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Old 12-24-2011, 12:35 AM   #1
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Default Second brew gone bad at 2 wks in bottle

Well it's another sad day for my homebrewing. I recently had a stout which got infected and really started to show the flavor transformation at 2 weeks in the bottle, and since then I have brewed midwest ferocious IPA and bottled it. I started drinking it at a week, and now after it's been in the bottles for 12 days, I just cracked one and it seems to be going down the same road. Worst part is, I am getting a big kettle for full boils and a patio burner for Christmas but I'm just about ready to quit brewing.

Once again, all sweetness has disappeared from the beer and turned into a very unpleasant sort of acidic bitterness. Last time there was a heavy taste of cloves, I'm not getting that so far but definitely the same mouth feel. I'll probably have gushers in a couple days. I took every sanitation precaution this time, and this still happens. I have no idea what to do.

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Old 12-24-2011, 01:02 AM   #2
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Could just be shear bad luck.

What are you using to sanitize? Was everything that touched beer sanitized for the required time? Were your hands? After sanitizing did you allow anything to touch an unsanitized surface? i.e. a sanitized spoon resting on your counter.

I find that having an extra sanitized 5 gallon Homer bucket helps so that I can just throw all sanitized items into it to make sure they dont touch things they shouldnt.

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Old 12-24-2011, 01:15 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by StophJS View Post
Well it's another sad day for my homebrewing. I recently had a stout which got infected and really started to show the flavor transformation at 2 weeks in the bottle, and since then I have brewed midwest ferocious IPA and bottled it. I started drinking it at a week, and now after it's been in the bottles for 12 days, I just cracked one and it seems to be going down the same road. Worst part is, I am getting a big kettle for full boils and a patio burner for Christmas but I'm just about ready to quit brewing.

Once again, all sweetness has disappeared from the beer and turned into a very unpleasant sort of acidic bitterness. Last time there was a heavy taste of cloves, I'm not getting that so far but definitely the same mouth feel. I'll probably have gushers in a couple days. I took every sanitation precaution this time, and this still happens. I have no idea what to do.
That's a little young still. Are you sure the acidic tang is not carbonic acid?
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:16 AM   #4
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I always rinse my bottles right after I pour out of them, and on bottling day I fill up the bottling bucket with an iodophor solution and give the bottles at least two minutes. Then I set them neck down on some paper towels on the counter. I figure this lets the iodophor run out and keeps sanitary contact around the mouth of the bottles.

I use very hot water and iodophor for the siphon hose and autoshipon and all that. That stuff sits on the counter on paper towels with beer contact surfaces off of the counter until I use them. I like the idea of an extra sanitized bucket.. I'll have to look into that.

It's all just very disheartening when people talk about brewing for years with no infections, and I infect two in a row within my first 4 months or so.

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Old 12-24-2011, 01:19 AM   #5
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That's a little young still. Are you sure the acidic tang is not carbonic acid?
I would love for that to be the case, but it's hard for me to imagine. It just has such a similar mouth feel to my last infection, and the beer has tasted fantastic up until this point. It was a big citrusy hop bomb, and now it's a dry, bitter, frothy feeling thing with no real flavors to speak of.

Edit: I've found a couple links online that support the possibility that it's just severely overcarbed. Definitely hope that's it, although I suppose I can't really know for sure.
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:21 AM   #6
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I would love for that to be the case, but it's hard for me to imagine. It just has such a similar mouth feel to my last infection, and the beer has tasted fantastic up until this point. It was a big citrusy hop bomb, and now it's a dry, bitter, frothy feeling thing with no real flavors to speak of.
If it's the same flavor and in all the bottles it would seem strange that the bottles were the source. Maybe the bottling bucket (spigot?), bottle filling wand, etc?
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:36 AM   #7
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If it's the same flavor and in all the bottles it would seem strange that the bottles were the source. Maybe the bottling bucket (spigot?), bottle filling wand, etc?
That was my line of reasoning on my last infection so I did take extra care with those parts this time. I actually removed the spigot and tried my best to give it a serious cleaning. I can't say with certainty that it's uniform with this batch though, just that I've now opened two bottles in a row now and they're both bad.
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Old 12-24-2011, 02:08 AM   #8
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What's your process to bottle; i.e. take us from mixing your priming sugar to racking, bottling, type of gear you're using etc.

You're a candidate for winning the lotto if 2 back-to-back batches were infected based solely on odds.

EDIT: Could you be tasting astringency? A drying, puckering sensation...
Did your recipes use steeping grains and how did you steep them?

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Old 12-24-2011, 02:14 AM   #9
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Instead of resting your bottles and equipment on paper towels on the counter, mix up a batch of star san in a bucket and put them in there.

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Old 12-24-2011, 02:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by helibrewer View Post
What's your process to bottle; i.e. take us from mixing your priming sugar to racking, bottling, type of gear you're using etc.

You're a candidate for winning the lotto if 2 back-to-back batches were infected based solely on odds.

EDIT: Could you be tasting astringency? A drying, puckering sensation...
Did your recipes use steeping grains and how did you steep them?
There is a definitely an astringency to it, but I only steeped 4 oz of grains and only let it get over 170 for a minute or so. Even so, if there were astringency from that I believe it would have been there from the get go.

On bottling day, I mix up a 5 gallon batch of iodophor in my bottling bucket after I've cleaned it with a rag and hot water. I sanitize the counter and lay out paper towels. I clean the spigot, siphon hose, autosiphon and bottling wand with very hot water from the sink spray, and let it all sit in the iodophor for 5 minutes or so. After that I set all this stuff out on the counter on the paper towels.

After this, I sanitize all previously rinsed bottles in the iodophor for 3 or 4 minutes, and set them out on the counter. I throw enough caps in a bowl with some of the iodophor. Once everything is laid out, I dump the iodophor. I heat 2 cups or so of tap water (maybe not so good come to think of it) in a pot and mix in my priming sugar. I let this cool a bit and toss it in the bottling bucket. Then I rack in my beer, get my hose and wand attached to the spigot, then pour probably 10 or so bottles at a time, stopping in between to cap.

This complete 180 of flavor literally happened over night in the bottles. It is just baffling.
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