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12/22/07 01:41 PM  
Infection diagnosis
I'll preface this message by saying this is so far a happy accident... all of the beers I have been brewing lend themselves to contamination anyway, so it really hasn't mattered. But that wont last long.

I've noticed after some time in my bottles, even in the heavily hopped and high gravity beers, that after awhile there appears to be a VERY thin layer of pellicle, which makes swirly looking shapes on the surface. You can see, by tilting the bottle, that it leaves some residue on the side of the bottle. I'd hate to say it, but similar looking to my flanders red and flanders pale ales.

I'm thinking pedio infection? Although, I haven't really noticed any off flavors in these beers, no butter our sourness (yet, even in beers from months ago) so maybe a brett? (not sure how that would happen, I keep everything completely seperate)...but they've pretty much been all belgians so it hasn't mattered. I believe the infection may be coming from a plastic bucket....I just bottled my first beer with lager yeast (WY2112) that was fermented in a glass carboy that i haven't used in a while and so far it looks fine.....I'm not in a rush to cure this problem, just diagnose it, as I plan on brewing belgians for awhile longer, but that will last only until summer maybe.

12/22/07 04:16 PM  
Re: Infection diagnosis
Plastic buckets are well known for being carriers of infectious bugs waiting to pounce on the next brew entering their domain. Time for you to start investing in stainless steel receptacles.
12/22/07 04:49 PM  
Re: Infection diagnosis
I have two 6.5 gal glass carboys, I'll certainly be using them regularly now instead of the buckets (unless I really need it, or do a saison or something)....any thoughts on what the infection might be Cisco?
12/22/07 04:58 PM  
Re: Infection diagnosis

Does the pellicle look like an oily surface? Does it dissolve and not reappear again if you give the bottle a little shake or does it remain? Are the beers that are months old still have the pellicle?

If it dissolves when you shake the bottle and doesn't reappear again; I've seen this before when bottle conditioning but not when counter pressure filling.

12/22/07 05:27 PM  
Re: Infection diagnosis
Hard to say what it is but it's most likely contamination from one or many intentionally infected brews that used the plastic bottling bucket. You say you keep everything completely separate yet it appears that you use the same plastic bucket for everything - correct?
12/22/07 09:50 PM  
Re: Infection diagnosis
No...I only ferment intentional bug beers in glass, I rinse with very hot water and soak with bleach for 24+ plus hours, then hot water rince again.....

Ross...it does look oily....I have not shook to see if it comes back, but I actually just shook a bunch up tonight that had the pellicle and i'll post if I see it again soon.

12/22/07 09:57 PM  
Re: Infection diagnosis
Also....All stoppers/airlocks/tubing/racking bucket/racking cane/hosing/bottling wand/etc... is kept seperate. I have sets for each for bug & sacch brews.
12/22/07 09:58 PM  
Re: Infection diagnosis
Well it could also just be the yeast you primed with.
12/24/07 02:34 PM  
Re: Infection diagnosis
I wonder if yeast used during referementation in the bottle go through similar changes as a normal fermentation, including some surface formation then settling?
12/24/07 02:50 PM  
Re: Infection diagnosis
I have definitely seen this happen Ross, though I can't remember which strains exhibited this in my bottling experience.
12/26/07 02:31 PM  
Re: Infection diagnosis
I've had that happen before too, Ross, but I'm not sure that is the case here...
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