1 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 8:39 PM

I have just started brewing again after a 10 year rest. (Didn't like the babies playing with the keg taps).
I have one of the (new) Cooper kits with the kreissen collar which I have never seen before but feel up to speed after watching the videos.

First brew was a Country Brewer Wheat beer that had been in the cupboard but 8 years past its use by date as printed on the can. Figured I should give it a go instead of throwing it out.
Made up the brew then discovered the collar on the outside but locked in by the tap so ended up washing my arm in SO2 then plugging the tap from inside, removing the tap, kreissen collar then reinserting the tap.
After a couple of weeks ago had barely dropped and there was a layer of what appeared to be mould on top.
Figured that sticking my arm in the wort probably stuffed it.
Fed the veggie garden with the batch.


Second brew was a Cooper's Larger only 3 years past best before date this time.
Put on 3 nights ago being extremely careful this time with contamination. Used SO2 on everything.
Brew is sitting in the open with the lid on. Temp is around 25 degrees due to ambient temp.
Looks like it is forming a similar mould on top.

Any suggestions about the mould?

Does SO2 have a shelf life? This would be around 20 years old from when I originally started brewing.
Am i doing something wrong with the collar?
Temperature too high?
Both cans had pressure inside but do these actually go off over Time? Smelled ok.

I have bought a new can of Cooper's Pale Ale but don't want to lose another one.


2 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 8:44 PM

8 years….. . That's crazy. Would you cook with eggs that were 8 years past their use by date?

Maybe give the FV a good clean and sanitise then get something that's in date and give that a go.

3 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 8:49 PM

What on earth compelled you to bother with cans so old?

Obviously you want to avoid putting your hands and arms in the wort.

You have to make sure everything is clean, don't take shortcuts, wipe it all down with bleach if you have to, and be sure to rinse well. I bought some 2nd hand FV's and I used bleach, vinegar, methylated spirits, sodium percarbonate, and finally, starsan. Not all mixed together of course.

It's also possible your FV is contaminated.

However I wouldn't jump to that conclusion with the information you've given.

4 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 8:59 PM

Picked FV up from a garage sale new in box, unused but opened so don't believe it's contaminated. Will try bleach next time then sterilize.

I figured it was probably OK to try the brew mix as the can was still sealed. Maybe the yeast has gone off over time too. Nothing to lose anyway.

Is it unusual for the FVs without airlocks to go off? I haven't used one of these before.

5 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 9:05 PM

Then I don't imagine it would be contaminated.

More likely your yeast was dead, allowing bacteria to proliferate in the absence of yeast.

But don't put your arms in the wort again. Haha!

Get some sodium percarbonate (or bleach, rinse thoroughly) and starsan (no rinse sanitiser).

I don't understand your last question.

6 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 9:31 PM

Last question is about the reliability of the new style of FV without an air lock. In my previous brewing days everything was air tight so when I saw that the lid sits on fairly loosely I was rather skeptical that it would keep baddies out.
I assume that as this style has been the standard offering now for a few years it can't be too bad.

7 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 9:44 PM

It's fine.

Because of the fermentation process, it's all positive pressure inside, outside is negative, air needs to get out to return to equilibrium.

8 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 9:47 PM

Simsimsim:

Last question is about the reliability of the new style of FV without an air lock. In my previous brewing days everything was air tight so when I saw that the lid sits on fairly loosely I was rather skeptical that it would keep baddies out.
I assume that as this style has been the standard offering now for a few years it can't be too bad.


Not having an airlock won't put you at higher risk of getting a nasty containment in your brew. Some might argue less because theirs no risk of anything getting sucked back into the FV hence there being no airlock.

9 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 10:05 PM

I've never hear of anyone using sulphur dioxide for sanitising these days? Don't know if it lasts 20 years! Sodium metabisulphate was more commonly used, it produces S02 when mixed with water.

First brew was a Country Brewer Wheat beer that had been in the cupboard but 8 years past its use by date


Second brew was a Cooper's Larger only 3 years past best before date this time.


Both cans had pressure inside but do these actually go off over Time?

Of course, that's why they have a best before date. Liquid malt extract freshness is vital if you want to make good beer.

You didn't mention anything about the yeast you used? If it was the packet supplied with the long expired cans then it too will be long expired.








10 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 11 PM

Simsimsim:

Both cans had pressure inside but do these actually go off over Time? Smelled ok.


Bulging cans? Could be botulism. Don't risk it, dump the second brew too.

Nowadays sodium metabisulphate isn't used much anymore by brewers. Most have move to either Starsan or Iodophor, which are no rinse sanitizers (in fact rinsing is contraindicated) that work very quickly.

If you mix Starsan with distilled water it can be reused again and again, for a very long time. Many brewers put some in a spray bottle and do a lot of their sanitizing that way. Iodophor has to be mixed fresh for each batch, but you can just use tap water. I don't think you will have a problem if you use either of those products.

Cheers,

Christina.

11 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 11:47 PM

You need to clean it before you use Starsan or the like though. I'm not sure sulfur dioxide on its own would work all that well . From wiki, regarding winemaking equipment: a mixture of SO2, water, and citric acid is commonly used to clean and sanitize equipment.

Anyway, I would suggest dumping the second batch as well and get some fresh ingredients. Using ingredients out of date that far isn't gonna produce a very nice beer even if it doesn't get infected with something. The yeast are most likely shot too, which is probably why the infections occurred. I'm not sure if the cans are bulging due to the botulinum bacterium (extremely unlikely it must be said) or whether it's just temperature, age, some other bug in there. Either way they should never have been used.

Before you use these new fresh ingredients, buy some Starsan or similar, buy some sodium percarbonate as well. Get the FV and any other equipment and nuke it with chlorine bleach, then rinse it thoroughly with hot water. Then mix up some Starsan or whatever in a spray bottle and spray everything with it. Then put your FV together, mix up the brew and away you go. Try to keep the temperature down around 18-20C as well if you can.

Provided that brew goes fine and is bottled or kegged, the fermenter and tap etc. can then be cleaned out with some of the sodium percarbonate, rinsed with hot water and then either stored or sprayed with Starsan again if you're mixing up a new batch straight away.

I had a bit of mould growing on the top of a batch once due to an (at the time unknown) infected yeast starter that I pitched into it. This mould appeared only hours after pitching the yeast, so I fished it out with a mash paddle and left the brew to ferment out. It turned out perfectly fine, so sometimes you can get away with it .

Cheers

Kelsey

12 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 10:18 PM

Thanks everyone for the comments.
Better to live and learn than wonder if it would have turned out differently and nothing lost in the process!!

I hope the herb garden doesn't become addicted to home brew with batch 2 going on top aswell…

Cans weren't bulging, just pointing out that nothing had snuck in so any change was self contained.

Haven't come across Starsan before so will keep a look out for some before I put the next (in date) batch on (in a cooler place).

Both yeasts used were from the cans so as noted were probably a contributing factor.

Last edited by Simsimsim (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 10:18 PM)