White floater questions (and pics) for 8 month Belgian Dark Strong Ferment

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fishbowlbrewco

Fishbowl Brew Co.
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Hey Y’all.

We’ve got a situation and I’m not sure what our next steps should be. We’ve got our Belgian dark strong which was brewed 8 months ago. It had a pretty slow ferment. Started at 1.114 OG and got down to 1.040 after 3 months. So, I transferred it into new sanitized and co2 purged carboys and added a fresh batch of 05. After a month was able to get it down to 1.033.

Then COVID hit and it was sort left in the fermenter at 40 for the last 4 months. I’m getting ready to finally bottle it this weekend and I noticed (for the first time) a while cloudy film in the two carboys and in my larger fermenter. The beer definitely tastes a little sour (but def drinkable) and the gravity is the same 1.033. It’s really supposed to finish at 1.023 or so. I’m not sure what I should do. It’s a total of 40 gallons, so I want to save it if I can!

Is there a good methodology for me to key out this white film to order/genus to know if it’s safe to consume?

If so, should i syphon off the beer onto some fresh high gravity yeast to see if it will finish?

Or should I just bottle it as is with some good yeast and hope it aged well?

Also, should I be careful with using certain equipment with this white stuff? What’s the long-term contamination risk to future batches?

Sorry for the long post. I could really use the help though!!
 

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tgolanos

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This. It's infected with something. You can bottle it, but there is a risk of overcarbonation and bottle bombs since the bugs will ferment more sugars than your yeast can.

You can age it for a while more and see what you get (it could be good, it could be dreck) or dump it. It's up to you. As far as cleaning your gear, any equipment that came into contact with the infected beer can be salvaged with a good bleach-bath. Get some unscented bleach and follow the instructions on the back (I usually use 1:100 ratio). Rinse well with hot water and you'll be good to go for your next batch.
 

Dr_Jeff

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Like the others have said, it is definitely a pellicle.
It will likely need a year or more to finish out and you should have something similar to a Flanders Brown.
If you could find a ~20 gallon oak barrel, it would be ideal to age and influence the beer, some of the rest can be used to top off the barrel as some will soak into the wood and some will evaporate through the wood. Your large fermenter appears to be ~10 gallons. I have several 10 gallon oak barrels with sour beers in them.
If you don't like sour beers, its time to dump it and do a major league though cleaning of everything that remotely came in contact with the beer. If you do like sour beers, let them age, when fool feel it is ready, then pull half and replace it with clean beer of a similar recipe, the second fill will be ready sooner, btw. This process is called a solara. Store the aging beer at room temperatures, ~65-75 degrees.

Good luck.
 
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