Ectoplasm from Kettle Tap

Post #1 made 5 years ago
So whilst transferring from kettle to the fermenter I noticed some grey coloured jelly/ectoplasm type thing come out. I fished it out and had a closer inspection only to confirm it was indeed a grey jelly/ectoplasm/snot thing.
Suspecting my ball valve I unscrewed it and found more of the grey matter inside. I've never flushed out the valve or took it out before, I only used to run water through it. So for all of you with taps and valve and thermometers, make sure you clean it properly or you too will be growing your own grey jelly!
Cheers :luck:

Post #2 made 5 years ago
Ah, pure joy dom!!!

Some of the older members here will know why I have written that. Basically if you search my posts here about kettle taps you'll find lots of warnings I have written about them. Try searching for nostril test and find the earliest posts. That might help you work out a better system of maintenance.

Glad you got it sorted and welcome to the forum ;)
PP
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Post #3 made 5 years ago
Come on PistolPatch, own up, how much did you pay Dom to post that? :lol: :lol:

Joking aside, good job you found that Dom before it got too late.

Have you not had any infected beer by the way?
G B
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I've stopped drinking, but only when I'm asleep
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Post #4 made 5 years ago
The beer so far hasn't tasted too bad,I'm hoping the batch I just put down (which had the grey snot fly into) will be OK. I will now do a search for Nostril Test :-)
Cheers

Post #9 made 5 years ago
:lol:

dom, what you do with the nostril test is put a hose on the end of valve and open and close the valve a few times while breathing in with the nose stuck up your nostril. Don't pout your nose direct on the tap :lol:.

The nose knows.

Every other brewers taps I have pulled apart have ectoplasm in them and it stinks. This is why I reckon new brewers often brew better beer than more experienced brewers. Infections do gradually creep in.

...

Ball-valves work well in a brewery where many batches are being done each week and constant cleaning, movement and sterilising is going on. They are not great though in situations where equipment is left stagnant for several weeks or months at a time. It's a different kettle of fish, excuse the graphic pun.

Anyway, be alert but not alarmed :),
PP
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Post #10 made 5 years ago
When I worked in a brewery when I was a young lad we used returnable glass and some of the bottles would have a nice grey snot like substance in them before they go into the bottle washer. We called them beer oysters!

Post #11 made 5 years ago
If there's something strange in your ball valve now
Who ya gonna call?
Slime busters!

You take a sniff
And get a whiff
Who ya gonna call ?
Slime busters!

You spot the Slime
And start to whine
"I need to call"
The Slime busters

You got the hose
Stuck up your nose
Who ya gonna call ?
A doctor !

The doc arrives
And finds some hives
Up your nose whilst
Retracting the hose

The slime flies out
Onto the Doc
Up his nose
From your hose
NOW who ya gonna call ?

Er.I think I'd better stop now. This is what happens when I don't have a beer!

Post #13 made 5 years ago
All!

So after reading this I took my ball valve apart. I found some of the plastic thread tape (that you use to make a tight seal) in there but not much else. No nose snot! I reassembled it and now I am good for another 5 years. It was a good exercise (like when I had to disassemble and reassemble my rifle in the Army) but now I know that using a ball valve is safe and recommended by those like myself that use them every fortnight.

I might buy a couple of extras and use them for prizes for Cheesestradamus? :lol:
tap 1 Raspberry wine
tap 2 Bourbon Barrel Porter
tap 3 Czech Pilsner
tap 4 Triple IPA 11% ABV

Pipeline: Mulled Cider 10% ABV

http://cheesestradamus.com/ Brewers challenge!
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Post #14 made 5 years ago
Time for a karaoke youtube session dom!
I had some ectoplasm in a blow of container recently. In fairness, I think the container was open for around 3 months. Yeah, I took a little hiatus. It has 3 holes drilled in it, so the ectoplasm probably came from the air. No pellicule or funk in the fermenter. DEFINITELY had to toss the blowoff tubes, the ends looked nasty.
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Post #15 made 5 years ago
Jack, your post reminded me of Bob's post. I know he wants me to correct him but I just haven't had time. Now you bump the thread! Here is my correction...
BobBrews wrote:All!

