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Old 04-22-2013, 05:13 AM   #1
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Default Oh, why not get paranoid... is *this* an infection



This batch was always a bit different from my others. Then again this is the first time I ever used liquid yeast (WYEAST 2112 Cal. Lager). This batch (a 2-gallon batch) never bubbled and foamed as much as my other batches and its fermentation was less turbulant. Had a thin layer of krausen which after eight days has dissipated leaving a thin layer of grainy bubbles whereas my other batches the krausen got old but stayed thick (at least 1/2 an inch).

I forgot to sanitize the yeast package when I opened it so I folded it shut and did a brief dunk in sanitizer and then pitched.

Don't know if wyeast is less foamy that dry yeast. It *did* ferment and form a small krausen layer but compared to my other batches (including one using yeast cultivated from a ginger root) it was never as vivacious.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:17 AM   #2
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give her a taste! You'll know.

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Old 04-22-2013, 05:36 AM   #3
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+1 on tasting. Also, what signs that are present made you think of an infection? Does the fermenting beer smell wierd? If you performed your normal sanitary regime then just taste it. Sometimes yeast acts funny making us think something is wrong. Usually the answer is just patience, let it do its thing and then see what the outcome is. Let us know after you take a swig.

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Old 04-22-2013, 05:42 AM   #4
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Will I notice in the taste? It's a bit sharp and sour but not that I'd have noticed if I weren't being paranoid.


Took the lid off and peeked in (not supposed to do that-- hope I didn't infect it doing that). Didn't look so bad directly rather than through the brown plastic. But those little floaty thick bits in the corner that look rather chalky and solid concern me. However there are a lot of large flakey white bits like what they are made of floating about. In small flakes they look like flocated yeast (except very large flakes). Got a few in my sample and tasted them directly and they taste... rather bland ... and yeasty.

I guess I am being paranoid. Still those two angular rectangular rafty bits are rather creepy looking.

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Old 04-22-2013, 05:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pharaohpierre View Post
Also, what signs that are present made you think of an infection? ... Sometimes yeast acts funny making us think something is wrong.
It's acting funny and those two angular rectangular rafter bits (which are about an inch long) looked creepily mold/slime like. That's all. Smells fine and tastes fine (except I'm being paranoid so I'm noticing sharp tastes that are probably normal.) There was a small skimmy layer that looked moldish when seen through the brown plastic, but when I looked under the hood they looked like beer bubbles.

I think I am being paranoid. Also, in a perverse way, I thought if I had managed to get an infection it'd be something to brag about and worth posting...

As I said, it's the first time with this yeast (and first time with liquid) so it probably was only a fraction as turbulent as dry yeast (which I understand have many more yeast cells in a package than a liquid yeast pack would have).
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:04 AM   #6
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Looks like yeast rafts and CO2 from de-gassing. Have you let the temp rise a bit in the last few days??
Probably hasn't been enough time passed for an infection to make itself apparent. Your yeast has more than likely only just finished the attenuation phase so it would have to be a really feisty infection to compete with and beat the yeast at this point.

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Old 04-22-2013, 06:06 AM   #7
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Opening the lid and tasting a sample shouldn't cause an infection as long as whatever touched the beer was sanitized. The alcohol content is high enough and the sugar content is low enough to fight off any normal infection that might occur.
As far as the flaky white bits are concerned, it could be flocculated yeast but normally that would sink to the bottom especially in lager yeast, but then again this is a hybrid yeast that is optimal around 62F. You said you tried it and it tasted bland and yeasty. Usually an infection would be highly noticeable. I think you are okay, let the beer hang out for another week and then let us know what you see, smell, and taste.

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Old 04-22-2013, 06:24 AM   #8
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I'm not controlling the temp. I'll admit that upfront. I'm a Californian and air conditioning is not a very common commodity. Been about 68 degrees pretty steady but this last week there have been moments when it's gotten to 71 or so.

Okay, so this is what yeast rafts look like? And yes, this is day eight going on nine. Yes attenuation does seem to be slow for this batch. Then again my other batches, by all accounts I've heard, seemed to be particularly precocious; foam and swirl like crazy for two days and then settle down immediately. (Heck, the one I brewed yesterday morning already seems to be attenuating already!)

>>>"Opening the lid and tasting a sample shouldn't cause an infection as long as whatever touched the beer was sanitized. "

Yeah, I was being semi-ironic.

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Old 04-22-2013, 06:32 AM   #9
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Yeah, I just meant that if the temp of the brew had risen a bit in the last few days that would/could be all the stimulation necessary to help some of the residual CO2 that's in solution come out (de-gassing) and that's the clumps of fine bubbles you're seeing. Not a problem having the temp rise at 8 days. In fact, it'll help the yeast through the conditioning phase.

You can achieve pretty good temp control with a swamp cooler, especially in the first few days from pitching which are the most crucial in which to keep ferm temps at the lower end of the range, and as constant as possible, for the yeast you're using.

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Old 04-22-2013, 01:45 PM   #10
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Looks like yeast to me which should settle to the bottom as fermentation subsides. I'd let primary fermnation go a little longer, then taste when you check your gravity.

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