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Old 07-30-2014, 07:50 PM   #1
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Default "Sick" wort after a sour mash...

I recently did a sour mash as an experiment and wound up with might be called "sick" wort. The end result was ropey/gooey wort. It didn't taste or smell half bad. Wondering if I should just cut bait here. Thoughts?

Here's some background
I took four gallons of 1.034 wort from my mash, cooled it down to around 100F, dropped in a handful of acidulated malt, flushed with CO2, duct taped the lid on the pot, put a fermwrap heater around the pot and let it sit in my warm garage for two days. Temp was stable at over 90F the whole time. Wound up with a gooey mess.
I boiled the wort for 15 minutes. 1.031 wort went into my fermenter. Pitched ale yeast (WLP090) and saw active fermentation for a few days, with a nice krausen, that dropped as expected. Still have a gooey mess of beer. I pitched in a bit of Brett Brux that I had laying around. I see zero fermentation activity after over two weeks. I have also been dumping dregs in now and then. The consistency has not changed.

Anyway, thought I would get some feedback before it goes down the drain.

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Old 07-30-2014, 08:41 PM   #2
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You didn't keep your sour mash hot enough, and as a result a bacteria that produced exopolysaccharides (bacterial snot) was active in your wort*. These carried through to your wort which is now goopy. Ideally, you want to be over 100F/39C; preferable in the 104-108 (40-42C) range.

*some "wild" strains of lacto may also make exopolysaccharides, but I've not heard of this happening at high temperatures

You may be able to rescue this with a big pitch of brettanomyces;they can break down exopolysaccharides, although I don't know how long this will take.

Bryan

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Old 07-31-2014, 02:23 AM   #3
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I've heard that pedio can make these long gooey chains too and Brett is required to clean them up.

Hopefully it will do the job here.

Thanks for the feedback.


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