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Is my beer infected? -Please Help!

Hi All,

I’ve had Northern Brewer’s Imperial Stout fermenting for about 3 weeks now. After a week I racked to secondary. I had a lot of trub settle out of it so I decided to rack again. It’s been sitting very peacefully for the last week looking very clear and peaceful until I checked it today. There was something growing on the surface that was very reminiscent of a spider-web. I’ve done a little bit of lurking and some people have suggested this might be lactobacillus, but I haven’t been able to find any pictures that look quite like mine.


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2012-07-30 20.03.41-1[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/andrewtralle/]Andrew Tralle
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, on Flickr

What is this? Is my beer salvageable?

Thanks!

Have you tasted the beer when you transferred it, or now?

If it turns out to be infected, you might add some cherries and let it go for 6+ months.

I would let it sit for 1 more week. Then decide to bottle or let it go for a sour.

If transferring it this much is a contributing factor in the infecting, it a prime example why leaving a beer in the primary fermenter for the entire time is a good idea.

For now, RDWHAHB.

Yes its infected, thats probably a mold. You could rack it from under the floating stuff, bottle and keep it cold after carbonating and it should drink OK. It’d be worth a try anyway.

+1 on not racking to secondary, theres absolutely no need for this with an ale. Especially not two rackings. The infection is an example of the risk you take when you handle beer too much.

If you got the carboy space let that sit for 6 months to a year you might have a good sour

I think its a very low probability that letting this go is going to result in anything good. I’d salvage it now and hope for the best. Kegging would be ideal.

why would you say not good?..just looks like a pellicle is starting to develop.

here is a huge thread with images of pellicle starting and completley developed

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/pellic ... on-174033/

Because this could be mold, or acetobacter, or lacto/pedio, or some strain of Brett that isn’t so user friendly. I’ve had infections in beers and they never turned out to be any good. I’ve made quite a few wild beers with lambic blend and Roeselaire and bottle dregs, those are dicey enough. You kind of want the combination of bugs to do their thing in order since one kind of cleans up after the other. But hey I do love a nice furry pellicle. right now I have a 16mth kriek, a farily new lambic and a couple of younger fruit lambics fermenting away in the basement.

could be, and it could be good to. If it was mine and I had the space I would let it go and see what comes out of it.
I have never had a beer go bad with using bottle dregs or yeast blends. I have had plenty taste horrible midway through the process only to clean up with time.

Not planning an outcome or planning for an outcome and missing it are two different things, of course, but both can result in a good beer. Even so, I had one acetobacter infection in a honey lemon kolsch that just never got better. Just saying’ …but with a bigger beer, maybe it will be drinkable, though off style.

I have tasted many faults in friend’s brews (and mine earlier on) and they usually result from: infection, too early racking from primary (insufficient clean up time for yeast), poor temperature control during fermentation, and poor pitch rates.

Good luck with this one OP.

[quote=“ynotbrusum”]Not planning an outcome or planning for an outcome and missing it are two different things, of course, but both can result in a good beer. Even so, I had one acetobacter infection in a honey lemon kolsch that just never got better. Just saying’ …but with a bigger beer, maybe it will be drinkable, though off style.

I have tasted many faults in friend’s brews (and mine earlier on) and they usually result from: infection, too early racking from primary (insufficient clean up time for yeast), poor temperature control during fermentation, and poor pitch rates.

Good luck with this one OP.[/quote]

acetobater is never good ( to some degree a little in a flanders is usually there) once you have that it is just going to start turning to vinegar

+1 to racking under the floating stuff and drinking it early. To let a beer age without knowing
The type of infection is quite a risk and takes up space. It would be a shame if it was pedio, that stuff is nasty

[quote=“S.Scoggin”]+1 to racking under the floating stuff and drinking it early. To let a beer age without knowing
The type of infection is quite a risk and takes up space. It would be a shame if it was pedio, that stuff is nasty[/quote]

mmmmm pedio, that stuff is great

Thanks for your advice everyone. I bottled the other night. I think I successfully racked it away from the infection. We’ll see how it turns out. One month of aging instead of four. Ugh.

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