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Issue With Plinian After 1st Dry Hop

This is my third brew total and my first of The Plinian Legacy. Everything was going very well up until I dry hopped. I transferred to secondary about 2 weeks before the first dry hop and the beer was fairly clear with little to no particulate except for some yeast fall out on the bottom.

I split the first dry hop addition between two hop sacks weighed down with some nuts that I vacuum sealed in small food saver bags. I tied unflavored floss to the bags to keep them suspended. I left on a business trip and came back about 5 days after I added the hops. What I saw I did not get a picture of, but on top of the beer was a light brown layer of something. The layer was not totally smooth over the top, but sort of jagged 1x1 or 2x2" chunks. I swirled the fementer to break it up and most of it sunk. The pictures below are a day after I swirled it.

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What is this? Did I mess something up? The batch does NOT have any odd odors, in fact it smells amazing. Is this some sort of interaction with the hop oils and the yeast in the batch?

Please help, I am worried that I did something wrong and messed up the batch I have really been looking forward to.


OMG it’s infected!

Immediately PM me so we can work this out! :wink:


Looks like some yeast clumps perhaps from some secondary fermentation.

Nothing to worry about.

The pictures do no look that unusual to me. It could be yeast clumping. I have seen that take different forms. It does seem more unusual to get it in the secondary, but I don’t do many secondaries except to dry hop like you or now for sour beer aging.

The description of a brown layer sounds a little more unusual. I had one beer that had more of a semi-transparent white film that I believe was an acetobacter infection. You could look on Google → Images under the subject “acetobacter film beer” to see if the pictures look anything like what you saw.

If that was the case, maybe there was some contamination around the stopper/carboy that got washed down with the hops. Just a guess. I have been pretty sloppy about that type of contamination when sampling the progress of my sour beers. In the past, I would only remove the stopper once to keg and then I would use a kitchen torch to try to sterilize the neck of the carboy. I may switch to soaking that are in Star San after cracking one carboy neck from the heat.

Thank you both for the replies. I googled “acetobacter film beer” and none of the pictures look anywhere close to what I saw. The pictures on google were all much more mycelium/stringy/circular growth looking. I am hoping that it is just yeast clumps based on the feedback. Nothing has grown any further since I swirled it. I would have to assume that an infection would have continued to grow after agitation, right?

I’ve had krauesen that floated around like. Mostly from top cropping yeasts but that’s what it looks like.

Doesn’t look like acetobacter. Acetobacter is aerobic and would definitely thrive on the oxygen you’d introduce by swirling.

Even though you are probably going to be fine, your picture freaks me out from all the _man _made junk floating around in there. I’ve gravitated toward the "just dump the hops in directly "camp. They’ll eventually sink and cold crash, voila!

I had the exact same thing happen with a recent IIPA that I dry hopped with 3 oz Simcoe loose in secondary. I had a huge amount of hop particles and break material in primary, and a decent amount made it into the secondary. I think what happened is after sitting for a week in secondary, the dry hops made nucleation sites for the CO2, which lifted the yeast and break material off the bottom of the secondary and ended up floating around the top in big chunks until bottling day. Looked nasty, but a fine-mesh bag on the end of the siphon hose kept everything out of the bottling bucket. It’s been bottled about a month, with no noticeable problems so far.

Exact same problem as the OP. Plinian Kit. Dry hopped with pellets in muslin bag. No weights or strings, same result. I’ve included a couple pictures. Drummahjake - is this what yours looked like before you broke it up?
So it sounds like I shouldn’t be worried about taste, but what can I do to keep this out of the bottles? When I siphon into the bottling bucket, I’m going to need to avoid the trub on the bottom and this huge floater on the top. Should I break it up?
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A cold crash should cause it to drop. If not it’s easy enough to avoid while racking. Don’t swirl a secondary unless your goal is oxidized beer.

Yes, before agitating it did look very similar to your issue. Sorry it took so long to reply. My batch turned out great. Still drinking it, but not a whole lot left.

I have to disagree here, I swirl mine and never had an issue. Maybe you are just unlucky :slight_smile: I find swirling helps move more of the beer over the hops. Now when I say swirl, I do not mean slosh the carboy around, I leave it flat on the table and spin it.

As for the question at hand, it’s probably just cold break or yeast

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