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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: Kaiser on January 12, 2010, 03:39:15 pm

Title: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on January 12, 2010, 03:39:15 pm
Now that I have a microscope I look at my yeast and beer samples quite often and I’m shocked at the amount of non yeast bugs that I’m seeing . Occasionally I see rods (likely lacto bacillus) and just yesterday I found a surprisingly high number of larger bacteria in my Doppelbock. Those have irregular shapes, are about twice the size of yeast and I was able to make out the flagellum (tail or tentacle like protrusion). Kinda scary to see that in my beer.

But before the microscope I didn’t even know that they were there. The beers don’t taste infected and the pH is around 4.4 which is typical. So I’m not freaking out about this but I used to consider my sanitation processes top notch. For now I’m going to pay closer attention to when non yeast bugs starts to appear in samples. I also started doing wort stability tests again and when I looked at the assortment of bugs in them it was almost all. hardly any rods or other contaminants.

I have to find a low cost way of taking pictures with the microscope to share them. Does anyone know of a good on-line or other source for identifying beer and wort spoilers by looking at them?

Kai
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: karlh on January 12, 2010, 03:46:39 pm
Hi Kai, 

Attaching a camera to your microscope can be tricky and expensive.  There are a few "cheapies" like the motic 352 eyepiece camera, but it still costs more than $200 (you might google search eyepiece camera or look for low cost telescope cameras).  When I worked in the biology department, we created a tube that attached a sony camera to the eyepiece of a stereomicroscope.  You set the camera for macro mode, focused through the tube on the eyepiece, and had a fairly cheap method of photographing through the eyepiece.  You might also get an eyeclops from the toy store and see if it can work as a sort of capture device. 
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on January 12, 2010, 03:58:48 pm
I’ll play around with that and don’t plan to drop $200 for attaching my SLR. It would be a bit tricky anyway since I only have a monocular eye piece that would not be able to hold the heavy camera.

In the meantime I did some searching. This is a nice article: http://brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue2.5/allen.html that even explains Gram’s staining fairly well. I was hoping that it would be as simple as methylene blue but the stains that are involved aren’t that expensive and I can get them at Cynmar.

Kai
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: roffenburger on January 12, 2010, 04:05:06 pm
I don't think what you're seeing are bacteria. They would most likely be large yeast cells or even hyphae (edit:pseudohyphae). Its really hard to tell though without pictures. I don't know of any bacteria that are larger than even small yeast cells.

Are you using stain? what magnification?
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on January 12, 2010, 04:23:38 pm
Are you using stain? what magnification?

I’m just using methylene blue which doesn’t seem to affect bacteria and that other thing. The magnification is 400x and by comparing it to the counting chamber grid I think it is about 2-5 um long.

Kai
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: anotherdrummer on January 12, 2010, 04:26:33 pm
ugh..gag!  ;)  i think it's fascinating.....but i'm not sure i want to know all of the microscopic bugs in my beer.
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on January 12, 2010, 04:36:04 pm
Here is a crude drawing of the thing with a yeast cell in comparison:

(http://braukaiser.com/images/misc_forum/the_thing.gif)

I also looked at pseudohyphae in Google image search and that’s not what it looks like.


anotherdrummer,

You are right. But I think I will still be able to enjoy this Doppelbock if it doesn't develop off flavors.

Kai


Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: ndcube on January 12, 2010, 04:41:37 pm
Is it moving?
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on January 12, 2010, 04:42:57 pm
No, I don't think I saw any of them move. That would have been even more creepy.

Kai
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: roffenburger on January 12, 2010, 04:43:08 pm
One of the fungi books we have here say that saccharomyces are 3-9um x 5-20um. The bacteria you are seeing...are they really hard to see? It think would be difficult to pick out bacteria at 400x, especially if its not stained (gram stain).

I'm fascinated too! and Kai, I hope you doing think I'm being difficult. I want to know what's in your beer too!

