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Old 07-03-2010, 05:19 AM   #1
Ouroboros
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Default Salvaging Infected Roggenbier?

I popped open the primary that held the roggenbier I brewed awhile back, and to my dismay I was greeted by a pellicle. I racked to a carboy from underneath it, and within 36 hours it was back. This is what it looks like. I would have pellicle porn of my own for you if I could get my digital camera to cooperate, but no such luck.

The beer smells like sweaty balls, spice, and bananas. It tastes better than it smells, but that's not saying much. I pasteurized it today (30 min @ 150F) and put it back into a thoroughly-sanitized carboy with the goal of stopping the infection before it could get worse and (hopefully) allowing me to salvage the beer. If the infection does not come raging back, is there a chance that the tones of donkey taint will dissipate? How long should I give it before dumping this batch?

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Old 07-03-2010, 07:38 PM   #2
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If it were me, I would stop wasting my time on a beer that smells like donkey balls and make another batch.

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Old 07-03-2010, 09:43 PM   #3
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Hahahaha well I read that thread about "never dump your beer" and decided to see it through to the end. If I must. I'm tempted to dump it, but I don't want to pitch something that may end up being drinkable in a few months.

Donkey balls may have been an exaggeration, but it does smell quite gamy.

I'm culturing the bug right now, and have a starter cooking away. Not sure why, other than morbid curiosity.

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Pondering: Roggenwein, Irish Red, Another Single-Hop IPA, Roggenbier w/ local wild yeast
Primary: Hefeweizen, Nugget Single-Hop IPA, Chamomile Wheat
Secondary: Saffron Metheglin
Bottled: Belgian Strong Dark, Saffron Wheat, UK Barleywine, Tripel, IIPA
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:48 PM   #4
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Oh... and it does taste better than Old Milwaukee. So I might just have 5 gallons of beer pong material if nothing else.

And sorry if posting an infected beer under the "wild brewing" section offends any people who seriously brew lambics and the like. I was just hoping to see if anyone knew if the wild yeasty flavors subside or grow less in-your-face with time.

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"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth."


Pondering: Roggenwein, Irish Red, Another Single-Hop IPA, Roggenbier w/ local wild yeast
Primary: Hefeweizen, Nugget Single-Hop IPA, Chamomile Wheat
Secondary: Saffron Metheglin
Bottled: Belgian Strong Dark, Saffron Wheat, UK Barleywine, Tripel, IIPA
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:29 PM   #5
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Racking from underneath a pellicle won't stop an infection. It's not mold growing across the surface, it's yeast and bacteria in suspension. Your beer's not going to lose the flavors from the infection. You can serve it up for pong, but I think it would be better to pitch comercial souring cultures and ride it out over the next year. That's if you don't need the fermentor, obviously.

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Old 07-06-2010, 08:26 PM   #6
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Unfortunately I need the fermenter and I pasteurized the beer. No gravity changes or pellicle formation in the last few days, so I'm fairly sure I knocked it way down.

Will something fermented with hefeweizen yeast taste good all bretty and sour? Granted, it's all ready got some wild yeast character in the mix, but do I want to go all in and pitch more bugs? I've got the infecting yeast, so I guess I could re-pitch it. Otherwise, I might just bottle and forget about the batch for a few months.

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Pondering: Roggenwein, Irish Red, Another Single-Hop IPA, Roggenbier w/ local wild yeast
Primary: Hefeweizen, Nugget Single-Hop IPA, Chamomile Wheat
Secondary: Saffron Metheglin
Bottled: Belgian Strong Dark, Saffron Wheat, UK Barleywine, Tripel, IIPA
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:33 PM   #7
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curious: how did you pasteurize it?

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Old 07-06-2010, 08:48 PM   #8
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Siphoned it into my brew kettle, and heated it slowly while covered to 160F. Then I cooled it in a water bath back to room temperature and transferred it back to a sanitized carboy.

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"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth."


Pondering: Roggenwein, Irish Red, Another Single-Hop IPA, Roggenbier w/ local wild yeast
Primary: Hefeweizen, Nugget Single-Hop IPA, Chamomile Wheat
Secondary: Saffron Metheglin
Bottled: Belgian Strong Dark, Saffron Wheat, UK Barleywine, Tripel, IIPA
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