Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Anyone ever have a tar like streak in their airlock?
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Old 07-25-2008, 12:51 PM   #1
JamesJ
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Default Anyone ever have a tar like streak in their airlock?

I have my first batch of american Pale Ale sitting in my secondary fermenter and it's been sitting for 3 weeks now. The other day when I came home from work I noticed a black streak on the walls of the airlock. It looked almost like a burn streak at first and it was sitting right above the water level on the inside of the airlock on one side. I was worried this could be bad so I sanitized a back up airlock I have and swapped them out. When i went to clean the airlock with a q-tip, the black streak was like a tar like mush. Has anyone experienced this before or know what this could be? I'm curious to know and hope it's not a bad sign. Thanks!


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Old 07-25-2008, 01:21 PM   #2
Bytor1100
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No, But I got some green rings in one of mine lately. I've never had anything like it.
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Old 07-25-2008, 02:04 PM   #3
menschmaschine
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I thought of 2 possibilities when reading your post... either residue/build-up from the wort/fermentation or mold (or even bacteria). You may never know without looking at it through a microscope, but since it is above the water line, even if it was mold/bacteria, your beer probably isn't infected.

I've never had that in my airlock, but when I ferment in my chest freezer, I get fermentation/wort residue build-up on the inside of the chest freezer that gets carried off with the CO2 from fermentation. Just to be safe, in case you don't do this, you should always put some sort of sanitizer solution in the airlock... or even cheap vodka. I typically put a weak iodophor solution in it, but occasionally use vodka.
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