So after reading this I took my ball valve apart. I found some of the plastic thread tape (that you use to make a tight seal) in there but not much else. No nose snot! I reassembled it and now I am good for another 5 years. It was a good exercise (like when I had to disassemble and reassemble my rifle in the Army) but now I know that using a ball valve is safe and recommended by those like myself that use them every fortnight.

I might buy a couple of extras and use them for prizes for Cheesestradamus? :lol:
You idiot Bob :lol:.

More seriously though, Bob's ball-valve is proof that a ball-valve can be fine but it is not proof that it will always be fine. Bob, when you recommend ball-valves, you must also let fellow readers know the stuff you know. You might think they know it but most won't (see end). For instance...

1. Each ball-valve/kettle set-up is different. (Some get exposed to intense heat and others to just a bit of warmth (especially 'keg' kettles). Regardless, most ball-valves will not reach a sterilisation temperature during a boil.

2. A ball-valve is a ball inside a cylinder. This means that there is always a volume of liquid 'trapped' in the chamber whether it is open or closed unless it is pulled apart and dried. Opening the tap once does almost nothing to change the liquid content of what is trapped in the chamber. Frequent turning on and off the tap will flush the chamber eventually.

3. Other factors come into play. For example, boiling plain water in the kettle at the end of the boil and then flushing that through the tap (opening and closing it several times) will make a difference.

There are many scenarios here and all that have a good outcome usually require a lot of work (whether that be in heat and/or time and/or manual labour) compared to a syphon. Personally I'd prefer spending two minutes setting my syphon up right and another two minutes cleaning it than boiling water (about 4 litres) and running it through my ball-valve, opening and closing the valve and then mixing up 4 L of sanitiser and doing the same thing.

Ball-valves are only safe if you make them so and check that they are so. Remember, Bob's experience above is rare. Most other people's taps do stink etc when opened. Bob also is not lazy in his cleaning and sanitisation so it would be good to hear his exact regime here and see a pic of set-p and burner. Be nice to eventually narrow down what are the fastest, safest ways to maintain a ball=valve.

....

The biggest problem Bob...

No, it's not you :lol:. The biggest problem is that in this game, everyone enters it with almost no quality education. Many brewers with a ball-valve (same as a fermentor tap) just think that it opens and closes and to clean it or sanitise it,you only need to open it or close it once, if at all... I mean, it get's hot right?

I've read your posts on what you do with your ball-valve. You might think that is common sense but newbies would not know that you have to do what you do - which is more than a little flushing.

Let us know what you do and if you think any of my reasoning above is incorrect :peace:.
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 11 Jul 2014, 18:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #16 made 5 years ago
PistolPatch, :shoot:

You have written a lot about spigots, valves and taps. Your opinion is well stated. I have been using my tap for years and the only thing I found in it while inspecting it was the Teflon tape that I put on the tap threads to seal them. I clean my tap 'fairly' regularly. (hey, no one is perfect!) :idiot:

With (normally) 26 brew sessions a year average. I am still without a infection or off taste caused by gunk in the tap. I am one of 99% of the brewers that have taps on their kettles that have no problems.

In searching the internet for kettle tap infections I can only fined references to your posts here or posts involving you on aussiehomebrewer.com. My thinking is that if it were a problem, then most websites and books would make reference to it. They don't.

Botulism can be caused in long term storage of UN-fermented wort with a one in a million chance. Infections can be caused by a uncleaned tap with a one in a million chance. If you don't worry about botulism then don't worry about taps. Let it go. Drop it. it's a non issue. Find a different bone to gnaw on. How about windows 8.1?

Bye the way. I had to upgrade to windows 8.1 recently. I inserted the CD and it booted and began to install. When finished. I installed ( Start8 from Stardock ) and it all works perfectly. http://www.stardock.com/products/start8 ... rdockStore try it for free. It makes windows 8 work like windows 7.

Have a good day :love: :love: :love:
Last edited by BobBrews on 11 Jul 2014, 21:20, edited 1 time in total.
tap 1 Raspberry wine
tap 2 Bourbon Barrel Porter
tap 3 Czech Pilsner
tap 4 Triple IPA 11% ABV

Pipeline: Mulled Cider 10% ABV

http://cheesestradamus.com/ Brewers challenge!
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Post #17 made 5 years ago
BobBrews wrote:In searching the internet for kettle tap infections I can only fined references to your posts here or posts involving you on aussiehomebrewer.com. My thinking is that if it were a problem, then most websites and books would make reference to it. They don't.
Not much time today but I want to get this knocked on the head. Firstly. I just Googled 'brewing ball-valve infection' and my name or this site did not come up on the first page of results at all but out of the ten links shown on the first page of results (I didn't check any further) the following five links include some interesting reading...

