Started brewing with Mr. Beer nearly 8 years ago. Gave up the hobby for nearly a decade and now back at it. I made a prickly pear ale based on Mr. Beers old cherry tart recipe with the American lager extract and pale lme. Instead of cherries I added my own prickly pear syrup from frozen and crushed prickly pears (added at the 8 day mark). All was fine, and at the 17 day mark I dry hopped citra hops in a muslin bag that had been boiled for five minutes. Now at day 21 I check and there is an infection! Was it the hops? Was it the prickly pear that I did not pasteurize (next time I'll use campden tablets)? Was it just opening the top and letting in oxygen/bacteria?
Who knows. What I do know is I have a very good looking pellicle on the top of my lbk that I did not plan for. The good news is I just sampled the beer, and there is no off smell I can detect. In fact, this is without a doubt the best tasting beer straight out of the lbk I've ever had. I'm not sure what if anything the infection is doing, but I'm getting a good clean crisp taste, nice citra hop aroma, and nothing off that I can detect.
Based on expertise gleaned from these forums, I have decided to forgo the cold crashing and go ahead and bottle straight away today. I'm posting to ask if there are any special precautions I should take bottling? Should I leave extra beer in the keg so that the pellicle doesn't get sucked into the bottles? Any tips and advice would be appreciated, and of course if bottling this is a bad idea please let me know!
Edited to add - I will be keeping the bottles in a coleman cooler in case they do explode. Gonna give them two weeks to carbonate and refrigerate them immediately so they don't explode hopefully.