Inexperienced brewer. Can someone help?

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SteveyC

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Hi all,

I’ve just joined as I’m fairly new to this. I’ve been using the ready-to-brew tins and they’ve mostly turned out fine. My current brew is causing some comers though. It’s on day 9 of 10 and has this white network of blobs on the surface. I’ve not been able to find any answers online so thought I’d turn to the experts for help. Can anyone tell me what this is please? Any help is appreciated.
 

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You have an infection there.
Generally (and sadly), you should dump it.
Next, clean everything that is going to touch the beer thoroughly. Sanitize it and be overly diligent--that's how I like to approach that sort of problem.
Good luck.
 

SteveyC

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You have an infection there.
Generally (and sadly), you should dump it.
Next, clean everything that is going to touch the beer thoroughly. Sanitize it and be overly diligent--that's how I like to approach that sort of problem.
Good luck.
That’s frustrating, but thank you. For the record, any idea what the infection is?
 

Sadfield

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As stated, it's a pellicle from some form of contamination. That's the bad news. The good(?) news is, if its fermented out, the alcohol and acidity will ensure that contamination isn't anything dangerous. Taste it, it may not be as expected, however you may still get an interesting beer.

The following is a better alternative to putting your heater directly into the beer, and will make keeping things sanitary, easier.

 

SteveyC

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As stated, it's a pellicle from some form of contamination. That's the bad news. The good(?) news is, if its fermented out, the alcohol and acidity will ensure that contamination isn't anything dangerous. Taste it, it may not be as expected, however you may still get an interesting beer.

The following is a better alternative to putting your heater directly into the beer, and will make keeping things sanitary, easier.

Thank you. That’s an interesting article, thanks for pointing it out!
I’ll have a taste and see how it is!
 

tigertim

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That's a real bummer and I always feel especially sad when it's somebody new to the hobby because it's such a kick in the teeth. Don't be disheartened, just try again after fully sanitising everything, as others have said :cool:

You can't be too obsessive about sanitising but, likewise, even the best sanitising practices aren't necessarily 100% reliable.

At this time of year, there is generally a lot more wild yeast and bacteria floating around in the atmosphere so you may just have got unlucky.
 

SteveyC

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That's a real bummer and I always feel especially sad when it's somebody new to the hobby because it's such a kick in the teeth. Don't be disheartened, just try again after fully sanitising everything, as others have said :cool:

You can't be too obsessive about sanitising but, likewise, even the best sanitising practices aren't necessarily 100% reliable.

At this time of year, there is generally a lot more wild yeast and bacteria floating around in the atmosphere so you may just have got unlucky.
Good to know and thanks for the encouragement.
I’m certainly not going to be giving up though, I’m enjoying to much to be derailed by a setback. Hopefully I’ll be able to save some of this batch as well, guess we’ll see!
 
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Good to know and thanks for the encouragement.
I’m certainly not going to be giving up though, I’m enjoying to much to be derailed by a setback. Hopefully I’ll be able to save some of this batch as well, guess we’ll see!
Yes, don't let this dampen your spirits. My first brew many years ago went horribly wrong.....the guy at the home brew shop tasted a bottle and said it was the worst thing he'd ever tasted 😂😂. I've learnt alot on here and my brews are generally good now 👍 Hope this one can be saved🍻🍻
 

Session

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Good to know and thanks for the encouragement.
I’m certainly not going to be giving up though, I’m enjoying to much to be derailed by a setback. Hopefully I’ll be able to save some of this batch as well, guess we’ll see!
Hey SteveyC, sorry to hear you had an infection. As Sadfield has mentioned setting up an externally-controlled water bath will make the risk of infection much lower for your next brew. Good luck! Let us know how the next one goes.
 

SteveyC

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Yes, don't let this dampen your spirits. My first brew many years ago went horribly wrong.....the guy at the home brew shop tasted a bottle and said it was the worst thing he'd ever tasted 😂😂. I've learnt alot on here and my brews are generally good now 👍 Hope this one can be saved🍻🍻
This is my fourth attempt, last 3 were quite nice so it’s disappointing to have a failure, but I might have been a bit negligent with the cleaning. Lesson learned.
 

SteveyC

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Hey SteveyC, sorry to hear you had an infection. As Sadfield has mentioned setting up an externally-controlled water bath will make the risk of infection much lower for your next brew. Good luck! Let us know how the next one goes.
I use a 100w heater as it gives a more stable temperature control, and I’ll definitely give this a go before long.
 
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This is my fourth attempt, last 3 were quite nice so it’s disappointing to have a failure, but I might have been a bit negligent with the cleaning. Lesson learned.
Sometimes you can get distracted and miss cleaning something quite easily...hope your next brew hits the mark. When I got back into brewing last year I used a bottom heater (like the mats you can buy,), but quickly went for a brew fridge as I could control the temp better (and my wife wasnt keen on the beer smell in the house😂). It was one of the best things I did to improve results, and not that expensive (think about £60 in total). If you have room it maybe something to consider when you have any spare cash....tho it could be the thin edge of beer "accessories" 😂😂
 

Session

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I use a 100w heater as it gives a more stable temperature control, and I’ll definitely give this a go before long.
You’re absolutely right, temperature control is very important. Now it’s just about optimising the positioning of the heater for best results. I find the fewer things I end up sticking in the beer, the less chance I have of getting an infection*

*said the actress to the bishop
 
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SteveyC

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Thank you all for your advice. I was a little apprehensive about posting on a forum as some places tend to be filled with arrogant ‘experts’ who like nothing more than to deride and belittle newbie mistakes. I came to the right place.
I’ll take it all on board for my next brews.

I’ve just had a taste of this one after gently removing the top layer and it tastes good enough for me. I’ll get it bottled asap and see how it is after second fermentation. If it’s good, I’ll let you all know!
 
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Thank you all for your advice. I was a little apprehensive about posting on a forum as some places tend to be filled with arrogant ‘experts’ who like nothing more than to deride and belittle newbie mistakes. I came to the right place.
I’ll take it all on board for my next brews.

I’ve just had a taste of this one after gently removing the top layer and it tastes good enough for me. I’ll get it bottled asap and see how it is after second fermentation. If it’s good, I’ll let you all know!
👍. This is a very friendly and informative place. Check out the thread on Brewing Mistakes you really wished you had avoided...good place for a chuckle, and also reassuring to know that we all make errors along the journey (mine was getting rain water into my brew.... couldn't save that one🙄😂😂).
 

Telboy61

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That's why I joined this forum, great information and helpful members who do not take the p*ss when things don't go exactly to plan.
 

Fire

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Like you i’m new to this & looking through alot of the posts I went for the water bath & found it great for controlling the temperature, i’ve used for wine as well as beer. On this latest batch our electric kept blowing & found at some point cracked the glass on the heater so going for a stainless one next.
 

SteveyC

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Like you i’m new to this & looking through alot of the posts I went for the water bath & found it great for controlling the temperature, i’ve used for wine as well as beer. On this latest batch our electric kept blowing & found at some point cracked the glass on the heater so going for a stainless one next.
I had no idea stainless steel ones existed!
I took the plastic cover off mine while cleaning and found copious amounts of brownish gunk, quite possibly the cause of my issue.
 

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