Do you have plans to plate a sample?
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: roffenburger on January 12, 2010, 04:49:29 pm
Amoeba? Just kidding. Lets hope not! ::)

Are there several of these 'cells'?
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: ndcube on January 12, 2010, 04:50:01 pm
Are you putting a drop on a flat slide with a coverslip?  Do you have any of the slides with the concave center.  It's pretty cool to watch stuff in those too because you can see free movement.
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on January 12, 2010, 05:04:42 pm
I can try plating it and should do that. The sample that I looked at contained about 5% of these things with the rest of the population being yeast cells. I’m looking at this in a hemacytometer which means it would be able to move freely.

One possible source might be the picknic tap that I used to pull the sample. I’ll have to check on that too.

On the bright side, the yeast in the Doppelbock was 75% viable and still 0.5 Plato away from the attenuation limit. I still have hopes that it will ferment further.

Kai
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: anotherdrummer on January 12, 2010, 05:06:43 pm
great...thanks guys..  Now i want a microscope.  this hobby isn't getting any cheaper ;)
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: majorvices on January 12, 2010, 05:10:51 pm
Anyone Kai sent beer to just threw up a little ...  :-\ j/k... ;)
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: denny on January 12, 2010, 05:23:52 pm
Anyone Kai sent beer to just threw up a little ...  :-\ j/k... ;)

If my beers were only as infected as the ones Kai sent me, I could die a happy brewer!  :)
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: majorvices on January 12, 2010, 05:25:06 pm
Well, now I just feel left out...  :( OTOH that one big guy he drew swimming around actually had a tail... so, maybe not.   ;D ;) :P
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Beertracker on January 12, 2010, 05:30:17 pm
Scary... isn't it?  :D
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: bluesman on January 12, 2010, 05:32:29 pm
I'm suddenly feeling nautious while I'm sitting here eating my lunch. Thanks Kai!  :o  ;D
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: roffenburger on January 12, 2010, 05:36:02 pm
great...thanks guys..  Now i want a microscope.  this hobby isn't getting any cheaper ;)

Who said this was a hobby?  ;D
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on January 12, 2010, 05:38:50 pm
I had no problems drinking the hydrometer sample ;) They say nothing that survives in beer can kill you and I’m putting that to the test.

Kai
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Beertracker on January 12, 2010, 05:40:40 pm
I had no problems drinking the hydrometer sample ;) They say nothing that survives in beer can kill you and I’m putting that to the test.

Kai


If we don't see you on the forum tommorow, we'll know what happened.  ;D
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: majorvices on January 12, 2010, 05:43:32 pm
I had no problems drinking the hydrometer sample ;) They say nothing that survives in beer can kill you and I’m putting that to the test.

Kai


Yeah, well, if we ever do a beer exchange I will make you promise not to look at it under your microscope. Seriously though, if it is bacteria I would guess it came mostly from your serving faucet. But, that said, I have always heard that homebrewed beer has a lot more contaminants than commercial. I have questioned how clean carboys actually get, as well. You can scrub conicals and plastic buckets can be cleaned with a soft wash cloth - but carboy brushes do a bad job.
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: bluesman on January 12, 2010, 05:44:45 pm
Kai,

Here's a Fuller's yeast sample.

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ZkYoWPvs_YM/SfhDoHQt_KI/AAAAAAAAAGs/HbAWcA0JJao/s320/DSC00044.JPG)

and some Brettanomyces. In most beer styles, Brettanomyces is viewed as a contaminant and the characteristics it imparts are considered unwelcome "off-flavors". However, in some styles, particularly certain traditional Belgian ales, it is appreciated and encouraged

(http://pubblico.sharepoint.vignaioli.it/ImgGrandiPerVpArticoli/fig_3_brettanomyces.jpg)
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: bluesman on January 12, 2010, 05:48:12 pm
I think if we knew what we inhaled and ingested daily on a microscopic level, we would all change our ways.

