Ive recently been so busy and have had to move 2 times in the past few months that my beer has sat in the secondary for over 8 months. It has had airlocks on them the whole time and I have read before that no pathogens can survive in beer due to the PH, no oxygen, and the fact that the yeast once established fights off other nasties.
If I were to transfer to another carboy and only siphon say 75% of it and dont even come close to the top or bottom of the carboy are these safe to drink?
I would hate to dump 100 beers down the drain!
I have included some pics. Thanks.
It’s safe to drink, but likely doesn’t taste very good. Give it a try.
Looks like you have some nice pellicles on those beers. That’s a sign of some other microbe growing in your beer and oxygen in the headspace.
They are indeed safe to drink.
What were the base styles of beer in those carboys? Accidental sours typically do not end up well, but you never know until you try it. It may be sour, super dry, or have some unpleasant off flavor like butyric acid or what not. Or it could be the best beer you’ve ever made. Either way, several months in secondary is not enough to cause an infection in a clean beer - you may want to review your sanitation practices to see what is causing the contamination.
That certainly looks like a pellicle to me. They look infected. It doesn’t mean they are bad. If you’re into funky beers give them a small sample and see how they taste.
Thank you all for the reply. I guess ill rerack, and get all the sediment and stuff off the top out, let it settle for a few days and then carbonate and find out.
By the way they are both Kolsch style beers.
And doing the exact math those beers have been in the secondary for about 10 months.
I wouldn’t rack it yet - can you sneak a taste of it? Just snaking a piece of siphon hose into it, you can draw off a little sample. If it tastes bad, it’s probably best do dump it. If it doesn’t taste bad, you’ll want to get a gravity measurement. Then in about a month (this is the time frame for sours), take another measurement. If there’s no gravity drop, you’re probably safe to bottle.
Keep in mind that whatever touches this beer is going to be contaminated. Either do a completely thorough disassembly/soak in caustics/sanitization cycle, or dedicate this to funky beers moving forward.
Ok so I drew a sample out of each and tasted it. Both tasted like a warm, flat Kolsch should taste like.
The one with the yellow layer on top tasted just slightly sour, but I don’t mind sour beers so ill end up bottling that.
And the other one with the dark bubbles on top tasted actually pretty good and I was kinda surprised.
So this weekend I will bottle both up and then do a very thorough job of cleaning all equipment. Out of the 20 or so batches I have made these were the first to get any signs of contamination. I just chalked it up to sitting too long in the secondary. Thanks.
If you’re going to bottle condition, it might not be a bad idea to add some fresh yeast to your bottling bucket. Otherwise, you might not have enough healthy yeast left after 10 months to eat up your priming sugar to carbonate the beer.