Oily film on top of fermenting beer

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by RobertE, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. RobertE

    RobertE Member

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    Occasionally I will sometimes notice an oily-looking film on top of the beer after it has been in the secondary fermenter, usually prior to bottling. Is this a compound from the hops or malt? I don't think it's Star San since I'm pretty good at rinsing everything after sanitizing.
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    what color is it, in most cases its yeast
     
  3. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I get some green stuff floating on top sometimes too real thin and all broken up into a thousand pieces like a puzzle waiting to be completed. I think it's hop residue of some sort.
     
  4. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    Get a photo maybe ?
     
  5. Bevis

    Bevis Member

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    Yeah I get the same too from time to time I had always put it down to hop oil or the like. Beer still tasted good all the same.
     
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  6. RobertE

    RobertE Member

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    If you look closely there are patches of "film" on top of the beer. Tasted perfectly fine and smelled great. Perhaps it's nothing to really be concerned about. This was after 2 dry hopping editions so maybe this is simply essential oils from the hops.
     

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  7. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Oh dude sorry to say but you should have seen my saison brews film on top it was like a Lilly padded pond all little broken up bits of green hop residue/oil. I'm still alive after drinking it lol
     
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  8. emsroth

    emsroth Member

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    If you prick it with something sharp does it stick? Is it filmy?

    I feel like I have seen that kind of stuff before. I actually had a sort of pellicle form on a secondary of WLP001. The batch was never infected from grain to glass. At least not in a noticeable way. So I feel like yeast mixes with other compounds to form that "soup skin."
     
  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I'm almost 100% certain it's hop residue that's remained on top of the beer after krausen has fallen I see the German beer Brewers skim this film at high krausen as it can have some harsh flavours.
     
  10. suffolk

    suffolk New Member

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    I seem to get this all the time, I do extract brewing.
    I get it more when I don't use a muslin bag for the hops.
    It has never affected the taste and so I don't worry about it
     
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  11. Der_Bitburg_Chef

    Der_Bitburg_Chef New Member

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    Hi there,
    so as a scientist I would recommend a small experiment to make sure its not truly an infection. make a small starter using DME or just sugar and add some of your "sample" to it and let it grow. if it should truly be infected it will grow and you know for sure.
    But, most likely, its the oils from the hops which react to your water chemistry. If you have a slightly higher Alkalinity in your water this will lead to this "fall-out" of the oils of the hops on top. Make sure your water is nicely balanced in its components.
    Hope that helps,
    Cheerio and good brewing.
     
  12. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Mate do you skim the krausen to reduce this from happening?
     
  13. chub1

    chub1 Active Member

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    Same here. No dry hopping and no film.Dry hop and almost certain to get this film on the top.Not had any probs however
     
  14. Der_Bitburg_Chef

    Der_Bitburg_Chef New Member

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    Can do; however I usually don't care to much and also add gelatin as a clarifier 2 days before the racking to the keg. this usually does the trick and I have perfectly clear beer with no "residues".
    And again, as long as its not an infection there is no issue with it in the first place...
     
  15. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a man after my own heart it's great stuff geletin totally recommend it.
     
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  16. underdogsbrewery

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    about the picture it's hop dont worry, ... i'm an infection connoisseur, yesterday i threw away sixty bottles and a five litres keg... today i'm still looking at the trash can
    and maybe even tomorrow COL(cry out loud)
     
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  17. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Mate i (try) to drink my mistakes but somtimes its a health risk:p.

    What do you think you did wrong?

    I try not to fart near my fermentor untill high krausen lol.
     
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  18. underdogsbrewery

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    Ahahah it could be happened ahahah
    No really , surely the problem could be the cleaning ... when you get practice and experience you risk to taking for granted things as sanitation
    Maybe some hose or faucet even the starter
    I need csi to find the cause LOL
     
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  19. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    Dare say ALL homebrew is contaminated to an extent , I'm very fussy about sanitation but with a truly sterile clean environment there's always going to be something else in there
     
  20. underdogsbrewery

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    However the only infection that I know like your oily film is the candida mycoderma.. but , if your film doesn't break in many white points when you move it , Enjoy your beer
     

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