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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Moldy Top?
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Old 03-30-2007, 04:42 PM   #1
Georgian Novice
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Default Moldy Top?

Here is a question for you all that I think I already know the answer too. . .but we will see.

I have a friend who made the Octane IPA kit from Midwest about 5 weeks ago, standard 5 gallons. Brew went well, put it in primary. He forgot to put the middle piece in the 3-piece airlock overnight and caught it the next morning. Vigorous fermentation.

Transfered it to glass carboy for secondary after 1 week. Dry hopped it and also put wood chips in that came with kit. He boiled the chips for 15 minutes but did not do anything with the hops. No bag, just threw it in there.

1 week goes by. He notices quite a bit of bubbling at the surface. It is primarily green (which we assume is the hops) and some white patches. Frankly, it looks like mold a bit. He checks the airlock and upon fooling with it a bit he forces it too much, breaks it, and the sanitized liquid goes into the beer. He puts a new airlock on it. etc.

2 weeks go by. I came over to see it and we did a hydrometer reading and a taste test. Tasted fine, a little "burnt" taste a bit, but probably from the wood chips, hydro meter reading was right at it's supposed FG, 1.018. He left it for another week.

He transferred it to a tertiary last week and after 5 weeks it looks like the picture shown. Still a moldy type of layer, green and white, looks like penicillan, and we have about 3 gallons left after all the trub and sediment has been racked off. It is still bubbling about 1 per 10 seconds or so after 5 weeks.

Whatchall Think? Mold? Bad bacteria? Great brew?

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Old 03-30-2007, 04:57 PM   #2
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I vote for great brew.

You have a lot of "extras" in those fermenters with the extra hops and wood chips. I'd guess that at a G of 1.018, you still have some room to drop and there is still pretty active fermentation.

Is there white sediment being built up on the bottom of the fermenter? Another sign that your yeast is active digesting sugars.

I'd get in the habit of getting a reading every other day to make sure your gravity is dropping.

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Old 03-30-2007, 05:35 PM   #3
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Suggestion on the sanitizing liquid in the airlock: I always use cheap Vodka. The alcohol content is high enough that nothing will grow in it but if any gets spilled or sucked back into the beer all it does is boost the ABV a tiny bit no off flavors or chemicals to worry about.

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Old 03-31-2007, 12:29 AM   #4
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So this brew has been actively fermenting for 5 weeks straight? What temperature are you at? What does the hydrometer say the FG is now? I think you said it was 1.018 when you racked from the secondary 2 weeks ago and it is still fermenting away -- that doesn't sound good....

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Old 04-03-2007, 11:34 PM   #5
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I have brewed an IPA from Midwest Supplies, and my brew definitely stopped bubbling after about one week in the primary fermenter. There was a very slight greenish tint to the krausen, but nothing much. I put it in the secondary with the hops that Midwest gave me for dry-hopping, and I did not notice much more fermentation activity after that point. Considering that your beer is STILL fermenting after 5 weeks, and judging from that picture, it appears that you have a contaminated batch. You've got mold, and probably a gusher bug, which is consuming ALL of the sugars (both complex and simple) in your beer. If it tastes ok, I guess drink it, but I would scrap the brew at this point and try again, making sanitation a priority.

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Old 04-04-2007, 01:45 AM   #6
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I would suspect that it's infected too. If the top floaties looks furry, or it smells like vinegar/sour/awful/not beer, then it's infection.

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Old 04-07-2007, 03:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eviltwinofjoni
I would suspect that it's infected too. If the top floaties looks furry, or it smells like vinegar/sour/awful/not beer, then it's infection.
Yep, definitely one of those things where you throw up your hands and say, hmmm, not sure. We went ahead and bottled it and will try it in a week or so. If it tastes bad, time for tossing. I will update at that time.
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:39 PM   #8
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Default Looks like I have mold, too....

I've been brewing for 8 years, and I guess I should feel lucky, this is my first mishap....I pulled the secondary out of the closet last night and noticed immediately that something was wrong. The top was white and unsavory looking. I got out my tattered "The complete joy of homebrewing" and determined it's mold. I know from that that it "won't kill you" but it didn't really give much in the way of what to do about it this time. Lots of how to prevent it, which is good....
I was planning on bottling tonight. Should I try to remove it before preparing to bottle? I haven't removed the airlock yet. So I don't know how it smells, tastes, etc. I called the friendly folks at my local homebrew supply, he said to just plunge ahead, transfer as I normally would and try not to disturb the mold top too much. And taste it to see how it tasted after I transfered it over. Any thoughts on anything else I can try? Or something I should do?

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Old 06-04-2007, 10:23 PM   #9
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to the issue of an IPA still fermenting actively after 5 weeks it does seem odd. my first beer was an IPA only took a week to ferment. turned out great to.

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Old 06-04-2007, 10:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texas red
...I was planning on bottling tonight. Should I try to remove it before preparing to bottle? I haven't removed the airlock yet. So I don't know how it smells, tastes, etc....(
If you're sure it's mold (I have my doubts), rack the beer to your bottling bucket and sacrifice a pint or two by avoiding the surface material.

Could be that you just have a long fermenting beer and the krausen continues to sit in a sudsy like state.
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