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Smell of Mold?

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J Brew

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I wrote in a couple of days ago asking about secondary fermetation of my second ever batch of beer, a honey pale ale with a few more hops than the recipe called for, as my own personal touch. This is my first time using a secondary fermeter and while racking the brew into the second carboy, some of the sludge from the bottom rose to the surface. When I first started syphoning to the second carboy, I was unable to see the surface of the wort due to sediment stuck to the inside of the carboy. My problem is that I read on this site that if there was any kind of contamination to the wort, the mold that would eventually form would float on the surface. Because I was unable to see the surface, I can't tell if what I saw floating on the surface was mold or not. This is only my second brew, and I am not quite sure what the fermenting wort should smell like. The "stuff" floating on the surface gave me a little scare so I was just wondering what smells I should look out for that might indicate contamination. Thanks.
 

AlaskaAl(e)

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The foam on the top is perfectly normal. If you did or did not see anything floating on the top is probably a moot point anyway. You've boiled the wort, pitched the yeast, racked to the secondary....what more can you do at this point? Once you take all the steps beer just kind of happens. It's a process of time and the miracle of Mother Nature and nothing you can do will change what you've created. I will pass on to you the advice that was given me several times by my "Brewing Yoda"--relax. It's easy to get spun up but the truth of the matter is you have what you have. When it's time to bottle simply rack it to your bottling bucket and sip a sample. If it smells like beer and tastes like beer then that's what you have. Bottle it, age it, and when it's time cool and enjoy it.

As for your question about smell...it varies from type to type but it will generally smell like beer. Sometimes it may have an "off" odor but it's not likely to be a problem. I've made a few that smelled horrible while fermenting but tasted wonderful when the time came. Hope this helpped.
 
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