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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > A Sour Gruit. =) or =(
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:32 PM   #1
skeyeflery
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Default A Sour Gruit. =) or =(

Hello,

My lady and I made our first beer which happens to be a yarrow gruit. I bottled the beer a few days ago, but couldn't wait to try it. When I opened the beer it fizzed like a champagne bottle, but I hadn't shaken the bottle. Also the beer has a sour taste. Does the beer have an infection? Or will this remedy with more time in the bottles?

Our process seemed to be quite elaborate, but it was par for the "brewers" course. We made the mash, sparged it, brough it to a boil, cooled it, put it in the fermenter, added the yeast, and a muslin bag of yarrow. I took it out and bottled it 1.6 weeks later.

Any feedback is appreciated...

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Old 08-31-2009, 09:17 PM   #2
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A beer normally takes a week or two to carbonate after priming and botteling. I've never had a gusher from infection but it sounds like it. The sour taste could be the yarrow or the infection.

Be careful of the bottle bombs.

I release the caps from a few more and recap.
Store in a cardboard box and be VERY careful when uncapping. I do it under a towel with long sleeves and gloves on.

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Old 08-31-2009, 09:33 PM   #3
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I may be stating the obvious, but in your description of your process you didn't mention boiling the wort. If I'm thinking correctly, grains are loaded with wild yeast which are killed by boiling the wort. This could be a source of contamination.

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Old 08-31-2009, 09:37 PM   #4
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Oh yes, we brought the wort to a boil after we sparged the mash. Is there a certain time for which the wort should be boiled? We simply brough it to a boil and called it a day.

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Old 08-31-2009, 09:49 PM   #5
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Well, in that case.....I defer to Orfy.

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Old 08-31-2009, 10:04 PM   #6
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I'm thinking that there is/was an infection in the beer. The sour taste is overwhelming and blocks the taste of the yarrow. Yarrow should have a bitter taste, but I can't even taste it.

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Old 09-01-2009, 12:07 AM   #7
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Normal convention says that to be sure you should boil for 5 minutes plus.
When making beer it is one hour but that is for the hop utilisation. Not sure fr herbs like yarrow.
What cleaning and sanitisation regime did you use for everything else?

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Old 09-01-2009, 12:57 AM   #8
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We used bleach to sanitize, but I don't think we let the bleach-water solution stand long enough. I've been reading up on sanitization (20 min for bleach) and we definitely did not let the solution stand that long (5 minutes). I think that we are going to use a sanitizer next time, i.e something stronger that is used for brewing (any recommendations?). I've also been reading some other forums and others have boiled the wort and yarrow together for 60-90 minutes total.

What went wrong? I'm thinking that things were not sanitary AND we did not boil the wort long enough. We have picked enough yarrow for a second round.

If there is an infection, will the bottles turn into what you've called "bottle bombs." I used 1/2 teaspoon of cane sugar to prime the bottles.

Let's see if I have this correct for next time. We are going to sanitize our equipment very well. We will then heat water (2.5 gallons/9.5L) and malted barely (5 pounds/11 kilos) for 90 minutes at 150 degrees. Once the mash is complete we will put it in our sparger and then add the remaining water (4 gallons/15.2L) which has been brought to a boil. We will sparger the mash allowing the water to slowly return to the brewpot. Once we have collected all of the mash we will then boil it for one hour (including half of the yarrow in a boil bag) and then introduce the other half for 30 minutes after the initial 60 minutes. We will then cool the wort to about 70 degrees F or 21 degrees C, place the wort in the fermenting bottle, stir with vigor, and then add the yeast. Place in the bung and gas release seal thing, and boom...we should have something to bottle in 5 or so days.

Does my method sound correct? Do you have anything to add or take away?

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Old 09-01-2009, 01:44 AM   #9
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I don't have any experience with gruit, but 5lbs of barley seems awfully low for a 5 gallon batch. Are you using a specific recipe? If not I'm sure there is something on HBT. Just use the search function. Also, if you are confused about mashing and sparging procedures, a good resource is How To Brew by John Palmer. It might be a good idea to read through chapter 3 before you tackle your next brew.

Or, you could always look on the All Grain section of the site, there are several tutorials.

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Old 09-01-2009, 06:40 AM   #10
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Yes, we followed a specific recipe which was similar to others we found on the internet, but it lacked specific directions (e.g. bring to a boil for ??). Thanks for the "How To Brew" link, as it was helpful. I've already built a proper lauter tun, but I had to use some epoxy on the hole of the cooler as the bushing around the drainage hole wasn't sealing properly (I hope this won't affect any future brews). JB Weld is the name of the epoxy, to be exact. It's suppose to work in temperatures up to 300 degrees F. Anyway, thx for all the tips. I'll let you know how the next batch turns out....! Cheers.

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