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First Brew - Mold in carboy?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by kimsuarez, Dec 11, 2012.

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  1. kimsuarez

    kimsuarez Dec 11, 2012 California

    Just made my first brew yesterday, a Pliny the Elder clone, and got the carboy filled and set-up with a spill off tube and bucket. Everything went really well in the boil and set-up.

    But tonight I checked on it and the spill off tube had fallen out. Now there are brown spots and some white chunks in the foam and I'm worried it is mold. Wasn't sure if it was clumps of yeast or mold, as I don't know what it should look like.

    Fixed it and now its begun bubbling. Just wondering if it looks like mold and if it has completely ruined the batch?


  2. SDDanC

    SDDanC Mar 1, 2011 California

    Not mold. Krausen.

    "The foam consists of yeast and wort proteins and is a light creamy color, with islands of green-brown gunk that collect and tend to adhere to the sides of the fermentor. The gunk is composed of extraneous wort protein, hop resins, and dead yeast. These compounds are very bitter and if stirred back into the wort, would result in harsh aftertastes. Fortunately these compounds are relatively insoluble and are typically removed by adhering to the sides of the fermentor as the krausen subsides. Harsh aftertastes are rarely, if ever, a problem." - Palmer, How to Brew
    JrGtr and inchrisin like this.
  3. MLucky

    MLucky Jul 31, 2010 California

    This looks perfectly normal. Krausen often has some brown or greenish spots on it. It's not mold.

    The fact that your blowoff tube came loose is probably not a problem. At that stage, when the yeast is at high krausen, there is an outflow of CO2 pouring from your carboy, and this would probably prevent airborne bacteria, molds or yeasts from getting in there, and by that time the yeast will have consumed a lot of the nutrients the bugs would need to survive and ruin your beer. Obviously, you want to try to keep that stopper and/or blowoff tube in place to avoid the potential for infection, but to have it come loose at this stage in the process is not a disaster, especially since you replaced it almost right away.
  4. kimsuarez

    kimsuarez Dec 11, 2012 California

    Ok great! That's a relief! Thanks for the great answers and peace of mind :)
  5. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for posting pics rather than just describing and having everyone guess. As others said, that's perfectly normal krausen. Congratulations - you first homebrew is fermenting.
    JrGtr likes this.
  6. inchrisin

    inchrisin Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    And to double-check, what temp are you fermenting at? It's a big deal.
  7. atomeyes

    atomeyes Jul 13, 2011 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    dump it out!!!


  8. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Nov 10, 2010 Virginia

    Rookie error.
    Happens to the best of us.

    No worries.
    Bottle it after three weeks...then send it to me parcel-post for safe disposal.
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