View Full Version : Possible infection - pics help?

12-06-2009, 05:34 PM
Hey all.. started my second batch yesterday.. overshot my OG by a bit.. came out at 1.075 or so..

Added some juice from some fresh lemons.. and some lemon zest (which i should have soaked in starsan more, i think).. I didnt boil.. just let sit at 140 for about 20 mins..

and here is what i see today.. pitched yeast (wyeast smack pack, Chateau R)

infection? Doomed? start over? wait?

thanks in advance..


12-06-2009, 06:01 PM
I've seen yeast do that. How does it smell?

Fruit like orange/lemon I usually just scrub to remove the dirt and any stuff living on it.

Medsen Fey
12-06-2009, 07:29 PM
infection? Doomed? start over? wait?

That looks like yeast foam with strands of zest floating to me. I'd vote for the last option.

12-06-2009, 07:35 PM
smells like honey. Should I stir it?

12-06-2009, 07:56 PM
Aeration during the first third of fermentation is generally a good idea.

12-07-2009, 02:05 AM
I agree with Medsen and Akueck. That looks like nothing more than yeast foam - all is well, but stirring it to aerate it a bit would help the fermentation along.

12-07-2009, 12:32 PM
Cool. I chucked up a sterilized wooden spoon in my cordless drill and had at it. Got lots of good aerated foam in a hurry. Its bubbling away nicely today. I think the Mr. Beer makes a pretty good Mr. Mead, actually.

Thanks for your help, guys.

12-07-2009, 12:35 PM
For future occasions stay away from wood spoons and such, they're more or less impossible to sterilize. You're probably fine though, so don't stress!

12-07-2009, 05:01 PM
For future occasions stay away from wood spoons and such, they're more or less impossible to sterilize. You're probably fine though, so don't stress!

Yeah, wood is not your friend in this case. Wood is highly porous and no sanitizer will ever get into all the nooks & crannies. Short incidental contact probably won't harm anything, but I wouldn't make a habit of it.

12-07-2009, 06:11 PM
Years ago there was a study comparing wood vs acrylic cutting boards. As it turned out, the acrylic generally had a much higher bacteria count. The wood didn't trap moisture and didn't provide a good environment for bacteria to grow. If you'll store wooden utensils in the open air after washing so that water is allowed to evaporate you'll be surprised just how clean they really are, despite appearances. Also you can put your wooden spoon in the microwave for a minute and it will be virtually bacteria-free (also a good tip for your kitchen sponges).

12-07-2009, 06:19 PM
Actually there are a few big variables that might trump that - wood type and how it's been taken care of. Cutting boards are generally made of very hard less-porous woods, and are generally not exposed to being soaked. Spoons and such are made from all kinds of woods, good ones and junk, and are often soaked, which will trap water deeper inside and weaken the wood, making it more porous.

:) Not trying to start an argument! Just pointing out that those studies were probably done on very hard woods that had never been water damaged, and that's a big variable.

12-07-2009, 06:42 PM
I probably should have said it was a health department study on restaurant cutting boards, so it covered a pretty wide range of conditions. And it did say "in general" that the wooden boards fared better, but not necessarily in every case. There are no absolutes.

12-07-2009, 06:48 PM
You can also find Brettanomyces, a "wild" yeast (less-domesticated is probably a better term) living at least 1/2" into a piece of oak such as might be used in making barrels. Drying the wood out won't kill the yeast (or many kinds of bacteria) either--they will survive in a spore form virtually forever. Microwaving it will probably kill them, but I'd rather just use a non-porous surface to begin with.

12-07-2009, 06:49 PM
Hmm, good to know, thanks for the clarification.

12-09-2009, 09:08 AM
I'll microwave it from now on.. cause i dont have any plastic spoons that i can chuck up in a cordless drill. I can get a good froth after just a minute or two with that. If you overdo it though, it foams out of the container.

It has a bit of an odd smell to it.. not bad.. just strong. Hard to tell if theres a problem or not. I don't think there is, and it is fermenting right along.