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Old 04-28-2011, 03:44 PM   #11
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The turkey baster method seems to have worked splendidly. After the kräusen fell on the small "capture wort" and things cleared a bit, I used a sanitized spoon to physically remove as much of the mold as I could. Then I took a paper towel soaked in vodka and wiped the inside of the jar above the liquid to clean things even further. Then decanted most of the liquid and used a baster to remove slurry.

I then inoculated a liter of new starter wort with the slurry, and it was going crazy within two hours. The thing is still going nuts and smelling quite nice. I think I'll brew up a 2 gallon test batch this weekend and see what I've got.

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Old 04-29-2011, 12:36 AM   #12
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I think I'm in a very similar boat. I created a yeast starter last Sunday (5 days ago) for harvesting the bottle dregs from a pair of Russian River beers that I brought back from out of state, but I've developed a fuzzy white spot of mold on the top of the starter. I've created yeast starters a bunch of times before, so I was really surprised to see this.

You think it's safe to decant this off the top and pitch the yeast underneath on a flanders red I'm brewing this weekend?

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Old 04-29-2011, 11:50 AM   #13
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That's a pretty small mold patch, so if you can pour it off, I'm sure it'll be fine. If you really want to be on the safe side, you could decant more of the liquid and add more fresh wort. I'm going to guess the mold won't reappear, but it would give you the chance to find out before pitching it into a whole batch.

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Old 04-29-2011, 01:32 PM   #14
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Thanks man. The problem I'm having is I have no clue how to tell if something is mold vs. a pellicle - I spent an hour or two looking at pellicle pics last night to see if anything looked just like mine, and while a few were close, I'm tempted to think what I've got is mold. Since it's tough to tell in the pic, it's about the size of a nickel, completely white, and looks like it has hairs - kind of like cotton.

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Old 04-29-2011, 01:33 PM   #15
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Thanks man. The problem I'm having is I have no clue how to tell if something is mold vs. a pellicle - I spent an hour or two looking at pellicle pics last night to see if anything looked just like mine, and while a few were close, I'm tempted to think what I've got is mold. Since it's tough to tell in the pic, it's about the size of a nickel, completely white, and looks like it has hairs - kind of like cotton.
That's mold. Anything that looks "fuzzy" is almost certainly mold, and based on the picture you posted before it looks like mold to me.
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:05 PM   #16
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Yeah, I'd say that's mold, but it's certainly not much of it. I would probably decant and try inoculating fresh starter wort with the yeast sediment. My mold was pretty successfully eradicated, I think, but I also stepped the yeast up before I pitch to a small experimental batch. I would be too nervous to put it in 5 gallons of a "real" batch, I think.

Let us know what you end up doing. Good luck!

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Old 04-29-2011, 03:12 PM   #17
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I'm NOT experienced at this in any way, but my suggestion would be to go to a drug store and buy the largest syringe and largest barrel you can find, don't decant or disturb the liquid in any way and just put the syringe in the bottom of the jar and suck up yeast, then use a sterlizing wipe to clean the outside of the syringe and split up the contents between a few small starters.

Just a thought... Good luck.

This is interesting stuff

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Old 04-29-2011, 04:08 PM   #18
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Ok, I think I'll postpone this brew for a week while I sort this out.

My plan is to decant about 80% of the liquid and get the mold. Then I'll rouse the yeast with the remaining liquid and pitch it to a new jug and add about a half gallon of 1.020 wort with just a leaf or two of hops. I'm hoping the lower sugar level, relatively high yeast content, and the preservative effects of the hops will allow me to salvage it. I'll give that about a week, as long as no more mold grows I'll try and use it next weekend.

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Old 04-29-2011, 04:11 PM   #19
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Aerating wort also makes it harder for the mold to take hold in the first place, so if you have a stir plate or shake the new starter every few hours, that should also help.

That said, most sour bugs don't much care for aeration (unless you count acetobacter), so you'd be selecting more for yeast than bugs.

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Old 04-29-2011, 04:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xeerohour View Post
Ok, I think I'll postpone this brew for a week while I sort this out.

My plan is to decant about 80% of the liquid and get the mold. Then I'll rouse the yeast with the remaining liquid and pitch it to a new jug and add about a half gallon of 1.020 wort with just a leaf or two of hops. I'm hoping the lower sugar level, relatively high yeast content, and the preservative effects of the hops will allow me to salvage it. I'll give that about a week, as long as no more mold grows I'll try and use it next weekend.
I think that sounds like a good plan of attack. Definitely keep us updated on how it goes!
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