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Old 07-02-2011, 05:32 AM   #1
Jul 2011
Cape Town, Western Cape
Posts: 2


I am a relatively new brewer (about 5 kit batches and about 7 All grain batches). I have recently switched to all grain, and I dont normally follow recipes, I kind of try to understand a particular beer style (OG,FG, IBU, Colour, Grain Profile, Alchohol content, etc) and then try my best to pick and pull from other recipes till I have enough information to use a some homebrew calculators and figure out a recipe of my own ...

Recently I made what I would consider an English ale, SG around 1050 about 45 IBU's, with some Safale 04 and some East Kent Goldings for the dry hop.

Everything went well for the brew, and the primary fermentation stopped all activity after about a week, I decided to move it all to my secondary and throw in the EKG for the dry hop. I had another beer in my secondary, which I moved to my bottling rig, and then rinsed out the secondary with just tap water, and moved the English ale over .. (normally Im anal about sanitation, but I was rushed for time and figured it was safe as the previous beer wasnt likely to have introduced infection, so it was likely still sanitary)

Anyway, I looked this morning, and it appears that there is a pellicle on top of the beer in the secondary (the beer has been been in the secondary for about a week), its very thin, and not ugly looking, but I just need some advice here .. because my secondary is a plastic water cooler bottle with a tap in it for tasting ( ) .. and I tried some and its probably the best beer Ive made yet, and Im just not sure wwhat to do now, as I was planning on bottling only next week .. but Im scared about this pellicle now ..

So, do I ride it out and bottle it next week from under the pellicle, or do I wait till its been 2 months and its dropped and sorted itself out, or do I make a plan to bottle it today, in case the pellicle changes the taste profile of the beer ??..

Im just a noob really .. and this is the first pellicle Ive had ever, and it seems that most people say a pellicle will sour the beer .. I just dont want to waste what is tasting like a great batch (but at the same time I dont feel like cleaning up bottle bombs either ?? ) ..

Some advice from the experts would be very much appreciated .. thx

And thanks for a great site with great information .. greetings from Cape Town South Africa

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Old 07-02-2011, 06:16 AM   #2
Flocculation Nation
scrambledegg81's Avatar
Sep 2009
Los Osos, CA
Posts: 1,816
Liked 40 Times on 36 Posts

Could be a lot of things aside from infection: hop residue, rogue yeast colonies starting to coagulate, hop oils forcing particulate matter into little groups that resemble infection...

As the saying goes, RDWHAHB. Keep a close eye on it, and watch if the clumps grow outward--probably the best indicator as far as I know. When you bottle/keg, take a whiff as soon as you pop the airlock & see if you notice anything off-kilter, such as cheesy, Band-Aid or sterile smells. Even if it does turn out to be an infection, just rack from underneath the waterline, prime, and drink decently fast (i.e. <1 month) if you feel comfortable with it.
Primary: nada
Secondary: emptyness
Bottled/Fridge: Sierra Nevada Celebration
Bombers/Growlers/Aging: The Abyss, Firestone 19th Anniversary Ale
Kegerator: sanitizer!
Coming Up: something spiffy, most likely

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Old 07-02-2011, 06:34 AM   #3
Jul 2011
Cape Town, Western Cape
Posts: 2

Thanks for the reply, I am definately going to drink it .. it tastes great, I fairly sure its not infection, I was just looking for advice on whether waiting might change the flavour or whether it would be no big deal ..

I think Ill take a gravity reading, and prepare to bottle it if its static for a day or 2 .. rather be safe than sorry .. Ill just rack from under the pellicle

Thx again

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Old 07-02-2014, 09:23 AM   #4
Sep 2010
Posts: 49
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

If you catch an infection early you can do wonders to inhibit it or even stop it

obviously the one simple guaranteed way to fix it is stic the beer kin your copper again and pasturise it before bottling / kegging

otherwise i do the fokllowing

1. mix up some starsan, agitate the hell out of it to get loads of foam and put a layer of foam on top of the beer to stop further growth

2. clean and sterilise a keg

3. ensure after you starsank the keg there is plenty of foam left in it

4. fill the keg leaving a good amount of starsan foam on the topk

5. connect to the gas and purge the living hell out of it to ensure no oxygen

6. dont wait until it has cooled force carb and get plenty of c02 into solution

7. get it cooled

This helps in several ways

1. starsan foam on the beer stops growth

2. you dekplete it of oxygen to inhibit growth

3. CO2 in solution inhibits growth

4. cold temps inhibit growth

So, while the infection is still alive its growth will slow to a stop. i have done this with a beer that developed a pellicle, i caught it within 12 hours of starting to form, opened the keg to see what was happening 3 weeks later and there had been ZERO pellicle growth inside the keg and beer still tasted as good as when it went in

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