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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > White Film on surface of water in oak barrel
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Old 05-24-2010, 04:47 PM   #1
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Default White Film on surface of water in oak barrel

I bought an oak barrel from Infidel and used it to secondary a RIS about a month ago. Since then I purged it w/ water and left it filled w/ water until I checked it last week. When I opened up the barrel there was a white film on top of the water and when I poured it out it smelled like nail polish. I hate to assume but is this barrel infected? From everything that I've read online it seems as though it is. Sorry, I did not take any pics of the film in the barrel.

I have since put some whiskey in the barrel to slosh around for taste and will probably be puttin water back in it tonight. I'm just wondering if my barrel is infected what sort of beer I should do next!

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Old 05-24-2010, 06:27 PM   #2
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Yes it sounds like it is, sorry to say. You can try and salvage it by making a lambic and dumping some cultures in there, but I wouldn't put any more beer in it.

Next time, rinse it with hot water, drain it dry, and burn some sulphur in there to store it.

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Old 05-24-2010, 07:17 PM   #3
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Right on, I'm not mad at all about this. I'll just have to make a sour beer and see how it goes. I'm not too huge of a sour beer guy, but how knows, maybe I will become a convert after making one of my own!

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Old 05-24-2010, 09:22 PM   #4
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If it's infected with acetobacter... you'll be making vinegar. But putting pure water in a barrel - with some leftover RIS in the wood - will foster growth of a lot of different types of bacteria. It may not necessarily be the vinegar making kind, although it is quite a possibility.
In other words, once you put beer in there, it could kill a lot of the bacteria cultures, but it could also easily feed the acetobacter.
You'd probably have to put strong, hoppy beer in there for short periods of time to minimize the effects if it's infected.

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Old 05-24-2010, 09:40 PM   #5
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Is it possible to tell what kind of bacteria has infected my barrel?

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Old 05-24-2010, 10:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjk49202 View Post
Is it possible to tell what kind of bacteria has infected my barrel?
Not without lab equipment or putting something in there that could be converted.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:49 PM   #7
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+1 to carnevoodoo

You're gonna have to put in a batch and see what happens to really know.

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Old 05-25-2010, 12:51 AM   #8
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try a cambden bomb with Kmeta or campden tablets. since it's a whisky barrel i wouldn't dare burn sulfur near it just for safety. you never wanna keep water in your barrel for too long w/o some kinda Kmeta solution and you NEVER want to put hot water in your barrel (esp w/o Kmeta)! that's something that alot of people do and it's not good, there are a LOT of bacteria in your hot water heater!! that said, i also bought a barrel and everything that comes out is infected. these are very high alcohol beers that i otherwise wouldn't have thought possible to become infected due to high abv. shows what i know all the beers went into the barrel after minimum of 3 weeks primary @ around 1.030 and have come out after visual refermentation @ ~1.010 and then develop quasi-pellicle growth which is prob lacto; that's only guessing.
barleywine was first to go in back in december. i just popped the first 3 in the past few weeks and it's go a definite funkiness

this next one is a scotch ale that i put a lot of bourbon in. it was barreled for 6 weeks and it's been in secondary for 3 months.

i still have an oaked RIS that i don't wanna peek at just yet so no pix of that. these beers all taste delicous and i have no complaints really, but my beers have all taken a slight turn for the funk. i have a lot of sour beers around so everything in my place is probably already funked, but i'm curious if anyone else's "clean beers" / non sours have become funked in any way. brett's really gets everywhere so i prob have an internal problem unrelated to the group buy whisky barrels. esp since i can't see brett living through whisky abv environment. funk it

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Old 05-27-2010, 01:12 AM   #9
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bump for barrel talk. anyone got add'l insight?

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set I: Pale (3) -> Mild (4-5) -> amber / Victory (20-25) -> special roast (40-50) -> brown (70)
set II: pilsner (2) -> Vienna (3-4) -> Munich (8-10) -> dark Munich (20) -> aromatic / melanoiden (25-30)
encore: smoked (5)

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Old 12-07-2010, 09:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
bump for barrel talk. anyone got add'l insight?
I do not, I will update when I put a brew in the barrel. Which will be a couple months.
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