Month: March 2014

Quality Control Experiments – Part 2

Results are in. All types of mold, bacteria, and wild yeast are flying around my basement with immunity. Yes I clean, sanitize, and sterilize. When I transfer liquids, I make sure windows are closed, a flame is around the containers, and all precautions are taken.

This experiment almost made me quit brewing.

I sat back and wondered what I was doing wrong. If I was doing everything I could humanly do to keep everything clean, why were there so many bug ending up in my cultures?

My beers turn out great. I always keep several tubes of wort and monitor them for bacteria. I have some tubes from six months ago that still show no sign of bacteria. This has, however, pointed out many flaws in my lab that will be corrected. Below are the results.

Plate 1
Air sample using UBA. Using Gram Stain, under microscope at 40x (below).

Plate #1b     Plate #1 UBA      Slide1b.Gram Stain.Plate 1.40x

Plate 2
Air sample using agar plate. Gram Stain using 10x, 40x, and the last two are 100x oil immersion. (below)

Plate #2 - Agar     Plate #2 after 24 hours     Slide2.Gram Stain.Plate 2.10x

Slide2a.Gram Stain.Plate 2.40x.4     Slide2.Gram Stain.Plate 2.oil.3     Slide2a.Gram Stain.Plate 2.oil.4

Plate 3
Swab samples. Gram Stain at 40x and oil immersion 100x. (below)

Swab Plate  Plate #3     Plate #4a     Slide6.Gram Stain.Swab.40x.1

Slide3.Gram Stain.Swab3.oil.2

Perhaps one of the most startling results came from the swabbing on the incubator. Although samples were taken from five different areas, absolutely no bacteria or fungi were detected.

Swabbed area in red ovals

Swabbed area in red ovals

I have begun building my new lab. I’ve transferred all yeast, DME, and hops from the fridge and placed in another fridge, storing at the lowest possible temperature (-20F in the freezer, 37F in refrigerator). Additionally, I am using a stainless steel table as my work area and constructing a Laminar air flow booth for culturing.

New lab