One Two Three Four Five (These are 5 individual links)

I don't know why there is a big issue with trying to pass on reasonable, sensible, and correct advice in this area. The reason I do it is not because I want to spend all my free time writing here. (I actually get a little annoyed sometimes at having to write the same message over and over again. It is time directly out of my own free time and I get very little of that.) The reason I do spend the time is because I don't like seeing people going through crap unnecessarily. How I actually learned this excellent advice of maintaining ball-valves is from a mate of mine (altstart on AHB) who lost 1500 litres of beer over many months because everyone told him there was no way it could be his ball-valve. That is exactly what the problem was.

If you read the links above you will stumble across things like, "Morebeer! has proven that the heat of the boil does no that the ball-valve enough to kill the bacteria." There's other things in those threads as well but I don't see why I should spend more of my time pointing them all out. I think I have done enough in this area and when it comes up again, I'd really appreciate me not being the one who spends another 30 minutes writing a post on the subject and then more posts justifying what is good solid advice.

And, bear in mind, when you read posts on other forums about people getting infections, that you'll often see sentences like, "I have been trying to find this infection for six months now." It's funny how in those threads, everything I can think of has been suggested except for ball-valves (or crappy keg welds). Wish I had time to write to those poor bastards but I don't.

Let's just pass the sensible advice on eh?
Last edited by PistolPatch on 12 Jul 2014, 23:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #18 made 5 years ago
I don't mean to get in the middle here, but Bob ...

What is the exact kettle tap/taps that you have such great luck with?

I work for a valve manufacturing company, and PP makes a good point about their general design being a potential problem. It sound to me like we should be championing the design in yours within the context of your setup.

Overall, I have to agree that your anecdote is not enough to be giving blanket advice to others who may be purchasing inferior product for their setup. Most kettle valves are designed as PP has stated.
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Post #19 made 5 years ago
Maybe this isn't an acceptable solution, but I attach my silicone tubing to my tap before the end of the boil. Then I fill a stainless pitcher a few times and pour it back in though the hop sock. I figure it can only help with hop extraction too, not to mention cutting down on the trub.
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Post #20 made 5 years ago
Rick,

I am 90% sure this is it but I can't find the records and I bought the valve in 2007.
http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/stai ... -barb.html

It's just a add-on tap. Nothing out of the ordinary. I am brewing (actually cleaning up) right now! After washing out the keggle I dumped about a half gallon of used sanitizer in the already clean keggle. I run some sanitizer (StarSan) thru the tap and close it. I let it sit for about a half hour and then run the rest of the sanitizer out the tap onto the driveway.

I invert the keggle on the burner and let it wait there until ready. That's All I do? Never a problem? Maybe it's because I have a 80,000 BTU burner? It's a non issue with me? Taps are great to attach your high temp silicone hose too. I soak the hose in the StarSan that I dump out of the no-chill container. I normally keep a 1/2 gallon or so in the N/C while being stored. I invert it every month while in storage. In the last fifteen minutes of the boil I dump the StarSan into a clean bucket on top of the silicone hose curled in the bottom of the bucket. I leave the N/C inverted above the hose.

When it's time to drain the hot wort. I put the inverted N/C under the keggle and connect the sanitized silicone hose. After it's (the no-chill) full I squeeze out the air and seal up the No-Chill. I rinse the hose in clean water and put it back into the bucket with the StarSan. After ten minutes I remove the silicone hose and dump the StarSan into the cleaned keggle. As told above. It sounds like a lot but it goes fairly quickly.

I just dissembled the tap recently and found nothing. My common sense cleaning habits are nothing out of the ordinary. If your a sloppy brewer you will have a few infections or bad brews from a dozen sources, not just one.

How else do you get boiling hot wort out of a keggle? Any other method would have hot wort oxidation problems? Hot wort coming out of a tap that is inches away from a blue flame will stay sanitized. If someone uses a immersion chiller to cool the wort and then uses a tap than all bets are off. I don't know what the consequences are to that? But why use a immersion chiller in this day and age? Its quaint and has nostalgia value but please?

