Awesome alien growth!

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Awesome alien growth!

Post by brewmcq » 6 years ago

I've posted this a couple other places.. apologies if you've seen it before...

It was suggested this might be an acetobacter infection and after popping the airlock cap off to give it a sniff, I got a face full of vinegar-y smell... not being super happy about the prospect of losing a batch, I ran some errands, came home and sniffed it again... zero vinegar-y smell. In fact, it smells pretty darn good.

This floating, almost pulsating, mass started out looking like a big ol' dumpling sitting in my carboy. Slowly, it has been breaking apart and sinking.

This is my first time brewing in a carboy. I normally brew, bucket, then test gravity after a couple weeks. I've never actually watched a "live" fermentation process before. None of my google searching has provided me with pictures that look even remotely like this, except for "kombucha".

This is a "light ale" recipe kit from MoreBeer.com. 8lbs 2-row, 8oz of Crystal 15L. Cascade hops and California Ale yeast. Brewed this yesterday.

This massive dumpling alien thing formed almost immediately, sitting at the top. Since this morning (especially tonight, since I've been moving the carboy around), the alien mass has started breaking up and sinking.

Like I said.. this is my first time brewing in a carboy. If this is even remotely normal-ish, a little reassurance would be nice.

But since it smells normal-ish, I'm going to let it ride and see what happens. I thought it would be nice to share some pictures in case other newbies run into the same thing.

Cheers!
Image Image Image
Last edited by brewmcq on 14 May 2011, 10:08, edited 5 times in total.
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Post by PistolPatch » 6 years ago

Great pics!

I don't ferment in a carboy so never get to really see what is going on underneath the surface. I'm wondering if it's just the krausen dropping out. Is the blob dropping?

Hope it does turn out to be this - fingers crossed :pray:

Let us know if anyone else gets this one solved for you and :luck:
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Post by Beer O'Clock » 6 years ago

I have had this on a couple of brews. It appears as a jelly like substance that CAN float on the surface as well as dropping to the bottom. My understanding is that it in congealed proteins.
I have tried to scoop it out with a sanatised spoon, but it tends to break up and cause cloudiness. It doesn't appear to affect the flavour but it does reduce the amount I get out of a FV. I have had to consider racking to a secondary, to maximise the clear stuff.
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Post by brewmcq » 6 years ago

@Pistol.. thanks for the luck.. :-)

@BoC.. as of this morning, it's almost completely broken up and settled on the bottom... I cross-posted this to a number of the beer forums I'm on, and the general consensus is that it's yeast... someone suggested alien yeast, but it's a normal "could happen".

In fact, when I popped the top off the Nut Brown Ale we bottled last night, there were a few little globules (maybe marble-sized) floating in the brown that looked like tiny versions of the alien in the light ale.... and the brown tasted awesome.

I'm very glad that I maintained a cool head about the thing, and researched it a bit more before just throwing it away.

Cheers!
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Post by Beer O'Clock » 6 years ago

It appears that what my brews are suffering from is different to yours. Mine stays floating throughout.

Glad to see yours is OK though.
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Post by EoinMag » 6 years ago

You are using too much copper finings. Reduce the amount of copper finings that you are using and you will not have these large gelatinous masses of yeast, and it will help you in that you will have a more compact yeast cake and less beer wastage involved.
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Post by texteditor » 6 years ago

What is copper finings?
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Post by PistolPatch » 6 years ago

I'd never heard of this term before so just looked it up. 'Copper finings' are the same thing as 'kettle finings' from the old days when the kettle was referred to as a copper. You learn something new every day :P.
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