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Old 04-17-2013, 12:53 AM   #1
Marc77
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Default Is my beer infected? With pics for ease of discussion.

I left my beer in my secondary for a VERY long time. Unfortunately I think it's now infected. Someone had mentioned that I throw half a packet of yeast in and I did. So is this from the yeast I threw in or is it time to dump it?

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Old 04-17-2013, 01:11 AM   #2
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Google infected beer and your mind will be at ease.

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Old 04-17-2013, 01:12 AM   #3
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Its a little hard to tell what you're talking about. If you're worried about the little brown clumps, those are almost certainly yeast if you dumped some dry yeast in there. If you're worried about the bubbles, its possible that the yeast started up a little secondary fermentation, or just served as nucleation sites for dissolved CO2.

On a side note, why did you decide to add more yeast? Was the gravity higher than expected? If the gravity was higher, its possible that you moved to secondary too soon before the yeast were finished in primary, which would explain the second fermentation.

Also, that looks like a ton of headspace for secondary. Generally you want to keep the headspace as small as possible, since you're theoretically done with fermentation and therefore have nothing to soak up oxygen that gets in. That headspace is full of oxygen, and if its been that way a long time its possible that oxidation is more of a worry than contamination. If your fermentation has restarted you can't bottle it up yet, but if you're not fermenting (a hydrometer reading or two will tell you) I'd think about getting that bottled ASAP. You'll have to wait a few days to figure out if you're still fermenting or not, or if you have an infection, so you don't wind up with bombs, but the sooner you can get it bottled the chances of oxidation will decrease (although not disappear). You may want to consider storing the bottles in plastic tubs while conditioning them either way just in case.

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Old 04-17-2013, 01:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikpete18 View Post
Its a little hard to tell what you're talking about. If you're worried about the little brown clumps, those are almost certainly yeast if you dumped some dry yeast in there. If you're worried about the bubbles, its possible that the yeast started up a little secondary fermentation, or just served as nucleation sites for dissolved CO2.

On a side note, why did you decide to add more yeast? Was the gravity higher than expected? If the gravity was higher, its possible that you moved to secondary too soon before the yeast were finished in primary, which would explain the second fermentation.

Also, that looks like a ton of headspace for secondary. Generally you want to keep the headspace as small as possible, since you're theoretically done with fermentation and therefore have nothing to soak up oxygen that gets in. That headspace is full of oxygen, and if its been that way a long time its possible that oxidation is more of a worry than contamination. If your fermentation has restarted you can't bottle it up yet, but if you're not fermenting (a hydrometer reading or two will tell you) I'd think about getting that bottled ASAP. You'll have to wait a few days to figure out if you're still fermenting or not, or if you have an infection, so you don't wind up with bombs, but the sooner you can get it bottled the chances of oxidation will decrease (although not disappear). You may want to consider storing the bottles in plastic tubs while conditioning them either way just in case.
That's a brilliant idea. After googling infections and finding the term yeast rafts I'm guessing that's what it was. The picture is actually turned sideways for whatever reason. There is a good chunk of head space in there though.

Now to find the sugar to make my sugar water to throw in my bottling bucket...oh I love my wife and her "filing system". Probably should just look in the last place I'd put it to start.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:49 AM   #5
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It looks ok to me.

As a general rule.....When you get an infection, you won't have to ask if you have one.

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Old 04-17-2013, 04:17 PM   #6
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Well I bottled it, tasted it and I'm not dead yet so it must have been fine. Must have been yeast rafts. I pulled my racking cane up before any of the top stuff could get in my bottling bucket so who knows. I'll try the beer in two weeks and it's conditioning in a cooler that's room temp in case any of the bottles bust.

Unfortunately I can't say I'm impressed with the taste but maybe after conditioning I'll be happy with it. It was my first pumpkin ale though so who knows.

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