Originally Posted by cafeviking
That's wild. Lesson leared/learning.
Well, today the sucker looks like it's going to be a pellicle. Is there any treatment for this or am I bottling for ****s and hoping for the worst? How do I bottle it anyway, it's in a glass carboy.
Transfer to a bottling bucket (assuming you have one), and try to avoid sucking up that top inch or so. As others have said, unless you taste funk, it's probably not bad. I've seen pictures of English yeasts that look oh so nasty, and do all sorts of things you'd never expect to see in healthy brew. A guy posted an image of Whitbread not so long ago that looked like floating islands of cheese with mold growing on them, but it was just fine. In other words, for as sick as his culture looked, there was no mold or bacteria, or Bret, just good old funky Whitbread. The thing to remember: you're not a microbiologist (most of us here aren't), and you really can't diagnose a microbial culture unless the symptoms are screaming obvious.
One thing I've learned over the years with gardening, and now brewing, is something called the neglect technique. Basically, you do everything you're supposed to do, and then neglect it. In other words, don't pop the top on the primary every other day. Prepare your wort, pitch, and leave that lid on for three weeks to a month. Transfer to secondary if required, neglect, then bottle at your leisure. In other words, make sure you have all the basics like a good recipe, good equipment, and good sanitation down, and let the yeast do what it does.
Perhaps one of the greatest epiphanies I've experienced with gardening was the realization that I (or you, or whoever) is not growing the plant, the plant grows itself -- I'm only providing an ideal environment that favors growth. From there, it's the plant's job, and no amount of testing or tweaking will make things any better. In other words, for as obsessive as we want to be, we're not growing yeast, yeast grows itself. We just try to give it that extra advantage with proper preparation.
In other words, don't fix it if it ain't broke, and/or keep it simple.
One thing that caught my attention: if you're using boiling water only as your sterilizer, that probably isn't enough, especially for plastics. In short, a quick soak in boiling water will not kill everything. Be sure that you're sterilizing the instruments you use for the frequent OG samplings as well. If you don't want to spend the money on Star San, bargain brand bleech is (literally) less than a dollar a bottle. Mix it one part to ten parts water, give it a good few minutes contact time with all your instruments, etc etc, and it will kill everything. Just make sure you rinse it all off well, or you'll have one funky brew.