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Old 04-10-2010, 01:47 AM   #1
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Default Jumping murphy - 1.002 FG?!

1. If there is an infection in a beer that is fermented out, but has no off flavors, will bottling it and naturally carbonating it cause problems in the bottle?

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The rest of the story...

AG IPA kit - my first IPA and my first AG.

Tomorrow is bottling day and I've been watching what I think is an infection growing. It could be some "yeasties" floating about but just doesn't look right to me so I'm going with some wild yeast. The aroma isn't terrible... very very slight banana nose to it but otherwise mild beer aroma - no hops in the nose. This was my first AG attempt and used Wyeat's Thames Valley. SG was 1.046. So I brought it upstairs anticipating opening it up and being disappointed. I had taken a little peak through the lid (plastic bucket fermenter) and saw what I thought was a pellicle growing. I took the lid off and while there is a slight film in spots it isn't robust. Could be a young pellicle, hard to say I guess - no experience in that, this would be my first infection. I sanitize a ladle and fill my hydrometer jar and take a reading - 1.002 FG. I guess I expected somewhere around 1.01 to 1.008. I tip the jar, brace myself for tartness, and take a sip. To my pleasant surprise there isn't even the slightest hint of tartness. Medium bitterness, low body (wish there was more), nice maltiness, and clean ending palette. I have my wife take a hit (Bud and similar beers drinker) and she loves it. Almost forgot to mention - beer is crystal clear. Been in the fermenter just short of a month.

So... I guess... I'm just surprised by that complete a fermentation all things considered. I'm still thinking I've got something going on in there besides the yeast I put in and am therefor further surprised by the lack of off flavors. The lack of body coincides with the completeness of the fermentation. I was bracing myself for a BOMB but I think this will make a nice hot summer night beer.

Moral - you think its infected? Better be dang sure it is beyond hope before you give up on it.

Will run for beer...

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Old 04-10-2010, 02:02 AM   #2
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A low mash temp combined with the low SG could have been the cause of such a low FG. What was your mash temp?

A pellicle from wild yeast is usually a very slow process that can take months to form.

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Old 04-10-2010, 02:10 AM   #3
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I had something similar happen (no pellicle, just bubbling that lasted for a couple months) when I dry hopped a beer. It originally fermented out to 1.008 or so, then refermented in the secondary to 1.004. The wonderful body and flavor it exhibited upon transfer was gone. It didn't have any strong off flavors, but it wasn't worth drinking. I made the mistake of dry hopping with hops that had been clearly repackaged by the now out of business LHBS.
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Old 04-10-2010, 02:13 PM   #4
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If the gravity is stable at 1.002, it probably isn't infected. A gusher infection strips out all of the unfermentables and the gravity will go under 1.000.
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