Help - Is this an infected batch?

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Hi Homebrewers - so I’ve finally dusted off the equipment I’ve had stored for years to try out my first 5 gallon batch. Took the easy route and picked up one of the Coopers IPA kits where you just need to add DME and pitch the yeast. Got to thinking that this was too easy so I harvested some fresh yellow birch tips/buds and cedar tips and boiled them and steeped overnight into a concentrated tea mixture. Next day added to Coopers kit and DME and brought to a boil. Every spring I also have a gravity fed 3/16” diameter maple sap tubing system and make about 70 litres of maple syrup. So I thought I’d experiment and use fresh maple sap I collected to top up the primary fermenter instead of water. I tested the Brix of the sap and it was 2.5. Original Specific Gravity reading was 1.06 after I combined everything in primary (glass carboy). Everything was looking good and fermentation slowed by day 7. So at that point I used a sanitized thief to grab a sample and it was at 1.015. I sanitized the air lock bung right before putting it back in place as well. A day and half later I checked it and noticed something floating on top amongst the bubbles (see attached pictures). Is this bacteria? If so can I salvage this by drawing off from the primary into a 5 gallon Pail and bottle it as long as I keep the line in the liquid and away from the floating stuff? Or is that floating stuff just yeast colonies resurfacing? Long post but wanted to share the whole situation. Any advice or thoughts appreciated.
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bkboiler

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Hm ...so you did not boil the maple sap that you added to the fermenter?

Have you tasted it recently?

What flavor do birch and cedar tips bring? I've not had the fortune to taste them before...
 

RPh_Guy

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Hey, welcome to HBT.

Your photos don't look concerning. That is almost certainly just the kräusen/yeast on top.

I was also going to ask about boiling the sap.
 
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No I didn’t boil the sap ... just warmed it up as it came from partially frozen 5 gallon pail. I tasted it before I pitched the yeast and it was quite bitter but didn’t know what to expect at that point. The taste of the yellow birch and cedar tea was rather pleasant ... the yellow birch has a winter green aroma to it and the cedar is full of vitamin c and blended well as a tea in itself. I tasted it at day seven when I checked the specific gravity and it had a much more balanced IPA flavour that I would expect and thought it tasted rather good.
 

RPh_Guy

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Generally when making beer you want all the ingredients going into it after the boil to be sanitary. Maple sap certainly isn't sanitary, so it's likely there are wild microbes in your beer.

The wild microbes may or may not cause any problems. If you're bottling, it's a good idea to open a bottle at least every week or so to make sure they aren't over-carbonating. If you can keep them cold after they carbonate, even better.

Hope this makes sense.
 
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Yes makes sense for sure ... if I ever use sap again I’ll boil it before using as a replacement for water! I guess whatever that is on the surface I’ll work around it and try not to disturb when I’m racking it into my pail before bottling. I give it a taste either tonight or tomorrow before bottling and give an update! Thanks for the feedback!
 

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Technically, yes, running the beer through a filter 0.45 micron or smaller will remove the microbes.

Practically? No.
You would need to buy the filter and filtering apparatus, which is more than double the cost of brewing a new batch, AND the beer would likely need to be fined before running it through such a small filter, otherwise it will quickly clog, AND you need a pump to run the beer through it, but not a centrifugal pump like most brewers use, but rather a diaphragm or peristaltic pump because the residual carbonation in beer would be released inside a centrifugal pump rendering it ineffective.
You would also need to add yeast back in if bottle carbonating.
 

bracconiere

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Technically, yes, running the beer through a filter 0.45 micron or smaller will remove the microbes.

Practically? No.
You would need to buy the filter and filtering apparatus, which is more than double the cost of brewing a new batch, AND the beer would likely need to be fined before running it through such a small filter, otherwise it will quickly clog, AND you need a pump to run the beer through it, but not a centrifugal pump like most brewers use, but rather a diaphragm or peristaltic pump because the residual carbonation in beer would be released inside a centrifugal pump rendering it ineffective.
You would also need to add yeast back in if bottle carbonating.
i'm not hearing 'no', lol

and if not bottle conditioning, and kegging, just push it with co2.....when i did filter my beer, that's how i did it....

edit: i was just saying it's possible....(but i agree, not advised, because toxins/off flavors, wouldn't be removed)
 

Alex4mula

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That’s no infection to me. Have had same in some brews. No issues for me.
 

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