1 Posted: Thursday, November 08, 2012 6:33 PM

Hi.\nI have just had my 2nd failed brew and I am a bit frustrated. The failed brews was a Coopers Lager and a Coopers Dark Ale. Both brewed with BE. I use the Coopers DIY Beer Kit.\n\nI have followed the instructions thoroughly, including rinsing, cleaning and then sanitizing using StarSan.\n\nThe temperature has been stable around 20-22C both times. \n\nTo me it seems like the brew is ruined after removing the Krausen Collar. I have done this on day 4 and gravity was at 1014. I draw a sample straight after removing the Krausen Collar and the taste was great. Took another sample the day after and the taste was horrible. Very sour vinegar taste, so I flushed it down the drain.\n\nCan the exposure to air when removing the Krausen Collar be the reason for this? I guess at 1014 there is not much C02 protecting the brew, so removing it earlier could be an idea. Next time I will just leave it on for the entire process. \n\nAny advice would be highly appreciated. \n\nThanks. \n

2 Posted: Thursday, November 08, 2012 6:39 PM

I don't have this style of FV, but I imagine you could try leaving the krausen collar in there for the entire fermentation. Someone with experience using these FV's will be able to tell you for sure though.

3 Posted: Thursday, November 08, 2012 6:55 PM

My main FV is the DIY one and sometimes I don't use the collar, sometimes I do and leave it there until it has finished and I have also taken it out at the end of day 3. I have never had a problem.\n\nI wouldn't suggest taking out later than day 3 as the later you leave it the more chance you have of stuffing it, albeit still only a slim chance.\n\nWhere are you brewing?… garage, kitchen, spare room, fridge etc.\nHow long do you leave the lid off when removing the collar?…\nHow exactly are you taking your gravity reading?… i.e. are you putting your hydrometer in the brew or running some wort from the tap?\n\nWhat exactly do you do when you clean everything and what chemicals do you use when doing so?.. i.e. do you rinse after using starsan, are you using sodium metabisulfite or sodium percarbonate etc?… are you wiping out the fermenter when you finish cleaning or do you let it dry naturally or not dry at all?\n\nIt sounds like you are getting some foreign yeast in there to me but could be a heap of things….\n\nHave you tested your Hydrometer in 20C water?… (should read 1000)\n\nAs you can see there are so many factors and more that could be the cause.\n\nYou really need to tell us everything, even if you don't think it is not important or valid, that you have done…. so we can give a better analysis for you.\n\nWelcome to the forum, don't give up even though it may seem disheartening right now, we are all too happy to try and help you the best way possible.\n\n

4 Posted: Thursday, November 08, 2012 7:25 PM

ReidarH:

To me it seems like the brew is ruined after removing the Krausen Collar. I have done this on day 4 and gravity was at 1014. I draw a sample straight after removing the Krausen Collar and the taste was great. Took another sample the day after and the taste was horrible. Very sour vinegar taste, so I flushed it down the drain.\n\nCan the exposure to air when removing the Krausen Collar be the reason for this? I guess at 1014 there is not much C02 protecting the brew, so removing it earlier could be an idea. Next time I will just leave it on for the entire process. \n\nAny advice would be highly appreciated. \n\nThanks. \n

\nBoth my FV's are the DIY type, some brews i use a krausen collar some i dont, when i do i occasionally remove it when the krausen subsides, sometime i leave it on til i bottle. basically, there is no pattern and i have never lost a brew. also, i am a shocker for removing the clips and sticking my nose in the fv a few times during the ferment, even though this is a possible cause of infection. again i have never lost a brew. for you to lose 2 out of 2 is pretty suss, especially as i am guessing that your first one, the lager was with virgin equiptment. how are you taking the sample, through the tap or scooping some out? as bill says, you need to look at every detail in the process. good luck and keep posting, someone will find the answer on this forum.

