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Old 07-21-2011, 08:04 PM   #1
elipsey
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Default name that pellicle

hi forum. i suppose this is sort of an ignominious first post, but here goes... i opened up my secondary to bottle this morning, and inside i found this monster.

this is a kolsch after 10 days in the secondary (plastic bucket). the beer looks clear and smells good, sg is 1.010. i haven't had problems with the batch before or after this one, and this batch looked normal when i racked it. i presume that the infection is limited to this secondary fermenter and, since i have used it before without trouble, was introduced during this use.

taste is initially what i would expect from a kolsch, but then a a bit tart or cidery, and sort of clings to the tongue. i detect no horsey, vegetal, or vinegar flavors, such as those typically attributed to brettanomyces, pediococcus or acetobacter respectively. i have seen pictures of brett ferments that look kind of like this but since people usually inoculate with other oranisms at the same time, i don't know which critter causes the pellicle, or whether it's appearance can be used for diagnostic purposes.

i am guessing that this is a lactobacillus infection, i would like to know what the forum thinks. i think the beer is sort of drinkable, my gf thinks it's gross. i guess i will probably throw it out as a matter of principle. i feel that i am generally quite conscientious about sanitation. this is the first time i have had a problem. i use bleach sanitizing solution, at a rate of 2oz/5gallons as described in Papazian. i retire my bottling hoses periodically, and will immediately do so again. i recognize that plastic is more oxygen permeable than glass, and that racking still beer into a secondary with significant head-space, and without purging with co2 introduces oxygen, and a risk of bacterial infection. are there are any other lessons i should take from this?

i'm posting partly for advice, and partly because brewers seem to have an unseemly interest in freaky looking pictures of pellicles. enjoy

img_0737.jpg   img_0743.jpg  
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:12 PM   #2
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You most likely have a lacto infection. Possibly also brett.

Be extremely careful about bottling. You may need to sit on that for several months before it reaches final gravity to avoid bottle bombs.

I would also stop using bleach as a sanitizer. Seriously, starsan and idophor are not that expensive.

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Old 07-21-2011, 08:20 PM   #3
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And buckets do not make good secondaries due to all the surface area. Invest in a carboy or leave your beer in primary until you are ready to bottle

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Old 07-21-2011, 08:24 PM   #4
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thanks for the input. i think i will just let this one go, and try to learn from it. why drink a bad beer when i have three good ones in the basement?

Quote:
I would also stop using bleach as a sanitizer. Seriously, starsan and idophor are not that expensive.
it's not about money, just convenience and familiarity. are these more effective than bleach? if so, i will switch...
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elipsey View Post
thanks for the input. i think i will just let this one go, and try to learn from it. why drink a bad beer when i have three good ones in the basement?


it's not about money, just convenience and familiarity. are these more effective than bleach? if so, i will switch...
Bleach is a great sanatizer, and can be mixed to no rinse capabilities. a half tables spoon (1 oz i believe) added to 5 gallons of water, then after bleach is diluted in water add equal amount of vinegar. Requires a contact time of 30 seconds.

It is a no rinse sanatizer recommended by Charlie Tally himself, the inventor of Star San. The chlorine just evaporates off very quickly (contributes to no rinse capabilities) so it can't be stored and reused like a Star San solution can be.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:33 PM   #6
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I would advise to through the bucket away when you done with it. Homer buckets are not good for beer anyways.

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Old 07-21-2011, 08:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevo2569 View Post
I would advise to through the bucket away when you done with it. Homer buckets are not good for beer anyways.
Where is everyone getting the information presented in this thread? A homer bucket is the EXACT same material as an Ale Pail or other fermentation buckets.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Germelli1 View Post
Where is everyone getting the information presented in this thread? A homer bucket is the EXACT same material as an Ale Pail or other fermentation buckets.
This is not true. Food grade plastic is different that utility grade plastic.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:54 PM   #9
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This is not true. Food grade plastic is different that utility grade plastic.
Ok, but not sure why this is relevant since Homer buckets are the same exact material. At least all the ones I have ever bought to store grains in are HDPE.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppymonkey

This is not true. Food grade plastic is different that utility grade plastic.
This
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