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Old 05-26-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
JohanTheMighty
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Default Something growing on top of my beer...

Hi, I'm brewing an IPA. I used Coopers, a little over two pounds of malt, about a pound and a half of corn sugar, and just used the yeast that came with the Coopers.

I started my beer several weeks ago, and by several I mean about 3.5 months ago. About 5 or 6 weeks ago I racked my wort from the primary into the secondary. I have not exposed my worth to anything since I first started fermenting it, except when I exposed it to air during the racking process from primary into secondary; I haven't even taken one gravity reading. Further, everything, including all components of the autosiphon were thoroughly sanitized with that brewing iodine.

On Monday of this week, I noticed that there was a small growth, almost sheet like that was growing out from the sides on top of the beer. I figured it was nothing and I haven't thought about it since. Today I took a look and I noticed that the smooth, very thin, sheet-like growth has grown inward from the sides of the carboy about a few more inches. I'm going to try to add a couple of pictures here so you can actually see what I'm talking about. I will admit, it's kind of tough to see the growth, but you can definitely make it out in the pictures. No yeast raft looking things that take your breath away.

So, is it possible that I let it sit and ferment for too long? I always figured that the longer you let it go, the better. Mathematically, I should be looking at something in the neighborhood of 8% ABV, the initial fermentation in the primary carboy was very active and lasted a few days, so up to this point I am confident that things had been going swimmingly. Is this something that I need to toss, or should I just go ahead and dry-hop it at the start of June as I had originally planned?

picture-001.jpg   picture-002.jpg   picture-003.jpg  
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Old 05-26-2012, 03:32 PM   #2
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I can't tell anything from the pictures. Can you get some that show it better?

In the meantime, "thin film growing to cover the beer" suggests a pellicle. I'd recommend you do a google image search on pellicles to see if it matches what you're looking at. Since the pictures don't show much, we can't quite diagnose it here...

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Old 05-26-2012, 03:35 PM   #3
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Looks OK to me

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Old 05-26-2012, 04:03 PM   #4
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It is probably just yeast rafts. If the beer smells and tastes OK it probably is OK.

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Old 05-26-2012, 04:03 PM   #5
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I think the second picture shows it best. It seems pretty clear in that photograph.

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Old 05-26-2012, 04:31 PM   #6
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I wouldn't be too concerned yet. However, growths that form from the glass inward are suspect for sure.

Let it go for a while longer. If you get large bubbles on this film, that's bad.

Check this thread out and see if what you have (or what it becomes) matches anything here.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/pellicle-photo-collection-174033/

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Old 05-26-2012, 05:25 PM   #7
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Well, passedpawn, it doesn't look anything like what I saw in that collection of pellicle photographs, but I've been looking up yeast rafts, since it too was mentioned on this thread, and it looks like awful lot like the pictures of the yeast rafts I've seen so far. And upon shining a flashlight into my brew, I have seen that there are plenty floating freely in the pool as well.

Yeah, I think I'm just going to stick with my original reaction, which was just, "Oh hey, what's that? Eh, probably nothing", dry-hop it as originally planned, and then bottle it up. Hell, if it tastes like ass I'll just make a new batch. I mean, I'm pretty sure that if this growth was due to some kind of infection resulting from the primary to secondary racking 6 weeks ago, by this time it should look like I have a big fuzzy head floating in there!

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Old 05-26-2012, 07:38 PM   #8
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You have no desire to taste it after all this time?

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Old 05-26-2012, 09:05 PM   #9
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I could, but that would spoil the surprise!

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Old 05-26-2012, 10:12 PM   #10
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Looks like yeast rafts to me, too.

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