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Old 03-01-2011, 09:56 PM   #1
mcslim
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Default IPA Possible Contamination?

This is my 2nd batch of IPA I've done, but it's gone a little haywire.

2 Weeks ago, the airlock wasn't bubbling after 72 hours, so I pitched some new yeast. After another day or so it wasn't bubbling again so I got angry and gave the bucket a swirl. That caused the beer to start oozing around the airlock and when I took the airlock out for a second, the rubber ring attached to the lid of the fermenter fell inside the bucket.

I just left it in, used plumbers tape to reseal the airlock to the lid, and left it alone. Within an hour the airlock started bubbling, so I thought all was fine. Now it's 2 weeks later and I took a sample SG of 1.020 (OG of 1.050) and it strongly tastes and smells like peaches or apricot (almost like it's fruit juice).

Is this a sign of contamination? I used Amarillo and Citra hops along with 8 lbs of Pale LME so I don't know why it tastes so fruity. Also the 1.020 seemed a little high still.

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Old 03-01-2011, 10:00 PM   #2
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You're a little bit high, but oh well. As far as the smell goes, I don't think any contamination is going to smell fruity. More like ass. I can see amarillo and citra combining for a peaches like aroma.

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Old 03-01-2011, 10:07 PM   #3
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Thanks.. I guess I'll go ahead and bottle it. Otherwise I'll have no green beer for St. Patty's.

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Old 03-01-2011, 10:37 PM   #4
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Also, this is why the airlock isn't a gauge of fermentation activity or 'doneness' of beer. Its just a CO2 vent, and that's all you can rely on it to do.

I know its tempting, and sometimes it IS a sign of fermentation activity, but its just too unreliable.

Fruity smells could be the hops...if it fermented too warm it might have a banana or Juicy Fruit kinda smell, but your description sounds more like young beer and that hop combo, and possibly excessive yeast lending its smell too.

Give it time to drop a few more points and I think you'll be fine in the long haul.

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Old 03-02-2011, 12:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore View Post
Also, this is why the airlock isn't a gauge of fermentation activity or 'doneness' of beer. Its just a CO2 vent, and that's all you can rely on it to do.

I know its tempting, and sometimes it IS a sign of fermentation activity, but its just too unreliable.

Fruity smells could be the hops...if it fermented too warm it might have a banana or Juicy Fruit kinda smell, but your description sounds more like young beer and that hop combo, and possibly excessive yeast lending its smell too.

Give it time to drop a few more points and I think you'll be fine in the long haul.
I agree. A fruity flavor can come from a couple of things- a too-warm fermentation temperature (over about 72 degrees beer temperature, not room temperature) as well as from the hops. Citra is especially fruity- it screams MANGO to me and I don't care for it because of it. Amarillo is grapefruity- together you may have a Juicy Fruit gum taste just from the hops. Combining that with a maybe too high fermentation temperature you can have some serious fruity flavors going on.

You didn't mention the fermentation temperature or the yeast strain, but S05 will kick out tons of "peachy" esters when stressed.
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