Not to mention the fact of what we sleep with....  :o

(http://www.uglybug.org/images06/bug78.jpg)
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: ndcube on January 12, 2010, 05:49:19 pm
But, that said, I have always heard that homebrewed beer has a lot more contaminants than commercial.
'

If the commercial guys filter out the yeast then I imagine the big boy would get filtered out too.
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: anotherdrummer on January 12, 2010, 05:53:34 pm
Well, hobby for me.  By the time this is over, I'll be  mad beer scientist with bunsen burners, microscopes, gerbil tubes and periodic tables all over my walls!
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: a10t2 on January 12, 2010, 07:14:20 pm
gerbil tubes
???
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 12, 2010, 07:57:37 pm
Fascinating.
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: anotherdrummer on January 12, 2010, 09:33:59 pm
i threw that part in there for dramatic purposes...
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: yugamrap on January 12, 2010, 10:31:12 pm
Here is a crude drawing of the thing with a yeast cell in comparison:

(http://braukaiser.com/images/misc_forum/the_thing.gif)

Sorry Kai, but it totally cracked me up that you labeled that sketch as "Thing."  May I suggest that it henceforth be known as the "unidentified flagellate organism."  Wait - that's UFO...   Kai, there's a UFO in your beer!  Run while you still can!  ;)
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: anotherdrummer on January 13, 2010, 01:57:06 am
I think if we knew what we inhaled and ingested daily on a microscopic level, we would all change our ways.

Not to mention the fact of what we sleep with....  :o

(http://www.uglybug.org/images06/bug78.jpg)


HOLY FREAKIN' CRAP Bluesman!  What the heck's gotten into you?!?!?!
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: tygo on January 13, 2010, 03:15:21 am
That's what he sleeps with  ;D
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on January 13, 2010, 03:53:10 am
I checked again tonight and couldn't find the "things" anymore. I guess that they must have come from some other source.


Kai
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: bluesman on January 13, 2010, 04:03:09 am
Kai,

How much of that Dopplebock did you have to drink before you saw those "things" ?  ;D
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: ndcube on January 13, 2010, 11:00:57 am
I checked again tonight and couldn't find the "things" anymore. I guess that they must have come from some other source.


Kai

So how many other things in your house have your checked out already lookiing for the "things"?

Man thant's a weird word if you say it too many times.
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: dean on January 13, 2010, 11:20:04 am
Here is a crude drawing of the thing with a yeast cell in comparison:

(http://braukaiser.com/images/misc_forum/the_thing.gif)

Sorry Kai, but it totally cracked me up that you labeled that sketch as "Thing."  May I suggest that it henceforth be known as the "unidentified flagellate organism."  Wait - that's UFO...   Kai, there's a UFO in your beer!  Run while you still can!  ;)

I agree, I think this might be the first post that Kai has made that made me giggle and snicker like a little girl.   :D :o   Pretty soon they'll be pets, thing1 and thing2.   ;D
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: babalu87 on January 13, 2010, 01:34:18 pm
We have a microscope here at work

I'll have to get some samples of my beer and look for some things as well.

On counting yeast, how would one do this?
I get a headache thinking about counting to a billion
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: dean on January 13, 2010, 01:36:44 pm
Kai, I just read in the December/January issue of Winemaker that yeast cells are approximately ten times larger than most bacteria... so maybe you've just spotted a mutant.   ;D
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: ndcube on January 13, 2010, 01:40:02 pm
On counting yeast, how would one do this?

Here's a thread that was started:
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=713.0
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: roffenburger on January 13, 2010, 01:56:13 pm
We have a microscope here at work

I'll have to get some samples of my beer and look for some things as well.

On counting yeast, how would one do this?
I get a headache thinking about counting to a billion
The hardest part is moving each cell to the "counted" pile. ;)
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: babalu87 on January 13, 2010, 02:00:50 pm
quote author=ndcube link=topic=937.msg11151#msg11151 date=1263390002]

Here's a thread that was started:
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=713.0
[/quote]

Thanks

We have a microscope here at work

I'll have to get some samples of my beer and look for some things as well.

On counting yeast, how would one do this?
I get a headache thinking about counting to a billion
The hardest part is moving each cell to the "counted" pile. ;)

Screw that, the things will keep them in line
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on January 13, 2010, 03:43:37 pm
Darn it. Now I wish I know where the things came from. I’m also convinced that it wasn’t a simple bacterium due to its size. At least it doesn’t seem to be in my beer.

