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Old 08-24-2011, 03:21 AM   #1
afraziaaaa
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Default First Lager tastes like dirty sock water

What might have gone wrong?

Brewing extract version of AHS american lite lager.

Followed all instructions that came with the kit. Been lagering in my fridge with controller at 40 degrees F for 2.5 weeks now. Did a taste test today and it tastes absolutely horrible. Like there is a strong vinegary aftertaste, but does not finish sharp and hot like vinegar...finishes very mineraly, like dirt.

A few concerns I have at this point:

1. I used Wyeast American Lager. The smack pack did not swell. I pitched it anyway. (Probably where my mistake is, but I need to hear it from someone else.) When I opened the smack pack, the yeast nutrient pack was broken. Not sure if I broke it or not because the pack did not swell. Fermentation definitely occured as OG was 1.036ish, SG is now 1.002. The krausen formation was very small, not like all the ales I brew. Is this normal for lagers?

2. Has the beer just not aged enough? Will the off flavor age-out, or is this batch done for?

3. It took about 48 hours for fermentation to begin. At this point I put the carboy in the fridge and brougt to lager yeast temp which took another 2 days (roughly) for krausen to form and airlock to start bubbling although bubbling was never vigorous. Might I have developed a bacteria during this time?

4. This taste was present when I racked the beer from primary to secondary. I assumed this was normal of typical BMCish beers and that it would go away with the lagering process. Should this flavor not have been present at all?

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Old 08-24-2011, 03:56 AM   #2
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leave it alone for a few more weeks and you'll be AMAZED at just how much the flavor changes!

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Old 08-24-2011, 04:03 AM   #3
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Never tasted dirty sock water, but I assume is bad

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Old 08-24-2011, 04:20 AM   #4
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Honestly, it sounds like an infection. Vinegar = acetobacter. Chances are that you batch is toast.

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Old 08-24-2011, 04:55 AM   #5
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Almost certainly infected. I've left two batches in fermenters for about a year, their airlocks dried out and the resulting beer smelled just like that -- sour, dirty sock water. Good on ya for the fortitude to taste something that smells so foul...

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Old 08-24-2011, 05:12 AM   #6
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I've only poured one batch down the drain...and this sounds like this might be your first. If you don't need the fermenter space, keep it around for a while and see what happens, but it doesn't sound good. Flavors change, but its kinda rare that they go from outright disgusting to a delicious beer. No matter how much time you give it.

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Old 08-24-2011, 05:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afraziaaaa
What might have gone wrong?

Brewing extract version of AHS american lite lager.
For all the disrespect BMC beers get, this is one of the most difficult beers to make. There's nowhere for the mistakes to hide... vinegary definitely sound like some kind of bacterial condition. Drink up :9
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
For all the disrespect BMC beers get, this is one of the most difficult beers to make. There's nowhere for the mistakes to hide... vinegary definitely sound like some kind of bacterial condition. Drink up :9
Funny, I was just going to answer, "What might have gone wrong?" with, "You brewed an american light lager."
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:19 AM   #9
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So its two and a half weeks in the fermenter? Finish fermentation, lager in the bottle if you prefer but give this beer a chance, lagers ferment much slower than ales due to the lower temps and unless you know for sure what you are tasting you should never give up on a batch this early. It might be done for or it may just be the ferment but give it a chance.

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Old 08-24-2011, 02:33 PM   #10
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If it's at 1.002, I strongly suspect infection. Unless you purposely added some enzymes to have the beer finish that low, that's not at all where it should end up. The low FG, the terrible taste, the gross underpitching of the yeast and the long lag time (even at room temperature), makes me believe this batch is infected.

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