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Old 02-12-2014, 04:58 AM   #1
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Default Rescuing a failed homebrew

Just wondering if anyone else has done something like this.... or, possibly helping a newbie that has a destroyed batch of homebrew.

I wanted to make a vanilla cranberry wheat beer. My reasons are my own this was my 35th extract brew so my processes are pretty well laid down, sanitization is very thorough, well beyond what my fellow home brewers observe.

When all was said and done, and I cracked the first bottle, I got a gusher, and a twangy, sour, metallic taste that came back with each burp. Second bottle the same.... this was undrinkable beer. There are many threads on this and it seems to come down to too much sugar/overcarbed beer (carbonic acid?) and / or infection.

I also keg beers, and my kegged beers ALWAYS come out great, whereas my bottled beers sometimes come out exactly as described above: sour, metallic, twangy and overcarbed.

Whatever the case, I didn't want to pour 5 gallons down the drain so here's how I rescued this beer:

I put all the bottles in a very cold refrigerator for a week. I also cleaned and sanitized a keg and left it in the same very cold fridge for a week.

Then, I opened the keg, and opened the CO2 tank slightly to let a "bed of CO2" blanket the keg to try to prevent oxygen from causing problems.

Then, I slowly poured every single bottle... gently down the side of the keg, trying not to disturb it or get it too foamy.

Then, once all the beer was in the keg, I added 2oz McCormick's Orange Extract to mask the twangy flavor. I also added 2oz McCormick's Vanilla Extract to balance the Orange. Kind of my attempt at a 50/50 bar to overpower the off flavors.

I then let that all sit for a week in the chilled keg, occasionally letting the excess CO2 out because the original beer was overcarbed to begin with.

The result was drinkable! It was not Noble Ale Work's "Everything But the Stick" (which I love!) but it was an orange/vanilla beer that wasn't too fruity and didn't have the sour/metallic/twang of the original flavored beer.

SO... my question for the group is.... has anyone ever done something like this to rescue a failed / overcarbed bottled homebrew? Most of the suggestions I read come down to "just let it sit for a few months and it will be fine..." but I've been down this road before, and when I screw up this bad it never works out that way.

How have you rescued an undrinkable homebrew?

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Old 02-13-2014, 06:42 PM   #2
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Sounds like a great way to save over-carbonated beer!

Were the flavors not overly competitive/clashing? ie orange and cranberry

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