Babalu, to count yeast cells you’ll need a counting chamber (a.k.a. hemacytometer (sp?))  Otherwise you can’t correlate the count to the volume.

This showed me that I really have to work on finding a low cost way of taking microscope pictures.

Kai
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Hokerer on January 13, 2010, 04:49:48 pm
Maybe the magnification is off and the "thing" is really...

(http://www.brinkleys.org/users/tsl/Files/immunity.jpg)
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: roffenburger on January 13, 2010, 04:52:54 pm
Darn it. Now I wish I know where the things came from. I’m also convinced that it wasn’t a simple bacterium due to its size. At least it doesn’t seem to be in my beer.

Babalu, to count yeast cells you’ll need a counting chamber (a.k.a. hemacytometer (sp?))  Otherwise you can’t correlate the count to the volume.

This showed me that I really have to work on finding a low cost way of taking microscope pictures.

Kai


I am convinced that it was a large yeast cell.
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: majorvices on January 14, 2010, 12:27:44 am

I am convinced that it was a large yeast cell.

Or, possibly a small dog....
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: dean on January 14, 2010, 04:45:35 pm
Kai, have you checked here?

http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=m38&_nkw=digital+microscope+camera&_sacat=See-All-Categories
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: dean on January 14, 2010, 07:27:30 pm
This isn't the least expensive scope but it sure looks like the one I'd want if it were me.

http://cgi.ebay.com/40x-800x-COMPOUND-MICROSCOPE-W-USB-DIGITAL-CAMERA_W0QQitemZ200426557786QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item2eaa5a915a
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on January 14, 2010, 07:57:23 pm
Most of us already have digital cameras and all that is needed to take pictures with the microscope is an adapter. Depending on the quality these seem to cost between ~$40 and $200+.

Kai
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 14, 2010, 08:33:02 pm
This isn't the least expensive scope but it sure looks like the one I'd want if it were me.

http://cgi.ebay.com/40x-800x-COMPOUND-MICROSCOPE-W-USB-DIGITAL-CAMERA_W0QQitemZ200426557786QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item2eaa5a915a
This is pretty interesting.
I bet yeast counting would be much easier here.

Bad thing about these digital microscopes is that you have to have Windows computer at home.
If you run Mac or Linux you are out of the luck :(
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: karlh on January 14, 2010, 08:47:46 pm
Kai,  Check out this link for the cheapest camera I have found

http://www.physlink.com/estore/cart/USBDigitalMicroscopeEyepiece.cfm
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on January 14, 2010, 08:51:51 pm
Kai,  Check out this link for the cheapest camera I have found

http://www.physlink.com/estore/cart/USBDigitalMicroscopeEyepiece.cfm

Karl, have you used this? I would be worried about the image quality.

Kai
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 14, 2010, 09:07:16 pm
Oh quality has to be fantastic because it "capture vivid color images" as they claim :)
It does not even support Vista or Windows 7.
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: karlh on January 15, 2010, 03:21:32 am
Kai,  Check out this link for the cheapest camera I have found

http://www.physlink.com/estore/cart/USBDigitalMicroscopeEyepiece.cfm

Karl, have you used this? I would be worried about the image quality.

Kai

I have not tried it out.  I have not been impressed with any photos from low cost cameras.  My last light microscope setup was a Zeiss, and it was a comfortable 5 figures.  I expect that this product is a cmos chip on a flimsy digital setup with an adapter to fit an eyepiece, but you are pointing out the need to be able to photograph something.  I do not expect that you would be able to take publication quality photos with any $59 camera, whether it is attatched to a microscope or not.  If you want to show a picture of something to a microbiologist or folks on the list and ask them "what the %$#! is this?" I suspect it will do the trick.
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: pjj2ba on January 15, 2010, 04:04:23 am
For a camera, you might try cannibalizing a web cam.  I did this ~10 yrs ago and it worked well enough.  I can't remember the details unfortunately, but it did work
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 15, 2010, 04:29:35 pm
For a camera, you might try cannibalizing a web cam.  I did this ~10 yrs ago and it worked well enough.  I can't remember the details unfortunately, but it did work
How would you do magnification?
Would you just attached it ti eye piece?
Would not it be blurry?
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on January 17, 2010, 06:21:47 am
Tonight I just took a Point&Shoot camera and pushed its lens onto the eye piece. It worked surprisingly well:

