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Homebrew Talk

Down The Drain – Dumping An Infected Batch

Dumping an infected batch. You don’t want to keep that around. So when do you cut ties and dump a batch? How about on day four after brewing? It was a rough choice, but I had to do it. I had to drain pour some bottles in the past, but a whole fermenter during the first stages is a new one for me.

Brew Day

Brew day was a fun day. It was a Sunday afternoon. A cold day, so while I was outside, I chose to multitask and smoke some food for watching the Pro Bowl with. The brewing went off without a hitch. I used some Wunder grains from Austin Homebrew and Zythos hops. I used a little Columbia hops from Tenacious Badger Hops for bittering. I decided to let the cold weather chill my wort.

Where I think I went wrong was my yeast starter. It had been on the stir plate for longer than normal. I wonder if something snuck into my process there. I pitched my yeast starter. I started my internal fermentation clock.

Three days go by. No action in the airlock. Through the side of my Fast Fermenter, I don’t see any krausen level, so I open it up. That’s when I find this:

Notice those nasty little furry bubbles?

So, it doesn’t look quite right. I grab a little sample, and it isn’t sour. So of course, I turn to the Reddit homebrewing section. I asked the Internet. I wasn’t ignored.

The tell tale comment that tipped me over the edge was this one: “Infected, it looks like. I see the tell-tale powdery white bubbles.” I decided it was time to let this one go.

The Dumping And Sanitizing

So, I started the difficult process. I dumped the fermenter. I cleaned the fermenter. I made some new Star San in my spray bottle. I sprayed down everything. I cleaned my yeast starter flask, and sanitized that. Ugh. Not how I wanted to spend a day off.

In the End….

Carpe Cerveza. Seize the beer. Move forward. Know when to cut and run. I could have let it ride like some posters suggested on Reddit and gotten a sour. I just didn’t want to put more time and effort into a beer and end up with nothing. So I found myself dumping an infected batch. Has it happened to you? Let me know in the comments below!

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