Anyone have a clue what these formations are in my Kolsch style beer? Been in secondary for about 3 weeks due primarily to lazyness. I cleared with gelatin about two weeks ago and it's nice and clear but these have formed on the surface. Wondering what they are. Beer smells delicious and tastes fine so I'm not necessarily worried just curious.

dangling participle

  • 8
    Bad news. You've been infected with: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portugese_Man_of_War Go ahead and dump it now before it starts stinging you.
    – GHP
    Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 12:26
  • Hehe, I thought the same, but it's probably just a glob of harmless peptides and proteins.
    – mdma
    Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 12:49
  • Gnarly! It doesn’t look organic though; more like a piece of tissue paper. Do you have kids?
    – ipso
    Commented Jun 18, 2013 at 15:42
  • I do have a kid but pretty sure its not tissue....there are several formations like this. You can see one in this picture farther back on the left side also. Commented Jun 18, 2013 at 16:47
  • Sounds like quite the father's day present from your child. Nothing says "I love you Daddy" like scaring you by jamming in a few tissues when you have your back turned.
    – Scott
    Commented Jun 19, 2013 at 13:36

2 Answers 2


Couple of possibilities:

  1. A cellulose-producing bacteria, such as acetobacter. Certainly looks like it to me. Tartness is another indication of this. Vinegar or acetate smell is also a clue for acetobacter. That looks similar to cellulose you'd see in something like a new kombucha SCOBY.

  2. Some other bug.

  3. Much less likely: overheated gelatin finings / mash debris / protein mobilized by CO2. This just doesn't look like that, and as you commented you use gelatin successfully already.

  • 3
    There are several questions in the answer - when you need clarification, it's best to ask as a comment, then write your answer when you have all the info you need.
    – mdma
    Commented Jun 19, 2013 at 11:30
  • Beer tastes great and smells fine too. Gelatin was dissolved in water, I've never had issues with gelatin before so I'm fairly certain its not an issue with the gelatin. Certainly looks strange however. I'll probably bottle this weekend and then pull them out and get a better look at them. Commented Jun 19, 2013 at 13:15

Does it:

A) Look like beer?

B) Smell Like Beer?

C) Taste like beer?

If the answer to A and B is NO, then don't taste it, if the answer to all if Yes then you are good to go.

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