What's growing on my beer?

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stunsm

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I've noticed a white film at the top of some of my beers lately. It's thin but contiguous, it sort of "breaks" if you touch it with a sanitized rod. I first noticed it caked along the insides of 2 fermentor kegs after transferring, and popped a few others open to check. Some had it, some don't. Still smells like beer, still tastes like beer, and I haven't noticed any major off flavors in the beers that showed it. These are all grain batches, fermented in corny kegs, and all of these have showed up late in secondary fermentation. Any thoughts?

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Amity

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Looks like an infection of some sort. I've had something similar that did not affect the flavour. It's certainly not desireable though.

Do a super thorough clean of your kegs (dip tubes, o-rings, poppets, etc...). Change siphons or tubing.
 

Kokopuff829

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Do what Amity said but don't get rid of it I heard of people with similar stories and followed through and got a good beer out of it.
 
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stunsm

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No one has any specifics? I may post a better pic later, all the white pieces in there look like flakes. Worth noting is this started showing up right about the same time I switched from using dish soap as a cleaner to EZ clean (with a good rinse and drain before Star San), could this be a residue from that?
 

wyzazz

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Looks like it might be lacto to me. Do you mill your grain where you ferment?
 
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No one has any specifics? I may post a better pic later, all the white pieces in there look like flakes. Worth noting is this started showing up right about the same time I switched from using dish soap as a cleaner to EZ clean (with a good rinse and drain before Star San), could this be a residue from that?
Definitely an infection of some sort. It's not residue, I guarantee that.
 
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stunsm

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Lots of threads on the subject, for example https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/post-your-infection-71400/ - seems pointless to rehash.
Strange, when someone posts the daily "Is this typical yeast activity an infection?" question, a few dozen people chime in to tell them to not worry, but post for confirmation of an actual infection and I get the "sit down, shut up and use the search button" response. Anyways...

Looks like it might be lacto to me. Do you mill your grain where you ferment?
I had thought from the pictures in the previously referenced thread that it could be lacto, and I do in fact ferment very near to where I mill. Guess the mill is going outside, thanks for the heads up!
 

Hugh_Jass

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Hard to tell from the one pic, but looks like lacto to me.

what type of beer is it? lacto's flavor contribution works pretty well in certain styles.

going forward, move the grain milling away from the beer storage. You'll need to disassemble, thoroughly clean and sanitize those kegs before you use them again. Might be wise to change all the rubber gaskets, too. Also, if you use any hoses to transfer the beer, they'll need to be cleaned/sanitized or replaced.

If it's lacto, it's flavors will steadily develop over time so drink quick if sour isn't your thing.

Good luck. :mug:
 
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stunsm

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Hard to tell from the one pic, but looks like lacto to me.

what type of beer is it? lacto's flavor contribution works pretty well in certain styles.

going forward, move the grain milling away from the beer storage. You'll need to disassemble, thoroughly clean and sanitize those kegs before you use them again. Might be wise to change all the rubber gaskets, too. Also, if you use any hoses to transfer the beer, they'll need to be cleaned/sanitized or replaced.

If it's lacto, it's flavors will steadily develop over time so drink quick if sour isn't your thing.

Good luck. :mug:
It's been in APA's and American Ambers. I completely break down the kegs after every use, but might give em a little extra soak time this go around, and replaced my hoses after seeing this. As long as it takes a while to develop, I'm not too worried, most of my beers are gone right about the time they're starting to mature.
 

ArcaneXor

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I also agree that it looks like lacto - probably the most harmless infection you can get. Still, since you say that it has been recurring, it's probably a good idea to go ahead and replace all plastics in your brewing system and put your glass/stainless equipment on the cold side through a repeated cleaning/sanitation cycle. What cleaners/sanitizers do you usually use?
 

Hugh_Jass

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It's been in APA's and American Ambers. I completely break down the kegs after every use, but might give em a little extra soak time this go around, and replaced my hoses after seeing this. As long as it takes a while to develop, I'm not too worried, most of my beers are gone right about the time they're starting to mature.
If it's occurred in more than one keg like you've indicated in your first post, either the grain milling is the problem or there's a problem in your transfer.

Last summer there was a hop leaf stuck in a liquid ball lock's spring I use to transfer beer from keg to keg. Infected 10 gallon before I caught it.

good luck
 
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stunsm

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What cleaners/sanitizers do you usually use?
I use EZ Clean and Star San, but I think my problem was probably the grain milling (I have been milling about 10 feet from my fermenters), and a transfer hose that I replaced a week or so ago. Probably should have done that a few batches ago. I'll transfer the infected batches out, give everything a serious scrub and replace the soft parts, I guess time will tell.
 
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