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Old 12-29-2008, 05:05 AM   #1
czeknere
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Default Any ideas on what this is?

My chocolate stout spent about three weeks in the primary. At one week most of the krausen had cleared from the top and the beer looked good. Then, at about 2 weeks it developed some strange material on the top. The easiest way to describe it would be that someone sprinkled fish food flakes on top of the beer. After three weeks I racked it to secondary hoping to get rid of these. After two days in the secondary the flakes came back. They are even in the yeast that I washed from this batch (still need to was them some more). I'm not really concerned about infection or the batch being ruined since it smells and tastes wonderful, however I'm wondering if anyone knows what these are or have seen them before. This was the first batch I've ever used lactose in, so I'm wondering if that had something to do with it. I followed pretty standard procedures, was an extract with grains recipe, fermented at temps between 68-72. I'm just confused as to why the beer would go clear and then suddenly develop the flakes. Also, I found it odd that after I racked to the secondary the beer looked nice and clear, but soon developed the sediment again.

I've attached pictures to help, sorry for the quality on some of them - I can only do so much with a cell phone.






Some of the "flakes" stuck to the thermometer.


After I racked to the secondary

Any thoughts?


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Old 12-29-2008, 06:19 AM   #2
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Looks like the skin I got when using a lambic blend of yeast, but it could be something entirely different.


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Old 12-29-2008, 06:29 AM   #3
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I have something very similar on my cider, mine appeared soon after I took a sample to test the gravity. I use a thief, and it was thoroughly soaked in no rinse sanitizer before going in, it did leave some suds behind though from the outside of the thief and that seems to be where it started from. I plan to bottle soon so hope its ok.
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:55 AM   #4
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I used just a simple Irish Ale yeast from White Labs. And come to think of it, it started to develop after I took a reading...I assume that just racking from underneath it would help when you go to bottle (at least I'm hoping that helps me). How does yours taste Sager?
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:04 PM   #5
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I don't know which yeast you used, but the flakes just look like clumps to me. Some yeasts will form tight clumps that are too light to drop out. CO2 gets trapped in between the cells.
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
I don't know which yeast you used, but the flakes just look like clumps to me. Some yeasts will form tight clumps that are too light to drop out. CO2 gets trapped in between the cells.
I agree, it looks like "normal" unflocculated "Krauzen Kurdles" that some yeast strains leave behind...some look like cheese curds even.

Don't forget, every yeast acts differently, even the same strain in two identical worts may look different and all look ugly...

If the beer doesn't taste like satan's anus, then it is fine.

Don't forget, becasue of the presence of Chocolate (in whatever form you added) there is going to be some oils present in the beer, that's going to affect things like krauzen formation and flocculation any way.
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:02 PM   #7
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Don't forget, becasue of the presence of Chocolate (in whatever form you added) there is going to be some oils present in the beer, that's going to affect things like krauzen formation and flocculation any way.
That makes perfect sense! I guess I was just confused because after a week the beer was relatively clear (at least showed no signs of this) and then within week two these things started showing up. Like I said, wasn't worried, just confused as to what these things were.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:22 PM   #8
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If the beer doesn't taste like satan's anus, then it is fine.
I think I just found the name of my next brew!
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:29 PM   #9
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I think I just found the name of my next brew!
You'll have to credit Evan! for it..he's the one who coined it....It's just about in every Is my beer ruined NEWBY thread over the last year...



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