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Old 01-06-2013, 11:32 PM   #1
abifolck
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Default Black clumps/flakes in primary?

Hi guys,

I'm a big believer in "relax, have a homebrew," so I try to not overreact when something unexpected happens, but this gave me pause.

When I opened the lid of my primary to rack the beer, I noticed what looked like flakes/clumps of off-color (black) krausen floating on top of the beer. There's definitely some typical tan-colored krausen stuck on the sides of the fermenter, and this stuff is in stark contrast to it - it's very black. See attached pics. I of course tasted the beer and there are no off-flavors that I can detect.

Details: this was a BIAB batch of a red rye ale that fermented for 2 weeks at 68 degrees F (FG = 1.013 - higher than I'd like, but ok). The yeast was Nottingham. This is the second time I've brewed this batch, and the only thing I changed was substituting a couple pounds of 2-row for a couple pounds of wheat malt and rice hulls. Needless to say, I didn't see any of this last time. I didn't notice any of these flakes (or other black/burnt material) coming out of my brew kettle. I use hop pellets in muslin bags during the boil, which were of course removed. I didn't dry hop or add anything that wasn't wort to the primary.

I'll see how it looks after a couple of more weeks of aging at room temp, and I'll reassess then.

Any thoughts?


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Old 01-07-2013, 02:09 AM   #2
dumsboa09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abifolck
Hi guys,

I'm a big believer in "relax, have a homebrew," so I try to not overreact when something unexpected happens, but this gave me pause.

When I opened the lid of my primary to rack the beer, I noticed what looked like flakes/clumps of off-color (black) krausen floating on top of the beer. There's definitely some typical tan-colored krausen stuck on the sides of the fermenter, and this stuff is in stark contrast to it - it's very black. See attached pics. I of course tasted the beer and there are no off-flavors that I can detect.

Details: this was a BIAB batch of a red rye ale that fermented for 2 weeks at 68 degrees F (FG = 1.013 - higher than I'd like, but ok). The yeast was Nottingham. This is the second time I've brewed this batch, and the only thing I changed was substituting a couple pounds of 2-row for a couple pounds of wheat malt and rice hulls. Needless to say, I didn't see any of this last time. I didn't notice any of these flakes (or other black/burnt material) coming out of my brew kettle. I use hop pellets in muslin bags during the boil, which were of course removed. I didn't dry hop or add anything that wasn't wort to the primary.

I'm going to let it age for another few weeks at room temp, and whatever it has has grown/spread, - I'll reluctantly chuck the batch.

Any thoughts?
Did it smell sour like vinegar?


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Old 01-07-2013, 02:47 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply, dumsboa. I saved a sample of the stuff (q-tipped the side of the primary and put it in a ziplock bag). I just gave it a good sniff and I can't smell anything out of the ordinary. It smells like it usually does when you first open up the primary and that blast of krausen/alcohol/yeast hits you. But after a couple of weeks I'll smell the corny that I have it aging in. What would a sour smell like vinegar suggest? Bacteria in general, I imagine?
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abifolck
Thanks for your reply, dumsboa. I saved a sample of the stuff (q-tipped the side of the primary and put it in a ziplock bag). I just gave it a good sniff and I can't smell anything out of the ordinary. It smells like it usually does when you first open up the primary and that blast of krausen/alcohol/yeast hits you. But after a couple of weeks I'll smell the corny that I have it aging in. What would a sour smell like vinegar suggest? Bacteria in general, I imagine?
Yes some sort of infection. All in all if it goes through ferment and doesn't smell bad or taste bad then drink it. After all its beer!
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:25 AM   #5
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Sounds good! I'll let you know!


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