acetobacter, brett, and plastic...

Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:50 am

So I was bottling up a batch of kombucha tea this morning and thought it might be nice to have a funnel to make the process a little less messy. Naturally I reached for my beer equipment. I had already been using beer equip for brewing the tea as Star San makes a perfect sanitizer for this culture. After tasting my first batch of tea and delighting in it's tangy goodness, I panicked! Kombucha "mushroom" is actually a pellicle formed by a symboitic culture of Acetobacter, Brettanomyces, and a few other bugs.

So is my plastic funnel ruined for beer making? will boiling it solve the problem, or leave me with a warped and infected funnel? I don't think Star San will work on this. Maybe bleach?
Also, how does Acetobacer work? Does it require oxygen? Because I almost wouldn't mind experimenting with this culture on a finished beer to dry it out and sour it a bit, but I really don't want to wind up with vinegar.
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Brandt
 
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Location: Knoxville, TN

Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:37 am

Brandt-

Don't panic, but I'd get a new funnel if I were you. No need to risk your next batch (what $25+- bucks for 5 gals depending on your sources, etc) for a 10 dollar funnel. It doesn't take much for the critters to get into the plastic. Then you'll start spreading it.

Make sure you take a Sharpie or something and mark that funnel so you don't mix it up with the replacement.

HTH-
-B'Dawg
BJCP GM2 Judge
"Lunch Meat. It's an acquired taste....." -- Mylo
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BDawg
 
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Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:34 am

BDawg wrote:Brandt-
"Make sure you take a Sharpie or something and mark that funnel so you don't mix it up with the replacement."

HTH-


Yep, that's what I do with my sour stuff too. I think that Jamil may argue against this being needed, but hey, even paranoids have enemies!
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bergerandfries
 
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Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:32 pm

I too keep a separate set of plastics for my sour beers. Better safe than sorry in my book.

Wayne
Bugeater Brewing Company
Bugeater Brewing Company
http://www.lincolnlagers.com
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Bugeater
 
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Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:55 am

Okay. I thought as much and a new funnel is already here. Just because I'm paranoid I soaked the funnel and bucket in bleach water for three days anyway. But I won't be using them for my regular beers any more.

I have been trying to understand how acetobacter works. It is my limited understanding that it requires O2 to metabolize and that without it, acetic acid production is retarded. So I wonder if there's a way to control it. What if I wanted a modest amount of acetic acid? Could fermenting in a glass container with an airlock slow it down and let the yeast go to work?
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Brandt
 
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