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Old 01-10-2011, 04:38 PM   #1
schmaltzy
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Default Possible Contamination???

New member and first time post! I am fairly new to brewing and I love it! I brewed two batches about a year ago (a honey ale and a red ale) and would like to start brewing on a more regular basis.

I just brewed a new batch of beer and about 3 days ago I transferred it to my secondary. I am pretty strict about sanitizing everything but I think I may have a problem with this batch.

A little background: I used a "Brewers Best" Dunkelweizen kit. Everything started out great and seemed to be fermenting just fine. At the 5 day mark, I transferred it into my glass carboy (secondary) to let it finish out the fermentation process. I started out with a 1.053 specific gravity (Brewers Best says the OG should be around 1.049-1.053) and at the time it went to the secondary I was sitting at 1.025 which put my ABV at 3.7%.

The transfer went good but a couple hours after the transfer I expected a little CO2 to be bubbling out of the airlock but I haven't seen anything. Should I be concerned or just let it go? Should I pitch some more yeast?

Second problem is I think I may have a contamination problem? A day after I transferred my beer into the carboy, I noticed about half a dozen white dots about 1/8" diameter. Mold? I am pretty strict about using a one step sanitizer and I thought I had cleaned every pretty throughly. I think I should know within a couple more days whether it is mold for sure or not, but if it is I'm guessing I will have to dump it. Is there anything else it could be?

Thanks for any and all help!

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Old 01-10-2011, 04:41 PM   #2
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1. you transferred early and likely didn't allow fermentation to finish. leave it sit for now and check back in a few days with a hydrometer to see if you didn't inadvertently cause your fermentation to end by racking early.

2. you are probably looking at yeast rafts that resurfaced on account of the rack to secondary - nothing to worry about at this point.

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Old 01-10-2011, 04:53 PM   #3
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UBER thanks for the help! I know it's probably stupid, but I have been stressing over the fact that I may have to dump 5 gallons of beer!

1. Would pitching more yeast help? Or just shut up and let it go for a bit?

2. How will I know if it is mold or yeast rafts?

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Old 01-10-2011, 05:01 PM   #4
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I was about to ask the same exact question. I transferred a NB Peace Coffee Stout Porter after 2 weeks. OG 1.041 to 1.018. No bubbles in airlock and same white dots which I'm hoping are from StarSan.

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Old 01-10-2011, 05:04 PM   #5
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I have to agree with Smokeater; I think you transferred everything too early. I generally wait at least a full seven days before taking my first hydro reading to make sure I am on track and then a second to confirm that fermentation is completed.
Regarding infection, I became nervous about that recently (i.e. yesterday). Infection is very noticeable; if you do a search on these forums you can see instances when infection has occurred.

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Old 01-10-2011, 05:12 PM   #6
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Chillax everyone!
First, I think you did transfer a bit early. My schedule goes 3 weeks in primary and a few more if it's a bigger beer. But I think that any time you want to use a secondary you really want to make sure the fermentation is done before racking. The gravity looked like it could have gone down a few points yet.

Depending on the temperature, there could have been some residual CO2 left in the beer, or not much. It could have been let loose during the transfer.

But anyway, the main point to remember, is that your airlock may not bubble at all, especially if you are using a bucket. If the bucket has a small leak, CO2 could be escaping before it can push up the airlock. Trust the hydrometer, not the airlock!

And infections are very rare if you follow basic sanitation practices. I've seen only a few actual infection on this site, and countless threads claiming to have them. Let it ride and give it a taste when it's ready to bottle/keg. You'll know then if it's bad or not.

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Old 01-10-2011, 05:16 PM   #7
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Alright, I've come to the conclusion that I racked it TOO early! Would pitching more yeast help me get the SG down a little more or should I just let it ride a little longer in the secondary to get it to drop?

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Old 01-10-2011, 05:39 PM   #8
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what is your gravity today?

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Old 01-10-2011, 05:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schmaltzy View Post
Alright, I've come to the conclusion that I racked it TOO early! Would pitching more yeast help me get the SG down a little more or should I just let it ride a little longer in the secondary to get it to drop?
NO need to pitch more yeast. "Patience" may be a word you are unfamiliar with but it's time to work that into your schedule.

Leave it for another couple of weeks without touching it - without adding any more yeast...
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phatuna View Post
what is your gravity today?
I just check my SG and it's still at a 1.024 today. Now it is based on the beer that is in my satellite fermenter but it was switch to a new bottle when I transferred the main batch into my secondary.

I'll just leave it for a couple weeks....then I should know.
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