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Old 10-03-2012, 06:30 AM   #1
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Default What's in my beer? Brett? Aceto? Lacto?

So I put ten gallons of my oktoberfest hybrid in my crawlspace and when I checked on the two buckets a month later they looked and tasted fine.

Another two weeks later, and uh oh... I messed one of them up.

It had a dusty mold culture growing all over it.

I let it ride for another three weeks and checked again, it was thin in the mouth but had a possibly pleasant twang in the making.

Three weeks later to show another friend and the culture had kind of collapsed and another had taken over.

You can see on the edges the dusty culture and in the center you can see forming something different. Sort of a milky glass texture.

It stills smells funky but good (not vinegary) and the last taste was interesting if somewhat reminiscent of finger nail polish.

At any rate, here are the pics. If it looks familiar, please let me know.



This is the top shot. You can see the new stuff in the center and the old stuff breaking down on the sides.





This is the old stuff on the side. It had a dry dusty finish to it.





Finally, here is the new stuff. It looks sadly kind of like pictures of Acetobacter that I've seen online, but also not totally unlike some pictures of Brett. Maybe even Lacto?

The other question that depends on the first is... what to do with it? If it's Aceto, I need to find some sort of popcorn sutton use for it. But if it's Brett, I'm happy to wait a few months and dump raspberries into it.

Please advise.

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Old 10-03-2012, 12:20 PM   #2
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I've seen lacto contamination that looks like that. The taste of nail polish remover also makes me think lacto. I did an experiment using wort in mason jars and added raw grain to some and pre-cultured lacto and the wlp lacto culture looked like that. One of the raw grain jars smelled like acetone too.

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Old 10-03-2012, 08:26 PM   #3
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Hmm... I think you might be right.

I looked up more pictures of Lacto and it looks familiar to what it looked like earlier.

So considering that it had a decent ferment before the infection, and that it doesn't taste bad yet... What's the recommended plan if it's Lacto?

How long do I wait before it's ready and how can I tell if it's headed in the wrong direction?

I've heard six month-ish for a Lacto. Should I toss in some oak or fruit, when should I do that?

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Old 10-03-2012, 08:43 PM   #4
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If it tastes okay now you can drink it quickly. I'm of the school that says if a beer doesn't turn out, gets contaminated, etc you dump it. But that's just me and I'd never tell anyone to dump a beer.

Accidental infections/contamination rarely taste good, but if you have carboy space you could get a pack of wyeast lambic or roeselare and hope that dominates the wild contamination. What was your grainbill?

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Old 10-03-2012, 08:45 PM   #5
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You could also try hitting it with a couple of campden tablets. I've never had great luck with that, but have heard its worked for other people. You'd have to repitch the yeast because it should knock out everything living in there.

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Old 10-03-2012, 09:31 PM   #6
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You can blend it in the boil with half of another batch.. do a 90 minute boil and throw half the infected one in at 45 and get it to a boil for at least 15 minutes and then you can do late hop additions too.. with a rolling boil that long you keep 50% of the alcohol if I remember, maybe more.. did a mini sour mash this way and kept allot of the lacto sour but lost some of the tart.. it also didn't infect any equipment down stream with led me to do more like a stout with a gallon of spontaneous fermented 3rd running(lacto) that added just a hint of sour.. did a gallon in a Saison.. even threw in some of my bottled sours into s cream ale that turned out great (that one almost tried to boil over on me, not gonna do that again)..

Edit:Oh, I call them my psudo sours

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Old 10-03-2012, 09:50 PM   #7
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Hmm... So you don't think this will work out on it's own at all eh? It doesn't taste horribly sour right now, just kind of funky.

Edmanster, your blending idea sounds interesting. I guess I'll give it a couple of months and either give that a shot or give if it my popcorn sutton friend.

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Old 10-03-2012, 10:01 PM   #8
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It's impossible to just look at a pellicle and figure out what it is. Maybe acetobacter is the exception but it doesn't look like an acetobacter mother.

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Old 10-03-2012, 10:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReverseApacheMaster View Post
It's impossible to just look at a pellicle and figure out what it is. Maybe acetobacter is the exception but it doesn't look like an acetobacter mother.
I agree, but you can take an educated guess.

I did an experiment with several strains of lacto in mason jars. They either looked like spider webs, chunky white "icebergs" or yellowish powder floating on the top.

Brett seems to form large (quarter/nickle size) bubbles after the krausen has dropped. I haven't done too much with brett yet.

I have pictures of my lacto experiment that I really need to post, along with smell/tasting notes.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:12 PM   #10
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I think it will but to me if it's lacto only sometimes it seems one sided and not complex and strong when it takes a hold. You could do the roslair blend that was mentioned but your putting more lacto into it and hopeing the pedo can show through. Let it ride.. I'm sure it will be fine.. my buddy got an infection in his fat tire clone and was going to dump it and I thought it was awesome so I took a couple bottles and grew the dregs wich ended being lacto

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