Anyway, I have to finish cleaning up and work around the backyard. The boss demands it. I am afraid of that crazy women!!! :argh:
Last edited by BobBrews on 13 Jul 2014, 02:09, edited 1 time in total.
tap 1 Raspberry wine
tap 2 Bourbon Barrel Porter
tap 3 Czech Pilsner
tap 4 Triple IPA 11% ABV

Pipeline: Mulled Cider 10% ABV

http://cheesestradamus.com/ Brewers challenge!
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Post #21 made 5 years ago
I think that the fact that Bob no chills is a definite clue. Running boiling wort through the tap might have something to do with the sanitation of the tap? PP back in the day when you had your trouble were you chilling?
AWOL

Post #22 made 5 years ago
I've actually never had a problem Lylo but I do maintain my ball-valves which is a lot more work than maintaining a bit of silicone hose and jiggler syphon (another way to get hot wort from a kettle).

I think what is happening here is that posts are getting skimmed and therefore misinterpretations are made. The point I have continually tried to make is that ball-valves require maintenance. Bob is doing maintenance, I knew he did maintenance and that is why I asked if he could explain his maintenance schedule back in the last line of post #15 but unfortunately that request was missed.

I have also said if you do no-chill you are less likely to get problems but you still should do maintenance and at least do a nostril check and periodic check of the valve.

Bob hasn't responded to my last post here which I'm a bit disappointed in as he did basically make it out that I was a fool carrying on about nothing and was the only one in the world to do so. I showed that was incorrect so I hope others did not skim that last post. And Bob, I can't believe you pinched my botulism versus aeroplane analogy. (You owe me five beers for that!)

Finally, chilling is not an outdated method at all and can, in fact, add more time and cleaning in certain scenarios. Also, in certain styles it may produce a beer that some brewers appreciate less as happened in a Melbourne experiment albeit a pretty poor one.

I think this site differs from most others as there is detailed information and there is rarely blanket advice given for exactly the reasons we are seeing here.

:peace:
Last edited by PistolPatch on 13 Jul 2014, 23:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #23 made 5 years ago
If PP hates Bob's set up; mine is pure evil. I use 2 taps, pump and plate chiller.
I have far fewer brews on my set up than Bob but I have yet to have any issues (knock on wood).
I start my brewday by mixing up a batch of PBW ( powered brewery wash) in my kettle and running some thru the system into my fermenter. When the system is primed with PBW I stop the flow and let it sit for a few minutes. I then pump the rest into the fermentation bucket.
I drain the system and repeat the process with StarSan emptying into a bucket.
While brewing I transfer the PBW into another bucket and StarSan the fermenter to be filed with wort.
After brewing I clean and rinse the kettle with fresh water. I then run clean, fresh water thru the system. I then repeat the prebrew steps using the remaining PBW and StarSan.
It may seem like a lot of extra bother on brew day; but it is a part of my process.
I don't mind the extra time.
I brew as a hobby and not as a job that needs doing. :!::!::!:
My wife works Saturday's so I am able to set aside most of the day to enjoy the entire brewing process.:P
Some people are like slinkies. Not good for much, but bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.

Weehoosebrewing.ga
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Post #24 made 5 years ago
I posted at the same as PP's post above mine.
I agree completely with his post.
I think my number one point or hang up: is that I treat brewing as a hobby that I love and enjoy from start to end. I have trouble understanding the thought process of those who want to rush thru the brew day and seem to be unable to wait until it's over.
Maybe time constraints are an issue? But then I wouldn't schedule a brew day if I have other commitments.
Some people are like slinkies. Not good for much, but bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.

Weehoosebrewing.ga
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Post #25 made 5 years ago
Certainly don't think your system is evil Lumpy and love your post. That's perfect info!

I have absolutely no probs with equipment/valves etc as long as people have a sound understanding that the equipment requires maintenance and your post gives excellent and honest info on that :salute:.

I think you can actually reduce your maintenance a bit as it looks like you are doing a great job at the end of the brew day so probably no need to repeat the PBW and sanitiser at the start of the brew day. The only other thing that comes to mind is opening and closing the valves several times to flush the dead space.

Thanks,
PP
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