Cracking open the fermentation bucket on bottling day revealed some sponge-coral look-a-likes floating around on the top of the brew. I have never seen this an any beer before, and other beers, based on same recipe and using the same yeast, do not have this. It was in a room where the temperature has been stable between 19-21C.

The beer is a Pale Ale, fermented with a WLP001 (California Ale) vial.

The beer smells and tastes a little bit off, like someone mixed some washing detergent into it... Will the beer be alright to drink if left in the keg for some time or is it a lost cause?

  • 3
    Can you attach a photo? I can't imagine it from description.
    – Mołot
    Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 10:53
  • What kind of cleaner did you use was it non rinse same as the sanitizer was it also non rinse.and if you think the beer maybe might better safe than sorry.
    – user13334
    Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 12:36
  • Unfortunately did not document it at the time of bottling, and have since thrown it out. :(
    – Sander
    Commented Mar 8, 2016 at 9:46
  • Too bad, I'd like to see what it is about, and it might improve accuracy of answers. Now it's too late, but maybe next time?
    – Mołot
    Commented Mar 8, 2016 at 9:48
  • Hopefully, there won't be a next time :)
    – Sander
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 7:21

1 Answer 1


I've seen Cali floculate like that, looked like a big brain / sponge thing that floated to the top in a blonde ale. Came out a little underattenuated. It was undisturbed and never broke up to fall back in.

In retrospect I should have tried to shake it up to get it to break up and fall back in, maybe get more attenuation out of it.

If you're at final gravity now, I would leave it alone and continue as normal.

As far as the off flavor and phenol you're getting right now, I would still finish the fermentation process before troubleshooting the phenol. As a lot can still change.

  • "Big brain" is quite a good description of it. The fermentation was however fine, and dropped down to 1.011. I have kegged it, and will test it in a month to see if the flavours are still there.
    – Sander
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 7:22

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