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Old 07-05-2012, 09:38 PM   #1
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Default Pellicle? Or false alarm?

Ok, so here's the scoop:

I've got a Wheat beer, (failed hefe that I decided to modify), and a Belgian Tripel that I brewed several weeks ago. I had already decided to add some oak to the Tripel after soaking it in Jack Daniels Single Barrel. After failing at the hefe, and being inspired by an oaked wheat wine, I decided to do something similar using Jameson.

After going on a week vacation I came back to the blow-off tubes being exposed to the open air, this happened during week 4-5 of primary fermentation. I decided to go forward at this point, and hope that it hadn't been exposed to something that would ruin the batches. I then moved everything from primary to secondary when I added the oak after soaking in the whiskey for 1-2 hours. All things were sterilized appropriately, (99% sure; obviously I'm not perfect, and life happens).

Just in case anyone needs to know, or can't tell from the pics, I'm using glass carboys.

About a week went by, and there was some signs that something was happening that I hadn't expected. At first I thought I had stirred some yeast up and another round of fermentation had occurred. This could still be a possibility with the Belgian, I suppose, I but I have never seen a fermentation that looked like what's going on with the Wheat beer. I have reason to believe that the wheat has been inoculated with lactobaccilus, but could be wrong.

My question is two-fold.

A: Am I forming a pellicle in either brew? Or is this identifiable as something more serious, and therefore should I start over? Or is this less serious, and possibly being another round of fermentation that my untrained eye is missing.

I'm not against trying for a sour, but I have no idea whether this is going to compliment, or even remotely work with the styles. I'm definitely willing to try, I have the extra carboys. If not, is this salvageable?

B: If this IS a pellicle, then I have another issue. I'm moving to Virginia in a week and a half, it's a 5.5 hour drive. Should I try to bottle this before the move? Should I try to move the carboy? I have considered plugging the carboys and just hoping that the pellicle reforms when I get to my destination. Second option: I can try to leave this where it is (we're leaving the house vacant for some time, so I can put it in the basement and hope that the temps are stable enough for this to continue.

I've added some pics to see what everyone thinks, any advice would be greatly appreciated. First two pics are the Tripel, the second two are the Wheat.

belgian-1.jpg   belgian-2.jpg   wheat-1.jpg   wheat-2.jpg  
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:44 PM   #2
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Looks like a pellicle to me.

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Old 07-05-2012, 10:08 PM   #3
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Congratulations, it's a pellicle.

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Old 07-05-2012, 10:19 PM   #4
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Pellicle. When it's growing up the sides of the carboy, and forming a ring at the beer-glass edge, you know.

Good luck with that. I try really hard and still don't get much of a pellicle, if at all, on my sours. You guys that get them accidentally piss me off.

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Old 07-06-2012, 12:44 AM   #5
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Thanks to all, much appreciated. Passedpawn, sorry to hear that. I can relate on other subjects, good luck in the future.

Any ideas about moving it?

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Old 07-06-2012, 12:48 AM   #6
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do not bottle it yet. as to whether it will reform after you move or if that matters, i am not sure.

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Old 07-06-2012, 03:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SemperFermentis View Post
I'm moving to Virginia in a week and a half, it's a 5.5 hour drive. Should I try to bottle this before the move? Should I try to move the carboy? I have considered plugging the carboys and just hoping that the pellicle reforms when I get to my destination. Second option: I can try to leave this where it is (we're leaving the house vacant for some time, so I can put it in the basement and hope that the temps are stable enough for this to continue.
FWIW - I recently moved and brought two lambics with me. These were 6 months in primary (5gal batch in a 6gal better bottle), and had a light pellicle before the move (not much O2 inside a better bottle).

The splashing around during the move destroyed the pellicle - and now a month later there is no hint of it reforming.

My understanding (I have only 4 sour batches under my belt) is that a pellicle is only a sign of O2, and if there is no O2 the beer will be just as good (unless you want a bunch of acetic acid).
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:01 PM   #8
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If you keg, i would purge and move it in the keg.

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Old 07-08-2012, 04:11 AM   #9
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The top pics look like the start of a lacto pellicle. The two pictures on the bottom with the "ropiness" definitely looks like pedio .. not lacto. Seems odd that you'd have one infected with lacto and the other pedio. As far as moving the carboys, I wouldn't worry to much about the pellicle. If the pellicle gets destroyed and they need a pellicle, it'll repair itself. I definitely would not dump them. I'm a big fan of sour wheat beers .. I currently have one fermenting (-: Give it atleast a month and then pull a sample.

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Old 07-08-2012, 07:23 PM   #10
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I have moved two lambics and a Flanders Red at around 7 months in the carboy. All three had pellicles and all three were damaged in the move. Also, all three pelicles reformed in time.

One of those lambics won BOS. So I wouldn't say it effected it negatively.

I would move them as is.

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