Looks like mould on top

HickeyHickey Member Posts: 14
Hi. My new batch, Australian Pale Ale had a really high O.G of 1.048. After two days its dropped to 1.034, but the top of the foam really looks like a flat blanket of grey mould. I'd only opened the lid for 10 seconds. Is this what Krausen can look like? So is the O.G too high? All help appreciated


  • BUDFORCEBUDFORCE Member Posts: 275
    Anyway you can take photos and put them on here?

    Does it smell really bad like vinegar?

    Unlikely to get mould after 2 days unless you didnt clean it properly.

    Beer League: 1. Young's - American Pale Ale 2. Bulldog Brews - Imperial Red Bad Cat 3. Young's - IPA 4. Young's - American Amber Ale 5. Bulldog Brews - Evil Dog Double IPA
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    After a couple of days it is more than likely the froth/'scum' that develops, this can look pretty unappealing but is just part of the fermentation - sometimes you get very visible signs, other times practically nothing. As Budforce says mould is unlikely after 2 days
  • HickeyHickey Member Posts: 14
    OK guys, it doesn't smell too bad. The S.G is down to 1.026 after 5 days, down from a very high O.G of 1.048, though I fear the fermentation is slowing and will never get near 1.008. What's a safe reading to bottle at? I mean if the f.g is 1.015, or even 1.020, can it be bottled.
    Also, this is batch 4. Not one of them has bubbled through the airlock at all. Am I doing something wrong and should I be worried? Brew seems to be airtight.
  • BUDFORCEBUDFORCE Member Posts: 275
    Although you say its airtight, the gas will find it easier to escape through any gaps rather than the airlock as it will have to push against the water pressure (all be it a tiny amount) but if your OG is going down, and particularly as you already mentioned you can see foam etc, then its definately brewing, which makes CO2 and that will be going somewhere, but to answer your question, no I wouldn't be worried.

    In fact did you know that for most types of kit (particularly ale kits), you do not need the primary fermentation vessel air tight anyway? I keep the vessel covered to keep flies, debris out etc, but I only put the lid on loosely so the gas can freely escape. Only in secodary fermentation is it important to keep the airtight.

    As for your OG readings, those hydrometers you get are only accurate to a point, so again, don't be too worried if your reading doesn't exactly match what the instructions say. It is more important to make sure you get a stable reading over a space of 24-48 hours, which would indicate the breweing has finished.

    I don't even bother using my hydrometer anymore, provided you keep your brew at a good and stable temperature, ideally between 22-24c, there is no reason once fermentation has started for it not finish, provided you give it enough time.

    Do you use a heating device of some sort, or anyway of keeping the temperature stable?

    For most kits I leave them 2 weeks, some of the more premium kits 3, that will ensure they are thoroughly brewed and all the sugar has gone. Then a further 3 weeks in secondary (minimum) although I am nearly 3 months ahead at the moment so my beer gets a good time in secodary which does improve the qaulity of the beer, some kits more than others. If you have the the storage, keep brewing, the longer it sits around, the better!

    The 3 most important things in my opinion to brewing are:

    - Being very vigilant with cleaning and sterlising

    - Temperature control, stable between 22-24c at all times

    - Patience

    Provided you get those things right, you can't really go that far wrong after that :)

    Beer League: 1. Young's - American Pale Ale 2. Bulldog Brews - Imperial Red Bad Cat 3. Young's - IPA 4. Young's - American Amber Ale 5. Bulldog Brews - Evil Dog Double IPA
  • HickeyHickey Member Posts: 14
    Thanks a lot!! Great to have a bit of brewing support. The S.G is now down to 1.025, so slowing right down. Its been in the barrel for 6 days now, I'll leave it until its definitely finished, but what happens if the f.g is about 1.020? That's OK? I'll keep you updated!
  • LgAshLgAsh Member Posts: 14
    You can try giving the brew a gentle stir for a few seconds (don't forget to sterilise the paddle/stirrer first though!). Sometimes the yeast can enter a suspended state and stirring it can get things going again if you're worried the FG is too high.
    A gentle stir is all that's needed, there's no need to whisk it up!
  • HickeyHickey Member Posts: 14
    Well, last night I bottled the Pale Ale at a F.G of 1.020 after 16 days in the vat, so we'll see how bad that turns out in 3 weeks!! I made up my next batch, and American IPA straight away... and it started with an O.G of 1.054!! Surely this is not normal?
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    The Youngs American IPA will come out around 6.5% in strength when finished, so the reading may be higher than some other beer refills. Once you mix it up and add the yeast give it a gentle stir with a clean paddle/spoon and then try to keep it around 20 degrees C if possible
  • HickeyHickey Member Posts: 14
    I've already added yeast, temp looks steady at about 20C. I did give it a gentle stir in to mix it into the brew, which is different to some instructions which just say "sprinkle on top".
    Anyways, I opened up and drank from my first batch of coopers lager from about 3 weeks in the bottles (f.g 1.016) as well. While the alcohol content was down, and the flavour not strong, it did have a great head and colour on it. All in all happy for my first ever beer batch!
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    That's great, if you leave it bottled for a few more weeks the flavours will really develop too
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