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What does a fermenter infection look and act like?

My son and I put together an extract batch on 12/18. 9# light DME and 1# caramel crystal malt 20L. Wyeast 1056 American Ale. Initial fermentation clogged up the airlock on a bigmouth 6.5 gallon so we put on a blowoff tube. The bubble rate from the blowoff slowed after about a week so we put a clean airlock back on. The beer never stopped “moving”. Almost nonexistent bubble rate from the airlock but looking at the trub fine bubbles were continually rising out of it. The krausen looks great however has only subsided a bit. I moved the fermenter to the counter last night and it seemed to wake up for awhile but did settle back down. Still the fine bubbles. I’ve found a number of articles that have me leaning towards an infection based on the extended apparent ferrmentation. Thoughts? Anyone ever have this experience?

It sounds like your fermentation is going as it should. The bubbles rising from the trub is most likely CO2 that was trapped making its way out. The CO2 bubbles will resuspend some of the sediment that dropped out. Your beer will begin clearing as the escaping CO2 diminishes.

First signs of most infections is a whitish oily film covering the top of the beer. This pellicle may have a spider web appearance or large oily white bubbles as it progresses.

Sounds like a normal fermentation. Just because you don’t see airlock activity doesn’t mean there’s something wrong. Some fermentation vessels are notoriously known to leak, including your BMB, which limits the airlock activity. Yeast continue to work well after signs of fermentation have ceased.
In regards to your continued airlock activity, this was because you moved the fermenter. You can also get airlock activity with weather changes as the headspace tries to get into equilibrium with the atmosphere.
Worry if you get something like this:

Yikes! That is the boogeyman, folks!

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Gadzooks!!! Now i suppose my computer is infected looking at something like that! Sneezles61

Thanks for the advice all! I’ll repost with results.

I think I need to Star San my monitor after that pic.

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Okay, so all of a sudden it looked like this. We racked to the t secondary on Thursday and dry hopped. Looking good now. I guess what I was seeing was an extended fermentation. Planning on letting it secondary until the 15th (If I can wait!!) Will probably cannonball part of it and bottle the rest. Will update with the taste test report.

FOLLOWUP REPORT:

9# Light DME, steeped 1# Caramel Crystal 20L, All Mosaic: 2 oz@ 60, 1 oz at 30, 1 oz at 14, 2 oz at flameout, dry hopped 1 oz 5 days. One smack pack WY1056, OG (calculated) was 1.083, FG (measured) =1.011. IBUs calculated at 107.

Well, we bottled this stuff the other night and “cannonballed” about a gallon and a half. After two days of force carbonating in the cannonball we gave it a whirl and it was delicious. As a self-confessed hophead, the nose is amazing! The first sip fakes you out as “sweet” however about halfway through a pint it feels like your whole mouth is just one fantastic hoppy mess. :heart_eyes: Although my Scotch Ale loving wife disputes it, the beer calculates out at 10% ABV. Based on mouth feel and brain feel, I think it’s got to be close. I will make this again however plan to dial it back just a bit.

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Sounds awesome!

I want to say thank you for the advice when I was panicked and created this thread. Now a month and a half down the road and all I can say is that bottle conditioning caused some great changes. This beer has gone from the crazy green gooey hop mess that it was at first (which was okay) to a very smooth tasty beer.:yum: I am amazed at how it lost that in your face edge. The first sip seems to have a sweetness to it that is followed by a nice mellow roll of Mosaic. Definitely didn’t get that mouth full of hops while drinking it or wake up with my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. I have the ingredients in hand for another batch and we plan to brew this weekend. I sure hope I can repeat this one! Thanks again for the encouragement!

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Think you are fine. But try to use a blowover hose. First week of fermenting. Once it slows down change to airlock. A less thing to worry a blowover

Thank you! I ended up switching to a blowoff on the first batch and will start with one on the next.

I leave the blow off tube on all the time while in the fermenter… Sneezles61

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