Infected Mexican cervesa?

ChemcamChemcam Member Posts: 6
Hi, from my reading around the subject, I am really not sure if my first batch of lager has become infected. It does not look nice. I cannot smell anything, when it was fermenting it did smell lovely but now nothing.

It was a coppers kit which stalled. I had an issue with the imersion heater. Kept adjusting it to get the temperature right opening and closing the ferment. I was very clean thoughout the process. I washed and sterilised my hands before touching heater.

I tried adding saflager 34/70 lager yeast and fermentation restarted ( I used coopers orignally). Over a week and a half later the airlock stopped again. I should have attached a pic below.

Do you think it is infected? Its the round bubble type stuff that makes me think I am unlucky.
I bravely drank a little, it did not taste horrible but It was not as nice as shop bought (although I didn't expect it to).

There was lots of bits in the sample I took, would this interfere with the FG? I think it still has a bit to go till it is in the bottle region of hydrometer but it looks to me as fermentation is ultra slow or stopped.

Thanks in advance.


  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    edited October 2017
    The Coopers range are pretty reliable and issues are rare, any surface froth or appearance can really vary and as long as it is not mould then there is usually nothing to worry about Your brew will be cloudy and may have bits in but this will settle out, as you say often the main things to look for is a strong smell or taste of vinegar, and whilst the flavour will be lacking at the moment this is also normal at this stage.

    Coopers don't give a hydrometer reading to aim for, but as a guide it is usually around 1.010 and the reading then needs to stay constant.

    Once it reaches around 1.010 and stops, it can then be bottled or barrelled. It will lack flavour and be cloudy at that stage, but leave it sealed up in bottles or a barrel for a good few weeks and it will then clear and carbonate, and the flavours will then fully develop. We have had some brews that tasted quite bad when bottled, but after a few weeks they have developed into fantastic brews, so as long as there is no mould they are always worth giving time to develop.
  • ChemcamChemcam Member Posts: 6
    Cheers will look at it next weekend and see if the hydrometer is closer to 1.010 and monitor the stuff on the surface. Much appreciated.
  • BUDFORCEBUDFORCE Member Posts: 275
    Yup looks okay to me also. I've been brewing a few years now and seen some really wired looking formations on the top of the PFV and the brew has always been fine.

    As for the taste, It'll get much better once it's bottled or put in a keg and left for a few weeks in secondary fermentation. You might be pleasantly surprised how good it might actually be :)

    Also like you i use those immersion heaters, and just like you, the first couple of brews I had to play around with it a bit adjusting the temperature, all I will say is once you have it correctly adjusted, from then on they are really reliable and easy to use, keep your brew a nice constant temperature due to the inbuilt thermostat.

    Good luck keep us posted.
    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
  • ChemcamChemcam Member Posts: 6
    Finally getting a chance to update you all. You guys were spot on. The aroma improved after leaving in the fermenter another week. I bottled when I saw no difference in hydrometer reading (albeit I learned you should use the same hydrometer as mine gave different readings).
    It has been bottled for 2 weeks now, not opened one, I was going to leave it another 2 weeks.
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    That's great news, the taste test will be next then, after a few weeks you should get a good flavour from it, although if possible try to leave some for longer as this is when the best flavours usually develop
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