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Old 06-04-2012, 05:16 PM   #1
Sep 2011
, Delaware
Posts: 56
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

I've got 10 gallons of American Pale Ale (all grain) fermenting in the basement for the past week. I checked on it yesterday, and it has a funky, sour smell. Both of my 5-gallon fermenters look the same.

I'm using Safale US-05 yeast. Does this look like an infection?

Also, If the infection is on the top, can I rack the beer from underneath and save most of the batch?

Thanks for any help. This was supposed to be my 4th of July party brew !

(see UPDATE below)
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:22 PM   #2
Apr 2012
Quakertown, PA
Posts: 76
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Looks normal to me.

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Old 06-04-2012, 05:25 PM   #3
Nov 2011
Posts: 3,952
Liked 556 Times on 391 Posts

Sour smell is probably CO2 / fermentation offgassing. +1 for normal.

How's it taste?

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Old 06-04-2012, 05:26 PM   #4
AmandaK's Avatar
Feb 2010
Posts: 1,498
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Good to go. Looks normal.

Remember, fermentation is a nasty, smelly, gross process. Things are bound to look a bit weird from time to time.
BJCP Master Beer Judge

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Old 06-04-2012, 05:31 PM   #5
beerkrump's Avatar
Mar 2009
Triune, TN
Posts: 2,113
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Did you taste it? How long has it been fermenting? What was the OG and what is the current SG?

It looks fine, but if it tastes awful or has a low SG, it might be infected.

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Old 06-04-2012, 05:35 PM   #6
Dec 2011
Garden City, Kansas
Posts: 75
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

I'm glad to hear that this looks "normal". I've had a couple batches develop this exact same look and feared that they were infected. The stuff that in on the surface never grew into a film and the beers all turned out good with no off flavors.

But still, I'm confused as to why some of them develop this white flaky look and others dont.

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Old 06-04-2012, 06:08 PM   #7
daksin's Avatar
Aug 2011
San Diego, CA
Posts: 4,617
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Yea, taste is the major factor here, but it mostly looks like yeast and hop material. Taste a sample and report back. You're in more trouble if a white flake/bubbles covers the entire surface.
I can't be arsed to keep up this list of what's in the fermenters, but hey, check out the cool brewery I own! .. ..

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Old 06-04-2012, 07:03 PM   #8
Sep 2011
, Delaware
Posts: 56
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Thanks for the tips. The taste was a bit sour, but not awful. It's the bad smell that concerned me. It's been fermenting for one week.

I plan to rack it tonight, and give it a more thorough tasting. I'll also check the SG and report back. (Starting OG was 1.053)

After I rack it, I'll give it a week and check again.

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Old 06-04-2012, 07:12 PM   #9
Dec 2010
Posts: 72
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

If you have the time, room and equipment, brew a backup batch for your 4th Party. Insurance policy against worse case scenario.

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Old 06-04-2012, 07:15 PM   #10
Sep 2010
Posts: 703
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I'd give it another week in the primary to allow the yeast to fully clear up if it was my brew. What's the rush to rack it?

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