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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > What is this contamination? And can my homegrown fresh hop beer be saved...
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:52 PM   #1
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Default What is this contamination? And can my homegrown fresh hop beer be saved...

So I've never had an infection until today after 4+ years of brewing. I opened up my one and only batch of fresh hop pale ale from homegrown hops (something I can't replicate again for at least a year) and found this:



The dry hops obviously caused this problem. After the initial panic and kicking myself for thinking using homegrown hops directly as dry hops would be a good idea (although why wouldn't commercial hops also potentially be contaminated??) I strained out the hops, getting most of the white stuff out, sprayed some starsan on the surface (although I'm sure that didn't do much it made me feel better), then siphoned out from underneath the film, at the very bottom of the bucket.

I left the final 1/3 of the beer in the bucket, hoping that most/all of the bacteria will remain in that top layer.

I then sampled from the bottling bucket and the beer smelled fine, tasted fine, and has a SG of 1013 (probably more like 1010 before siphoning since I had added some priming sugar). I went ahead and bottled this in plastic 6 liter tap-a-draft bottles.

So my question is am I likely to have these things explode? Or do you think I've managed to salvage at least 2/3 of my once-a-year brew? Any way to tell if the bacteria transferred, other than just by sight?

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Old 09-25-2012, 05:58 AM   #2
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Yeah that white stuff definitely doesn't look right... is it fuzzy, like mold?
Sounds like you took all the right actions. If it doesn't taste bad now, chances are it should be fine, I'd just try to drink it quickly before the infection has a chance to do any damage.

Now that I think about it, if it's mold it could have just taken hold on the tops of the dryhops where the alcohol level wasn't high enough. Beers probably fine...

Just my guess though

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Old 09-25-2012, 01:15 PM   #3
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Looks like a big bowl of cocoa puffs, Making me hungry!!

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Old 09-25-2012, 01:30 PM   #4
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looks like an infection.

the white stuff you see is the pellicle.
this is a byproduct of the infection and eventually floats up to the top and forms a waxy layer.
(meaning the infection is in the beer already, you can't contain it)

Keep track of the current gravity. this will turn sour with enough time.
(you may like the sourness, who knows, not all of them turn out good however)
oh and avoid bottles (BOOM BOOM) if possible.

Don't let this scare you though, i've had an pellicle on my chocolate stout once and it never altered the final gravity.
the beer turned out fabulously awesome, still to this day, my best beer, i may even pray to have the same thing happen again, lol.

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Old 09-25-2012, 02:29 PM   #5
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Wow, I was under the impression that hops were very safe to dump into the fermenter without sanitizing.

Hope this turns out okay.

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Old 09-25-2012, 08:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deggenbe View Post
looks like an infection.

the white stuff you see is the pellicle.
this is a byproduct of the infection and eventually floats up to the top and forms a waxy layer.
(meaning the infection is in the beer already, you can't contain it)

Keep track of the current gravity. this will turn sour with enough time.
(you may like the sourness, who knows, not all of them turn out good however)
oh and avoid bottles (BOOM BOOM) if possible.

Don't let this scare you though, i've had an pellicle on my chocolate stout once and it never altered the final gravity.
the beer turned out fabulously awesome, still to this day, my best beer, i may even pray to have the same thing happen again, lol.
Thanks... will refrigerating the beer stop any souring?
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damdaman View Post
Thanks... will refrigerating the beer stop any souring?
It may slow it down. You can also add campden tablets to kill off everything to preserve the beer as is. I'd say that is a lacto pellicle by the way. More likely came from something other than the hops.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:14 PM   #8
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It may slow it down. You can also add campden tablets to kill off everything to preserve the beer as is. I'd say that is a lacto pellicle by the way. More likely came from something other than the hops.
Aha, thanks, yes that is a great idea. I can actually force carb these TAD bottles, although it takes awhile, so I think I will do that.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:09 PM   #9
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Default Infection

Can a couple of drops of water from your airlock contaminate a hard cider brew.

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Old 10-26-2012, 12:47 PM   #10
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Can a couple of drops of water from your airlock contaminate a hard cider brew.
It can, but it is unlikely. I only sweat that when the fruit flies get in there.
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