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Old 02-12-2008, 03:19 AM   #1
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Default Is this my first infection? (pic)

Exactly what the title says.... I went to bottle my Raspberry RIS, and cracked the lid to find a unusual surprise. It doesn't smell like anything but alcohol - very "hot" alcohol.... What do ya think? Rack from under and bottle it anyways? Let time tell?

It was the 080808 RIS, 1.088 og, and then hit with two jars of Smuckers 100% Fruit Raspberry spread - ingredients are only raspberries, water, and fruit pectin. (Chill haze irrelevant in beer this dark) Boiled both jars before cooling and adding to the end of primary, let sit one week, then racked to secondary for clearing. Did not have this "funk" at racking.

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Old 02-12-2008, 03:25 AM   #2
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Reminds me of landhoney's pellicle in this thread. It's a sign of a brett infection. Might be what you have, although I'm sure you didn't plan it.

You might have the only 8-8-8 sour RIS, which could be a good thing, who knows?

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Old 02-12-2008, 03:33 AM   #3
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I wonder what a properly aged Raspberry Russian Imperial Sour Stout tastes like? Huh. Makes me want to bottle it anyways. Thoughts? I'm gonna go try a sample.

Edit: Well, it tastes like strongly alcoholic, roasty / charcoal-y, sour, raspberry liquid. Not bad, per se. But very strong. Robitussin strong.

It's only 2.5 gal, so aging (1+ year) is not out of the question, and at least 1/2 of my batch was good (so far). I would even consider buying a 3gal glass carboy for such a thing, so I can bleach or pitch this fermenter out.

So do I evict this tenant, or make a new room for him?

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Old 02-12-2008, 03:40 AM   #4
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I say save it and see what happens.

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Old 02-12-2008, 03:42 AM   #5
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Are those bubbles on the pellicle? If so, I'd say it may be a good sign???? Maybe???
I think Brett is the only 'infection' that makes bubbles like that, all the 'good/intentional' Brett pellicles have bubbles. Most pictures of people's infections do not have bubbles in the pellicle.
If it is Brett it might not be that bad. My friends Courage RIS clone used Brett because the real thing had Brett in it. And it is one of the best, longest lived, beers of all time.
With Brett it will be dryer than the normal beer, maybe drier than to style, but it may be very good....and just a bit funky, not sour.
As always, drink it and find out before dumping
edit> If it tastes OK now, I'd wait and see how it turns out. The danger with bottling now if the gravity is high, is that the Brett may/will continue to work the gravity down in the bottle and may cause overcarbonation or worse.....bombs.

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Old 02-12-2008, 03:46 AM   #6
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If I had room for it, I'd hand onto it and see what happens. It might taste like cough syrup now, but it could be something special in several months or so. Landhoney's assessment sounds pretty encouraging.


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Old 02-12-2008, 03:48 AM   #7
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Yay! Landhoney showed up, I knew one of our PhD's Of Sour would stop by!

Those indeed are bubbles, and I thought, as I was looking in there and snapping the pic, one of them even actively bubbled at me.

I'm saving this one for sure. Clues on what a "good" aging life might be - a good wait-till-bottling time and bottle conditioning time? (Brewed 12/27, Cal Ale V yeast, FG 1.020, racked 1/2 of it on 1/15?? and then added the raspberry same day. Undisturbed till now.)

With the healthy bubbles in there, though, I'm now afraid to move it to a carboy. Think 3 months in a plastic secondary will be ok?

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Old 02-13-2008, 02:02 PM   #8
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Got another question, it was 1.088 -> 1.020, how far further do you think Brett will ferment out? When's a good time to pull a sample to hydro? (I have to be sparing, as I only have 2.5 gal, so a hydro sample is comparatively a very large sample size!)

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Old 02-13-2008, 06:34 PM   #9
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I think it very well could get into the low teens, or lower possibly. I personally wouldn't leave it for 3+ months in a plastic bucket, but lots of people do and seem to have success. I don't like that the oxygen exposure is so high in a bucket over the long haul. I think you'd be OK racking and breaking the pellicle this early, should reform fairly quickly. I'd wait a month before taking another hydro sample.
My .02.

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Old 02-13-2008, 06:49 PM   #10
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This looks like it could turn out pretty interesting. Hopefully I'll get picked to receive your beers for the swap, chriso. I'd be interested in trying one of these out.

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