Possible Contamination Issue? Maybe....

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phroggy99

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So I am brewing a wheat extract belgian wit with Oak Chips. Everything is fermenting really well except for after a week, I decided I wanted to rack the batch to get the last of the oak chips out. When I did that, I noticed when cleaning out the carboy that with the spent yeast and oak chips, it looked like there were little, rubbery, 1/2 inch long tentacles at the bottom.

Is this something to be concerned about? Has anyone else seen this?

Thanks!
 

cvstrat

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That sounds scary as hell lol. Did you taste the beer at all? I'd say if it looks good and tastes good you are fine. As to what that could be I'm not totally sure.
 
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phroggy99

phroggy99

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I know. I was a bit taken aback with the whole thing. It has got to be something though!

I should have taken a picture of it. It like like a little rubbery twig. I thought it could possibly have come from the Oak chips, but then it was rubbery!

I love beer and everything, but who wants to kill themselves drinking it???
 

pipapat

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most truly harmful Bactria cant live in beer, thats not too say you could not get sick though from my limited understanding.
 

dwarven_stout

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So I am brewing a wheat extract belgian wit with Oak Chips. Everything is fermenting really well except for after a week, I decided I wanted to rack the batch to get the last of the oak chips out. When I did that, I noticed when cleaning out the carboy that with the spent yeast and oak chips, it looked like there were little, rubbery, 1/2 inch long tentacles at the bottom.

Is this something to be concerned about? Has anyone else seen this?

Thanks!
This is more of a general brewing question than a "Wild/Lambic beer" question- with questions like this one you'll tend to get quicker helpful responses in other subforums here. The sours board is kinda slow. ;-)

That said, taste the beer. There is nothing that can grow in beer that will hurt you. If it tastes bad, then you may need to pitch the batch.

Did you happen to touch any of these "tentacles"? They may have just been yeast or other detritus. It's hard to say without a picture. How many of them were there?



For the future, you might consider waiting until primary fermentation is done before adding oak (or anything else, really... dry hops, flavorings, fruit, etc). Reason 1 is you lose aroma when fermentation gases go out the airlock. Reason 2 is a mostly finished beer that is full of yeast, alcohol and a lower pH is more resistant to infection than fresh wort is.

Also, the next time you use oak, I would consider soaking the chips in a 80 or 100 proof liquor for a few days before adding. You can use a neutral spirit like vodka, or you can look to add flavor with rum or bourbon, say. Another approach is to steam the chips before adding to kill any nasties on them.
 
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