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Topherbrige

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New here have a question about my stout in my fermenter. Have a thick white globular substance sitting on top. Beer is clear and no off smell. What is it and what do I do about it?
 

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Jag75

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Hey there Topherbrige . Welcome to HBT!

I'm afraid to say it looks like pellicle to me . How long has it been in the fermenter? If its done fermenting and it doesn't taste bad you can rack from under . Drink up fast .
 
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Topherbrige

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It tastes great! Its been about a month. Not exactly my plan but after 2 weeks it kicked off again and I planned on kegging it. Is it still safe?
 
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Topherbrige

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It tastes great! Its been about a month. Not exactly my plan but after 2 weeks it kicked off again and I planned on kegging it. Is it still safe?
Also what is pellicle? I'm really new and just trying to learn.
 

IslandLizard

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Yup, as @Jag75 said, that's a pellicle, due to an infection. They're typically harmless, but may make your beer sour(ish) or give it off flavors over time.

If you're kegging, that's the best. Cold stored in a keezer it won't develop much, or very slowly. After the keg kicks make sure to really clean and sanitize every part, dip tubes, o-rings, posts, etc. thoroughly, or subsequent batches may get infected too. Same for your fermenter and everything else your infected beer has touched.

Any clue where the infection may have entered?
 

Grizwold1

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I suspect a similar problem here. Had taken a long hiatus and now back but with smaller batches. I have a plastic Spiedel barrel 14 gal fermenter which left a LOT of headroom and was skimpy on sanitation. Now paying the price. The brew still tastes OK--not great but drinkable. I can replace hoses, racking cane, etc. easily. Can the fermenter be sufficiently sanitized? Look for a smaller one anyway? I'm looking to get an Anvil Foundry 6.5 so perhaps I've answered my last question.
 

IslandLizard

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Can the fermenter be sufficiently sanitized?
Yes, there are many threads on how to clean and sanitize equipment after an infection.
The (vinyl) racking hoses are best/easiest replaced if they're suspect, although they can be cleaned too. I still use the same vinyl racking hose I got in 2009.
 

seatazzz

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OP, if you read some more around here about infections and how to avoid them, you'll see many references to "cold side" sanititation; this means anything that your beer touches after boil, and the wort has been cooled to fermentation temperatures. I.E., your fermenter, racking cane, hydrometer. Anything that touches your beer before the yeast "take hold" and start vigorous fermentation can introduce bacteria that will cause what you are seeing on your current beer. Even opening your fermentation bucket, or removing the airlock, can let nasty bugs in there.

How long has this stout been in the fermenter? From the pic you shared, I don't see any krausen residue in the carboy, just some dried wort up the neck. What was your sanitation procedure? Starsan (diluted phosphoric acid solution) is the best thing out there for sanitizing your clean equipment before your wort hits it. Others use iodophor but it must be rinsed prior to adding the wort.

Another question; what temperature was the wort at when you added yeast? If it was too hot, it may have killed enough yeast cells that they didn't have enough time to get going before a nasty bacterium took hold ahead of them; you can think of primary fermentation as a race between the "good" yeast and the "bad" bacteria that want to beat the crap out of them.

If it tastes okay to you, you should be safe to keg; make sure to rack under the nasty skin on top and leave enough in the carboy so that none gets in the keg. Per others above, it may change over time. Let us know what happens.
 
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