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Registered: 12/23/03
Posts: 565
any miracle cure for wet spot ?
    #2989875 - 08/11/04 07:42 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Hello since a couple of monthes I have a huge problem with bacteria, 90 % of my jars (rye) get contaminated with wet spot at various stages, sometimes it doesn't appear before I shake them the first time and then the mycelium dies... Apparently my cultures in petri dishes are free of contam so it seems to happen in the rye. I tried to leave the jars longer in the pressure cooker to sterilize (from 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes now) but it doesn't change anything. I tried to change the type of rye (from organic to non-organic). I also tried to soak the rye 24 hours before in water but then when I sterilize the jars they get all mashed, the kernels explode in some kind of paste.
What else could I try to get rid of this problem ?
thanks for any help

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Registered: 07/08/04
Posts: 2,421
Last seen: 6 years, 3 months
Re: any miracle cure for wet spot ? [Re: easyskunkin]
    #2989905 - 08/11/04 07:52 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

I thought you were talking about taking the rass out of the rass clat with a title like that.

You have to soak the grain for less time before adding more water and PCing. If it still mushes you need to simply use less water.

Either that or PC them , wait a day and PC them again.
Re PCing it will allow the endospores (made to be indestructable) germinate and the second PC will kill them after they germinate.

You should reread the tech you are following carefully, don't just skim it.

Edited by MAGnum (08/11/04 08:03 AM)

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Registered: 12/23/03
Posts: 565
Re: any miracle cure for wet spot ? [Re: MAGnum]
    #2990031 - 08/11/04 08:32 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Ok Magnum, I will try this today (in fact I already tried this tek of PCing them two times, with a mashed rye result too...)
Another question : is it possible that the bacillus goes from one jar to another in my incubator ? (the lids have a 1/2 inch hole with polyfill and covered with aluminium foil) or are we talking of endospores for sure ?

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Registered: 10/15/99
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Re: any miracle cure for wet spot ? [Re: easyskunkin]
    #2990276 - 08/11/04 10:25 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Wet spot/Bacillus is [fortunately] an easy problem to overcome. It's encouraged by a few factors:

1. Incomplete PC cycle
I doubt that's the problem. 1 hour should really be enough. I don't work with rye, but I'd never go over an hour with WBS. You're going to 15 PSI, right?

2. High endospore-ridden grain
You've changed sources, which would have been a suggestion. Another option is to change the type of grain; I always failed with rye, but never tried to figure out the problem because [cheaper] WBS worked like a charm. Another step that can help, regardless of grain type, is to thoroughly rinse it before soaking/steeping.

3. Too much moisture
Some folks will tell you that steeping is better than soaking. What I'll tell you is that if you're having this big of a problem, you need to experiment to find what works for you. Run an entire load of jars as a 'test batch' with varying amounts of added water/steeping times from jar to jar. Label the jars and keep notes. This is going to require measuring the amount of water added [if any] so the best recipe can be reproduced easily. The details are up to you, but this is a very powerful way to get the water content right. . .you will likely have to pitch most of the test batch, but you will end up with a valuable 'recipe' that works *for you*, and can immediately run a full optimized load.

4. [rarely] jar to jar contamination
Often overlooked, but rarely the actual problem. If you have a wet/humid incubator, this is worth looking at. When a jar is PC'ing, it's possible that some of the liquid can boil over, essentially coating the outsides of the jar [or soaking the polyfill] with dilute grain water. After PC'ing, it's sterile, but is prime breeding grounds for bacteria [esp. in a wet incubator]. Bacillus is a motile bacterium, meaning it can swim up moist surfaces and possibly through filters/threads. If you think this is a possibility, replace the polyfill [a good idea anyway] and make sure to give the jars/lids a soapy scrub before re-use. Bleach/re-PC'ing will kill the organisms, but only scrubbing will remove the bacteria food source. Dry incubators/no incubators can also help.

One last thing; any time you're having problems of this type, it's a good idea to leave an uninoculated negative control jar [or two]. This is after you've figured out an optimal moisture content, of course. You seem confident that the inoculum is clean, but it's still a good idea. If the control ends up clean, it can be inoculated later.

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