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Old 10-28-2010, 02:04 PM   #1
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Default Strange "fermentation" in secondary (...with pictures!)





Has anybody seen this funky fermentation business? It's an extract brown ale currently in secondary. I created a homemade hazelnut extract with roasted hazelnuts and brandy that I added to the beer in secondary, when this strange fermentation showed up. Primary was great, typical 48-72 hour fermentation, racked the beer to secondary six days after pitching the yeast, at which point I added a little less than 4oz of my homemade extract. Thoughts?

Also, as you can see, my four month old cat is very interested in the homebrewing process.
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Old 10-28-2010, 02:09 PM   #2
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Boy, that looks like the start of pellicles to me. I'd rack it out of there, and try using 1 crushed campden tablet per gallon. I'd wait about 3 days or so to make sure it didn't come back, and then re-yeast (if bottling) and package.

If you wouldn't mind a sour beer, you could let it go and see what happens. A nut brown sour might be good.

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Old 10-28-2010, 02:21 PM   #3
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Holy christ! I popped off the airlock, took a whiff, and it seems like you're spot on, sherlock! I had no idea what pellicles were, or that they appeared in sour beer.

What about hazelnut-flavored brandy would do that? What are campden tablets, and can I just dissolve them into the beer after I keg it? Re-yeasting is no concern, as I'm kegging.

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Old 10-28-2010, 03:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetnighter View Post
Holy christ! I popped off the airlock, took a whiff, and it seems like you're spot on, sherlock! I had no idea what pellicles were, or that they appeared in sour beer.

What about hazelnut-flavored brandy would do that? What are campden tablets, and can I just dissolve them into the beer after I keg it? Re-yeasting is no concern, as I'm kegging.
Campden tablets are potassium metabisulfite. You can crush one per gallon, and dissolve it in 1/4 cup boiling water (microwave is great) and rack the beer into it.

I'm not sure it'll save the beer, but between the campden and then sticking it in the fridge you might stop it from getting worse. The issue then might be infecting your beer lines/tap with whatever you've got there. Looks like pedio or lacto, but it's hard to tell in a picture.

Is it sour? Or horsey? Any "rope" like slime"
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Old 10-28-2010, 04:14 PM   #5
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Hmm... I'm just racked a dark ale to secondary three days ago and I'm seeing a similar thing in the secondary (mainly a ring of dime- to halfdollar-sized fermentation "hotpots" on the surface, about 2 inches from the wall of the carboy). Mine doesn't have the interconnecting lines shown in your picture, but it otherwise looks about the same.

I figured I'd just racked it too early and the transfer just excited the yeast a bit. Now I'm going to have to take a sniff when I get home.

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Old 10-28-2010, 05:06 PM   #6
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Smells sour; doesn't smell as sour as it did upon first taking the airlock off, probably because I let the air out. I'm not terribly concerned, I would actually be pleased if the beer has a little sour bite to it, despite that not being my original intention.

If I just wash out my keg with starsan and run it through my tap, wouldn't that take care of any possible infection?

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