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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > 7 weeks in bottle, sour sour sour!
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:36 AM   #1
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Default 7 weeks in bottle, sour sour sour!

Okay, I bottled a Dark Maple Ale on November 17th. Sampled it then, tasted fine.

Tried one after a week in the bottle to see how things were going and it was sour. Not fruity sour, just sour-sour. Strong enough I didn't drink much before pouring it out.

Tried another after another week in the bottle. Still sour. Poured that one down the drain as well.

Waited 2 more weeks this time. Can't say whether it's getting less sour, it's still got some serious wang to it. Didn't drink that one either.


So skip to today (more than 7 weeks in bottle). Maybe I have lost track of how sour it was to begin with, but I could swear it was MORE sour. I spit it out and dumped the glass. And I don't generally spit food out regardless of what it tastes like.


I don't really have any burning need for the bottles at this time so I don't plan to dump the remaining bottles (pretty much the whole batch). I just need some feedback/advice from more skilled brewers.

1. According to my research, "sour for sour's sake" is the hallmark of acetobacter (sp?). From what I could gather, this isn't something that gets better with age. Is that true, does that sound like what I'm dealing with, and what would you guys recommend?

2. Regardless of #1, if I found someone who actually liked this beer is it even safe to drink? I'd rather the beer go to someone that will drink it if it won't get better on it's own, but I don't want to give someone a couple cases of beer that's going to make them sick.

Thoughts?

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Old 01-08-2011, 02:44 AM   #2
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1) If you beer has gotten worse, you have an infection. Best bet is to dump it, and also try to figure out how it got infected.

2)Nothing pathogenic can grow in beer, even if it is infected. So noone can get sick in that way from it.

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Old 01-08-2011, 05:00 AM   #3
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I think I'm going to just let it age until I can be sure it's gotten worse, or until I can find someone who really likes it. (Not holding my breath on that.)

Or until I find myself needing bottles for worthier brews.

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Old 01-08-2011, 05:26 AM   #4
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1) If you beer has gotten worse, you have an infection. Best bet is to dump it, and also try to figure out how it got infected.
Wow. I'm sure it's happened before, but I've never seen it.




Revvy is advising to dump a beer....
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Old 01-08-2011, 04:35 PM   #5
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As much as I'd like there to be a reason that's not my fault, the most likely cause of all this trouble is that I started the siphon with my mouth.

I'd done it that way before without a problem... but sooner or later you're going to mess it up. I now have an autosiphon.

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Old 01-08-2011, 04:36 PM   #6
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As much as I'd like there to be a reason that's not my fault, the most likely cause of all this trouble is that I started the siphon with my mouth.

I'd done it that way before without a problem... but sooner or later you're going to mess it up. I now have an autosiphon.
That's the answer then...sad way to learn the lesson though.
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:18 PM   #7
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Did one more taste test last week... it's at least as sour if not more so than before.

Oh well, I'll dump it next time I'm bored or need the bottles.

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Old 02-05-2011, 11:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 418Brewing
As much as I'd like there to be a reason that's not my fault, the most likely cause of all this trouble is that I started the siphon with my mouth.

I'd done it that way before without a problem... but sooner or later you're going to mess it up. I now have an autosiphon.
I siphoned wine for years with my mouth and had zero problems. I imagine the higher alcohol content of wine killed any bacteria though
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:59 PM   #9
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Mount Gay Rum, perfect gargling rum for when the auto-siphon craps out.

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Old 08-06-2011, 02:17 PM   #10
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I have a rather annoying update to this. Right after I made the batch described here I made a Belgian Doppelbock. It had been lagering all this time (my plan was to bottle in in June but I didn't get around to it until early July).

It's sour as well. Tried one after 4 weeks... not good. Tried one a week later (yesterday) still not good. I'll let it sit for another month before I declare it a loss.

HOWEVER, I believe I have determined the source of the problem: ice.


Yeah, I know... now. Both batches were cooled using ice purchased from the local supermarket (2 bags, used one for each batch). I'll bet that was the cause right there.

So, auto-siphon and immersion chiller. I got both awhile back and the subsequent batches have all been good.

If anyone is considering putting ice in their wort, don't. And I don't care in the slightest if you've done it and suffered no consequences. How much beer is too much to throw out? Any. Don't roll the dice.

Get a wort chiller. Auto-siphons are handy, but I think that's probably not the cause of the problem I had (though starting a siphon with your mouth is certainly a non-zero risk). And if you absolutely must use ice, use ice you made yourself. Boil the water, sanitize the container, and freeze it.

You cannot trust ice you didn't personally oversee the making of. Period, full stop, end of discussion.

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