Hello, I bottled a batch of Petit orange this Sunday after a week of primary and two weeks of secondary fermentation. After a couple of days of bottle conditioning a layer of tiny white bubbles have appeared on top of the beer. I may not have noticed but i bottled a couple of clear bottles to be able to watch it. this is only my second batch but my mentor/neighbor that has been doing this for a while had never seen or noticed this before. Is it normal? should I be worried? If you shake the bottle they get absorbed back into the beer. I’m not sure if they will come back or not yet. I’ve attached a picture of the foam/bubbles to show what i’m talking about. Thanks in advance for the help!
I guess i should have said this is the nb petit orange kit. I followed the recipe as close as i could including the orange zest and coriander at flame out. It looks like mostly foam or bubbles but if i shake it up the bubbles dissapear and little white floaties remain.Either I’ve stumped everyone or asked a stupid question or I’ve stumped everyone. I’m hoping it is a stupid question and its nothing to worry about
Were the hydrometer readings stable before you racked to the secondary?
To be honest I started out with the basic brewing kit and haven’t bought a hydrometer yet. I just follwed the NB recipe. It hadn’t shown any signs of active fermentation for most of the week before i transferred it. It seemed to be a pretty short ferment and didn’t show any signs of fermentation or visible change in the secondary for well over a week. I will be getting a hydrometer with my next order.
Hard to tell anything with general statements. [quote=“ssjovall”]To be honest I started out with the basic brewing kit and haven’t bought a hydrometer yet. I just follwed the NB recipe. It hadn’t shown any signs of active fermentation for most of the week before i transferred it. It seemed to be a pretty short ferment and didn’t show any signs of fermentation or visible change in the secondary for well over a week. I will be getting a hydrometer with my next order.[/quote]
You may have racked to the secondary before fermentation was complete. Removing the beer from the yeast cake stalled the fermentation. The active yeast that did not drop out in the primary are now finishing up on your priming sugar. There is some possibility you may get some higher than expected CO2 pressures in your bottles. Open one of the bottles this coming Sunday to check for excessive pressure. This will be to early for proper bottle conditioning of your beer, but it will be important to head off possible exploding bottles.
I should have asked before. What was your bottling procedure?
My bottling process is to boil 5/8 of a cup of table sugar in two cups of water. I cooled the priming solution down and poured it into the bottling bucket and then racked the beer into it. Of course Everthing was sanitized in star san incuding the bottles and caps. Then i used a bottle filler to fill the bottles and capped them with a handheld capper. I only used a few clear bottles to watch and check clarity. The whole process including fermentation and bottle conditioning has been done in my basement at about 69 degrees. Being new to this I may be leaving out important details. Sorry about that. I bought Palmers book yesterday and have started to read it so i can avoid at least a few dumb questions. Thanks for the advice!
Just curious to see if bottle filling procedure could have added some foaming. With the bottling wand, as I do it, the beer pushes out any Starsan foam when a tad overflows the bottle when it is full.
Bottling wand and bottling filler are the same item.
Ive got a quick update. I cracked open a warm bottle today to check it. It foamed up pretty bad and over flowed the bottle but being warm maybe thats normal. I degassed it the best i could and took a hydrometer reading with a friends hydrometer. It measured 1.10 from what i could see which is actually lower than i expected from the reading I’ve done. It tasted ok for being flat and warm. Being curious about the apparent over carbonation i chilled one and opened it tonight. The pressure didnt seem excessive when i popped it and it’s only mildly carbonated. I guess i will let them sit and condition. Thanks for the comments.
To me, that looks like a pellicle, not foam from normal saccaromyces
Wahoo- Thanks for the tip. I did some quick research and from the pictures and description of brewing with brett yeast and sour beers it matches what my batch looked like. I didn’t have a perfect seal on my carboy and the extra oxygen would have helped create the pellicle. I guess i will wait and see how it matures unless someone has good input on how to improve the situation. Being a new brewer dealing with a possible sour wasn’t something i was planning on! But I’m willing to be patient and see how it goes.
I would set it aside and let it age for some time 8+ months and by then (possibly longer) you could have a good sour to enjoy.
Might be a good idea to take what you’ve learned and start a new batch
Depending on what the FG was at bottling, you may want to put them in a rubbermaid container or the like for longer term storage. From what I’ve read, the brett will continue to consume sugars the yeast didn’t and you may be in danger of bottle bombs.
I have an unintentional sour aging in a closet in a spare bucket from an NB Caribou Slobber kit. Trying to figure out what it was and what to do led me to the conclusion it was Brett L. It’s been about 3 months and I figure I’ll see what it’s like in about 6-9 months before deciding to discard or bottle. If it’s drinkable, I’m going to call it Sour Slobber.
The FG was 1.10 if i took the hydrometer reading correctly. I guess i will take the advice and put them in a container just in case. As far as the slobber is concerned, have you tried it for flavor yet? How did you notice it? The same pellicle appearance in the secondary?
I guess i will try one at three weeks when the schedule says its supposed to be done and then one every month or so until it tastes good. I was really looking forward to this batch so i hope it’s salvageable sooner or later (hopefully sooner!)
I was going to brew a NB Dubbel this weekend with yeast harvested from the Petit. Now i think i better order a fresh packet of yeast because i don’t know when this batch got infected and I need to triple clean and sanitize everything.
Brewing a Dubbel this weekend
Caribou Slobber in secondary with a sealed carboy!
Petit Orange (sour?) bottle conditioning
Just finishing up my first batch which was a SMASH
I saw this link somewhere while I was searching for answers
My pellicle looked exactly like the Brett L on that site. I can’t say if yours is the same. In seaching HBT I found info from others’ experiences with Bretts. A while after the pellicle formed, I checked on it again and it had funky “fuzzy” like bubbles forming on top of the liquid which looked exactly like pics of Brett L later in the ferment that I found when seeking more info.
I haven’t tasted it since transferring to secondary but haven’t noticed any off smell. I think the Brett was hiding in the siphon. I was told to expect some funky/nasty smells before it would fully mature into a sour if I was willing to wait that long. Also to never use that bucket again. So I just tucked it into a cool closet. If I end up dumping the batch, the bucket will be for garden or some other use.
Some other advice I got was if it is done fermenting and tastes good, bottle it and drink it quickly.
Another update. Came home tonight to find the same film or pellicle on my Caribou Slobber. I’m definetely doing something wrong and i think it’s because i tried to use #7 blue plastic water bottles that i found for a couple of bucks each. Either they were contaminated beyond what Starsan would sanitize or it’s just the wrong plastic. It is the only part of my process that is different from what my local brewing mentor does so i am throwing them out! I have no interest in trying to make sour beers at the moment.