(http://braukaiser.com/images/misc_forum/yeast_starter_WLP833.JPG)

These are cells from a WLP833 yeast starter at 400x on a hemacytomter. I didn't take a pic of the small grid which I use for counting since I wanted to include a non-viable cell. That cell stained blue with methylene blue. Almost all of the cells in the sample were alive and I had to search for a dead one.

While the quality works for posts here it is not as nice as I want it. Especially the outer regions are blurry.

No "things" in this sample though.

Correction: the width between the two grid lines shown is 0.25 mm and not 0.2 mm.

Kai

Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: dean on January 17, 2010, 04:14:30 pm
Wow!   :)  That looks like a good pic to me... I don't know if I'd spend the money at all.  jmo....
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: a10t2 on January 17, 2010, 04:32:52 pm
Wow, now I just really want a microscope...
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 18, 2010, 02:42:28 am
Wow, now I just really want a microscope...
Me too  :)
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: bluesman on January 18, 2010, 02:49:55 am
Kai,

Hopefully that's not beginners luck, because that is a decent shot for the firt one.

...and most importantly there're no "things".  ;D

Really good stuff. Keep up the great work!  8)
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on January 19, 2010, 02:26:45 am
I'm think that I'll keep this thread going for all the interesting stuff I'm finding. Here are some pics from yesterday and tonight:

(http://braukaiser.com/images/misc_forum/Brettanomyces.JPG)
That looks like mold hyphae (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypha) to me. But it is dead and I don't think it came from my beer. It mos likely came from the picnic tap I used to sample

(http://braukaiser.com/images/misc_forum/yeast_1000x_and_zoom.JPG)
Here I used the 100x oil immersion lens to get to 1000x magnification and used the zoom of the camera to get even closer. Even w/o the blurriness of the camera the 1000x of the microscope is rather blurry. But I don't use that magnification much.

(http://braukaiser.com/images/misc_forum/Schneider_Weisse_dregs.JPG)
The dregs from a Schneider Weisse bottle. I wanted to see how much live yeast is in there. There seems to be a lot and I'm also culturing it. The yeast is obvious but there is a lot of other very small stuff. I wonder if that is chill haze.

(http://braukaiser.com/images/misc_forum/Schneider_Weisse_dregs_closeup.JPG)
close-up of the same dregs. There were a lot of crystals which might be calcium oxalate. A quick Google search (http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&hs=N2O&um=1&q=calcium+oxalate+microscope&sa=N&start=0&ndsp=20) supports that. This bears the question if Schneider brews with calcium deficient water which is known for causing calcium oxalate precipitation in the bottle.

Kai

Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: roffenburger on January 19, 2010, 02:36:43 am
I'm loving this thread! The pics look great with your point an shoot. Your top pic looks like mold. Like you said, probably from the tap. Why do you say it is dead?
Keep em comin!
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on January 19, 2010, 02:45:56 am
I'm loving this thread! The pics look great with your point an shoot. Your top pic looks like mold. Like you said, probably from the tap. Why do you say it is dead?
Keep em comin!

Yes you are correct. I did some more Google searching and it has more in common with hyphae than with Brett. Makes sense since mold is my primary brewery contaminant.

Kai
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: dean on January 19, 2010, 01:07:34 pm
Do you know how many people are probably searching for microscopes now since you started this thread and added pics?   :D

Cool pics and without the expense of an adaptor or scope with camera!   ;D
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on January 19, 2010, 01:33:33 pm
Do you know how many people are probably searching for microscopes now since you started this thread and added pics?   :D

I agree with you. If you think about it the ~$220 i spent for the scope and haemacytometer isn't that much when compared to other brewery upgrades that brewers usually consider. Looking at stuff and counting cells may wear off quickly though. It does add some time
to the brewing process but being able to look at yeast also raises awareness about these critters. And they are the most important part in brewing.

