I've had more and more of the dreaded infections over the past few brews so I've decided that radical action is required. The six fermenters I've been using since I re-started brewing in 2009 have clocked up more than 80 brews between them. No surprise then, that when I inspected them they are scratched to buggery.
Where brewing is concerned, scratches are BAD. Infections can lurk unmoved by boiling, scrubbing or any amount of disinfectant, it would appear. So, this time I've opted to replace my fermenters one by one, dating them, naming them and calibrating them before use.
In my brew diary spreadsheet, I've now added a column to include which numbered FV I've brewed them in. This way when an infection strikes, I can chuck out a fermenter and eliminate that from the causes.
So what are the other causes? Well, basically, anything that is not sanitised. In the past I've identified dirty airlocks, little bottler taps, syphons. If you're not sure, chuck them out because replacing all of these still work out less than the cost of chucking a brew down the drain.
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