It’s been a busy summer for this guy! I can’t complain as I have been busy with ALL fun stuff! Traveling Wisconsin with my band, Marked 4 Deletion, heading to far away beer establishments, hitting up beer festivals, and occasionally just relaxing at my cabin. It’s been great, but with being busy comes sacrifice. The schedule has to give somewhere! Sadly, I accidentally sacrificed beer….

I had brewed a couple beers this spring. I kind of lost track at how long they were in my little brewery and didn’t bottle them when I should have. That should be no problem right? As I learned with the raspberry wheat (click here) I know that I can sit on these for a bit and everything will be A-ok….. That is unless you fail to notice that the fluid in the airlock dries up, rendering the air lock useless!

That’s right, I exposed ten gallons of beer to the outside contaminated world! TEN GALLONS!!! And yep, it got infected. So time to dump it down the drain, right? Whoa, whoa, whoa… Wait just a minute here. That is a lot of beer. There has to be a way to save it.

(Infected Beer)

The good news for a slacker like me is that there IS a way to save it! Campden tablets. I discovered these little lifesavers when I had a batch of nut brown contaminated (not due to slacking). Basically these little guys kill everything and give your beer a final fighting chance.

Here’s how you save your beer. You will need to use one tablet per gallon of beer. Just crush em up and add them to your beer (make sure to re-sanitize an airlock). Now you will need to wait a week or two for the Campden to do its work.

Keep in mind that Campden will also kill your yeast. So you need to go to the store and get another yeast packet if you are going to bottle condition/carbonate. I know this is a few more bucks out of pocket, but isn’t 5 gallons of beer worth a couple more dollars? Pitch the yeast, wait another couple weeks and bottle the beer (don’t wait a couple weeks and you will have exploding bottles I am willing to bet!)

(Campden Tablets & Sanitizer)

A couple things about saving your beer with Campden tablets. Although your beer is totally save to drink, you may have some very subtle off flavors. These off flavors increase in time, so you need to drink your saved beer sooner rather than later. Aging a beer saved with Campden is an exercise in futility…. Unless you like drinking gross things.

The one time I have used this before in the above mentioned Nut Brown (I called it Slutty Nut…. because it had an infection, but luckily it cleared up with a bit of medicine!) the results were great. Weirdly it was one of the best beers I have made. I have even had requests for me to make it again! Hopefully these two turn out the same way.

If you ever have an infection in your beer, don’t just automatically dump it. Instead let your beer at least try with Campden Tablets!