If there is a downside to using plastic fermentors is that eventually you’ll need to replace them…

You can scrub and scrub and scrub, but you’ll get to a point where the bucket is so scratched up that you won’t be able to really ‘clean’ it…

… and the worst part is that our good ‘ole foe Pediococus is usually the messenger letting us know we need new equipment…

So who exactly is pediococus?

It’s a bacteria that spits out lactic acid, makes your beer somewhat hazy and most detectable, pours a full bucket of that buttery flavored diacetyl into your beer…

Let me tell you, it sucks!

This bacteria usually survives in ‘beer stone’ deposits… kind of like a chalky layer in the trub of the fermentor… when you have too many scratches and grooves in your bucket, getting rid of these deposits is almost impossible…

If beer stone survives in your fermentor, then Pediococus is likely to survive there as well… at that point the only thing that could save you is your hops though you should still get new equipment…

You may have heard that hops are used as preservatives in beers… and one reason for that is that the bittering acids from hops are strong enough to keep Pediococus from taking over your beer…

However, depending on how much Pediococus survives in your fermentor, you may only be saved with a bitter beer…

In my case I had a Marzen/Oktoberfest, which is not very bitter so Pediococus was able to modify my beer… and unfortunately lactic acid and copious amounts of diacetyl don’t make for a better beer with this style…

Now, something else I want to point out… Both lactic acid and diacetyl are sometimes found in other styles… but the way you get those are different and it’s important to know that difference…

When it comes to diacetyl, yeast produced it during the beginning of fermentation and it’s reduced by yeast towards the end of fermentation and during conditioning… in other words, it gets better with time…

If the source of diacetyl is from bacteria however… it does not get better with time… it usually gets worse…

I actually tasted this beer right before kegging and the amount of diacetyl was almost non existent, though I did see a bit of a haze I don’t usually get, but I didn’t expect that to be from Pediococus… the beer actually tasted pretty damn good and I was looking forward to pouring the first glass, but now it’s not really drinkable…

Now it’s turned into a lesson of knowing what strong levels of diacetyl tastes like and a reminder that I need a new fermentor… and might as well replace my racking equipment…

Cheers!

My Cousin's WeddingPS Picture on the left… one of the few times you’ll see me in a suit… my cousin got married last weekend… I brought my home brew for the after party…

The beer didn’t make it to the after party, it was drunk the first day I got there… it was the Munich Helles I brewed just last month and everyone loved it!… so it’s approved…

Well looks like I have two kegs to fill now… I had mid-terms this week (which is why I’m writing a bit later than usual), but now it’s spring break! Enjoy yours!


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