5 Posted: Thursday, November 08, 2012 9:10 PM

Hi ReidarH. Welcome to the forum.\n\nFirstly, sorry to hear about your 1st couple of failed brews. \n\nFrom an outsider looking in, you seem to be doing everything right, bar one thing. Intervention.\n\nMost first time brewers are excited with the prospect of their first brew(s). So much so that inevitably they just won't leave it alone at a time that is THE MOST IMPORTANT time to be leaving it alone, primary fermentation.\n\nBy sanitising your Fermenter & equipment etc, then pouring a brew into it, & adding yeast, then tightening the lid, you are creating a controlled environment from a sterlised base to set in motion a process. Once you open that lid or expose it's contents to anything outside of that controlled environment, you risk contamination. I believe this is what has happened in your case.\n\nMy fermenters don't have krausen kollars. If I were you, I would remove that before you begin your next brew. From there follow the same processes you have in the past, but this time, don't take any SG readings for at least 7 days from the time you tighten the lid, & don't open the lid.\n\nIn terms of monitoring the brew, all you need to look for is a krausen ring to develop over the following days after you tighten the lid. This you can see from outside the fermenter. \n\nPatience & less intervention in your next brew & I'm betting on a successful one.\n\nGood luck. \n\nBeer.

6 Posted: Thursday, November 08, 2012 9:34 PM

Bad luck mate. Two in a row is a bummer \n\nThe second infection may have been caused by remnants of the first infection.\n\nIt might be worth giving your equipment a blast of bleach.\n\nBut if you answer Bill's questions we may be able to narrow it down a little.

7 Posted: Friday, November 09, 2012 12:53 AM

Some more info on my process:\n\nThe failed brews was nr 2 and 3, the first one (Coopers Pale Ale) was ok.\n\nCleaning:\nAfter cleaning out the mess from my first brew with water and a soft cloth, I soaked all the equipment in hot water for a half day. I only used water and cloth for the first cleaning. I then sanitized everything with StarSan leaving all parts in contact with the sanitizer for atleast 10 minutes. I then put the fermenter upside down on a table covered in StarSan for a few minutes before starting my next batch. I did not rinse with water.\n\nI then mixed the BE with 2 litres of boiling water, mixed in the Beer Kit and topped up with cold spring water to get the right temperature. I then put in the Krausen Collar, spread the yeast and put on the lid. I then waited 5 minutes before giving it a stir. I then moved the fermenter down to the living room in my basement with a constant temperature of 20-22C.\n\nI then took samples already at day 4 right after removing the Krausen Collar. I took the sample from the tap. At this point the taste was very good and gravity at around 1014. The next day the gravity was around 1011 and the taste much more bitter. A Half day later the taste was really sour and vinegarish. I didnt think drawing samples from the tap could cause any damage to my brew? Am I mistaken on this part? On the first brew I took the first sample on day 6.\n\nI can also add that the plastic bag with the BE felt a bit sticky on the outside. But I didnt belive this could cause any problems?\n\nAlso. How long does it take for bacteria to spread and affect the taste of the brew? Since I didnt touch the fermenter until day 4 and the taste was very good at that day. Isnt that a sign that the actions I did on day 4 (remove collar and draw sample) is the reason for the sour taste I experienced 24hrs later?\n\nAnother thaught. I read today that if the water is to hard, StarSan doesn work. Then there is an obvious explanation for why I have experienced two failed brews. I mix a new batch of starsan/water each time, so no storing involved. Could this still be an issue? Will test tomorrow how quickly the mix turns cloudy. \n\n\nThanks in advance for any feedback :)\n\n

8 Posted: Friday, November 09, 2012 2:10 PM

Hey Reidar.\nI have had two bottles that had the sour vingary taste. One was the 2nd last bottle from a batch. The other was the first bottle I tried in a batch (the second one was fine).\n\nI believe my infections have both been cause by wild yeast - but I am unsure exactly. Both erupted when I opened the bottle.\n\nI would recommend soaking the FV and equipment in the Coopers sanitiser (or similar) to clean and sanitise, as well as using the Starsan right before brewing.\n\nWas your spoon sanitised? You don't really need to stir if you're sprinkling dry yeast on, if you re hydrate your yeast, stir it in right at the end of mixing in everything, including the water.\n\nI like the suggestion above about trying without the krausen collar.

