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Old 12-15-2010, 08:26 PM   #1
psyklopz
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Default What is that growing in my bottles?

Hi, everyone.

This is a follow-up to my earlier post:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/what...ng-top-210126/

Well, a week and a half has passed and now my bottles have this weird flaky stuff growing on the inside of the bottles all around the side walls:

http://imgur.com/PLtjk.jpg

This is not in suspension-- it is actually attached to the inside of the bottle... Well, there is some stuff also floating in suspension, but most flakes have affixed themselves to the bottle.

This is my 3rd batch [although my first Cooper's Canadian Blond], and I've never seen this phenomenon before.

Likewise, there is something floating on top of the beer, somewhat akin to what I saw in the carboy (which I showed my my original thread, although the photos were pretty bad):

http://imgur.com/4jQUh.jpg


This is not carbonation, as far as I can tell. It doesn't dissipate-- it maintains its own integrity pretty well.

Of course, there is also a mini yeast cake growing on the bottom of the bottle.

I drank a couple of bottles-- the stuff is still pretty green, but it didn't kill me. It didn't taste awful (maybe the alcohol was too high for such a light beer, though-- tasted sort of 'fruity', but then pretty 'alcoholy', if that makes sense).

But what is this crazy stuff inside the bottles? The optimist inside me wants to believe it's yeast, but I've never seen yeast stick to the sides of the bottle like this before, or float on top.

Anyone have any experience with this?

Please tell me to RDWHAHB

Thanks

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Old 12-15-2010, 09:58 PM   #2
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What you see on the sides of the bottles is almost certainly yeast. It does that sometimes, I can't remember the cause. It is usually on just one side of the bottle; someething is attracting it to that side.

I don't know what is on the top. My guess would be an infection. If there is a ring around the bottle at the liquid level, then it is an infection. Drink quick.

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Old 12-15-2010, 10:02 PM   #3
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The stuff on top-- if i shake it a little bit, they sink.

Kinda weird.

Is it possible the stuff on top is floating yeast? Does yeast float?

If it is infected, will it hurt me to drink it?

Thanks

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Old 12-15-2010, 10:08 PM   #4
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I'm betting you are simply seeing a bottle krausen trying to form during carbontation. Doesn't mean anything...

Secondly to the "will it hurt me to drink it?" comment,

I wrote this awhile ago and it's been posted all through here. It was written for an old thread. But the information is something you all need to know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy
Ok for the sake of all the noobs on here, who are terrified that one wrong look at their fermenter and it is going to turn poisonous and kill them,

Get it straight people, no known pathogens can grow in your beer....nothing in your beer can kill you. Or make you sick!!!!!

In fact it was because water was often dangerous to drink that brewing became popular to begin with, because the brewing process killed most pathogens including e-coli

That's why the even brewed table beers, the third runnings from a partigyle session so that the children could have a drink that was safe to consume....

I came across this from a pretty well known and award winning homebrewer railing against a fellow brewer (it was on one of those "color coded" brewboards where they are a little less friendly than we are.) I just cut and pasted it and stuck it in a file...here it is.

Quote:
Can you get a PATHOGEN from beer. No. NO *NO* Did I make that clear? You have a ZERO chance of pathogens in beer, wine, distilled beverages. PERIOD!

Pathogens are described as organisms that are harmful and potentially life threatening to humans. These are some 1400+ known species overall encompasing viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and helminths. Of that group, we are only interested in those that can be foodborne. Quite simply, if it can't survive in food, it isn't in beer. That knocks out all but bacteria and fungi. Viruses need very specific circumstances to be passed around... like on the lip of a glass or bottle, not the beer in it. **Ahhh...CHOOO!**

Pathogens as a rule are very fastidious beasts. Meaning that they want very specific temperatures, acidity, nutrients and other conditions to thrive.

Bacteria that *could* live in wort, cannot survive even a little bit of fermentation. There are several reasons for this. One is in the 'magic' of hops. It is the isomerized alpha acids that provide a preservative effect to the beer, which happens to inhibit pathogens! Good deal for fresh wort!

Another reason is the drop in pH from fermentation. Next, yeast emit their own enzymes and byproducts, all in an effort to make the environment hostile to other creatures. The major one is alcohol, of course, but their enzymes will break down less vigorous organisms and they become sources of trace nutrition. Now the latter is very minor compared to the effect of alcohol, but it exists! Most of the time these enzymes work on the wort, not organisms until late in the process. Good deal for beer! ...uh, wine too.

Oh, Botulism specifically... did you know that this is an anaerobic pathogen? It's toxin is one of the few that is broken down by boiling. Did you know tht it is strongly inhibited by isomerized alpha acids, even in water? Since fresh wort has a healthy amount of oxygen in it, the beastie cannot even get started, then once the O2 is used up, it doesn't have a chance against the hops or the yeast.

All that is left are a handful of acid producing bacteria that'll ruin a batch of beer. Overall, there are less than 200 organisms that can survive in beer and lend flavor effects. None of these for very long, or very often. Lambic being the sole exception, and if pathogens *could* survive, that'd be the style where you find 'em.

Since nothing pathogenic can grow in beer, that's a really silly worry.
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psyklopz View Post
If it is infected, will it hurt me to drink it?

Thanks
Well your not dead yet. you ask after you drank it. I have no idea what is in your bottle but my hats off to you for giving it a try anyway.
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:31 PM   #6
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OK, I'll drink it!

Revvy-- don't worry, I remember your advice to wait 3 weeks in the bottle before drinking...

As for it not killing me already-- yeah. Kinda asking things backwards

Hopefully someday *I'll* be the one telling people not to worry.

Thanks again everyone!

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Old 12-15-2010, 10:43 PM   #7
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...by the way, this beer *did* have loads of krausen when it was first fermenting. More than I had ever seen with my other batches.

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Old 12-22-2010, 09:44 PM   #8
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I think I have positively identified what the stuff floating on top is.

I'm replying in case anyone else ever runs into the same problem...

After 2 weeks, the stuff floating on top of the bottles hasn't grown. It hasn't gone away. It has remained exactly the same. So, it's definitely not alive (bacteria or yeast), because that would have continued to grow or change.

It's not bottle krausen because it hasn't changed or shrunk at all.

When I pour a bottle, these little flakes floating on top end up sinking to the bottom of my glass. They are somewhat crystalline. That was my first clue.

I took a bottle to my local home brew store and the owner confirmed my suspicion:

These are crystals of oxy-san-- the stuff I use to sanitize everything.

For those of you not familiar with oxy-san, it's a Canadian product that is non-toxic and is supposedly 'no-rinse'.

Lesson from this batch: make sure the oxy-san is rinsed out of everything after sanitizing.

I know I ought to know better anyway, but I never thought of this result before (and it hasn't been an issue in 2 previous batches).

As for the film inside the bottles along the walls-- that is definitely yeast.

Thanks again everyone!

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Old 12-23-2010, 12:16 AM   #9
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I recently bottled a Lager and I put it in Flip Top bottles. You can read a news paper through it they are so clear but I have the same thing on the sides of the bottle. Not quite as heavy as you are showing but looks the same.

After I drank one, I rinsed the bottle out and it appears to be yeast. I have it on some bottles and not on others. After closer inspection after washing the bottles, it appears that there is some roughness in the glass and the little yeasties grabbed a foothold on there. This might explain why I see it on some bottles but not on others.

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