Author Topic: What is this!  (Read 1267 times)

Offline rblack90

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What is this!
« on: November 10, 2013, 01:40:02 PM »
Woke up this morning to this on top of my Cider.
Any ideas what it is?

Offline The Professor

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Re: What is this!
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2013, 01:57:46 PM »
More info is necessary.   
How long has it been fermenting? When did you pitch the yeast (and what type of yeast...or is is a wild ferment with no added yeast?)
Did you start with unpasteurized juice or was it pasteurized?

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Offline jeffy

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Re: What is this!
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2013, 02:33:55 PM »
To me it looks like a lactic pellicle.  How does it smell?  Any sour notes?
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Offline rblack90

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Re: What is this!
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2013, 05:51:30 PM »
Started with Raw Cider on 10/20/2013
Dosed with Camden Tablets
Pitched Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast with pectic enzyme on 10/22/2013
Starting Gravity was 1.050
Fermentation finished on 10/27/2013
FG was .996
Transfered to secondary on 11/8/2013.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: What is this!
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2013, 06:58:30 PM »
sure looks like a pellicle to me. lactic, brett, something. how's it taste?
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Offline Steve in TX

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Re: What is this!
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2013, 07:02:45 PM »
Started with Raw Cider on 10/20/2013
Dosed with Camden Tablets
Pitched Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast with pectic enzyme on 10/22/2013
Starting Gravity was 1.050
Fermentation finished on 10/27/2013
FG was .996
Transfered to secondary on 11/8/2013.

I see two possible scenarios

1 - bad sanitation some where along the way

2 - not enough campden or too short of a contact time.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: What is this!
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2013, 07:30:06 AM »
Steve is right. It's going to be one of those two explanations. The good news is that those are disparate explanations and you can review your processes to figure out which is the likely culprit.

I am far from a cider expert but I'd think about hitting it with campden again and see if you can kill off whatever is active there. With a sub-1000 gravity I'd guess it is wild yeast rather than bacteria because you're out of sugars for bacteria to consume. Wild yeast, and particularly brett, can metabolize alcohol, esters, etc. that are currently available food sources. Campden won't kill off brett and some other yeast but it will prevent them from budding and multiplying, which will at least slow the effects of the infection.
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Re: What is this!
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2013, 08:35:54 AM »
Started with Raw Cider on 10/20/2013
Dosed with Camden Tablets
Pitched Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast with pectic enzyme on 10/22/2013
Starting Gravity was 1.050
Fermentation finished on 10/27/2013
FG was .996
Transfered to secondary on 11/8/2013.

Looks exactly like an acetobacter infection to me and every time I have gotten this infection is has been due to not purging the o2 with co2 from secondary or leaving too long in buckets or letting airlock go dry. This is one reason why, if you can't purge the secondary with co2 you probably have no reason to use a secondary unless you are introducing an actual secondary fermentation to purge o2 out of head space.
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Offline punatic

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Re: What is this?!
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2013, 09:27:05 AM »
Acetobacters convert ethanol to acetic acid (vinegar) via an aerobic metabolic process.  They need oxygen.  Purging the carboy with carbon dioxide to drive out the oxygen is just the ticket, unless your goal is cider vinegar.

FWIW - I make high-end honey vinegar.  Yes, an intermediate step is mead.  (What's a beekeeper to do with all of his excess honey?). I cannot make it fast enough to satisfy demand.

From what I can see in the picture above, it looks like a florescent light reflecting on the glass of the carboy. 

Edit:  I looked at it enlarged on my iPad's retina display.  It does look like it could be a young vinegar mother (floating bacterial mat).  The real test - does it smell like vinegar?
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 09:46:10 AM by punatic »
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Online corkybstewart

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Re: What is this!
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2013, 10:55:50 AM »
If it is acetobacter just let it ride and bottle some amazingly delicious apple cider vinegar.  I actually have a batch of cider slowly converting to vinegar on purpose.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: What is this!
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2013, 11:29:41 AM »
I've had a few brett pellicles show up like this... never made vinegar.

I'd keep it around and see what happens!
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: What is this!
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2013, 11:51:15 AM »
I've had a few brett pellicles show up like this... never made vinegar.

I'd keep it around and see what happens!

I think carl may be referring more to the large opaque white patch in the center of the picture but I think that might be just reflection. The pellicle looks like brett to me as well.
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Offline punatic

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Re: What is this!
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2013, 01:02:59 PM »
With a bit of research I see that brettanomyces, when in the presence of oxygen and glucose, will produce acetic acid.  I always picked it out as "horse blanket."
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Offline rblack90

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Re: What is this!
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2013, 03:35:16 PM »
It still smells just like it did before this came along. No smell of vinegar.
So my question is now. How do I proceed. I was planning
on serving this at a party. If i transfer to keg and cold crash will that inhibit anymore growth?
I have never had an infection before sorry if these are noob questions.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: What is this!
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2013, 03:39:32 PM »
It still smells just like it did before this came along. No smell of vinegar.
So my question is now. How do I proceed. I was planning
on serving this at a party. If i transfer to keg and cold crash will that inhibit anymore growth?
I have never had an infection before sorry if these are noob questions.

if it tastes good serve it. cold crashing should slow anything down although I have noticed continued brett expression in my brett blend beers even in the serving fridge. but that's not necessarily a bad thing. just have a taste before you actually serve it to guests to make sure it still tastes good, or at least interesting in a not bad way.  ;D
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