Infected beer - what is this?

Reads 13663 • Replies 39 • Started Sunday, January 3, 2010 4:08:51 AM CT

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boogernose
beers 9 º places 2 º 04:08 Sun 1/3/2010

I’ve been lurking for a bit and notice a lot of people talking about "infected" beers. What does this mean and how do I know if the beer I’m drinking is infected??

Recently I bought a Voodoo Love Child (lol at that statement) http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/voodoo-love-child/78541/. When I opened it (mind you it had been sitting in the fridge for a couple of weeks), it bubbled over.. and over and over. So was it infected or was it something else? I had not agitated the bottle. If the stock clerk had shook the bejesus out of it, surely it would settled in a couple of weeks time or no?

 
wunderbier
beers 1434 º places 17 º 04:36 Sun 1/3/2010

"Infected" means that the beers has been contaminated by an unintended yeast or bacteria, which has affected the desired qualities of the beer. Different contaminants present different off-flavors, typically lactic acid (like sour milk), acetic acid (like vinegar), "horsey" aromas, "barnyard" aromas, phenols, vegetable aromas, or esters. Other signs tend to be haze/turbidity, elevated carbonation levels, ropey appearance, dryness (lack of sweetness), or dull flavors. There is also a fungus of the genus Fusarium that infects barley in the field and produces byproducts present in the finished beer. These byproducts can also cause gushing, and do so without elevating carbonation levels or affecting any other aspect of the beer. Apparently, poorly stored malt can also be infected by Aspergillus or Penicillium, which also result in gushing of the finished beer.

 
boogernose
beers 9 º places 2 º 04:44 Sun 1/3/2010

Very informative, thanks!

On a side note, I wonder if that Orval I tried a while back was infected. It smelled like a urinal and tasted really funky. I don’t know.. maybe that’s just the way Orval is. I haven’t had the courage to try another yet.

 
darkguardian
beers 734 º places 2 º 17:58 Sun 1/3/2010

Originally posted by boogernose
Very informative, thanks!

On a side note, I wonder if that Orval I tried a while back was infected. It smelled like a urinal and tasted really funky. I don’t know.. maybe that’s just the way Orval is. I haven’t had the courage to try another yet.

dunno about the urinal but Orval yeast has some brettamanyces in it which can give some funky aroma and lends to dryness. Aged Orval can also pick up some funky slight sourness. Generally thought to be a good thing. Young fresh Orval is less funky, dry and hoppy (its dry hopped). Orval because of its bottle can get skunky I’ve noticed if stored improperly so it could have been that too.

 
TheBeerSommelier
18:14 Sun 1/3/2010

Originally posted by wunderbier
Apparently, poorly stored malt can also be infected by Aspergillus or Penicillium, which also result in gushing of the finished beer.


How is this possible, with boiling?

 
beastiefan2k
beers 4705 º places 276 º 18:21 Sun 1/3/2010

Originally posted by TheBeerSommelier
Originally posted by wunderbier
Apparently, poorly stored malt can also be infected by Aspergillus or Penicillium, which also result in gushing of the finished beer.

How is this possible, with boiling?

I think the heat isn’t high enough to kill those beasties.

 
TheBeerSommelier
18:26 Sun 1/3/2010

Originally posted by beastiefan2k
Originally posted by TheBeerSommelier
Originally posted by wunderbier
Apparently, poorly stored malt can also be infected by Aspergillus or Penicillium, which also result in gushing of the finished beer.

How is this possible, with boiling?

I think the heat isn’t high enough to kill those beasties.


Boiling kills everything living. It’s one of the reasons for not only boiling wort (among isomerization of the hops, ceasing of enzimatic activity, caramelization, etc.), but any water about which you’re dubious.

 
sthlm
beers 790 º places 147 º 18:28 Sun 1/3/2010

Originally posted by TheBeerSommelier
Boiling kills everything living.

No.

 
zdk
beers 1917 º places 96 º 18:31 Sun 1/3/2010

Originally posted by TheBeerSommelier

Boiling kills everything living. It’s one of the reasons for not only boiling wort (among isomerization of the hops, ceasing of enzimatic activity, caramelization, etc.), but any water about which you’re dubious.


It won’t kill mold spores.

 
TheBeerSommelier
18:40 Sun 1/3/2010

Originally posted by OSLO
Originally posted by TheBeerSommelier
Boiling kills everything living.

No.


Really? Besides the extreme thermofiles, living miles under the ocean (at/in/near hydro thermal sites), name something that survives the boil.

As for mold spores, see:

http://environmental-microbiology.suite101.com/article.cfm/mold_spore_control_best_ways_and_means

"Mold spores are resistant to drying (dessication) and heat, but they may be killed by boiling, ozone, and fungicides containing phenolics and quaternary ammonium treatments."

 
sthlm
beers 790 º places 147 º 18:42 Sun 1/3/2010

Originally posted by TheBeerSommelier
Originally posted by OSLO
Originally posted by TheBeerSommelier
Boiling kills everything living.

No.


Really? Besides the extreme thermofiles, living miles under the ocean (at/in/near hydro thermal sites), name something that survives the boil.

As for mold spores, see:

http://environmental-microbiology.suite101.com/article.cfm/mold_spore_control_best_ways_and_means

"Mold spores are resistant to drying (dessication) and heat, but they may be killed by boiling, ozone, and fungicides containing phenolics and quaternary ammonium treatments."

Are you using an autoclave or a pressure cooker, or are you just doing a normal boil?