June 1, 2014

Spontaneous Fermentation Project Part 9 -- week 21 of fermentation

It's been two and a half months since I've updated this project. Sour beers don't progress visibly like clean beers so I didn't want to show pictures of the same thing over and over again. I wanted to wait to post up some more pictures until I had something new to show from the last update. In the last update I discussed the weird yeast-colored pads floating on top. They are still hanging around the top of the beer but they are developing into jellyfish-like pads with the tendrils hanging down in the beer.

Weird, right? I'm not entirely sure what's going on here. I know there are some people on the interwebz who insist the tendrils mean mold and it's undrinkable but I don't think that is anything more than baseless speculation. I've continued to try to find somebody mentioning something similar but I've seen some non-beer fermentations that appear to be in the same ballpark (e.g. sherry flor) that makes me think I'm probably not going to die if I drink it.

I checked the ph with test strips and it came up in the low 4.something, which definitely suggests it is at least acidic enough that it shouldn't be risky to drink. I tasted a drop off of the test strip. Nothing too unusual in the flavor. Sweeter than I expected but tasted like a very boring wheat beer. No remarkable fermentation flavors. Definitely no perceivable acidity. (If I stop posting then everybody was wrong, something does grow in beer that can kill you.)

Overall I'm perplexed by what is going on. Aside from the mystery jellyfish, there is no pellicle although the surface has a slight oily appearance. The beer is still cloudy, which could be starch from the turbid mash or continued fermentation from something else (or both). 


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