Kai
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: karlh on January 19, 2010, 02:55:14 pm
Kai,  I think the blurring you see at the edges of the photo are due to chromatic aberration.  You might be able to find an ACHROMAT or PLAN ACHROMAT objective to fit your microscope which will give you photos with a much flatter field of view, but this would likely be costly.  One place that sells surplus optical materials of this sort is www.surplusshack.com

They also regularly have older surplus microscopes at reasonable prices.
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: roffenburger on January 19, 2010, 03:01:45 pm
Actually, I take back the mold comment. Your first pic looks more like yeast with pseudohyphae, which can form in saccharomyces.
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 19, 2010, 07:36:22 pm

(http://braukaiser.com/images/misc_forum/Brettanomyces.JPG)
That looks like mold hyphae (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypha) to me. But it is dead and I don't think it came from my beer. It mos likely came from the picnic tap


Now how OCD I need to become to be about picnic taps?
Shall I clean it in Star San every time after serving beer from it?

Great info.
Thank you
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: roffenburger on January 19, 2010, 08:41:31 pm
I sure as hell am not going to sanitize every time I pour! Keep in mind that this isn't going back in your keg. Maybe i'll swab my picnic taps to see what grows. I'm not worried about what's on them really. Clean them every few weeks, or when you empty a keg...
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: uthristy on January 20, 2010, 06:25:31 pm
Great now I have this need to see whats crawling in my beer.
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: littleegypt on January 22, 2010, 06:31:59 pm
Looks like Euglena to me.  They are common protists found in water.  They are photosynthetic (why they appear green in most pictures and diagrams) but ethanol will draw the chlorophyll from the choloplasts.

Don't be surprised to find all sorts of protists (including Amoeba sp.) in your water and beer.  They are far more common than people realize.

Cheers,
Aaron

Here is a crude drawing of the thing with a yeast cell in comparison:

(http://braukaiser.com/images/misc_forum/the_thing.gif)

I also looked at pseudohyphae in Google image search and that’s not what it looks like.


anotherdrummer,

You are right. But I think I will still be able to enjoy this Doppelbock if it doesn't develop off flavors.

Kai



Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on January 22, 2010, 06:44:02 pm
Looks like Euglena to me.  They are common protists found in water.  They are photosynthetic (why they appear green in most pictures and diagrams) but ethanol will draw the chlorophyll from the choloplasts.

That solves the mystey. Thanks. The things did indeed look like this image from the web:

(http://www.nhm.ac.uk/resources/research-curation/projects/algaevision/images/data/medium/eugagi1.jpg)

Not sure yet where exactly it was hiding since I doubt that they can live in beer.

Kai
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: littleegypt on January 22, 2010, 06:55:37 pm
Nope, they can't live in beer at all - only freshwater.  Unless you used DI or RO water, I promise you that's where it came from.  Most likely it was entered via mash or sparge water.  It was long dead by the time you hit your sac. rest.

Cheers,
Aaron

Looks like Euglena to me.  They are common protists found in water.  They are photosynthetic (why they appear green in most pictures and diagrams) but ethanol will draw the chlorophyll from the choloplasts.

That solves the mystey. Thanks. The things did indeed look like this image from the web:

(http://www.nhm.ac.uk/resources/research-curation/projects/algaevision/images/data/medium/eugagi1.jpg)

Not sure yet where exactly it was hiding since I doubt that they can live in beer.

