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Old 07-16-2008, 06:39 PM   #1
BroBride
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Default Sour Sour Sour!

Hi all! My husband has had bad luck twice now with batches of beer that are very, VERY sour.

Is there a particular thing that contributes to this? ie: sterilization technique, fermentation time, etc?

Or, can it be a combination of things?

Thanks for helping me out with a very newbie question!

Cheers!

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Old 07-16-2008, 06:43 PM   #2
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If they're "very very sour", then it's most certainly sanitation.

Get some 'Star San' no-rinse sanitizer. Everything and anything that comes into contact with cooled wort or beer should be sanitized with 5-star.

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Old 07-16-2008, 06:52 PM   #3
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What kind of ingredients is he using?

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Old 07-16-2008, 07:17 PM   #4
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If it is light in color, serve it to beer snobs as a "Berliner Weisse"

Realistically, you and your husband should spend some time here and learn the possible causes of infection and effective ways to prevent it. I also wonder if the description is what you really mean. A very sour beer would be produced by a clean lactobacillus infection, which is something some people do on purpose for specific types of beer. It is certainly possible, but with out knowing more about your experience with tasting different beer styles, it's hard to be sure you don't really mean "bitter", or some other description that might point to another problem. In any case, a description of the recipe used will be very helpful.

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Old 07-16-2008, 08:18 PM   #5
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Germey - great points! This beer is what I would call very sour, however. Although it doesn't taste like a lemon, I can't only compare the sourness to biting into a raw lemon. It almost takes your breath away.

I'd expect bitter beer to do the same thing, however, this beer tastes like what a candy sour ball tastes like. I've had bitter beer, even tasted "bitters" that you cook with, and they're not similar to this batch.

It's only the final few swigs (where some sediment has fallen) that you can taste any of the what the beer truly should taste like.

I'll get the recipe of ingredients to you ASAP!

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Old 07-16-2008, 08:26 PM   #6
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Any odor or flavor of vinegar?

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Old 07-16-2008, 08:33 PM   #7
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Yuri - distinct smell of vinegar, but tastes more like "sour" than "vinegar", however (whatever that particular difference may be!)

I would not equate the sour-ness with something that would go in a salad dressing... haha! It's more like the sensation of biting into a raw lemon.

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Old 07-16-2008, 08:34 PM   #8
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More than likely, it's acetobacter.

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Old 07-16-2008, 08:42 PM   #9
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Holy smokes...

Hearing that it could be a bacterial infection is a SCORE for me.

I'm a MICROBIOLOGIST (!) here in Colorado. I'll take home some culturettes tonight and work them up for bacteria.

Should I culture only the fluid part of the beer, the sediment in the bottom of the bottle, or mixed of both?

Wow... major learning experience for us all!

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Old 07-16-2008, 08:52 PM   #10
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I don't know much about culturing bacteria, but I think acetobacter is aerobic. So, maybe try opening one, letting it go flat, then adding another teaspoon(ish) of sugar. Aerate it and let it sit with a bit of aluminum foil over the mouth of the bottle for a week. It might form "ropes" or a vinegar "mother" that you can further culture.

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