Bottled infection and carbonation

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hlmbrwng

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Hey everyone. We bottled an imperial stout 6 weeks ago. We made 2 variants. For the regular one, we used vanilla bean and bourbon soaked French oak. For one variant we used scotch bonnet peppers, cacao nibs, bourbon soaked French oak cubes. The other variant we used cranberry, raisin, cacao nibs, and Bas-armognac soaked American oak cubes.

In the last one, with the fruit, there seems to be something at the top of the beer, floating on the surface. I am guessing that it bacteria from the fruit. We heated the fruit to about 175 so it wouldn't gelatinize. Maybe we didn't heat it long enough. The other possibility is that the American oak did something. All of the bottles of the other two beers were fine, so it wasn't an issue with clean bottles.

Here is a picture:

infection.jpg

One question is, what are your thoughts on this?
Second is, can I "shake" the bottle a bit? I tried the beer at 1 month just to see if there was carbonation. Of course, there wasn't. But I decided stir up the yeast. I can see some sediment at the bottom of the bottle. I'm afraid to do this for the beer that is possibly infected. Will it make it worse? Or does it not really matter at this point? I'm wondering if the high ABV (12%) and carbon dioxide (if any present) will prevent it from spreading/growing, and that stirring it up will cause an issue.
 

JonM

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If it were me, I'd just give it a wait-and-see approach. There may be nothing wrong with the suspicious batch. Time will tell, I guess.

Just to be safe, though, I'd store the suspicious bottles in a covered rubbermaid tub or something just in case they go boom.

ETA: You might just be seeing some fats from the cacao nibs floating on the surface.
 

Schecter

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Looks like a layer of oil to me (like JonM said).
Your methods seem sanitary, I don't think it is an infection, but hard to tell from Massachusetts :)
And yes, the high alcohol should make it less susceptible to infection but with residual sugars it is not immune. I think you're getting ahead of yourself; if it was truly infected you would see evil pellicles.
Relax!

Cheers
 

VolDoc

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I recently made a porter which I added flaked coconut in a hop bag and some vanilla bean tincture. My bottles also have that look at the top of the beer. It could possibly be some oils extracted from the cacao or the fruit. I'd definitely let it sit. I initially thought mine was infected as well but I am sure glad I waited!
 
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hlmbrwng

hlmbrwng

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I recently made a porter which I added flaked coconut in a hop bag and some vanilla bean tincture. My bottles also have that look at the top of the beer. It could possibly be some oils extracted from the cacao or the fruit. I'd definitely let it sit. I initially thought mine was infected as well but I am sure glad I waited!
Have you tried the beer? It sounds like you did =)
 

VolDoc

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Yup, it's delicious and my wife's favorite beer! Similar to a Maui coconut Porter but with vanilla
 
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