It's been a while since I've written about my homebrews. Back in August, I brewed a lactobacillus kettle soured-Rhubarb Weiss. It didn't take on as much of the rhubarb flavor that I had expected, so I decided to experiment. I added a few ripe peaches to the carboy and let it slumber. I finally got around to checking it a few days ago and this is what I saw...
What the heck?!?! Is that mold? What on earth happened? Actually, this is exactly what I was hoping would happen. In addition to adding the peaches, I also pitched the dregs from a bottle of Maybelle from The Commons Brewery, which was aged with Brettanomyces (a wild yeast stain). What you're seeing is called a pellicle. It's a membrane that often forms in beer made with lactobacillus and brettanomyces.
In the wine world, these wild yeasts and bacteria are the bane of the vintner's existence. If this curse befalls wine, it needs to be dumped. But brewers of funky and wild beers are far more accepting because we tend to like the tart, funky, fruity flavors that result from these organisms.
Anyway, I didn't get a chance to taste it yet, but just wanted to share this picture—which I think is pretty cool! For more on pellicles, check out this excellent article written by a fellow homebrewer and microbiologist.