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Old 04-25-2010, 04:12 PM   #1
mudhen5
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Default Beer Ruined

So disappointed. I had brewed an Extra Pale Ale that I had purchased from Northern Brewer. This was the second recipe kit I had made and it turned out to be a disaster. I followed the recipe precisely and followed all suggestions from John Palmer, just like I did the first time when it turned out great. The beer tastes like really sour apple juice, almost vinegary. Everything was sanitized and I made exposure to oxygen was kept to a minimum. I'm stumped. What could have happened?

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Old 04-25-2010, 04:19 PM   #2
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im pretty new to this but from what ive read any type of sour or vinegar taste indicates some type of infection.

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Old 04-25-2010, 04:23 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear that...I just kicked a keg of that kit, and it was probably the best beer I ever made.

I'm guessing that you got a sneaky infection in there somehow...sometimes the bottling process is the culprit due to improper sanitation of the valve or the hose or the bottling wand.

Did it taste OK before you bottled it? Did the fermentation process appear to go normally?

You might try sending an email to NB describing your situation and ask for their help. They might give you another kit or a partial credit. They are a really great outfit.

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Old 04-25-2010, 04:41 PM   #4
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Sounds like an acetobacter infection.

I had one on a stout that I made a year or so ago. It was fantastic up until I bottled. I had learned patience by that point and managed to wait three weeks before cracking one. Ugh. Terrible. I put it down to not sanitizing my bucket spigot adequately, but could have happened at any step.

For me, the lesson was to be beyond-anal with sanitation and I turned to StarSan or SaniClean as my two go-to sanitizers. Haven't had a bad batch since. In times like this - infections, bad batches, bad brewdays - I sit down with Palmer's book and HBTs forums, and review my process. We all get a bit complacent sometimes and thinking about how we do things well carries us beyond the dark times.

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Old 04-25-2010, 07:13 PM   #5
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I went through a hideous runner runner series of infections - 5 total and it was all on the bottling side. Bucket spigots was one culprit - the ones with the red handle are a bugger to clean. I replaced hoses and spigots, wand, auto syphone and FINALLY, last of all, replaced the bucket which looked 100% smooth.

It was the bucket.

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Old 04-25-2010, 09:22 PM   #6
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Default Woah not cool

I read how a scratch in the bucket can ruin your batch? Jeez i used a soft sponge one side, and semi rough on the other. Like the light green soft in, then the rough 1/4 inch rough surface, is that a bad sponge to use? I would just be heart broken if my cider went bad!

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Old 04-26-2010, 04:19 PM   #7
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That's why it's best to use glass carboys

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Old 04-26-2010, 04:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George7845 View Post
I read how a scratch in the bucket can ruin your batch? Jeez i used a soft sponge one side, and semi rough on the other. Like the light green soft in, then the rough 1/4 inch rough surface, is that a bad sponge to use? I would just be heart broken if my cider went bad!
any sponge with a "side" to it is bad for bottling buckets. If it needs scrubbing, soak it with Oxyclean first. Then it will come out nice and clean, no scrubbing needed.

Fingers crossed for your cider -
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:50 PM   #9
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It also seems that just soaking in warm water does quite well too. I tried it after my last batch, and all of the crud from the krausen came right off, no scrubbing needed.

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Old 04-26-2010, 05:35 PM   #10
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An apple cidery taste could be from stale extract or too much sugar in the recipe or at bottling. Did the kit have a date on it? Hard to believe anything sits around on a shelf at places like Northern Brewer. Did you open the extract and leave it sitting around?

BTW, you should not even use the green scrubby side on plastic. Get the bucket soaking in detergent as soon as you are done with it. It should not be hard to get anything beer related off with just the sponge.

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