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How quickly should I be drinking this?

Bottled this pale ale a week ago. Looked normal in the fermenter (I’ve got a 20+ batch idea of normal, so not a noob, but you can fill a warehouse with what I don’t know…).

I usually drink a few of the week-olds to see how they’re coming along, and this tastes OK, if a bit flat (which is fine by me for a pale ale).

I’ve never seen (or never noticed, or have drunk too much beer to remember) any floaties in my bottles before.

Am I looking at a budding batch of malt vinegar here?

Kinda looks like a pellicle… but I doubt it.

Are all the bottles that way or just some? I will say that I don’t like the look of it but it’s always possible that it’s yeast or possibly just a bottle you didn’t get clean enough. Open it, smell it, taste it and judge from there. I’ll send some positive vibes your way. :cheers:

That, sir, is contamination, I’ve seen it many times. I believe it is Lacto. The beer will taste fine for a month or two, then will go sour or mutate into something not so good. Drink it up. Unless of course it is just this single bottle, in which case, drink this one up sooner than later. It will be fine if you don’t get to it for a couple weeks, but not a lot longer than that.

that is a pellicle, contaminated… you may have bottle bombs from it to if a bug is in there that continues to ferment.
Who knows where it came from, I would throw out all “soft equipment” that that touched to be safe

When I was a “bottler”, I occasionally had this issue and I found that the drum assembly that is a part of the spigot was the culprit from time to time. When I stated kegging, I stopped bottling for years. But last year I thought it would be fun to bottle a batch so I got all of my equipment out and cleaned the living bejesus out of every single square millimeter of it. The other spot is the little spring-loaded piece of the bottling wand… if you have that piece. Was this bottled with priming sugar or with a BeerGun?

Which sanitizer are you using?

Thanks for the thoughts and observations.

I figured it was contaminated. All the bottles are this way, so it was either this way in the fermenter and I didn’t notice it (possible, I suppose, but it was in there 5 weeks with an intact blowoff tube in a jug of starsan) or it was something in the siphon-bottling bucket-spigot-wand system. I boiled the priming sugar a good 10 minutes and it stayed covered until it was tossed in, so I doubt I got it there.

I use Starsan, and as far as I can recall the usual protocols were followed, Starsanning the bottling bucket, siphon, tubes, wand, etc, but I had some help this time around, and I’m sure not going to point fingers at her, because, well, I’m not that big an idiot, even if I have managed to bottle myself an unintentional Lambic.

I took apart the bottling wand last night and soaked it, since it seemed a likely culptrit, as well as other stuff, using PBW, figuring that the most likely thing is that I had some gunk somewhere I didn’t notice and it didn’t sanitize. I’ve got spare, new gaskets for the bottling spigot, so I’ll swap a new one in there next time around and I’ll give all the stuff a good PBW soak first, followed by a starsan soak, and throw out anything that looks old and beat up, though I don’t have much that fits that description, having done this for 2 years.

Well, I guess we all get one o’ these sometime.

The only other contamination I’ve gotten (noticeable anyway) in 20-some batches was pretty obvious, at least to my wife, who happened to open a couple of Belgians that geysered all over the place, producing a nice, black sludge. In that case, it was easy to see some crusted-on gunk in the bottles that we somehow missed. But that was only a couple of bottles. They managed to find both of them that night.

Whatever’s in here isn’t producing much CO2 at least yet. This ale remains English flattish, which is fine by me. In the meantime, the beer still smells and tastes fine, so I’ll keep swilling and keep it all in the fridge. FWIW, when I first noticed this, wondering if it was somehow yeast that floated up, I tipped each of the bottles a couple times to mix it in. Whatever’s in there that grew the gunk up top in only a few days doesn’t seem to have started growing new gunk on top, at least not quickly enough to notice.

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