Well, I think this batch is ruined. I started with an adaptation of Papazians Rocky Racoon Honey Lager (it became an ale recipe below). Everything about the brewing process seemed to go normally (OG 1.052 @ 66F), and I fermented in a 7 gal. bucket, turned down my AC, and went out of town for the weekend.
I returned three days later, pulled the airlock and peeped in the kraeusen/sediment ring around the top, and assumed that the yeasties had got on well while I was gone.
Five or six days after start of fermentation, I pulled the lid off to take a full-on look it looked good. Eight days after the start of fermentation, I racked to a secondary (6.5 gal. glass carboy), at which time I noted a strong alcohol/sour odor. When I took the SG, it rang up at 1.010. When I tasted it, it had a slight alcohol/astringent burn and sour flavor (similar to soured iced tea).
Trying to Not Worry, I went ahead and stored it my bedroom, turned down the AC, and waited. Two days into the secondary, bubbles started to collect on the surface. Those bubbles soon became a thin, milky film. Larger bubbles (.625 - .25) appeared on this film.
Naturally, I assumed a horrible infestation. My wife, the optimist, told me to Not Worry and wait it out. About five or six days into secondary, I pulled the bung and took a sniff again, alcohol-y and sour. I waited it out for about eight or nine days. At that point, it didnt smell so off.
I assumed that the batch was kaput, and even my wife said, after getting a good look at it, that she wouldnt be drinking any of that. Instead of throwing it all out, though, I siphoned as carefully as I could from under the film, primed it, and bottled six liters into PET bottles.
The SG had wound down to about 1.006 (at 68F), and it tasted less alcohol-y/astringent-y, but still quite sour. I figured that Id just let it condition for two months and see what happened. I had been surprised by some Band-Aid nut brown ale that had lagered for about three months and came out drinkable (well, two liters, at least).
Ill get some pictures up soon, but for now
Bee Yar Ho Nay Ale
4 lb. Extra Light DME
0.5 lb. Amber DME
2.25 lb. Orange blossom honey
1.5 oz. Saaz hops (60)
0.5 oz Saaz hops (10)
0.5 oz Cascade hops (10)
SafBew T-58 Dry Ale Yeast
What went wrong?
1) Fermentation temperature was too high. Its been running 90+F outside lately. I had it in our coolest, darkest room, but I dont know for certain if it stayed below 75F.
2) It got infested with wild yeast/bacteria when I pulled the lid from the primary fermenter.
3) I had improperly sanitized the secondary
4) I used far too much honey
5) I got some bad yeast from someone on Ebay
6) I shouldn't have used a 6.5 gal. carboy for a secondary.