According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2014 is the Year of the Horse. For me, 2014 could well go down as the Year of the Bottle Infection. As you may recall, I've had multiple nice beers ruined by creeping bottle infections. The beer would seem to be great in my bottles for a few weeks, but invariably, I would get crazy foam gushers, the beer in question would see the body suffer, etc. It's bad enough to have an ale suffer this fate, but having it happen to a bock (with months invested in the brewing and lagering) was really, really painful.
I got lots of advice on the issue; some of it was good, some was more suspect - yes, I am quite certain that four weeks in the fermentor meant that gravity was stable whether or not I did multiple hydrometer checks! A thorough cleaning regimen - namely, long soaks in strong bleach solution, PBW solution, strong starsan solution, with plenty of rinses in between - did no good. At any rate, I developed the following plan.
2. Boil the silicone tubing for an extended period (my LHBS sadly does not carry silicone tubing).
3. Pre rinse all bottles with a bottle washer.
4. Keep the bottling bucket covered with a lid at all times.
5. Immediately place caps on bottles as they are filled.
6. After a thorough cleaning, keep all bottling gear stored in plastic bags (in the past, I would leave my bottling bucket open inside my basement).
I first implemented this plan when bottling my roggenbier. I have tried multiple bottles along the way, and now - better than seven weeks out, which is past the point that issues have always shown up in the past - I have strong reason to believe that my bottling woes are...
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Tags for this post: bottle, infection, infections, roggenbier, homebrew