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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Pellicle after racking to secondary?
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:28 PM   #1
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Default Pellicle after racking to secondary?

Hey all,

So I brewed up about 7 gallons of KingBrianI's Common Room ESB nearly three weeks ago (8/19/12) and racked it to secondary on Sunday. Needless to say, I checked today and it was forming a pellicle in the secondary. W T F? I took a sample and it tastes GREAT! Way better than the last sample about a week ago. I am going to blame this on my siphon hose, and hope it didn't infect my next batch. As this is done fermenting and essentially just in secondary to clarify, would any of you recommend bottling tonight??? I really want to save this batch as it really tastes and looks awesome.

I'll post a pic shortly, but to describe, there are sporadic bubbles (like pizza dough) and the surface is wax-like. Almost like parchment paper.

Here:

Thanks!

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Old 09-06-2012, 10:57 PM   #2
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If it is infected, then you have to be careful when bottling as the infection will eat the sugars your yeast wouldn't and could make things go boom... If you do decide to package instead of age it, do carefully and keep the bottles in a tupperware or other "bomb shelter"

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Old 09-07-2012, 01:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OClairBrew View Post
If it is infected, then you have to be careful when bottling as the infection will eat the sugars your yeast wouldn't and could make things go boom... If you do decide to package instead of age it, do carefully and keep the bottles in a tupperware or other "bomb shelter"
This suuuuucks. Is it possible that I caught it early enough? I took a gravity reading and it was the same as it was last week.
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:42 PM   #4
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I mean, it looks like an infection... But the gravity hasn't moved since Sunday, it tastes great, and it smells great. Is there ANY possibility that this isn't infected? I really just want to know if anyone on here would recommend bottling (albeit with a bit less priming sugar), storing in a big plastic tote with a top in case of bottle bombs, and drinking this rapidly? If it does happen to sour, would that occur in the bottle?

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Old 09-07-2012, 02:44 PM   #5
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Hmmm. It definitely is infected but by what? If oxygen is eliminated from the batch then the aerobic bug will cease to be effective but the anaerobic one will thrive. If it has a slight cider type taste then it is acetobacter and can be bottled to stop the conversion to malt vinegar. The waxy coating leads me to believe it. Any fruit flies in your area? I recently had one aceto infection that I nipped in the bud and it's fine. Bottling will solve this issue.

If it is a type of Brett infection then it would be hard to tell without a good amount of time since it is quite slow to get the funk and attenuation. If it was a type of Brett I'D let it ride in secondary but make sure first.

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Old 09-07-2012, 02:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by djbradle View Post
Hmmm. It definitely is infected but by what? If oxygen is eliminated from the batch then the aerobic bug will cease to be effective but the anaerobic one will thrive. If it has a slight cider type taste then it is acetobacter and can be bottled to stop the conversion to malt vinegar. The waxy coating leads me to believe it. Any fruit flies in your area? I recently had one aceyo infection that I nipped in the bud and it's fine.

If it is a type of Brett infection then it would be hard to tell without a good amount of time since it is quite slow to get the funk and attenuation. If it was a type of Brett I'D let it ride in secondary but make sure first.
Yea, I've had fruit flies that I attempted to alleviate by spraying the outside of all of my fermenters with a starsan solution. GRRR.
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:10 PM   #7
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They are known to carry copious amounts of acetobacter. This is how I got the one infection in my tripel due to a very slightly open fermentation.

Does it taster cidery? Your "wax" covering is more advanced then mine was and the beer was bottled up before the entire surface was covered. Again I say if it has a cider characteristic it is only going to get worse in the bulk aging department ( not even needed since it is an esb) unless you place a solid bung on there locked on tight somehow but at this point I would bottle and wait it out if indeed it is acetobacter. When racking the waxy coating will fall like dust particles into the beer and of course be siphoned right up into the bottles from the bucket, not a big deal as the infection will be stopped once placed in an oxy resistant environment and the beer will still carb with priming sugar and yeast.

I've had fruit flies somehow become floaters in my bubble type airlocks filled with bourbon WITH the cap attached. Who knows how they managed to get inside but luckily in those cases there was no suck back!

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Old 09-07-2012, 03:20 PM   #8
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Man!! I seriously filled my airlocks to the fill line with GIN and placed the tops on! Sneaky B*&%#$#$! It doesn't taste cidery in the least. Tastes like a complex malty beer with mild bitterness. It's great. That's what I don't understand. I think I probably just caught it that early. I'm going to bottle tonight and pray for the best. Hopefully the tote catches any boomers.

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Old 09-07-2012, 03:21 PM   #9
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This is a good example of why you shouldn't secondary unless you need to.

What is your sanitation process

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Old 09-07-2012, 03:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thehopguy View Post
This is a good example of why you shouldn't secondary unless you need to.

What is your sanitation process
I totally agree.

My sanitation process involves soaking everything in starsan for the recommended time (swirl it around in the carboy for a couple minutes, tip it, rack directly onto the foam). Pull starsan solution through my autosiphon and tubing. Dip the airlock and stopper in starsan while taking hydrometer readings, shake and replace.
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