Bubbles on Top of Beer after secondary

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Daniel Kitchen

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Hello all, noticed something completely new to me when I went to bottle. My beer has these white bubbles on the top of it, not sure if it picked up an infection or if this is normal. It's been in secondary for about 2.5 months, it's a Belgian aged on peppercorn and orange rind (used Brewers Best for both). Any thoughts/experience with this?
20210510_121633.jpg
 

Jag75

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It looks like it could be the beginning stage of pellicle.

 

DuncB

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That could be funky! I'd taste some before bottling it. Probably fine but I normally like to age it in something with a better airtight seal than a plastic bucket that I did the primary in.
 

Miraculix

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That clearly is an infection. Don't age something in buckets again. Did you soak the pepper in vodka before to kill all bugs on it? If not, that's the source. Otherwise, after this long time in a bucket usually the little amount of bugs already present in your beer would take over anyway. Buckets leak, oxygen is bugs friend and buckets let in oxygen
 

monkeymath

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after this long time in a bucket usually the little amount of bugs already present in your beer would take over anyway. Buckets leak, oxygen is bugs friend and buckets let in oxygen
I don't actually think that's true in such generality. Bugs won't thrive on oxygen alone in a low-pH, alcoholic, nutrient-deprived and hopped medium. There must have been a considerable population beforehand, either on the bucket's surface, on some gear used during transfer, within the young beer itself or on the adjuncts added.

That said, the crud on the bucket in the picture suggests that this is more of an extended primary rather than a secondary (i.e. it's still in the primary fermentor).
 

Miraculix

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I don't actually think that's true in such generality. Bugs won't thrive on oxygen alone in a low-pH, alcoholic, nutrient-deprived and hopped medium. There must have been a considerable population beforehand, either on the bucket's surface, on some gear used during transfer, within the young beer itself or on the adjuncts added.

That said, the crud on the bucket in the picture suggests that this is more of an extended primary rather than a secondary (i.e. it's still in the primary fermentor).
There are sufficient microorganisms in there to fill the niche once the yeast slws down and enough time is there for them to grow. In the bucket it's often acedobacter which thrive on alcohol and need a bit of oxygen. They are not as much affected by hops as for example lactic acid bacteria. You have to keep in mind that sanitation is not sterile, it's just limiting the numbers of gems not eradicating them. Giving time and a bit of oxygen, funny stuff happens to home brewed beer!
 

DuncB

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I'd like to know what it tastes like after all that time in primary, left a cider too long in the barn and the airlock went dry. It was just like acetone, couldn't find enough nails to devarnish.
 

Toxxyc

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I've left beers in primary for months before (my record is 4 months since pitch), but at freezing. Beer came out great.
 

hout17

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If this would've been in a glass carboy or similar it might've had a chance but I'm not so sure with a leaky bucket and what I'm seeing in that picture.
 

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