Author Topic: What's living in my secondary?!?  (Read 842 times)

Offline BarleyHops

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What's living in my secondary?!?
« on: January 07, 2015, 03:03:27 AM »
Alright beer gurus.  I signed up for this forum to tap your extensive knowledge of the art of brewing.

I'm new to the hobby - I brewed a while back with my old roommate but this is my first venture out on my own.

Anyway - on with my question...

I'm brewing a black IPA.  It was a kit from brewcraft (India Black Ale)
I might add I did forget to add 1lb of sugar since the directions weren't extremely clear.

I let it sit on the primary carboy until the airlock was down to over a minute per bubble then transferred to the secondary carboy.  This took about 4-5 days.  Everything was cleaned with beer equipment cleaner and sanitized with sanstar.

It's been in the secondary for one week and two days.  Everything looked great until I noticed some small white specs (1/32 dia. and under) floating on top.  I searched the forums and decided these must be "yeast islands" since they didn't appear like mold to me.  Yesterday I checked on them to make sure they weren't growing and noticed a few yellow specs (about 1/32 dia.) accompanying my white specs!

Today I checked the batch again and indeed the white specs are getting smaller, however the yellow specs were still there.

This is when things got a little interesting.

My glass carboy is in a closet so I have to use a flashlight to check on it.  When I shine the flashlight on the yellow specs they sink!  There's something yellow in my beer that's scared of light! lol  For the life of me I can't reason why something would sink when you shine a light on it.  I swear I'm not losing my mind, I tried this on about 5 of them individually and each one sank when the light was on it for a good 20 seconds while I was examining it.

I'm lost...  Please help almighty beer gurus.  What's living in my beer? haha

Oh, and I'm extremely surprised the screen name BarleyHops wasn't taken.  It's my dogs name :-)

Thanks guys!  Much appreciated.

Offline BarleyHops

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Re: What's living in my secondary?!?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2015, 03:04:37 AM »
...just seeing if this will make my phone go off when someone replies.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: What's living in my secondary?!?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2015, 03:26:11 AM »
sounds like it's just still working. the yellow bits are also yeast, this time with some hop gunk attached. when you transfered to secondary you left a lot of yeast behind which slowed things down. then the yeast staged a comeback and are now finishing their work.

Next time, skip the secondary. wait till two gravity readings several days apart are the same then package.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
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Offline JT

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Re: What's living in my secondary?!?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2015, 10:46:55 AM » This was my first guess, but on second thought Mort is prolly right. 

Offline brewinhard

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Re: What's living in my secondary?!?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2015, 02:32:55 PM »
Yep.  Sounds pretty normal to me.  Yeast colonies will bob up and down (like convection) with CO2 produced during fermentation.  I had to chuckle though when you said "there is something yellow in my beer that is scared of light." 

On a more serious note, the more you watch your fermentations, the more comfortable you will become with what a normal ferment looks and behaves like.  I am a notorious airlock sniffer and carboy peeper....