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Old 04-23-2012, 04:56 PM   #1
Lancer033
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Default what's the black layer at the top of my Wee Heavy

Northern Brewer Wee Heavy extract kit with specialty grains brewed 2 weeks ago. Yesterday i racked it to a secondary carboy. A few hours later i noticed that the top ~ 1/2 inch layer was black while the rest was a dark brown like i expected. WTF is that? I'm planning to leave it for about 2 months then keg it for bulk aging.



SPECIALTY GRAIN
-- 0.5 lbs English Medium Crystal
-- 0.375 lbs Belgian Biscuit
-- 0.125 lbs English Roasted Barley
FERMENTABLES
-- 12 lbs Gold malt syrup (60 min)
HOPS & FLAVORINGS
-- 1 oz German Northern Brewer (60 min)
DANSTAR NOTTINGHAM ALE YEAST. Optimum temp: 57°-70° F.

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Old 04-23-2012, 05:39 PM   #2
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Looks like sediment dropping out, clarifying the beer top-down to me...you should be good.

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Old 04-23-2012, 06:18 PM   #3
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You sometimes see a layer of clearer or different color beer or wine on top. It should be fine.

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Old 04-23-2012, 06:50 PM   #4
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Most people will probably tell you it is no problem. However, it is very dark and ominous which I would personally take as a sign of the end times.

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Old 04-24-2012, 12:30 AM   #5
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Well, 24hrs later that black layer is about 3 inches thick so I guess it is just stuff settling out of solution. Never seen the color change like that though.

it's like watching a glass of Guinness in super-slow-motion

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Old 05-01-2012, 03:30 PM   #6
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ironically, it now appears that i may have my 1st infection forming there's a white film covering the top now. Still smells okay, I'll taste a sample this weekend and see how it tastes. Maybe i'll get lucky.

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Old 05-01-2012, 06:59 PM   #7
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Shoot another picture so we can confirm. If it's infected and down to final gravity, keg that sucker up and drink it this week if it doesn't taste bad NOW. If it is infected and you wait until the weekend, it will be toast.

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Old 05-02-2012, 01:14 PM   #8
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this is only a week and a half into what i had planned to be a 2 month secondary.

here it is on day one when i 1st asked about that black layer


this is day 2 with things starting to settle out.


this is it this morning. sorry, the picture isn't better. just a thin white film starting to form.

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Old 05-02-2012, 05:18 PM   #9
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I don't know that I'd panic yet. My cider had a little junk around the edges like that and it was just CO2 escaping in tiny bubbles.

Hard to tell from that photo, though. Beer in a carboy is a PITA to photograph well...

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Old 05-02-2012, 05:30 PM   #10
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thanks. I'll probably just let it ride, it's basically just a really thin film that doesn't look bad, I've just never seen that before, but the beer still smells great. The plan was 2 months in secondary, then keg and age for 5-6 months. Unless it goes funky, I'm going to stick with that plan.

I should not that i did pitch it at about 75' and the A/C did go out one day and it got up to ~78 in the afternoon. Other than that, it's been right around 70'

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