/off taste.

    All I can conclude is that the fermenter tub is OK (I just rinsed it between brews) and that I have sanitisation issues with the 2nd keg and some bottles…correct?

    This is the 2nd/3rd batch lost to the keg, it’s the fancy one with a floating bit and hose inside and the tap higher up. I was super careful sanitising this time, any tips?


    I’ve never added Campden tablets!

    I know it’s not 2nd fermented so I assumed an infection – and it did 1st ferment.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager

    What do you mean by hasn’t 2nd fermented? Like it’s flat because something has gone wrong with the conditioning, or you’ve got non-alcoholic ale on your hands?
    Nearly all of the fermentation goes on in the primary vessel for most ales, using a secondary vessel is to clarify or to dry hop etc – not much fermentation expected. Then the keg is for final conditioning.

    Just had a brewing disaster myself – made 40 pints of dilute aqueous phenol. A lot of variables to consider where it went wrong.

    Premier Icon trout

    I am guessing you mean Fermenting in the keg to carbonate
    May be a leak and all the CO2 has escaped
    you could try adding another 70 grams of sugar for a 2nd 2nd ferment
    mate had this happen and it worked a treat he did put a new washer on the keg
    Overtightening is a common fault with the pressure barrels


    I starsan everything and haven’t had any issues – were you careful to wash the hose/tap assembly on the keg and backflush it before use?


    Thanks trout, worth a try!

    I guess you’d taste the sweetness if the 2nd fermentation (yes, for carbonation) had failed?

    Premier Icon irc

    All I can conclude is that the fermenter tub is OK (I just rinsed it between brews)

    For my fermenter tub I use about 1 cup bleach (29p unscented stuff from Tesco or Asda) then fill to the top with water. Leave for 15 or 20 minutes. Anything else I’m using like spoons, can openers etc goes in the fermenter as well.

    Thereafter rinse thoroughly. No infections after about 20 odd brews. I don’t think rinsing between brews is enough.

    For bottles I use VWP. Fill bottles. Let stand, then rinse a couple of times.


    It should still carbonate even with an infection, my guess is a leaky cap as others have already stated.

    When I kit brewed I got all the water ready beforehand in 5 litre plastic bottles and dropped half a crushed Campden in each to knock out the Chlorine.

    Try brewing with bottled water and see if it improves, get the 5 litre bottles from Asda and re-use the empties as above.

    Single best thing I ever did was sorting out the water (aside from moving over to brewing from grain).

    Premier Icon bigblackshed

    Leaky cap is most probable if you were reasonably clean. TBH I’m not surgical clean like some people and have no problems. First up I would add another 80g of sugar to kick start the conditioning in the keg.

    When you fit the cap, do you use Vaseline on the threads? Make sure the seal is seated correctly and then smear Vaseline over the surface of the seal and the threads to help seal. Without the “grease” the seal can catch and pucker when you tighten. And don’t over tighten. Bit of practice required.

    I had to reprime a keg of Milestone Raspberry Wheat Beer back in July because the rubber seal on the injector cap was leaking. It’s since conditioned up fine.


    Thanks all. I did super-tighten the top so that may be it.

    Oh and for some of the last brew I used plastic pop bottles, some of these had no pressure, which I put down to infection*, is it likely/possible I have leaks there?

    *a mate who brews (Spey Stout Brewery, off of here) told me an infection could inhibit yeast in some way like altering pH.

    Premier Icon whippersnapper

    You’re probably not strong enough to make them super tight a limp wristed girl like you..

    Assume you’re an expert on yeast infections..

    Had any punctures lately??

    Infection wont stop secondary fermentation . Over fermenting the wort in the fermenter will. Cold temps will . dead yeast will . Yeast with lack of nutrients , wrong ph, tired yeast will . Wild yeast infection can strip your wort of fermentables . Non sealed containers wont help. You wont taste the difference between 1012 and 1009 ( the range you need to be in for correct bottle conditioning)*
    Priming would help, make a sugar syrup and add with a syringe.
    You need hardly any yeast for secondary fermentation 1 million cells per ml should be enough , if they are alive and happy.
    * generalisation but individual beers will never be miles away.

    Buy 2 or 3 more accurate saccherometers
    Buy / construct a way of stopping your fermentaions at the desired point
    Obtain alot more bottles and move from FV – Keg – Bottle over a 2 week period
    Invest in a cornelious keg


    fist thing I’d do is get rid of the keg & get a load of bottles 😉

    how long had it been in the keg? I usually leave my bottles in the warm for 2 weeks for secondary fermentation, then move somewhere cooler (if possible) for clearing.

    then I’d look at sanitising & especially rinsing

    Up until about 2 months ago I’d been happy enough with VWP, but 4 of my last 5 all grain brews have ended up phenolic – like TCP but worse.
    I even lost a kit brew to the bloody stuff.

    not knowing which of my fermenters was contaminated with (possibly) chlorine, I’ve now got a brand new fermenter which has never seen VWP; I cleaned it with purple beer line cleaner (soaked for an hour) then rinsed it with plenty of clean water, followed by a long soak with more clean water and 3 campden tablets.

    Then I put on a two can kit with 20L of bottled water – with added campden tablet just to be safe, and absolutely no other additions – straight out of the box. It’s smelling good so far, and I can usually smell the phenols after 3 days.
    When I’m convinced that this is a good brew, I will be binning the old fermenters and going back to AG with a simple recipe. Fresh grains, fresh hops, fresh yeast. hopefully no more phenols…

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