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Old 01-10-2014, 02:10 AM   #1
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Default When to dump :(

So 10/26/13 I made a 10 gallon batch of my blonde. I intended to sour 5 gallons and pitched 5 gallons of pacman for the other half. I pitched Roselare on the intended sour batch and must have not been as sanitary for my pacman batch. At 2 weeks I cracked my fermentor barrel open to see a nice layer of pellicle built up. ****. Oh well I figured Ill just let it ride out now. Meanwhile the Roselare didnt do much. 11/6? I pitched some stepped up ECY20. About 2 weeks later I tried my "intended sour" and it tasted like band aids. ****. Long story short, I pitched some jolly pumpkin dregs into the intended sour batch on 12/23. The intended sour has since gotten a bit sour, but this Band aide taste is still there. Not tolerable at all. Since then my unintended infected batch has slowly started taking on the same nasty ass taste. Can this 10 gallons of beer be saved or should I just dump them. My other problem is I have a 7 month old Flanders red that Im really liking the flavor of. Im thinking about kegging/ bottling the Flanders and starting a sour brown. If I dump both, I can at least test the infected barrel to see if it will reinfect and have another intentional sour brown. If all else fails, Ill have 10 gallons of sour brown. What should I do.

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Old 01-10-2014, 03:05 AM   #2
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In general I wouldn't dump a sour beer based on how it tasted at 3 months old. Forget about it until it's been at least 6-8 months. Even if it tasted rough at that point, I'd still be inclined to give it longer unless I really needed the fermenter and I had other sours in the pipeline. These beers can taste very rough for a long time.

There's no guarantee that it will turn round of course. As I understand it, the smoky/band-aid flavours are from phenols (Wild Brews says 4-ethyl-phenol), and I haven't seen anyone say specifically that Brett can modify flavours from that particular compound over time (unlike, say, goaty or rancid flavours from butyric or caprylic acid). But I really don't understand the science, so that could be completely wrong. If you read this presentation by Chad Yakobson, he has some process-related tips for avoiding these phenol-related flavours (e.g. p.31, 35).

I've dumped one sour. It was one of my first, and I made a number of mistakes along the way, including letting the airlock dry out for several months. At one year old, the beer was fairly vinegary and muddy, so I ditched it---I kept another batch made at the same time (with some of the same mistakes), and even though it also tasted muddy at a year it turned around a few months later. In the end I regretted ditching the first batch.

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Old 01-10-2014, 03:12 AM   #3
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My first sour, the Flanders was made after brewing for 6 or so months. It's been awesome since the first week. I guess I spoiled myself. I just don't know what to do to get rid of that nasty band aide. If it's going to continue to linger then I feel I should pitch it. I don't mind buying another fermenter at this point in time. I guess I could put it in my glass carboy and let it ride. I was thinking about oaking it for a bit to see if that would calm it down. The roselare never produced pellicle which suprised me. That's as the main reason I pitched some ECY 20. I also put a brew belt on there for a week to help. Maybe I should try and throw some Brett in there, bit it might be a little late given the amount of bugs that I have already pitched.

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Old 01-10-2014, 03:33 AM   #4
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My advice is don't do too much in reaction to this setback at this point in the maturing process. Like making cheese, early on in most cheese it tastes like crap. But after aging and maturing it tastes better and better. You wouldn't start correcting cheese before it's even cheese. Think of these beers the same way. It ain't cheese yet.

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Old 01-10-2014, 03:38 AM   #5
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Fuggit then. I'll let them ride till the 6th month mark. If they are still bad, I'll more then likely dump at least one. I'm limited to 35 gallons in my pantry so these extra mistakes are taking up other valuable space for good beer.

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Old 01-10-2014, 03:49 AM   #6
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Heck, I'd store not-yet-good sour beers under my mattress if I had hope of them being good in two years. Wait it out!

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Old 01-10-2014, 04:07 AM   #7
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If you don't have the space in your fermenters, don't care for the outcome (taste), and don't mind taking the hit on cash... I dump.

Recently tossed a couple gallons of Ale that just didn't suit me. No reason to force it down if you're not enjoying it, half the fun is brewing the next batch.

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Old 01-11-2014, 11:33 AM   #8
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Don't dump! I have a Rodenbach Grand Cru clone going that's almost a year old now. Between months 5 and 9 it had this really weird synthetic flavor, almost like band aid. I sampled it a few weeks ago and the synthetic flavor is almost entirely gone and it tastes pretty damn good! I don't know a ton about sours but they go through a "sick" period. Yours is probably there. Try it again at the one year mark and hopefully you'll be glad you let it ride.

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Old 01-11-2014, 01:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrfehon View Post
Don't dump! I have a Rodenbach Grand Cru clone going that's almost a year old now. Between months 5 and 9 it had this really weird synthetic flavor, almost like band aid. I sampled it a few weeks ago and the synthetic flavor is almost entirely gone and it tastes pretty damn good! I don't know a ton about sours but they go through a "sick" period. Yours is probably there. Try it again at the one year mark and hopefully you'll be glad you let it ride.
The word 'sick' in reference to sour beers is when the polysaccharides created by pediococcus cause the beer to become viscous and/or oily.

Band aid / medicinal / electric fire type aromas and flavors are caused by the volatile phenolic compounds 4-ethylphenol and 4-ethylguaiacol and are a product of some brettanomyces strains. Thankfully, as you've noticed, these compounds can lessen or dissapear over time. In my experience, I've really only gotten a lot of these off flavors from WLP645 - brett clausenii, but it's always gone away over time.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:15 AM   #10
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So the second batch that I decided to not dump still tastes gross. It's sour but band aidie still. It was made in Oct. I really hate to dump it but I'm running out of options here. I've got 3 sours going one of which is over a year old and need to be cared for. Then I have this one and another made in Feb. I have ECY farmhouse Brett ECY Brett n and ECY Flemish ale all sitting in my fridge. Should I just dump this batch? I kind of want to reuse my current Flanders red yeast cake. I also have another half Gallon of ECY 20 starter that's been sitting around since Feb. I only have room. For 30 gallons of beer right now.15 of which is taken up by sours which I'm fine with. What do you think I should do. Also should I toss the better bottle?

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