Unexpected growth in cranberry stout?

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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Unexpected growth in cranberry stout?

Postby xxxx » Mon Nov 13, 2006 1:55 pm

I recently decided to try and make a cranberry stout for a Winter Seasonal Ale, and have run into an intriguing problem. Everything has been going well untill I transfered my beer into the seconday. I steeped a pound of bruised/crushed cranberries at 150F for 10 minutes, let it cool (covered) and dropped them into the carboy. Then I transfered my beer from the first stage, which tasted good and had about 5% alcohol, over the cranberries.

So it's been sitting there for about 5 days now and I've noticed some "growths" slightly under the cranberry layer. I can't determine if it's an infection or part of the cranberry. Certainly doesn't look like it, but I'm trying to hang onto some hope. Have you guys ever seen anything like this/have any experience doing something similar? I'm going to try and keep an eye on it and see if it gets bigger.

I guess i've always assumed that if you have a healthy ferment in the first stage, then it's pretty tough to infect a beer in the secondary. This is why I put the cranberries in, instead of using an extract. Is this a bad assumption to have?

pictures at:
http://picasaweb.google.com/Alex.Popesco/SuspiciousBeer

*slightly concerned*
xxxx
 
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Postby brewer13210 » Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:48 pm

XXXX,

I wouldn't be worried; it looks like you're getting a little bit of secondary fermentation from what little sugars are in the cranberries.

However, it looks like the cranberries are still almost whole, I would have crushed them much finer before adding them to the fermentor. Depending on the fruit, a quick freeze can also help break down cell walls.

Concerning infecting your beer, NEVER get the idea in to your head that a finished beer can't get infected; always pay attention to sanitation when brewing. Although there are fewer bugs that can survive in finished beer than raw wort, there are still plenty of beer spoilers that would be very happy in the finished beer.

Todd
brewer13210
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