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RichD_830

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Hi All,
I started a kit about 3 weeks ago (Cream Ale Kit from Midwest). I realized about a week ago that one of my kids had knocked the airlock off and it was probably off for about 1-2 days. They didn't knock the stopper off, just the airlock. I wasnt sure if that ruined it or not so I put the airlock back on and waited until bottling which brings me to today. I went downstairs and beyond the fact it is really a dark beer for some reason (much darker than I would have expected for a cream ale, there is a layer of something across the top. I am going to try and take a picture of it, but not sure this is something expected, or a sign the brew had gone bad. I'm more of a wine maker and only have about two batches of experience with beer, hence the amateur questions. Any ideas? If someone needs me to take a picture of it I will. I just dont want to dump it without confirming.
thanks
Rich
 

flars

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A picture would be good, but otherwise describe what you see. All may not be lost.
 

mrphillips

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If the beer had already been fermenting for a day or two, you're less likely to have infection in it. That alcohol does a wonderful job of keeping nasty buggers in check!

If I had to guess, what you're seeing on top is the result of the Krausen dropping - which means that your fermentation has slowed/stopped, and the foam (or Krausen), has receded back into the beer. When this happens, it leaves an odd looking "soapy" layer on top. This is perfectly normal.

Of course, a picture will tell us a lot more about what's going on...and tasting it will make it even clearer to you. If it is infected, your taste buds will let you know - if it's astringently sour, you've got infection. But again, I think you're in the clear.
 
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RichD_830

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Here are two pictures. It looks a bit bacterial like, but I might be a little sensitive knowing that the airlock was off. Other than air, I have kept it very sanitized.

photo 1.jpg


photo 2.jpg
 

deadfall

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It's really hard to tell from the picture you posted. It looks pretty normal as far as I can tell. You might try taking a picture down through the neck of the carboy.
 
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RichD_830

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Here are two more picks looking down the carboy.

image-2913493407.jpg


image-2940952889.jpg
 

duboman

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Sorry but that's infected and not normal at all;(

You can rack under and drink it quick or leave develop for a year and enjoy a sour.....
 

Slow_Day

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My last Belgian Wit developed a layer of fuzzy bacteria on top after it completed fermentation. I siphoned it to a secondary, (carefully), cold crashed and bottled. The beer turned out great. You never know until you try.

If yours ends up with off flavors, let it be for a while.
 

mrphillips

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Damn. Sorry to hear that, but like others have said, all is not lost! I personally enjoy sour beers, and if you're carful when you transfer into the secondary you might be alright. On the bright side, it won't kill you if you drink it...it just might not win many contests ;)
 
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