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Old 11-12-2009, 10:40 PM   #1
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Default Is it an infection?

OK, so I've read a few of the posts on here about infections, but I can't seem to classify my brew.

It's a DIPA SMaSH, brewed about a month ago. Primary only.

When I opened the lid to rack it into my keg, it smelled very strongly of alcohol, exactly as I would expect. BUT, there was a small area of white, waxy coating floating on the top. Unfortunately, I skimmed it off and trashed that bit (with a sanitized spoon!) before I took my pictures. (Stupid, stupid!!)

The white area I trashed didn't look a whole lot different than what you can see in the pictures. If anything, my guess is that it was just thicker and therefore you couldn't see the color from the beer beneath as well.

Anyway, here are two pics taken while I was racking into my keg:




I've tasted the brew, and I while it doesn't taste fantastic (what flat beer does?), I don't get any "nastiness." I'm thinking that maybe I got a mild infection and that it won't affect the beer too much?

I don't mind being patient, chilling and carbing the keg and then trying it, but I don't want to be stupid with my health. I've heard it said time and again that "you can't get sick from an infected/contaminated beer," but I wanted to get some eyes on MINE and get some words of advice.

What do you think?

Thanks!!!

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Old 11-12-2009, 10:47 PM   #2
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You really aren't going to get sick drinking an infected beer. In fact, many people deliberately infect their beers to achieve certain flavors.

The thin white layer could be the beginnings of a pellicle, but I'm not sure. I've had a similar layer on a batch before and the remaining bottles I've got from that batch still taste great months later.

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Old 11-12-2009, 10:47 PM   #3
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Update:

My wife tasted it (without knowing why ), and she didn't think it tasted off.

I tasted some more (about a half a beer) and I think that if there wasn't anything floating on top, I would never have noticed anything being amiss.

Still, I'd love to get some opinions.

Thanks!!!

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Old 11-12-2009, 10:48 PM   #4
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nope, that looks like floating yeast and trub/krausen residue.

its one of the reasons I still secondary. i still get cleaner beer from secondary than a long primary. I invariably bump the racking cane and suck up a bunch of yeast going from primary, and some yeasts leave 'top floaters' like this that I don't want in a keg or bottle.

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Old 11-12-2009, 10:49 PM   #5
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Thanks for the comment.

Pardon the stupid question, but what makes a beer "infected?" Is it bacterial? Why is it possible to drink infected beer without it making you sick? I've always heard that if it's dangerous, you'd either not be able to stomach the taste, or you'd literally not be able to stomach it; that the infection would cause you to vomit, but not make you long-term sick.

Have I been mis-informed?

Thanks!

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Old 11-12-2009, 10:50 PM   #6
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malkore,

I don't want to challenge you, but I've never seen my yeast turn whitish, and the floater I removed (kind of like a waxy, slick spot) was definitely WHITE. Still the same answer?

Thanks!!!

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Old 11-12-2009, 10:54 PM   #7
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While there are definitely floaty yeasts in that pic, there's also a thin white layer of something that looks like pellicle formation to me.

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Old 11-12-2009, 10:59 PM   #8
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What IS a pellicle? The best I can tell from some google searches seems to indicate that it's formed from a particular strand of yeast that is used for lambic beer brewing.

I've also seen some comments that seem to indicate that sometimes a "brett pellicle" will form unintentionally in a beer.

Can anyone tell me what a pellicle is and what it does to a beer? When is it desirable and when do you want to avoid it?

Will it ruin a DIPA?

Thanks!

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Old 11-12-2009, 11:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBM30075 View Post
What IS a pellicle? The best I can tell from some google searches seems to indicate that it's formed from a particular strand of yeast that is used for lambic beer brewing.

I've also seen some comments that seem to indicate that sometimes a "brett pellicle" will form unintentionally in a beer.

Can anyone tell me what a pellicle is and what it does to a beer? When is it desirable and when do you want to avoid it?

Will it ruin a DIPA?

Thanks!
I'm just into all grains myself, but I've read up a bit. Pellicle is caused from oxidation of different yeasts such as Brett and Lactobacillis. It will cause several different flavors (some would call them "off") such as sour, barnyard, and "horse blanket." However, in an IPA it might be a bit misplaced.

Just looking at the pict it looks like you have nothing to worry about though. A real pellicle looks more like this: http://www.ithacabeer.com/beerblog/i...t_pellicle.JPG
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Old 11-13-2009, 12:55 AM   #10
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It really doesn't look like an infection. It could be oils from something. Did you leaf hops?

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