Author Topic: Infection, what's this?  (Read 1415 times)

Offline breweite

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Infection, what's this?
« on: February 20, 2013, 08:45:42 PM »
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mweitekamp/8494294078/in/photostream


After 2 weeks in the barrel I saw a white powdery/film on top of the beer. I scooped a little off the top and this is what I got..  Smells and Tastes fine (the beer), but I'm a bit hesitant to drink anymore.. Please let me know!
Cheers from Austin, Tejas!

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Infection, what's this?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2013, 09:23:14 PM »
It could be a film yeast. Film yeasts won't cause too many problems - at least not quickly. I've only dealt with them in cider and there I added sulfites and racked the cider from under the yeast. Film yeasts also need oxygen to grow, so it would be a sign that there is oxygen in the headspace of the barrel.  If it is aging in the barrel, it really should be full right up to the airlock.
Of course, it might be something else??  Does it kind of break apart into jagged sheets when disturbed?
No matter what, if it tastes good don't worry about drinking it. No human pathogens can survive in beer due to the alcohol.
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Offline breweite

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Re: Infection, what's this?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2013, 09:59:49 PM »
It's funny that you mentioned filling up the barrel to the airlock.  We filled it up and said "Is that close enough? Ahhhh yeah that's fine".. In reality it's probably a 1.5 - 2 inch gap from the airlock to the top of the beer.  I think it will break into sheets once all the little film peices unite!  I think I'm in the early stages... 

So what should I do?  Top off with my extra brown, or just go ahead and keg it?  Also, do you have any ideas of a specific name of the "film"? 
Cheers from Austin, Tejas!

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Infection, what's this?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2013, 12:54:47 PM »
I would definately fill it with more beer. Otherwise I'm not sure what you can do - how long were you going to leave it in the barrel?
Jimmy K

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup when the old president ousted himself.
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Offline euge

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Re: Infection, what's this?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2013, 05:08:46 PM »
I would rather have seen a pic of the top of the fermenting beer than the spoon full of goop.

If it tastes good drink it up. In the meantime get the beer carbonated then store cold to retard any yeast activity in case this does turns out to be a wild yeast or similar.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline dbarber

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Re: Infection, what's this?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2013, 06:42:00 AM »
What kind of barrel was it and how was it cared for before you filled it with beer?  To me this looks like the beginning of a brett pellicle.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Infection, what's this?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2013, 08:35:22 AM »
There's no way to just look at a pellicle and know what it is.

I would think about dosing the beer with campden and hoping for the best. Alternatively you could bottle it now and hope for the best.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing but I'm also a lawyer: The Kielich Law Firm

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Infection, what's this?
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2013, 01:58:49 PM »
There's no way to just look at a pellicle and know what it is.

I would think about dosing the beer with campden and hoping for the best. Alternatively you could bottle it now and hope for the best.

If it is infected, a campden tablet won't cure the barrel. Normally dosing beer with campden just creates somewhat clean, oxidized beer from trying to get it dissolved.

You might as well let it go and see what develops!
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Infection, what's this?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2013, 07:59:50 PM »
Ugh.  I hate that stuff.  It is a bacterial infection.  It's happened to me probably 10 or 12 times.  The beer will taste just fine for a month or two... and then it might start to turn sour and taste like acetone or turpentine or something like that.  Drink it up fast and it will be fine.  It might also last longer in cold storage, but if you keep it at cellar temp or room temp, it will likely go bad over time.
Dave

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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Infection, what's this?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2013, 10:36:23 PM »
There's no way to just look at a pellicle and know what it is.

I would think about dosing the beer with campden and hoping for the best. Alternatively you could bottle it now and hope for the best.

If it is infected, a campden tablet won't cure the barrel. Normally dosing beer with campden just creates somewhat clean, oxidized beer from trying to get it dissolved.

You might as well let it go and see what develops!

No, not the barrel but beer, yes. I've never had a problem with oxidized beer in the few times I have used campden. Crush the tablet, gently pour it in and let it do it's thing.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing but I'm also a lawyer: The Kielich Law Firm

Offline AmandaK

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Re: Infection, what's this?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2013, 12:57:19 PM »
Ugh.  I hate that stuff.  It is a bacterial infection.  It's happened to me probably 10 or 12 times.  The beer will taste just fine for a month or two... and then it might start to turn sour and taste like acetone or turpentine or something like that. 

Isn't that just the ropy stage?
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