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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Newbie in need of sage advice w/ sour Belgian Ale
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:28 PM   #1
sabianmonk
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Default Newbie in need of sage advice w/ sour Belgian Ale

Hey everybody,

I am new to homebrewtalk but I have read many a post here and they have helped me tremendously since I have started brewing in the last few months. Now I have run into my first real problem (on my fourth batch).

Here's the breakdown:

I have a 5 gallon batch of a Belgian wheat beer in which I added lemongrass. Unfortunately, I ran out dried lemongrass and added some fresh sprigs from my garden, not even considering how much more potent they would be fresh! Now my beer is very sour and I want to know if there is anyway I can salvage it.

The brew is currently in the secondary fermenter and I have added a little corriander and cumin to try and balance out the sourness but to no avail. I just added some more (I am now paranoid about overspicing my beer).

I do not currently know the pH of the beer but it is not so low as to prevent the yeast from propagating (a second krausen formed after I racked yesterday, so my White Labs 400 is alive and well).

Does anyone have any suggestions? Should I cut my losses and turn this into a marinade for my steaks?

The only options I have thought of is to brew a second batch of Belgian ale with no lemongrass and then to just mix the two together. My other idea is to try and add a base to neutralize the citric acid in the brew. Any thoughts on these ideas would be appreciated!

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Old 05-17-2010, 02:21 PM   #2
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I doubt the sourness is from the lemongrass, most likely you've got some wild yeast and/or bacteria in there (did you sanitize the lemongrass from your garden before adding it?). I would pitch in some dregs (to ensure you've got "good" microbes) from a few sour beers and let it age for 9-12 months to let them do their work. Over that time the spices will fade and you'll get some other interesting flavors.

Hope that helps.

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Old 05-17-2010, 05:49 PM   #3
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Blending with another batch would be another option...

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Old 05-17-2010, 06:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cactusgarrett View Post
Blending with another batch would be another option...
If the issue was too much lemongrass, but not if the issue is an infection, then you'd just have 10 gallons of infected beer.
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Old 05-17-2010, 06:10 PM   #5
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Is the beer developing a pelicle? If so, just leave it be and let it ferment for like 6 months. The pelicle will fall eventually and you can rack the beer into a keg/bottles. Who knows... maybe it'll be awesome! HA!

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