Kai
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: roffenburger on January 29, 2010, 10:46:45 pm
I swabbed my picnic tap and cultured on blood agar. Here are the results.
Lots of yeast (surprising, right?) and a few gram positive cocci.  The larger colonies are the GPC's.
I stained several colonies and one mix of GPC and yeast.
(http://i46.tinypic.com/xekkeu.jpg)
gram stained and ready to go...
(http://i50.tinypic.com/65yjkp.jpg)
Yeast, gram stained
(http://i46.tinypic.com/2mmfwud.jpg)
Yeast and GPC
(http://i45.tinypic.com/2i8xhzr.jpg)
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: roffenburger on January 29, 2010, 11:07:45 pm
Here is some other random stuff from a day's work...
Penicillium-Lactophenol aniline blue tape mount
(http://i46.tinypic.com/2usu1vq.jpg)
Penicillium on potato flake agar
(http://i47.tinypic.com/wa2cfc.jpg)
Aspergillus-LP tape mount
(http://i50.tinypic.com/r91ora.jpg)
Actinomycetes gram stain
(http://i45.tinypic.com/2u7omc1.jpg)
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on January 30, 2010, 02:48:14 am
I'll have to try using tape myself. Never thought of it. Did you have to stain the mold?

Here is something I'm seeing quite often in my beers:

(http://braukaiser.com/images/misc_forum/Batch_94_bier_rods.JPG)

My first thought was that this is bacteria but it seems a bit long and for that and the beer tastes clean. Maybe crystals of sorts.

Kai
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: roffenburger on January 30, 2010, 05:27:02 pm
The structures are stained on the slide. We use it to identify mold. It can be tricky because the identifying structures take a while to form. The media of choice is potato flake agar, but as an alternative, sabouraud dextrose agar can be used, but the structures don't develop as well. If you're dealing with mold, it should be done in a biosafety cabinet, as some species like penicillium, aspergillus, cladosporium, etc can be VERY powdery and get all over, which you obviously don't want in your brewery.

Here is the process anyways:
First make a line of lactophenol aniline blue on a slide
(http://i50.tinypic.com/fkvas0.jpg)
Take fungal tape between index finger and thumb, and touch it to the mold. Start in the center of the slide and place the tape on the slide. avoid trapping air. Scotch tape will work as well.
(http://i49.tinypic.com/307yxci.jpg)
LP tape mount
(http://i48.tinypic.com/nwes6x.jpg)
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: ndcube on January 30, 2010, 05:34:41 pm
I'll have to try using tape myself. Never thought of it. Did you have to stain the mold?

Here is something I'm seeing quite often in my beers:

(http://braukaiser.com/images/misc_forum/Batch_94_bier_rods.JPG)

My first thought was that this is bacteria but it seems a bit long and for that and the beer tastes clean. Maybe crystals of sorts.

Kai

Diatom?
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on January 30, 2010, 10:55:49 pm
Those things seem to grow though. I don't remember them being that large before.

Kai
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: dimik on February 10, 2010, 06:58:29 am
Holy cow!
I leave this forum for a few months and come back to a "gram staining your beer" thread! lol great topic guys! really nice photos.
I didn't expect people to play with microscopes, stains, hemocytometer and blood agar (that must have been the most surprising part of it) in the name of homebrewing. Great job! Keep it up :)
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: 1vertical on March 21, 2010, 03:11:45 am
Those things seem to grow though. I don't remember them being that large before.

Kai

Kai, I googled rod bacillus and believe that is what you are looking at....
we do live in a biological soup of sorts.
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: MrNate on March 21, 2010, 03:52:49 am
This thread makes me want to buy a microscope. Then it makes me not want to buy a microscope.

Very informative, though.
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: bluesman on March 22, 2010, 03:18:38 am
This thread makes me want to buy a microscope. Then it makes me not want to buy a microscope.

Very informative, though.

+1

Very interesting stuff guys. I love the pics.
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on March 22, 2010, 04:06:47 am
Kai, I googled rod bacillus and believe that is what you are looking at....
we do live in a biological soup of sorts.

It does look very similar, except for the size. From what I know bacteria are much smaller than yeast but these things can get as large as yeast cells. I once saw what bacteria looks like when I looked at a wort stability test after it started fermenting. It was a sea of very small rods and dots. Much smaller than these rods that I commonly see in wort and beer. Besides that, none of the beers tasted infected. That should have been the case if they were bacteria and given their density.

