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Old 12-08-2010, 05:25 PM   #1
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Default film on beer, help

so this would be my first encounter with a possible infection, and its two batches @ once. i've recently moved and have a seperate room that i ferment in, and i usually have the window open for temp control. i'm wondering if something came in thorugh these fermenters as the lids are not air tight, one is a conical and the other in a seconddary that i just used foil to cover. its like a off white film on top of the beer, with no negative effect on aroma or flavor. i'm going to be quite upset as the beer in the carboy is my xmas beer thats been aging on oak cubes for a month this is also the first time that i've used starsan, i used to use an iodine based cleaner. could it be residual sanitizer?



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Old 12-08-2010, 06:31 PM   #2
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Hmm... That looks a little suspicious to me. I think I would be nervous with the unsealed lid + open window combination. But I'm really paranoid

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Old 12-08-2010, 06:35 PM   #3
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I can't really tell anything from your pictures, it looks okay to me. Have you tasted it?

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Old 12-08-2010, 07:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Lodovico View Post
Hmm... That looks a little suspicious to me. I think I would be nervous with the unsealed lid + open window combination. But I'm really paranoid
the lid was closed on the conical, but it just wasnt tight... the airlock didnt even bubble. and the carboy had a loose foil cap on it, which i do all the time in secondaries and it works fine.

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I can't really tell anything from your pictures, it looks okay to me. Have you tasted it?


if you look at the first picture, you can see some spots on top of the beer in the conical where the film is NOT present, they are darker spots.

then in the middle picture you can see a ring around the top of the beer.

yeah i've tasted them both and seem fine... i've been tasting the xmas beer every week to see how the oak is coming through. i'm more curious than worried atthis point i guess.
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:51 PM   #5
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I'd say that as long as the lids are on and preventing anything from falling into the beer, then that open window is probably not the source of infection. Bacteria can't land on the outside of the fermenter and "crawl" in, they can only fall in.

Take a look at this link and read towards the bottom about "Tips for handling yeast cultures." It will shed some light on some things.

If you can't taste anything yet, then you might be in the clear. However I can't think of anything else that could be producing a film on top. I've never heard of starsan or any other santizer making a film on top of the beer. Personally, I'll keg it and start drinking as soon a possible. Once you have an infection, it will only get worse.

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Old 12-08-2010, 09:23 PM   #6
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I'd say that as long as the lids are on and preventing anything from falling into the beer, then that open window is probably not the source of infection. Bacteria can't land on the outside of the fermenter and "crawl" in, they can only fall in.

Take a look at this link and read towards the bottom about "Tips for handling yeast cultures." It will shed some light on some things.

If you can't taste anything yet, then you might be in the clear. However I can't think of anything else that could be producing a film on top. I've never heard of starsan or any other santizer making a film on top of the beer. Personally, I'll keg it and start drinking as soon a possible. Once you have an infection, it will only get worse.
i'm going to throw the carboy in the keezer tonight and crash it for a while and see what happens. i dont want to pull it off the cubes just yet- infected beer what a yummy xmas present!
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:37 PM   #7
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What was the follow-up to this? I get this skin on a lot of my beers but I'm usually noticing it when I'm kegging it anyways, and no off-flavors thus-far. Probably a mild infection or wild yeast, but like I said, never had any noticeable issues with taste.

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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:05 PM   #8
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What was the follow-up to this? I get this skin on a lot of my beers but I'm usually noticing it when I'm kegging it anyways, and no off-flavors thus-far. Probably a mild infection or wild yeast, but like I said, never had any noticeable issues with taste.
i think this was a mild infection. in the last place i lived, i had A LOT of infections like these- most you couldn't taste with fast kegging- but i left a few go and they tasted like vinegar.

i ended up finding a ton of black mold in my vents at that house..... so i'm pretty sure this was caused by simply opening the lid

since moving i've not had any problems.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:09 PM   #9
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Probably same issue I'm having. Well, like you said, it hasn't turned into an issue with taste thus-far, but I brew in the basement of a 75 year old house. I'm sure there's all kinds of good stuff crawling around in there. Most of the time it's on beers that I've let sit, too, after checking gravity. Hell, sometimes I just let them go for 3 weeks then cold crash them w/o even checking gravity. There's almost no way they aint done by that time.

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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:24 AM   #10
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Probably same issue I'm having. Well, like you said, it hasn't turned into an issue with taste thus-far, but I brew in the basement of a 75 year old house. I'm sure there's all kinds of good stuff crawling around in there. Most of the time it's on beers that I've let sit, too, after checking gravity. Hell, sometimes I just let them go for 3 weeks then cold crash them w/o even checking gravity. There's almost no way they aint done by that time.
+1 one just waiting a few weeks and kegging. i usually will check gravity at kegging but thats more just out of curiousity, i haven't had an issue with attenuation in a very long time.

this post a few reads have made me curious for an attempt at spontanious fermentation though i think its time to try to harvest some of those wild bugs and see what happens!
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