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Pale Ale, pictures... Infection?

I made this pale ale. I pitched 04 after chilling. Unbeknownst to me (dumb moment) the bucket lid was barely open on the back side. I thought it wasn’t fermenting properly due to no airlock activity so after 48 hrs I pitched a pack of 05 just to be safe.

It’s been sitting at 68 degrees or so since the first pitching of yeast and it’s been about 3 1/2 weeks.
Anyway, I went down today to get set up for transferring to a keg (getting star san mixed up and such before dinner, have a 8mnth old so I have to do everything in quick stages ha) and I decided to take my first peek.

This is what I saw. It smells like good beer but I’m also getting a faint banana aroma that I didn’t expect. There are also a couple 2inch brain like cottage cheese thingys floating and I don’t know I’ve ever seen that before for beer that’s been sitting weeks after fermentation.

What do you guys think?
Thanks for any help!

That looks ok. I would keg and carb it. See how it tastes.

I would say that’s yeast. I think it’s okay. Did you take a sniff? Does it smell okay?

Actually, that last picture looks like some sort of battered morsel in the deep fryer! :stuck_out_tongue: Good luck.

That looks like yeast rafts to me. I don’t think there’s an infection, just too much yeast where you pitched the 04 and 05.

You can’t really go by the airlock. A silent airlock doesn’t mean no fermentation. You said it smelled good, did you taste it? The banana smell might be from the higher fermenting temp.

Haven’t tasted it yet. Thanks for the advice. Going to rack and carb and see what happens!

I can’t wait until my boy is older so I can actually spend 15 min doing something without hearing crying, something falling over etc ha…

The smells could be anything including concentrated yeast and I have had beers smell like all kinds of things and the beer ends up fine. Diacetyl, sulphur in lagers and all sorts of other smells have usually been cleaned up by the yeast by the time the beer is ready to be served. Remember too that all yeast strains act a little differently and some of their behavior is very weird. Some will clump up and float like this one, some form big pillows on the surface of the beer even after fermenting for a couple of weeks, etc. My guess is that this beer will come out nicely. Good luck.

The sniff test is one of the more informative things that you can do here, as KL pointed out.

Another major tip off would be an extra long fermentation and inability to clear.

If it seems to be following the regular schedule and clears out properly there would rarely be anything to worry about.

Could just be cold break…bottle it up and test it in 4 weeks…if it’s infected you will know. Take a bottle, uncap it and just shake it side to side…if it’s infected it will foam over like a volcano. You don’t need to shake that hard either.

That beer is definitely infected, go ahead and keg it though and send it to me, just so happens I’m doing some research on these type of things. I’ll send your keg back after testing is complete.

Just take a sample of it now before you keg or bottle it if its sour or nasty tasting then it infected why waste your time if you don’t have too?

On that note like others said I’m not seeing infection

Looks like coagulated protein and/or yeast. I see similar floaties in my fermenter from time to time. I have even sucked a couple up with my racking cane when trying to get every precious ounce of home brew transferred from carboy to bottling bucket. They have never caused any ill effects in my experience.

Reminds me of when I used to post over at the Midwest forum…someone would say this at least once every day.

Sorry for the long time in between replies. I didn’t get around to getting this beer in the keg until tonight heh… anyway, I didn’t taste it ha. There is no longer a banana aroma but definitely more of an ‘alcohol’ aroma than I’ve ever had from a beer before. It was an extract batch with only 6lbs of LME and 1 1/2lbs of DME so I don’t see why it’d smell like a mixed drink. I guess I’ll find out in a week or so. :mrgreen:

[quote=“SolomonsCommune”]
I can’t wait until my boy is older so I can actually spend 15 min doing something without hearing crying, something falling over etc ha…[/quote]

I’m in the same exact boat! Hah. Isn’t it grand?

You’ll get better results in the future if you can get the fermentation temperature down to like 63-65 F, substitute a pound of DME for a pound of cane sugar, and use 100% distilled water. Also make sure you buy from a reputable supplier and use very fresh extract. Stale extract can give off banana esters – this is part of the so-called “twang” caused by stale extract. Might not be the case for this batch, but it is possible.

Thanks for all the replies and advice!

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