Mold on homebrew in secondary?

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egrimmer

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I'm very attentive to sterilization but I'm wondering why my Oktoberfest I bottled today has a rubbery, moldy looking patch on the surface of the secondary?

The only thing I can think of is this is my first secondary, I didn't use an airlock, should I have? It was in secondary for almost 6 weeks with the lid sealed in my basement which was around 54F.

I tasted my FG sample and it tasted fine, the surface had a very strong alcohol smell to it but it didn't taste that way. The FG was 1.020

See attached, thanks for your help. I'm drinking it either way unless it tastes horrible.

OctoberFest.jpg
 

pernox

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I've never grown mold like that, but I have had a couple batches grow a little white mold and never got any off flavors. Rack from underneath, drink promptly, should be fine.
 

ryandlf

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Its quite obvious that something is in there feeding off the goodies left in the beer that the remaining yeast cannot compete with AKA an infection. If it were me it'd be going down the drain, but that's just because I couldn't stomach seeing that and then drinking 5 gallons of it. Could be that your bucket has scratches in it that harbored something. I don't how not using an airlock would invite an infection.
 

Calder

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Rack from under it, and if it tastes fine, drink it.

Looks like some sugar loving organism has gotten in there. Since you don't know what it is or what it will do to the beer, drink it quick.

Next time use an airlock.
 
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egrimmer

egrimmer

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I used a solid lid, no airlock hole. I was just wondering if I should have used a lid with the whole and airlock or if it would matter, this is my first secondary. I'd think if anything no airlock would just lead to potential for the lid to blow off if it hadn't finished fermenting. The gravity was still a little high when I racked to secondary.

I should add that there was a small leak from the spigot around the washer. Maybe next time I'll won't use my bottling bucket for secondary.
 

rgontasz

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Next time skip the secondary and keep it in primary for another week or two. A secondary isn't always needed and its one less chance for an infection.
 
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egrimmer

egrimmer

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It's still a little green in the bottling stage but it is fully carbonated. I've had a couple and they taste off but not undrinkable. I'll choke a few more down and let the rest sit for awhile, maybe they will smooth out some.

I hope I don't have an infection of some kind in my equipment or from my plastic fermenting bucket. It's a brand new bucket so I'd expect to not have any scratches in it. I always soak everything starsan and I don't rinse with water so if it was infected it might have happened while transferring to secondary. I will skip it next time as you suggested, the instructions said to do a secondary I will no longer and see how that goes.
 

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It's still a little green in the bottling stage but it is fully carbonated. I've had a couple and they taste off but not undrinkable. I'll choke a few more down and let the rest sit for awhile, maybe they will smooth out some.

I hope I don't have an infection of some kind in my equipment or from my plastic fermenting bucket. It's a brand new bucket so I'd expect to not have any scratches in it. I always soak everything starsan and I don't rinse with water so if it was infected it might have happened while transferring to secondary. I will skip it next time as you suggested, the instructions said to do a secondary I will no longer and see how that goes.
The problem with a bucket as a secondary (as you can see) is a wide, wide headspace so that mold can grow on it. I've seen that happen a number of times. Mold loves oxygen, and it's not uncommon for it to grow when there is a wide headspace, even in higher ABV fermenteds like wine.

I believe that lagers need a secondary- because of the long time they are in the fermenter, I rack to a carboy or a keg for lagering. But I wouldn't ever recommend lagering in a bucket, airlock or no.
 
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