This seems to be very similar to this question about hop seeds but I have not used fresh hops, I used pellet centennial hops purchased vacuum packed and frozen from homebrew shop.

Ingredients (1 gallon batch):

  • Liquid Amber extract - 1.2 pounds
  • Centennial hops - .5 ounces Dry
  • Yeast - as per package instructions. cant find the package now, a little embarrassing.


  • 80 minute boil. Stirred in extract during water warming up.

  • 0.3 ounces of hops added 20 minutes into boil (for 1 hour of boiling)

  • 0.2 ounces added 15 minutes before boil completion.

  • Chilled in ice bath until 75 degrees then pitched the yeast. Continued chill until 70 degrees. (Yeast suggested temp range was ~64 to 71.6 degrees. Maximum was 60-78)

  • Transferred to carboy, added extra water that had been boiled separately to bring volume up, added blow off tube.


  • Carboy left to rest at 9pm on 2013/6/15

  • Fermentation seen at 10am when carboy checked on 2013/6/16

  • Fermentation going very well when checked on 2013/6/17 at 4pm.

  • Fermentation still going well on 2013/6/18, not as heavy as 17th, but still left blowoff tube on.

  • Checked ferment on 2013/6/20, ferment was ready to change over to smaller airlock. Black spots noted.

Image from top of carboy looking down into it, you can see the specs in the bottom right. The glass is foggy from water vapor on the inside, this was the best picture I could get.

Image from top of carboy looking down into it

I did a poor job of filtering out the hops, long story, they were not well filtered out. First time mistakes.

Is it possible I am just seeing remnants of these hops?

  • 1
    Are you planning on doing a secondary fermentation? I'd wait for fermentation to complete, give it a couple of days after bubbling dies down, the rack it to secondary. If it "gets worse" (so to speak), then you can re-evaluate. Otherwise, relax, have a homebrew, and enjoy the ride!
    – Scott
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 18:43
  • Also, maybe someone else could chime in and tell me I'm off in left field, but is there a chance that's just the remnants of CO2 bubbles in aftermath of fermentation? How "solid" are these black spots in appearance? If it's an infection, I would guess it is going to get a lot worse. If this is the worst of it, you're probably alright.
    – Scott
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 18:46
  • @Scott they look very solid, the referenced question I put a link to is almost believable, they look like seeds of some sort, but I dont believe they really are and would float to the top.
    – Kortuk
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 18:57
  • The black part is the only thing that I question, because I haven't seen hop seeds that are black. I'd say ask the OP of the question you linked. It's certainly fermented and consumed (or potentially tossed if an infection), but he'd be able to tell you what it was by now.
    – Scott
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 19:04
  • Oh, and yes, the seeds will float to the top: youtu.be/P0IA2p25-5k?t=21m35s Yes, it is a boil in that video, but it's pretty clear by looking at it those seeds will definitely float.
    – Scott
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 19:13

3 Answers 3


I think that's entirely possible. At any rate, I wouldn't worry about it. I see nothing abnormal, and there's nothing you could do about it now anyway.


For one I've never filtered out my hops so I wouldn't say its a mistake, just a different way of doing it. You are most likely seeing hop flecks or bits of protein floating to the surface, nothing to worry about. RDWHAHB


Only way to know for sure if it's contaminated is to taste it. If it's sour, it's contaminated. May not be bad though, if you like sours. Sometimes mistakes make great beer.

Hehe Scott, yeah, I guess the addition of a bit of lactobacillus (tangy/sour) is a negative flavor most of the time, but very drinkable. I think what you are describing is a bit more destructive :)

  • 2 things regarding this. 1 - Don't be surprised if it tastes like vinegar. Rarely do (accidental) infected beers turn out to taste better than Satan's post-asparagus dinner urine. It's worth a shot though. 2 - if it is an infection, and you decide to keep it, make sure you sanitize anything it comes in contact with more thoroughly than ever before. Oh, and 3 - If you follow through with keeping it, and want to bottle it, be very, very careful and precise with priming sugar.
    – Scott
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 12:28
  • Tasted like a really flat amber ale. A little over hopped, but I added more finishing hops then I needed and seem to have over bumped the IBUs. Seems to be fine, bottled it last night
    – Kortuk
    Commented Jul 2, 2013 at 13:41

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