Mild Pellicle-like formation in bottles.

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DubbelTrubbel

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Hi All,

New to the forum and relatively new to brewing as well!

3 days after bottling my latest batch I noticed something forming on the surface of the beer.
It's in all the bottles and looks like small white-ish specks. They definitely appear to be solid.

It's now the 9th day after bottling and the specks are still there, slightly more developed.
I picked up a few bottles to look at more closely and some of these specks are 'snowing down' because of the movement.

This is my 4th batch. It's a belgian saison with Danstar Belle Saison yeast.

I observed these 'specks' in some of my earlier batches as well with other yeasts, but milder. They all turned out to be good, and the specks dropped clean once I cold crashed the bottles in the fridge.
However this phenomenon seems to be getting slightly worse with any subsequent batch, so at this point I want to get a grip on what's going on.

I attached some photos. (taken while shining a flashlight onto the surface)
I also cracked one open to take a photo upright. Already carbonated fine (this saison yeast was a beast in primary too) but in that photo you can make out some cloudiness on the surface besides the white specks and CO2 bubbles.

Since it was open I poured it and tasted. pours clear, with a nice head, smells and tastes really good actually. Very Saison-y.

I am puzzled.
Have you seen this before? Is this infection?
Should I be worried about the sanitation of my equipment?
 

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hotbeer

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Probably just bubbles and the yeast fermenting the priming sugar you put in it and producing CO2.

If it tastes good and is clear that says a lot. Just like in the fermenter, if you give it enough time then it might hopefully be plastered to the bottom of the bottle after a full 2 weeks or more. Type of yeast might come in to play a little as to how well it flocculates in the bottle.

If it is something going on, then probably a little late to do anything but watch and figure out what you can do for the next batch.
 
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DubbelTrubbel

DubbelTrubbel

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Thanks. If it's indeed an infection I am wondering where it slipped in. Definitely not the fermentor, I used a brand new one for this batch.

After brewing I clean everything with Chemipro OXI (European equivalent to oxyclean), before brewing I use starsan.
Same for the bottles I clean them with the oxyclean equivalent, rinse with water, let dry on fastrack, then put away in box.
Rinse with starsan before bottling.

Maybe the siphon..
 

hotbeer

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Maybe the siphon..
Well you said you clean, rinse and sanitized everything. Wasn't the siphon included in everything?

Though I'm assuming siphon is either the hose or the bottle filler you used. I take my bottle filler off of the hose and take it completely apart so I can be reasonably confident nothing is hiding around the spring or o-ring.

But still, do you really think those are solid specs in there and not just the yeast forming rafts or bubbles like they probably did when the beer was in your fermenter? Essentially the bottling phase is just another ferment but with a cap so the CO2 builds up in the beer.
 
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DubbelTrubbel

DubbelTrubbel

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Well you said you clean, rinse and sanitized everything. Wasn't the siphon included in everything?
Yes it is. It's an auto-siphon knock-off with a removable bottle filler attachment. However I have not taken it apart completely. I usually remove the bottle filler nozzle, take apart the valve at the tip and soak those in. The rest I soak in 'whole' and pump through thorouhgly.

The siphon is the only 'complex' part the beer is passing through in my current brewing process. No spigots or else anywhere.

But still, do you really think those are solid specs in there and not just the yeast forming rafts or bubbles like they probably did when the beer was in your fermenter? Essentially the bottling phase is just another ferment but with a cap so the CO2 builds up in the beer.
Hard to say just by looks TBH. But when I move the bottle they start dropping out and see them 'snowing down' to the bottom. Bit like a snow globe
 
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DubbelTrubbel

DubbelTrubbel

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It doesn't look like pellicle to me .
I might be just paranoid about it then. Reading the stories with people having to toss a bunch of equipment after infection and all.

I will post an update later down the road.

Thanks for your thoughts people. Still new on the forum, really like the community here so far
 

hotbeer

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I might be just paranoid about it then. Reading the stories with people having to toss a bunch of equipment after infection and all.
I suspect much of that being tossed was okay stuff. Just something that looked odd or smelled odd or maybe tasted odd that started negative thoughts in their minds that spiraled downward till there was no chance they could accept it as being drinkable.
 
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DubbelTrubbel

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Here is an update now that it's been 2 weeks after bottling:

Beer looks and tastes fine, regular Belgian saison.
Those little white specks are still around in the surface in the bottles. Once in the fridge they start dropping out already in just a few hours.

It's fully drink worthy, so not going to be neurotic about it.. They will not last long into the next year anyway. :D
I am going to re-evaluate my cleaning and sanitation routine before the next batch nevertheless.
 
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