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Barley wine second fermentation

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afrylink

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Been six months in secondary fermentation . White foam on top just appeared this weekend... Any ideas , is it still good
 

magno

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Can you post a pic? Do you know what the gravity or ABV is currently? Not that it should matter, but did you pitch new yeast in secondary, or are you just bulk aging it in there?
 

RM-MN

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What is your definition of good? The infections that can get started in beer won't harm you but you may or may not like the taste. I tried a beer at a brewery that was sour. I didn't like it at all but some people do. Have a taste to see if you like or hate it. Don't just dump it.
 

Kickass

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Has it been completely sealed up this entire time or have you pulled the stopper to tinker with it?

Assuming it’s an unintended infection, the picture on my phone doesn’t zoom well, does anyone find it odd that it’s just materialized after six months?
 

Miraculix

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Looks like a strong version of the acedobacter infection I had all the time back in the UK. This needs a bit of oxygen, so if your fermenter wasn't air tight, it's likely to be something like this. It doesn't show itself immediately in the taste, but it kills the foam rather quickly. Bottling it might help because it seals it off from the oxygen.
 

mashpaddled

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Definitely infected but you can't look at a forming pellicle and make any kind of guess at what it is. WIld yeast and bacteria of all sorts will generate similar looking pellicles. My suggestion is if it tastes ok bottle and drink it sooner rather than later. Then aggressively clean and sanitize all your equipment.
 

BigDave1303

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I made a barley wine years ago which took about 2 years from start to finish. Several transfers from one demijohns into another 6 months apart. I had the same problem with an infection, white growth on top connected with what looked like cobwebs.
I continued with the process & was very careful when transferring to only take the good liquid (leaving the sediment & the top furry layer behind).
Anyway, when I finally came round to drinking it it was fantastic. So glad I stuck it out to the bitter end. (excuse the pun)
 

Miraculix

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I made a barley wine years ago which took about 2 years from start to finish. Several transfers from one demijohns into another 6 months apart. I had the same problem with an infection, white growth on top connected with what looked like cobwebs.
I continued with the process & was very careful when transferring to only take the good liquid (leaving the sediment & the top furry layer behind).
Anyway, when I finally came round to drinking it it was fantastic. So glad I stuck it out to the bitter end. (excuse the pun)
You cannot leave an infection behind. You just got lucky that your infection was actually beneficial, or at elast not harmfl. Once it is showing itself on the surface, it is all over the liquid as well. No chance to "be Careful" to leave it behind.
 

BigDave1303

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Still infected or not, no vinegar smells ( I would have dumped it if there were). I did my best & it turned out beautiful in the end - and i'm still alive to talk about it.
 

Miraculix

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Still infected or not, no vinegar smells ( I would have dumped it if there were). I did my best & it turned out beautiful in the end - and i'm still alive to talk about it.
An infectin does not have to be bad. I think the old school barley wines were all infected with brett and your spider webs sound a bit like brett to me, which can actually be beneficial to the flavour. Not all infections are bad, some are happy little accidents :)

Also, not all infections produce vinegar. Vinegar producing bacterias need oxygen. Lactic acid producing bacterias don´t need that, but they really hate hops. Brett can stand hops and does not need much oxygen.
 

BigDave1303

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An infectin does not have to be bad. I think the old school barley wines were all infected with brett and your spider webs sound a bit like brett to me, which can actually be beneficial to the flavour. Not all infections are bad, some are happy little accidents :)

Also, not all infections produce vinegar. Vinegar producing bacterias need oxygen. Lactic acid producing bacterias don´t need that, but they really hate hops. Brett can stand hops and does not need much oxygen.
It was years ago & it was my first attempt at all grain so didn't know what to expect. It was also in the days before the interweb making it much more difficult to do any quick research.
Like you say "Nice to have a happy accident" :)
 
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