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-   -   Thick spongy layer on top? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/thick-spongy-layer-top-251088/)

davbrt5 06-13-2011 08:38 PM

Thick spongy layer on top?
Hi all, I'm Dave and after moving house i found my neighbours dabbled in a bit of home brewing and quickly took it up myself (love it). ive made some beer and cider and started on some wines, so far all from kits, but after reading around and spotting 5 litres of fruit juice carelessly left on the side by the wife that had no preservatives in it... i thought... it should work, and threw 3 litres into my 5 litre demijohn that was sat doing nothing and calculated the amount of sugar required. Turned out there was enough in the juice alone to start with and i can add to it later (or at least im lead to believe) however after 1 day i woke up and had a look and its now got what i can only describe as about an inch thick layer of spongy stuff (?) on top of it. I was meticulous in sterilising everything so i dont believe it can be an infection and there is plenty of activity in the airlock, i just cant seem to find anywhere that can tell me what it is or what i do about it.... Is it fine in there and i just disturb it now and then? do i leave it as it is... not a clue... if it helps the juice was some tesco 100% pressed apple, peach, mango and passion fruit (i couldnt resist trying to ferment it, just sounded too good in my head) the only ingredient bar the fruit juice is ascorbic acid which as far as i read was not a problem. Sorry for the essay :) trying to be thorough... Anyone have any information on this?

Foomoochoo 06-13-2011 08:47 PM

sounds like foam, which is normal with certain yeast. I have never seen a mass growth after one day from infection. Though someone else may have a better idea. Pics may help as well.

davbrt5 06-13-2011 09:19 PM


I honestly couldnt say, doesnt look like foam per say but then ive never had anything like this on the few things ive made... hope this img works...

Ok that pic came out bigger than expected...
the stuff on top appears to be solid and if disturbed will bob under water. The juice itself was smooth.

TopherM21 06-13-2011 10:14 PM

To me it just looks to be krausen (not too experienced with infections though).
Looks like the yeasties love them some juice!
What kind of yeast did you pitch and what volume are we looking at?

davbrt5 06-13-2011 10:32 PM

I used youngs super wine yeast compound, just what I had. There's 3 litres in there at the minute was planning to top up to 5 after 2 to 3 days. So should I leave it as it is to ferment or should I disturb it now.and then?

TopherM21 06-13-2011 10:51 PM

Let it be. With all the nutrients in the yeast compound, no wonder they formed such a great layer of krausen so quickly... looks nice and healthy from my perspective!

If/when you do feed it again, make sure you have some sort of blow-off on there as the little guys will likely kick it into high gear again.

What's your calculated ABV?

I'm interested to hear how this turns out.

davbrt5 06-13-2011 10:59 PM

Well that's reassuring, will it eventually fall to the bottom or am I going to end up siphoning through it? As for the calculated abv, I am still a newbie to this but I believe it should end up at about 13.5% from reading up on it.

TopherM21 06-14-2011 01:22 PM

From the yeast's description it looks like it floculates well, so the krausen should dissipate and the yeast should drop to the bottom.

The key is to be patient and let the yeast do its thing.

If you have room in your fridge, you can always "crash" the yeast as well. Again, let them finish up their work and then move the container into your fridge. The yeast should go to sleep and most will drop out of solution to the bottom. I do this all the time when I'm making cider.

What kind of final product are you going for? And what was the OG on the juice (before you added yeast)?

KevinM 06-14-2011 03:24 PM

In addition, it looks like it may be just stuff that the carbon dioxide that's generated by the yeast is sticking to. (ie nucleation points) It forms on things like other yeast, fining agents, fruit pulp, etc. It looks like a combination of the krausen (as mentioned before) and fruit pulp that's floating due to the CO2 collecting on them. More than likely, they'll settle down once the co2 is exhausted.

davbrt5 06-14-2011 04:15 PM

Topher the OG of the juice was 1.042, im not entirely sure of where im headed with this as im really not that experienced and it was a bit ad hoc in the way i did it, although from what ive read 1350grams of sugar should ferment out to about 13.5% if done in 5 litres (taking into account that the juice itself has 92grams per litre in it of course). ive been looking through the gravities of dry, sweet etc wines and i havent really decided yet although the nature of the juice used ill probably aim for something a little sweet. Maybe then the wife wont mind so much that i used her juice :) Planning on topping it up a little today with some more juice (the same) although i remember reading that if im going to be adding sugar im going to have to watch the volume of the liquid as sugar takes up space itself, but i cannot remember off the top of my head how much....

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