9 Posted: Friday, November 09, 2012 2:21 PM

Ok… here are a few suggestion, in red, I would change….\n\n

ReidarH:

\nCleaning:\nAfter cleaning out the mess from my first brew with water and a soft cloth, I soaked all the equipment in hot water for a half day. I only used water and cloth for the first cleaning. rinse everything with hot water then pull your tap apart and ensure it is clean. Put it back in your fermenter and to the fermenter add 1 cap of unscented napisan and dissolve in warm-hot water top up your fermenter. Throw in everything you use when brewing. Best to leave it for about 24 hours then run the water out the tap. I leave mine full of this until next time I use it.\nNow give everything a good rinse in hot waterI then sanitized everything with StarSan leaving all parts in contact with the sanitizer for at least 10 minutes. Starsan only needs 30 seconds contact time, I do at least 60 seconds just to make sure.I then put the fermenter upside down on a table covered in StarSan for a few minutes before starting my next batch. I did not rinse with water.Just give your fermenter a bit of a shake to rid the excess starsan and put the lid back on.\n\nI then mixed the BE with 2 litres of boiling water, mixed in the Beer Kit and topped up with cold spring water to get the right temperature. I then put in the Krausen Collar, spread the yeast and put on the lid. I then waited 5 minutes before giving it a stir. no need to give it a stir. Place sugars in fermenter, add about 2L boiling water and pick the fermenter up and give it a good swirl to dissolve the sugars. Add the can and give everything a bit of a stir to help dissolve the can. Top fermenter up to required level, usually about 23L and sprinkle yeast on top. Put on collar if you want then the lid.I then moved the fermenter down to the living room in my basement with a constant temperature of 20-22C.These temps aren't too bad but personally I prefer 18-20C.\n\nI then took samples already at day 4 right after removing the Krausen Collar. I took the sample from the tap. At this point the taste was very good and gravity at around 1014. The next day the gravity was around 1011 and the taste much more bitter. A Half day later the taste was really sour and vinegarish. I didnt think drawing samples from the tap could cause any damage to my brew? Am I mistaken on this part? On the first brew I took the first sample on day 6.You are not mistaken. I take a gravity reading justr prior to pitching yeast then another reading about day 12ish and another on day 13ish… this depends how lazy I am feeling\n\nI can also add that the plastic bag with the BE felt a bit sticky on the outside. But I didnt belive this could cause any problems?this certainly can be a major issue and could likely be the cause. However, I assume that both infected brews didn't have this issue??\n\nAlso. How long does it take for bacteria to spread and affect the taste of the brew? ome infections can start before any noticeable outcome. It might take days to pick up some adverse effect from an infection. Since I didnt touch the fermenter until day 4 and the taste was very good at that day. Isnt that a sign that the actions I did on day 4 (remove collar and draw sample) is the reason for the sour taste I experienced 24hrs later?not necessarily\n\nAnother thaught. I read today that if the water is to hard, StarSan doesn work. Then there is an obvious explanation for why I have experienced two failed brews. I mix a new batch of starsan/water each time, so no storing involved. Could this still be an issue? Will test tomorrow how quickly the mix turns cloudy.Starsan is a very good product and comes highly recommended. Starsan will work with hard water, I know people all over Australia with different water types and this is never a problem. Starsan will go “off” if left in the light and heat too long. I am talking weeks though not only hours/days. If it doesn't look cloudy then it should be right. Make sure you dilute it at 1.5ml per litre water. Too much or too little renders it not as affective. \n\n\nThanks in advance for any feedback :)\n\n

\n\n\nHope this makes sense….\nLet me know how you go and good luck.

10 Posted: Friday, November 09, 2012 2:27 PM

hard luck on the brew. I hope the next one works out well.\nIf not, at least you don't have to buy any vinegar for a while…

11 Posted: Friday, November 09, 2012 2:49 PM

Hairy:

Bad luck mate. Two in a row is a bummer \n\nThe second infection may have been caused by remnants of the first infection.\n+1 with Hairy,when i use the DIY fv i leave the collar out on the shelf \nIt might be worth giving your equipment a blast of bleach.\n\nBut if you answer Bill's questions we may be able to narrow it down a little.

