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Old 02-17-2010, 12:18 PM   #1
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Default Dry-hop disaster?

I brewed up an All-Amarillo IPA two-and-a-half weeks ago, and it was a total S#!T show; forgot to oxygenate, forgot to sanitize the lid, didn't have enough hops bags for all the additions, and ended up having to ferment the whole thing at 62F.

Last weekend, I had a brew-mergency, and needed the fermenter, so I figured this was, at least, a good opportunity to experiment with dry hopping - not usually something I need for my frequently brewed styles. So I transferred to secondary along with an ounce of Amarillo hops (which I of course forgot to sanitize).

Now the secondary fermenter is off-gassing, and it looks like there's almost a mini-krausen (or something!) at the top of the secondary. My hope is that the low oxygen and temperature combined with the short (for me) primarying time has left some of the active fermentation incomplete, and it's now being finished in the secondary. My fear is that I have an infection. Thoughts? Here are some pics:






PS: I DID include two marbles in with the dry-hops, which I DID sanitize, thoroughly. Apparently they weren't enough for an ounce of leaf hops, because, as you can see, they're still floating on top.
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:24 PM   #2
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aside from them not sinking, i see nothing wrong here.

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Old 02-17-2010, 12:33 PM   #3
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Your beer may just be degassing or the yeasties may have been reawakened by a change in temp causing them to go nuts.

I had something similar to this happen with a pumpkin ale I did. I cold crashed it after about 2-3 weeks then another beer was brewed. Temp had to come up in the ferm cabinet for this other beer, and it looked like the pumpkin ale went into another fermentation. Lots of little bubbles just like yours - that beer ended up being one of my smoothest and tastiest to date. EVERYONE loved that beer.

Im sure yours will be fine as well - hops are a NATURAL antiseptic. Thats why they used em in IPAs back in the day.

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Old 02-17-2010, 01:52 PM   #4
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I would bet that when you racked to your secondary you incorporated some more O2 in the wort and the yeast is now active again. Looks fine.....have you taken any readings? That would be the best way to figure out what is going on.

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Old 02-17-2010, 03:13 PM   #5
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Infections are rare. It looks completely nominal.

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Old 02-17-2010, 05:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
So I transferred to secondary along with an ounce of Amarillo hops (which I of course forgot to sanitize).
You don't have to sanitize hops. In fact, I know of no way to do this without boiling them, which is exactly what you don't want to do for dry hopping.

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Old 02-17-2010, 06:18 PM   #7
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I have had two infected batches from dry hopping. Both times I used hops that had been clearly repackaged by the LHBS. In the future I'll only use an unopened package from the distributor as I've never had a problem with that. In one case the wild yeast took the FG from 1012 to 1006. What was left was thin and nasty. In the other case it just clouded the wort and never cleared, leaving it grassy tasting and pretty much undrinkable. These are the only two batches I've ever dumped.

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Old 02-18-2010, 03:17 PM   #8
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Thanks for the reassurances everyone. I'd never dump a batch, but if I think it's questionable, I use large bottles in order to cut down on the hassle of bottling. Since you guys think this looks OK, I'll stick with 12 ouncers.

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