Author Topic: Never Seen This Before  (Read 1598 times)

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Never Seen This Before
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2010, 09:07:37 AM »
Just brewed a beer last week that literally is viscous... it's like watered down honey.  When I pulled the hydometer out of the cylinder for a gravity check, there was a strand of liquid coming off the hydrometer vice a drop.  I'm guessing this beer has some bacteria or some other critter?  Any advice on what this is... and if the beer is drinkable?
Back to the original post here.  Why does everyone think this is infected?  There's really not enough description to merit that assessment.  The first thing one needs to do is smell and taste a sample and go from there.
Some clues, "brewed last week" - could it be some yeast still clinging to hop oils?  Is the "liquid coming off the hydrometer" looking like the legs in a glass of whiskey or mead like it's got a lot of alcohol? 
Maybe a picture would help.
Anyway, I rarely throw anything out.  I just make more room somewhere and wait.
I don't know Jeff, "watered down honey" and "a strand of liquid" doesn't sound like legs to me, it sounds like ropiness.  And tasting won't always tell you if a beer is contaminated, some microorganisms won't give off flavors, especially after just a week.  And if it's ropy like I've seen in a commercial bottled beer someone showed me, I wouldn't want to taste it :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline uthristy

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Re: Never Seen This Before
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2010, 09:52:46 AM »
Way too fast for infection grow to  ropy threads, pediococcus grows slowly (3-4months is whats posted in WildBrews)

Online jeffy

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Re: Never Seen This Before
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2010, 09:53:36 AM »
Yeah, but how would it get ropy that fast?  It's barely had enough time to ferment completely.  Vinnie was talking about ropiness as an effect from barrel aging with bugs.  These things don't happen over night.
I think we need more info.
I had a ropy beer once.  My Aunt had some very old Heinekens in her garage that had been there (New Jersey) since her husband passed away many years earlier.  It was the only beer in the house so she cooled a couple down for me.  You could actually see the rope inside the bottle, looking like a dna strand or something.  Yes, I tasted it. (I ain't skird of no beer.)  Very sour.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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BJCP judge since 1995

Offline 1vertical

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Re: Never Seen This Before
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2010, 10:10:11 AM »
IMO, Bugs = Infection....all same....some are desirable, some are not.
Just because something self innoculates, does not mean that it is a bad thing....
let your senses guide you....taste, smell, appearance. 

My self innoculated V8 Peach/Mango Fusion is a REAL good thing.  I am gonna
grow that "bug" up into a culture and brew with it real soon now.... ;)
A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

Offline Kit B

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Re: Never Seen This Before
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2010, 10:25:28 AM »
-1 to the infection...There's gotta be a different answer.
What was the recipe?
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Offline denny

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Re: Never Seen This Before
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2010, 10:27:19 AM »
Just as a data point, I once had a beer get ropey in a couple weeks.  No opinion on whether or not that's what this is, though.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Never Seen This Before
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2010, 10:37:01 AM »
I'm not saying it definitely is pedio, just that it sounds like it.  You make a good point about the short timeline, I forgot that it was only a week old, but under the right circumstances it can grow pretty quickly as Denny pointed out.  Maybe he's stumbled upon IPM (Ideal Pediococcus Media)  ;D

It could definitely be something else, we're diagnosing over the internet.  ;)

I ain't skird of no beer.
I am :)

I've had beers served to me when I was judging that I just couldn't bring myself to put in my mouth.  I've tasted some really foul ones and done my best to diagnose them, but one or two have just smelled too awful to pass my lips.
Tom Schmidlin

Online jeffy

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Re: Never Seen This Before
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2010, 10:44:39 AM »
I'm not saying it definitely is pedio, just that it sounds like it.  You make a good point about the short timeline, I forgot that it was only a week old, but under the right circumstances it can grow pretty quickly as Denny pointed out.  Maybe he's stumbled upon IPM (Ideal Pediococcus Media)  ;D

It could definitely be something else, we're diagnosing over the internet.  ;)

I ain't skird of no beer.
I am :)

I've had beers served to me when I was judging that I just couldn't bring myself to put in my mouth.  I've tasted some really foul ones and done my best to diagnose them, but one or two have just smelled too awful to pass my lips.