\n

12 Posted: Friday, November 09, 2012 2:56 PM

Was you going to say something Ash?

13 Posted: Sunday, November 11, 2012 7:15 AM

Sitting here enjoying a Coopers Pale Ale from my first batch. Unbelivable how much it has improved from week 2 to week 3. The taste, clarity and head is way better. The head is still a bit “coca cola-ish”, but I guess the size of the bubbles will reduce over time? I will continue to try 1 bottle pr week to monitor the development :)\n\nSince my first brew was good I have narrowed it down to 2 possible reasons for the failure. These are the only differencec between brew 1 and 2/3.\n\n1. In the first brew the DIY beer kit was completely new and 100% clean. I have only cleaned with hot water and then sanitised with StarSan. I think maybe I need to put more effort in the cleaning. I have ordered ChemiPro Oxi which will take care of this. Will soak for a while and the clean with a cloth. Then sanitize just prior to brewing. I am going to pay extra attention in the cleaning process this time.\n\n2. I removed the collar on day 3 and took the first sample on day 6 in my first brew. In my 2nd and 3rd brew I removed the collar on day 4 and took the first sample immidiately after this. Next time I will just leave it untouched for 7 days. Gravity will then hopefully be at a level where I can bottle. \n\nThe instructions says to monitor the gravity over two days and make sure its the same both days. Is this really necessary if its already at 1010? How much fermentation can a glass bottle take (i am using quality bottles designed for homebrewing). Will lets say a fermentation from 1010 to 1008 crack the bottle?\n\nMy next batch will be a Coopers Sparkling Ale. Will brew when the Chemipro Oxi arrives :)\n\n\n

14 Posted: Sunday, November 11, 2012 8:43 AM

Given it was only 7:15am when you posted, I assume you are not in Aust or just love a beer breaky.\n\n

ReidarH:

Sitting here enjoying a Coopers Pale Ale from my first batch. Unbelivable how much it has improved from week 2 to week 3. The taste, clarity and head is way better. The head is still a bit “coca cola-ish”, but I guess the size of the bubbles will reduce over time? I will continue to try 1 bottle pr week to monitor the development :)\n\nSince my first brew was good I have narrowed it down to 2 possible reasons for the failure. These are the only differencec between brew 1 and 2/3.\n\n1. In the first brew the DIY beer kit was completely new and 100% clean. I have only cleaned with hot water and then sanitised with StarSan. I think maybe I need to put more effort in the cleaning. I have ordered ChemiPro Oxi which will take care of this. Will soak for a while and the clean with a cloth. Then sanitize just prior to brewing. I am going to pay extra attention in the cleaning process this time.\n\n2. I removed the collar on day 3 and took the first sample on day 6 in my first brew. In my 2nd and 3rd brew I removed the collar on day 4 and took the first sample immidiately after this. Next time I will just leave it untouched for 7 days. Gravity will then hopefully be at a level where I can bottle. \n\nThe instructions says to monitor the gravity over two days and make sure its the same both days. Is this really necessary if its already at 1010? How much fermentation can a glass bottle take (i am using quality bottles designed for homebrewing). Will lets say a fermentation from 1010 to 1008 crack the bottle?\n\nMy next batch will be a Coopers Sparkling Ale. Will brew when the Chemipro Oxi arrives :)\n\n\n

\nI don't know if you took on board what I suggested as it appears you are only going to do your own thing anyway so I am not that keen now to waste my time answering your Q's.\n\nIf you don't get the same reading on your hydrometer then you can expect the worst. Why do you not want to wait?… They don't instruct this for nothing… or again you appear to want to do your own thing again….\n\nSigh… you're not going to learn much if you don't take on board what people say in order to improve your practice and try helping you.\n\nGood luck with your experience and if you have kids or loved ones nearby then I suggest you keep them well away from your bottles for their own safety sakes.

