Spontaneous Fermentation Project Part 6 -- week 3 of fermentation - Brain Sparging on Brewing


Sour beer, saisons, farmhouse beer, homebrewing, ramblings

January 26, 2014

Spontaneous Fermentation Project Part 6 -- week 3 of fermentation

So at the conclusion of the last part I mentioned that the last week ended boringly and I might not keep this going. But then it seemed something actually was going on and I noticed it the next day while I was trying to decide whether I should bother taking a picture. It looks like there is some surface activity so onward we go.

So here's where we are in the dreaded lambic chart:

Right in the midst of saccharomyces-dominated fermentation time. It certainly looks like the bulk of what could have been sacc getting busy occurred in the first and second weeks but who knows what's really going on here.

Day 15

Alright, if you look right in the middle of the picture, past all the stuff stuck to the inside of the carboy there is a clump of tan stuff that appears to be growing (it's in between the two flash glares) on the surface of the liquid. There are a few of these clumps growing on the surface.

Day 16

Same thing today, you can see one of these clumps growing at about 2 o'clock from the flash glare on the left.

Day 17

 And again same thing, you can see that same clump slightly above the middle of the picture. At first I just thought these things were clumps of the yeast falling off the inside of the carboy back onto the surface but that doesn't explain the tendency to form together nor does it look like the krausen residue inside the carboy is changing shape. Not sure what is going on but it seems like something is going on.

I tried to get a sniff of what's going on. Unfortunately I used a rubber stopper on this beer and it's really hard to get aromas past that rubbery smell it leaves in the mouth of the carboy. From what I could get other than rubber it didn't exactly smell great in there but I'm not worried. There is a long way to go. The surface is sort of oily amongst tiny dots of what I imagine are organisms floating on the surface. I'll try to get a picture of the surface through the mouth tomorrow.

Day 18

Here's the top of the fermentor again. You can see the clumps still floating around on the top of the beer. They don't seem to be growing or shrinking in size.

Day 19

Here's another shot from above. No visible changes going on.

Day 20


Today's shot is looking down the mouth of the better bottle. Thanks to the flash you can see there is an oily film of what is probably a pellicle starting to form on the surface. Could be bacteria or wild yeast. Who knows.

Day 21

Here's another picture of something funky going on. Right in the middle of the picture you can see what looks like a clump of snot right at the edge of the liquid. That's a really accurate picture. I have no idea what that is but it's the last whatever from the stuff that was floating around on the top of the beer all of last week.

I guess I'll keep letting this ride out with the pictures. See what's going on. It looks like a pellicle might pop up in the next few weeks. I might dare to take a taste next week.

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