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Is this bad or not? I was shocked.

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mymbtheduke

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Well this is my third batch. A German Alt from NB. It is 7 Lbs of malt and 3 hop additions. The last at 15mins. I pitched at 80 degs and it vigorously fermented in my basement in the mid 60's for 4 days. Of course it kept fermenting after that but slower. This was the first week in November. Within 3 weeks the temps dropped into the high 50's. By December, the basement was in the mid to lower 50's and has stayed there in the primary for 3 more months. Four months total.

I went to bottle it yesterday and found a thin white parafin like waxy film on the top with CO2 bubbles encased in white film. I was about ready to declare infection when this forum came to mind and I bottled it anyway. There was a krausen film on the side of the bucket but no moldy brown or green colors on the white film. I have looked at other posts here but some people say it is infected and some say it is not. It is hard to tell from the forum posts.

First question: Do you think it is infected? If it is mold, does it matter that I siphoned around it and then bottled?

Second question: How will the low temps affect the beer? I would think that it would make it less fruity and more crisp. Thoughts?


Thanks as always. Love this forum.
 

llazy_llama

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Did you taste your hydrometer sample? If you did, and you didn't notice a distinct taste of OHMY****WHATISTHAT? then you're fine.

When/if you get an infection, you'll know it. It will be unmistakable.
 

mkling

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Out of 100+ batches I've brewed, I've had a white film like yours 4 or so times, and everyone of them was infected.

So how do you feel about sour beers? All of mine have turned out to be a lactobassillus (sp.) kind of infection. About half of em worked (with a lot of time) as a sour beer.
 
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mymbtheduke

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Out of 100+ batches I've brewed, I've had a white film like yours 4 or so times, and everyone of them was infected.

So how do you feel about sour beers? All of mine have turned out to be a lactobassillus (sp.) kind of infection. About half of em worked (with a lot of time) as a sour beer.
Well that is not what I wanted to hear. I will wait 2 weeks and try it. I didn't taste the hydro sample but the gravity was fine.

How do I get lacto?
 

dontman

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Out of 100+ batches I've brewed, I've had a white film like yours 4 or so times, and everyone of them was infected.

So how do you feel about sour beers? All of mine have turned out to be a lactobassillus (sp.) kind of infection. About half of em worked (with a lot of time) as a sour beer.
4 infections? At the risk of tweaking kharma I think that if iwas running at that rate I would get discouraged.

Lacto is just as often from the air while brewing and racking as it is from poor sanitation on the brewing equipment. It can be minimized in the air by cleaning the kitchen thoroughly prior to working with your beer.
 
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mymbtheduke

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Could it be the yeast? The bucket was 50 degs for months. It was very cold in MD in Jan and Feb. Why won't the yeast float to the top?
 

llazy_llama

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4 infections? At the risk of tweaking kharma I think that if iwas running at that rate I would get discouraged.

Lacto is just as often from the air while brewing and racking as it is from poor sanitation on the brewing equipment. It can be minimized in the air by cleaning the kitchen thoroughly prior to working with your beer.
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about a 4% failure rate. Methinks someone is a foam-rinser. ;)
 

mkling

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Hey now . . . I was thinking given that I might brew 12 times a year, on average, that one infected batch every couple years was not terrible. Most of 'em were early in my career and I suspect they came from not being careful enough in yeast culturing. Back in the late 80's/early 90's I'd make starter out of a couple bottles of a previous batch. No yeast washing or other techniques to maximize how clean your yeast was.

Probably didn't help that back in those days I use bleach then rinsing exclusively for sanitizing.
 

rico567

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I abandoned bleach for a no-rinse cleaner (I employ Star San) for exactly that reason. I wasn't going to use boiled water for rinsing, and using our tap water for rinsing opened up the possibility of infection. I'm not saying I'll never have an infection -never say never- but I've done about 25 batches in the 15 months since I started brewing, and no issues yet.....
 

farmbrewernw

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I have had white film on some of my beers before, I think it may be some type of mold but don't quote me on that. Anyway all of the beers that I have had that happen to tasted fine, in fact I have a Guinness clone on tap right now that sat in a secondary for a long time that had that happen, I'm drinking it and it tastes great to me.
 
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