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Old 05-21-2011, 03:21 AM   #1
rokfizix
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Default Do I have an infection?

Hi Guys,

So here's my situation. I am brewing a 5 gallon batch of Northern Brewer Extra Special Bitter (using White Labs English Dry Ale Yeast - think that's what it was). I put it into primary about a month ago. It fermented away vigorously for about a week and or more and then settled down. I had been reading that a lot of people don't bother to rack to secondary so I left it for a while. Well last week I noticed that the sanitizer in the air lock was low - the little floating part was resting on the top of the post. There was still a good bit of sanitizer in there but i am not sure if there was a perfect seal formed by the fluid. It may have been this way ~ 1 week. Anyway I added a little extra sanitizer and left it alone.

Now it seems to be bubbling again. The reason I am worried is that there are small clusters of white stuff floating on the surface of the beer. They are not fuzzy like mold - more of a goo -- and they appear to be made up of clusters of distinct spheres (about 0.5 mm diameter). Additionally there appear to be more of the spheres stuck to the walls of the carboy below the surface of the beer. I pulled the stopper and everything smells wonderful - like beer. I did not pull a hydrometer sample yet - I did not have time to sanitize the thief. Should I be worried or should I just let it continue to bubble away? Should I transfer to a secondary at this point? Any theories and/or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 05-21-2011, 03:24 AM   #2
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sounds like yeast rafts floating. did the beer get warmer and start fermenting actively again?

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Old 05-21-2011, 03:27 AM   #3
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Sounds like yeast, though it's pretty hard to say for certain without a picture.

Heck, most of the time it's hard to say for certain *with* a picture.

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Old 05-21-2011, 03:43 AM   #4
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that would be great if it is just the yeast!

Lumpher - the temperature of the house has gone up a bit with the warmer weather. The air lock is bubbling away - one bubble every 5 - 10 seconds or so. I guess that would indicate active fermentation has resumed. There are bubbles floating to the surface of the beer.

Does anyone know if an infection could cause bubbling similar to fermentation? Has anyone heard of an infection happening because an airlock became under filled with sanitizer?

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Old 05-21-2011, 03:51 AM   #5
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usually as long as there is some fermentation (visible or not) going on, there is positive pressure that will push nasty yeast away.yes, an infection can cause similar bubbling, as it's just another form of yeast doing its' fermentation
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Old 05-21-2011, 04:32 AM   #6
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Don't worry about it. There is nothing you can do.

There is absolutely nothing you can do about it, so just leave it alone to finish.

Based on the limited info given, it seems to be fine. Probably be a great beer.

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Old 05-21-2011, 07:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokfizix
Hi Guys,

So here's my situation. I am brewing a 5 gallon batch of Northern Brewer Extra Special Bitter (using White Labs English Dry Ale Yeast - think that's what it was). I put it into primary about a month ago. It fermented away vigorously for about a week and or more and then settled down. I had been reading that a lot of people don't bother to rack to secondary so I left it for a while. Well last week I noticed that the sanitizer in the air lock was low - the little floating part was resting on the top of the post. There was still a good bit of sanitizer in there but i am not sure if there was a perfect seal formed by the fluid. It may have been this way ~ 1 week. Anyway I added a little extra sanitizer and left it alone.

Now it seems to be bubbling again. The reason I am worried is that there are small clusters of white stuff floating on the surface of the beer. They are not fuzzy like mold - more of a goo -- and they appear to be made up of clusters of distinct spheres (about 0.5 mm diameter). Additionally there appear to be more of the spheres stuck to the walls of the carboy below the surface of the beer. I pulled the stopper and everything smells wonderful - like beer. I did not pull a hydrometer sample yet - I did not have time to sanitize the thief. Should I be worried or should I just let it continue to bubble away? Should I transfer to a secondary at this point? Any theories and/or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
Its definitely yeast. Your using WLP007 dry english ale yeast. I have a carboy going right now with the same strain that looks very similar to what you just described. Little round globules built up in a ring in the midsection of the carboy. NTWAbout
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by rokfizix View Post
t

Lumpher - the temperature of the house has gone up a bit with the warmer weather.
This is why your airlock is bubbling, it's not an infection... An airlock bubbles for various reasons, change in atmospheric pressure, change in temp, the cat brushing against the fermenter, it doesn't mean anything whatsoever, just like airlocks not bubbling mean nothing. It's a vent, a valve to release excess co2. Change in temp means that more than likely the gas in the headspace has expanded, like gasses to often do when heated, or the change in temp is causing some of the co2 to come out of solution. But neither mean anything's wrong.

In fact seeing yeast rafts is a good indication that co2 is coming up to the surface and carrying with it some yeast.

Relax
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:21 AM   #9
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I dunno Rev I think when the airlock was low it was just enough for the rough ninja bacteriacites to sneak in. And of course, the obligatory "send me the carboy for analysis so I can give a definite answer"

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Old 05-21-2011, 09:12 AM   #10
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You certainly do have an infection...a yeast infection! Wuah wuah wuahhhhhhh. (I chuckled.)

But seriously, nothing to worry about. Just bubbles on top. Delicious beer awaits.

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