Moldy pellicle- to bottle or to kill with campden! - Home Brew Forums

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Old 03-23-2011, 05:33 PM   #1
catie0501
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Mar 2011
Brooklyn, New York
Posts: 12


So I am pretty new to brewing and I just brewed about six 2.5 gallon batches and one of them *undeniably* has something else growing in there! I went away for a 10 day trip and when I returned this is what I found- From what I gathered from internet research it is Brett.
Here is the best picture I could get:



The gravity has been at about 1.0125 for 10 days.

Finally worked up the courage to taste it and it seems OK. Like green beer.

Do I go ahead with bottling? (big moldy bubbles but, tastes okay and stable FG)

Or- do I throw a campden tablet in there then re-rack it on to a non-infected yeast cake (same yeast) to get it all yeasty again? (I don't want bottle bombs!)

Thanks for your advice on this one!! I love HBT for all my noob questions!!
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:38 PM   #2
COLObrewer
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Jan 2009
Pea Green, Colorado
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Wow! that's amazing growth for 10 days what was the yeast used?
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:42 PM   #3
TipsyDragon
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Mar 2009
California
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i would just dump that batch and be happy with the other 5.

 
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:58 PM   #4
erikpete18
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Apr 2009
Seattle, WA
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I'm not one of those people that says never dump a beer, since I don't see the point in drinking beer that you're not happy with. However, if you've got the space and really think its Brett (I don't have a lot of experience with it yet, so can't really tell), I say leave it in the fermenter with the brett for another 6-12 months and see if it improves . If that is Brett, I know some people who would kill for a pellicle like that!

Edit: Forgot to say, bottling would definitely work if you're happy with the beer right now, and much better if its not Brett and something worse!

 
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:21 PM   #5
twigboy2000
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Jun 2009
Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 118

1.012 is still fairly high for bottling if you have Brett in there. It could eat down as low as the 1.002-1.004 range. You don't want bottles exploding.

That's a pretty nice pellicle for 10 days. Probably had a lot of O2 in the fermenter for it to grow like that.

What was the initial recipe on that beer? OG? Mash temps?

-chuck
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:43 PM   #6
catie0501
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Mar 2011
Brooklyn, New York
Posts: 12

Thanks for all your comments! though I still don't know what to do...haha

Right now I am leaning towards bottling even with that crazy pellicle- I mean the FG is relatively low hasn't change for 10 days! BUT PLEASE advise is it is just stupid to bottle with that kind of pellicle.

I popped the fermenter in the fridge to at least slow down growth while I figure it out.
I'd rather not dump it (especially since it does not taste sour or rancid).
and I did NOT intend to make a sour beer, so my "brett" diagnosis is probably stupid.
It looks like big white moldy bubbles.
And yes there is ample head space for O2 and used a loose fitting cap on the fermenter jug (no airlock)

So here is some more information.
The recipe (I 1/2ed it):
(My alterations included using a dry "belgian style" yeast (pink packet...have to get back to you on the name), and I have a feeling my mash temps where too high. I also added a wee bit of honey to the boiling wort for fun and because I was a little short on the sugar. It fermented at about 65 degrees for the first week or so and then I think it got a little more hot and humid while I was out of town-leading to the rapid growth.
My OG was 1:051)

All Grain Recipe - Chimay Red ::: 1.064/1.015 (5.5 Gal)
Grain Bill (75% Efficiency assumed)

11 lbs. - Maris Otter - 2 Row malt
1 lb. - Candi Sugar (ligh to medium in color) make your own
1/2 lb. - Caramunich Malt
1/4 lb. - Aromatic Malt
1 oz. - Chocolate Malt (optional)
Hop Schedule (28 IBU)

1.25 oz. - Tettnang - 60 min.
1/2 oz. - Galena - 15 min.
1/4 oz. - Styrian Goldings - 15 min.

Yeast

White Labs Abbey Ale Yeast (WLP530) - 1800 ml starter

Mash/Sparge/Boil

Mash at 151 for 60 min.
Sparge as usual
Boil for 60 minutes (remember to compensate your water)
Add the Candi Sugar near the end of the boil to prevent browning
Cool and ferment at 68 to 72


 
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:08 PM   #7
catie0501
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Mar 2011
Brooklyn, New York
Posts: 12

after reviewing all of this anyone want to weigh in on to bottle or not to bottle?

Or my campden then repitch idea?

....help! ......

 
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:17 PM   #8
erikpete18
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Apr 2009
Seattle, WA
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Yeah, I didn't think about bottling if it is Brett. Trouble with Brett is that it works so slowly, it can be hard to tell by looking at it over the course of 10 days like you mentioned. Of course, that also means that it should take a while to actually turn into bottle bombs, but I never like to tempt fate .

If you decide to bottle, I would definitely hit it with some campden tabs first, then just toss a little bit of dry yeast in when you add your priming sugar. (Although, I'm still a fan of my let it ride idea, but I also like funky beers!)

 
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:17 PM   #9
jtakacs
 
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Feb 2011
Santa Rosa, CA
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i don't know about you guys, but if its moldy, i'd throw it out. if its brett, just leave it alone until gravity stabilizes for a week... i've got a few beers fermenting with brett right now and none look like that... brett does not equal mold and from everything i can gather brett has a very clean fermentation process and just looks cleaner than sacc while fermenting. for regular ale yeast, i have no idea why you have a pellicle.

 
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:41 AM   #10
catie0501
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Mar 2011
Brooklyn, New York
Posts: 12

Thanks for your input everyone!!!

okay so in case anyone is curious how this one is going I think I realized a couple things...

First of all there were a couple hot days here (SC) while I was away and I forgot to adjust the thermostat so the AC would kick on!! So I think the room got a little hot and humid.

In addition, one of my batches really took off and sort of had a blow out right before I left. I cleaned it up, but the towel the fermenters were sitting on was damp.
hmm..so beer dampened towel in a very small space in a hot humid room? Sounds like a nice environment for mold spores to drift into my beer!!!

Now I am hoping my other batches are okay!!!!

I moved the fermenter around so much today in a panic that the pellicle broke and now the beer does taste sour....

In retrospect, I wish I had just re-racked or bottled it right away when it tasted good and surrounded the bottles with a tarp in case they bombed...
owell....

really hope the others don't get moldy too..

 
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