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Old 02-11-2010, 11:13 PM   #1
SamFen
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Default Over two weeks with no activity, high FG, slight sour taste... will it be ok?

Hi all,

So I brewed my first beer about three weeks ago (and posted the recipe I used back then). It was a Irish Stout from a Brewers Best kit.

The OG was 1.05, and after a day of clear fermentation, it seemed to stop dead.

Two days later, I took a gravity reading. 1.02.

A week after that, I took another gravity reading. 1.02.

After two weeks of it being at 1.02, after asking at my LHBS, adding some yeast activator (or whatever it's called), and keeping it warm, I finally added some more yeast (Nottingham). This may have been a mistake, as many people on these forums say, but the reason I thought it would be ok was a) the LHBS had previously recommended adding some Nottingham as a way to make a less-sweet stout, and b) they said adding more yeast was a tool of last resort, but recommended Nottingham if the yeast activator didn't work.

Anyway, another week with new yeast goes by (week 3). Kept it warm (63°-69°F). Took a gravity reading today: 1.02, as always.

I also tasted it, and it didn't taste very nice. Not bad bad, but not really like beer. Slightly sour. Maybe there was an infection? It's possible that I did not sanitize as well as I should have.

Anyway, my options are:
1) Let it sit some more in the primary fermenter
2) Rack it to a secondary
3) Bottle it
4) Throw it away

What do you guys think?

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Old 02-12-2010, 02:13 AM   #2
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IMO, I think 1.02 is where this beer should have stopped. there's just a lot of unfermentables in your recipe. If its clear, I'd just go ahead and bottle it, 3 weeks should be enough for a beer of that size. Hopefully time and carbonation will get rid of that sourness.

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Old 02-12-2010, 04:20 AM   #3
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Bottle it. If it doesn't taste all that great when finished, you can always mix it with a beer you do like. Fermentation should take a minimum of 3-5 days or you run the risk of developing esters. Next time ferment in a cooler place.

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Old 02-12-2010, 04:33 AM   #4
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Bottle it and give it more time than you were originally planning to.

Then drink the piss out of it.

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Old 02-12-2010, 04:33 AM   #5
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I agree on bottling it now since your FG isn't changing. And if it's a slight sour apple/cidery type taste, that's just a sign of a young beer. If it's so sour that you end up crying blood, then there might be a bug in there somewhere, heh.

Anyway, I did the Irish Stout from BB as my second kit, and it didn't finish cleaning up that taste until it was three weeks in the bottle, though I only let it go two weeks before bottling. Even then, the carbonation wasn't the best until after four weeks or so in the bottle.

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Old 02-12-2010, 11:16 AM   #6
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Alright guys, you've given me hope. This batch has been feeling like a bit of a downer for a while now, but here's to it working out fine in the end. Thanks!

Next batch will be an IPA -- if I can ever get my friend to lend me his brew pot again!

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Old 02-12-2010, 11:47 AM   #7
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Bottle it and let it sit. You'll be fine.

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Old 02-12-2010, 11:56 AM   #8
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My guess is that it fermented pretty "hot", that's why it only took a day or two to ferment out. Yeast love warm temperatures, and will go gangbusters in a warm environment. Maybe you added the yeast when the wort wasn't completely cool, and it started up at a high temperature. The beer will be fine, but might have some fruity flavors (esters) as a result. The slightly sour taste might be a result of that, or it could be young beer. It's possible that you didn't sanitize properly, but that's not likely.

You can bottle the beer whenever you'd like. It will get better with some carbonation.

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Old 02-13-2010, 09:43 PM   #9
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You can't throw out your first brew. That would be life scarring. You have to see it thru.

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Old 02-14-2010, 01:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chudz View Post
If it's so sour that you end up crying blood, then there might be a bug in there somewhere.
I like it! part of my sig from now on...
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