Yeah, for sure, but I always manage a sip.  I think somebody was trying to kill me once, but I survived.  It was a habanero mead as I recall.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
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BJCP judge since 1995

Offline ryang

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Re: Never Seen This Before
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2010, 11:14:20 AM »
I've had beers served to me when I was judging that I just couldn't bring myself to put in my mouth.  I've tasted some really foul ones and done my best to diagnose them, but one or two have just smelled too awful to pass my lips.

Sorry to be off topic, but in regards to this, I was judging at a comp when a guy at the next table shrieked and said no way to a beer that he clearly noted as smelling of fecal matter.  Ironically, it was an American Brown...

Offline wamille

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Re: Never Seen This Before
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2010, 02:29:07 PM »
Just for the record, here's the recipe for the Red Ale I made... a hoppy Red Ale by the way as you'll see:

10 lbs Rahr 2-Row
1 lb 40L Crystal
1 lb Carared

.5 oz Simcoe 90-min
.25 oz Simcoe 60-min
.25 oz Columbus 60-min
.25 oz Simcoe 30-min
.25 oz Columbus 30-min
.5 oz Simcoe 15-min
.5 oz Columbus 15-min
1 oz Cascade 10-min
.5 Simcoe 1-min
.5 Columbus 1-min    - I like hops... followed the Green Flash West Coast IPA hop schedule

Yeast was WLP-001.

OG - 1.052
Current Gravity - 1.010

The beer doesn't smell really bad... it does smell a bit like (what some have described) as band-aids. The fermentation didn't fully take the first week... the gravity for six days of fermentation was 1.040.  So I shook the fermenter the next four days to rouse the yeast.  I didn't check the gravity until that fifth day upon seeing globs of gook in the airlock.  When I took the gravity reading, I noticed the liquid wasn't dripping off the hydrometer in drops, but was coming off in long strands... like very watery honey or (disgusting) like a big goober one lets dangle from one's mouth to the floor... although not that strong.

I kept the 4 oz sample of the beer in a pyrex container after reading the gravity... and the yeast has settled at the bottom like normal.  I just don't understand all the chunks in the airlock or why the liquid doesn't drip off the hydrometer in drops.  The beer looks normal when the yeast has settled.  I don't have a working camera, so I can't pass along any pictures.  Sorry.

Thanks again for all the good discussion on this you guys are offering.

Online jeffy

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Re: Never Seen This Before
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2010, 05:36:38 PM »
"I noticed the liquid wasn't dripping off the hydrometer in drops, but was coming off in long strands... like very watery honey or (disgusting) like a big goober one lets dangle from one's mouth to the floor... although not that strong."

OK this is almost exactly how Vinnie was describing ropiness in his sour barrel aged beers.  How odd.  As I recall he said that you could take strings of the "liquid" and stretch it between your fingers like snot.  Not very pleasant sounding.
If you let it settle, does the clear beer exhibit the same characteristics?  Does it smell OK?  With that much simcoe it's gonna smell pretty "catty" I would think.  Hmmm.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline EHall

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Re: Never Seen This Before
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2010, 06:00:32 PM »
"Sorry to be off topic, but in regards to this, I was judging at a comp when a guy at the next table shrieked and said no way to a beer that he clearly noted as smelling of fecal matter.  Ironically, it was an American Brown..."

I was there and tried that one, it was a bit nutty!  ;D

Where's Gordon when you need him.. he may know.
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Offline wamille

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Re: Never Seen This Before
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2010, 07:03:25 PM »
My friend Rob (who is the purveyor of Homebrewkorea.com) stopped by my apartment today to drop off some 1-liter swingtop bottles.  I showed him my "snotty" beer.  He said he'd never seen anything like it.  He also marveled at how the beer was honey-like in consistency, but now down to 1.006 gravity.  The liquid seems much more dense relative to water.  He had the cajones to taste the beer.  He said it wasn't particularly good.  I figured I'd show him the fermenter... take a look at the beer.  I pulled of the lid and it smelled sour.  It is now part of the Seoul sewage system.  It's strange this craft we've chosen to undertake.

Offline euge

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Re: Never Seen This Before
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2010, 08:06:59 PM »
Sounds like you did the right thing and got a physical opinion and a taste test.

Now you can chalk it up to experience and move on with your brewing. A learning opportunity if you will...

Yes it is a strange obsession but it is ours.  ;D
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Online jeffy

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Re: Never Seen This Before
« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2010, 09:06:38 AM »
Dang.  Now we'll never know.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995