Kai
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: karlh on March 30, 2010, 04:33:30 pm
Kai, I googled rod bacillus and believe that is what you are looking at....
we do live in a biological soup of sorts.

It does look very similar, except for the size. From what I know bacteria are much smaller than yeast but these things can get as large as yeast cells. I once saw what bacteria looks like when I looked at a wort stability test after it started fermenting. It was a sea of very small rods and dots. Much smaller than these rods that I commonly see in wort and beer. Besides that, none of the beers tasted infected. That should have been the case if they were bacteria and given their density.

Kai
I agree with you Kai bacillus are much smaller than what you are seeing.  It could be some mutant yeast cells.  Given the size its way too big for bacteria.  Is this a yeast that you have been culturing for a time, or do you pitch a fresh culture with every new batch of beer? 
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: roffenburger on April 10, 2010, 05:15:42 pm
I'll have to try using tape myself. Never thought of it. Did you have to stain the mold?

Here is something I'm seeing quite often in my beers:

(http://braukaiser.com/images/misc_forum/Batch_94_bier_rods.JPG)

My first thought was that this is bacteria but it seems a bit long and for that and the beer tastes clean. Maybe crystals of sorts.

Kai
It seems that this discussion has died, but I'll send my thoughts on this object. Not bacteria.

Is it possible that this is something on the coverslip? Its hard to tell what plane you are focused on, but I see out of focus objects in the background, indicating that this is on a different focus plane. I may be way off, but if its something you see consistently i was thinking it was your cover slip, or whatever you're using. Can you move it in the liquid?
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: dimik on April 20, 2010, 01:48:45 pm
Those rods remind me of looking at micro-crystals under microscope.
Also, you don't need to say rod bacillus, because bacilli are defined by having a rod shape.
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: 1vertical on April 20, 2010, 02:02:19 pm
Also, you don't need to say rod bacillus, because bacilli are defined by having a rod shape.

I post this to illustrate my thinking, not to pose an argument, but this is why I said "rod bacteria"
I am far far from any type of microbiologist.

Uh ....spirochetes(sp) are bacteria...not rod shaped
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: dimik on April 20, 2010, 03:20:13 pm
No, I didn't mean to put anyone down or anything.
Bacteria are divided into 3 major groups by shape:
Round are called coccus or cocci.
Rods are called bacillus or bacilli.
And spiral shaped bacteria, that, in turn, divide into three separate categories.
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: onthekeg on April 28, 2010, 03:14:30 pm
Looks like Euglena to me.  They are common protists found in water.  They are photosynthetic (why they appear green in most pictures and diagrams) but ethanol will draw the chlorophyll from the choloplasts.

That solves the mystey. Thanks. The things did indeed look like this image from the web:

(http://www.nhm.ac.uk/resources/research-curation/projects/algaevision/images/data/medium/eugagi1.jpg)

Not sure yet where exactly it was hiding since I doubt that they can live in beer.

Kai

Kai,
what water are you using to dilute your sample?  You will need sterile filtered water if you don't want to see contamination such as this.
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: Kaiser on April 28, 2010, 04:52:12 pm
Kai,
what water are you using to dilute your sample?  You will need sterile filtered water if you don't want to see contamination such as this.

I haven't seen those again after I noticed them first. I generally use distilled water from the drugstore to dilute my samples.

Kai
Title: Re: stuff I'm finding under the microscope
Post by: dean on June 25, 2010, 03:33:14 pm
Here is a crude drawing of the thing with a yeast cell in comparison:

(http://braukaiser.com/images/misc_forum/the_thing.gif)

I also looked at pseudohyphae in Google image search and that’s not what it looks like.


anotherdrummer,

You are right. But I think I will still be able to enjoy this Doppelbock if it doesn't develop off flavors.

Kai




Hey Kai, I found this today... look familiar?

http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&source=imghp&q=pellicle&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2

...

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls=com.microsoft%3Aen-us&rlz=1I7GGLL_en&q=euglena+pellicle&aq=0&aqi=g1&aql=&oq=Euglena+pellicle&gs_rfai=