15 Posted: Sunday, November 11, 2012 9:27 AM

BillK:

Given it was only 7:15am when you posted, I assume you are not in Aust or just love a beer breaky.\n\n

ReidarH:

Sitting here enjoying a Coopers Pale Ale from my first batch. Unbelivable how much it has improved from week 2 to week 3. The taste, clarity and head is way better. The head is still a bit “coca cola-ish”, but I guess the size of the bubbles will reduce over time? I will continue to try 1 bottle pr week to monitor the development :)\n\nSince my first brew was good I have narrowed it down to 2 possible reasons for the failure. These are the only differencec between brew 1 and 2/3.\n\n1. In the first brew the DIY beer kit was completely new and 100% clean. I have only cleaned with hot water and then sanitised with StarSan. I think maybe I need to put more effort in the cleaning. I have ordered ChemiPro Oxi which will take care of this. Will soak for a while and the clean with a cloth. Then sanitize just prior to brewing. I am going to pay extra attention in the cleaning process this time.\n\n2. I removed the collar on day 3 and took the first sample on day 6 in my first brew. In my 2nd and 3rd brew I removed the collar on day 4 and took the first sample immidiately after this. Next time I will just leave it untouched for 7 days. Gravity will then hopefully be at a level where I can bottle. \n\nThe instructions says to monitor the gravity over two days and make sure its the same both days. Is this really necessary if its already at 1010? How much fermentation can a glass bottle take (i am using quality bottles designed for homebrewing). Will lets say a fermentation from 1010 to 1008 crack the bottle?\n\nMy next batch will be a Coopers Sparkling Ale. Will brew when the Chemipro Oxi arrives :)\n\n\n

\nI don't know if you took on board what I suggested as it appears you are only going to do your own thing anyway so I am not that keen now to waste my time answering your Q's.\n\nIf you don't get the same reading on your hydrometer then you can expect the worst. Why do you not want to wait?… They don't instruct this for nothing… or again you appear to want to do your own thing again….\n\nSigh… you're not going to learn much if you don't take on board what people say in order to improve your practice and try helping you.\n\nGood luck with your experience and if you have kids or loved ones nearby then I suggest you keep them well away from your bottles for their own safety sakes.

\n\nHi.\nI will certainlytake into account all the good advice I have got in this forum. My main takeaways are the cleaning process and not interfering with the brew. I think the rest of the process and how you describe it is very similar to how I have done my brews. Stiring the yeast or not I guess is a matter of preference. The temperature will off course affect the outcome, but its not what has caused the infection. Will lower temp to 18-20 degrees this time. Napisan or Chemipro Oxi will do the same job. The rest of the process we do the same :) I will make sure the fermentation is complete before bottling. Thanks a lot for your advice. Will let you know how my next brew turns out :)\n\nBtw, Im in norway so its close to midnight now :) Reading about people having issues with to high brewing temperature and I finally have one good reason for living in the cold :)\n

16 Posted: Monday, November 13, 2017 1:09 PM

ReidarH:

Hi.\nI have just had my 2nd failed brew and I am a bit frustrated. The failed brews was a Coopers Lager and a Coopers Dark Ale. Both brewed with BE. I use the Coopers DIY Beer Kit.\n\nI have followed the instructions thoroughly, including rinsing, cleaning and then sanitizing using StarSan.\n\nThe temperature has been stable around 20-22C both times. \n\nTo me it seems like the brew is ruined after removing the Krausen Collar. I have done this on day 4 and gravity was at 1014. I draw a sample straight after removing the Krausen Collar and the taste was great. Took another sample the day after and the taste was horrible. Very sour vinegar taste, so I flushed it down the drain.\n\nCan the exposure to air when removing the Krausen Collar be the reason for this? I guess at 1014 there is not much C02 protecting the brew, so removing it earlier could be an idea. Next time I will just leave it on for the entire process. \n\nAny advice would be highly appreciated. \n\nThanks. \n


I never remove my collar since it sounds like the newer system. Since there is no air lock in the system its not worth the risk exposing it to air releasing that co2 layer just makes no sense to me. Was weird enough going to a no air lock system but since having this one last 18 batches have been grate but haven't ever repeated most of the coopers range just ain't a taste I like it even makes me think dam home brew lol try a kit from a HB shop they can even help run you though the process… But vini taste yeah makes sense with yeast present in the air and loosing that co2 layer.

Last edited by Spired (Monday, November 13, 2017 1:09 PM)