off-white powder film on surface?

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off-white powder film on surface?

Postby dougjones31 » Mon May 30, 2011 7:23 am

Anybody experience an off- white powder film on top of a finished ferment? I sat a finished corn wash to clarify and noticed a film forming on it after a couple of days. If you touch it it is a floating powder. No off smells and the product was fine after distilled....just wondering what it was since it has never happened to me before.
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Re: off-white powder film on surface?

Postby blind drunk » Mon May 30, 2011 7:38 am

I pretty well got the white dusty film with every corn wash. I haven't had the film with other grain mashes, so far. Don't know what it is but maybe it has to do with corn :think: It's always turned out for me too :)
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Re: off-white powder film on surface?

Postby dougjones31 » Mon May 30, 2011 9:37 am

I have never had it in 25 years of fermenting. Weird though. I am very clean. Although i do my corn ferments in a covered but not airtight fermenter. Had a starter of yeast and molasses next to it and the film is on that too.

Everything is in 55 gallon drums of bleach water right now..... maybe that will kill it off, but i am afraid whatever it is is in the air. Starting a new batch today and it will be sealed!
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Re: off-white powder film on surface?

Postby dougjones31 » Mon May 30, 2011 9:43 am

Hmmm! ooops.... I might have messed up. Was tasting the batch after running and airing it for a couple days. It is better than normal. might have wanted to keep that bug!

Have to consider the variables though. This was made with an all corn mash that I messed up and it ended up souring after I finally converted the starch and had to sit it until I made another mash because the gravity was too low because I ended up having to use too much water.

Maybe that has something to do with the flavor improvement.

Dang variables.....!
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Re: off-white powder film on surface?

Postby blind drunk » Mon May 30, 2011 9:54 am

For sure on the variables. Hard to manage on the hobby level. FYI others have had The Film too. Is this the first time you soured? That could be it too. I keep thinking it's lactic acid bacteria, but that's a guess.
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Re: off-white powder film on surface?

Postby WalkingWolf » Mon May 30, 2011 9:58 am

dougjones31 wrote:. . . . . maybe that will kill it off, but i am afraid whatever it is is in the air . . . .


Probably what accounts for some of the regional differences in flavor profiles. Relax a bit. It aint gonna cross the threshold.
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Re: off-white powder film on surface?

Postby rtalbigr » Mon May 30, 2011 1:49 pm

I get the "white stuff" from time to time. Been doin' 100% barley lately and been gettin' some with some but not all washes. Usually starts appearing 3-4 day after ferment is done and I've tranfered to storage container until I can run it. It looks kinda funky but I thought, H***, I'm gonna be boilin' the crap. Never has give me any problems.

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Re: off-white powder film on surface?

Postby blind drunk » Mon May 30, 2011 2:12 pm

Hey dougjones31, one thing you can do is after it's finished fermenting, rack it off the trub and put the wash in a carboy and fill it to the neck. Let it clear in the carboy. I find that I only get The Film where the wash is exposed to air. So by filling the carboy up to the neck, I get only a small amount of The Film - the diameter of the neck. It's never gone into the wash, which I assume is a good thing.
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Re: off-white powder film on surface?

Postby dougjones31 » Mon May 30, 2011 5:56 pm

I make beer alot and I have plenty of 7.5 gallon glass jugs. When i make beer, I always ferment in those and use a simple tube over into a bucket of star-san for an air lock. I just never do it with corn mash.

I have been asking around and it seems that this film is common. I thought i had never seen this film before except.........now i do remember. I just did not think about it since it was in a post here.....


viewtopic.php?f=39&t=7002



Now I can eliminate a few variables.


Maybe it is some form of aceto bacteria. Starting to turn the alcohol to vinegar? I have never tried to make vinegar, but I think we are seeing the start of this process. The start of a formation of a vinegar "mother".

I recently did something I have never done before. I let a batch turn to vinegar because I did not have time to run it. I was out of town and a friend checked it and she said it smelled like vinegar and I had her throw it out. But I did not see what it looked like. Now the film shows up......hmmmm

http://hbd.org/cdp/vinegar/vinegar.htm


Isn't nature a miracle? Take corn and put it in a bucket of water. Lacto gets it , then yeast gets it and makes alcohol, then bacteria gets that and makes vinegar and then eventually bacteria turns that to water and co2. Amazing
Last edited by dougjones31 on Mon May 30, 2011 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: off-white powder film on surface?

Postby blind drunk » Mon May 30, 2011 6:08 pm

My father used to store his vinegar demijohn and his wine in the same cantina. Sitting at the bottom of his vinegar demijohn was the biggest vinegar mother I ever did see. A huge gelatinous blob that he removed every year and "washed." All of his wine had a vinegar tinge to it, but it never turned to all out vinegar :think:
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Re: off-white powder film on surface?

Postby dougjones31 » Mon May 30, 2011 6:18 pm

hmmmm. I need to investigate all this. if it is the start if vinegar formation.....is it good for the spirits to have a tad at the end? It would all depend on the strain of bacteria I am sure.......but is this something to try to duplicate? seems to have done something good to the last batch ...whatever it was.

OK.... newest batch done and will be exposed to air. I am going to get a culture started this time if the film forms. We will see.

from link I posted about vinegar making...it said..." An acetic film called "mother" will form. This smooth, leathery, grayish film becomes quite thick and heavy. It should not be disturbed. It often becomes heavy enough to fall and is succeeded by another formation. If the mother falls, remove and discard it. An acid test will indicate when all of the alcohol is converted to vinegar. Part of the vinegar may be withdrawn and pasteurized. The remaining unpasteurized vinegar may be used as a culture to start another batch. Living bacteria are in the liquid. A piece of the mother is not necessary to start a new batch."


my film was not grayish......maybe i caught it before that happened?
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Re: off-white powder film on surface?

Postby WalkingWolf » Mon May 30, 2011 6:36 pm

:econfused:

tail chase.jpg
I hope you get it figured out.
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Re: off-white powder film on surface?

Postby blind drunk » Mon May 30, 2011 6:36 pm

This smooth, leathery, grayish film becomes quite thick and heavy. It should not be disturbed. It often becomes heavy enough to fall and is succeeded by another formation.


I met a vinegar maker once @ a farmers' and he said that he lets his mother rise and fall 7 times before his vinegar is done. He enabled this process by feeding the primary wine with fresh wine each time the mother fell. Something like that. I couldn't believe how involved spoiling wine was :shock: Explained his prices, though.
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Re: off-white powder film on surface?

Postby The Baker » Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:30 pm

I've bottled some pretty nice fruit vinegar that I didn't really intend to make.....
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