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I made my first beer from a kit and followed the instructions carefully as well as reading around. Specifically, I was very careful about cleaning and sterilisation.

I had a 2 FV setup and after 2 weeks of fermentation racked into my secondary FV when the gravity had stabilised. It all looked fine except that in the first litre or 2 being syphoned into the 2nd FV, I observed a 'creamy blob' floating on top of the beer a bit like an oil patch floating on water. It was quite white and opaque, it looked just like I'd poured a splash of cream in and it was sitting on top.

I was able to remove it with a small sieve in one piece leaving no residual bits behind and continued to rack, then primed and bottled. I've seen no obvious issues with the beer so far - it has bottle fermented and is currently conditioning. One I tested seemed OK considering it was very new, and I had no ill effects! Sadly I didn't get a photo.

I'm just wondering what this is likely to have been? A small infection? Some by-product of fermentation lurking at the bottom of the FV? Something to do with the tap on my primary FV perhaps - I used this tap to take samples and wonder if beer left in the tap could've got infected?

  • Yeast slurry maybe? healthy yeast may look white and creamy all right. Just a wild guess, seeing it would help a lot. – Mołot Sep 17 '15 at 11:35
  • Did you notice any smell to it? It sounds like it wouldn't be from your tap if you were siphoning off - it should still be stuck in the tap if that's the case. Very probably yeast, as it tends to flocculate to the bottom. Hard to say without more information. Bacteria tend to be less clumped and more dispersed in the solution as they don't tend to flocculate. – John Sep 17 '15 at 20:59
  • I was 'syphoning' through the tap at the base of my primary FV, into the secondary. So not really syphoning at all - it was flowing through the tap. And I wonder if taking a sample could've left nasty beer in the tap. Or perhaps, the tap just got full of yeast. No smell, and no adverse signs since. – Mr. Boy Sep 18 '15 at 8:07
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I have had something similar, I was brewing a Bohemian Pilsner Ale and the yeast formed tennis ball sized clumps on the top of the beer! I freaked out! But I recited the Papazian mantra and kegged the beer.

That beer ended up being one my best beers ever.

Some yeasts (S04 in my case) sometimes flocculate, but in the process still have so much CO2 that they stay on top.

If the beer smells and tastes good, then all is OK :)

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