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Old 12-04-2012, 04:31 AM   #1
GBPackers
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Default Sour taste

Myself and a friend are working on our first batch of homebrew. It's the autumn amber ale from from Midwest. It's been fermenting for 2 weeks and we plan to bottle tomorrow, I tasted it and I noticed a sour taste (similar to a sour brown ale I tried). At no point during the fermentation did I notice anything to lead me to believe there was an infection. Is this normal and what could cause this. Thanks!

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Old 12-04-2012, 04:39 AM   #2
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Hard to say, but sour usually means lactobacillus or acetobacter. If you don't smell vinegar it could be the former. I have found that neither of these show up at first. Acetobacter will metabolize alcohol into acetic acid, so it shows up for me later in the ferment, sometimes after lengthy aging. Lactobacillus metabolizes sugar into lactic acid so it shows up earlier, but it also prefers a quite warm environment. When I want it to flourish I incubate it at around 80F. My advice is to bottle and drink it fast!

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Old 12-04-2012, 04:44 AM   #3
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I noticed my first batch had a sour/metallic taste to it as well. I believe mine was from pulling it off the yeast cake to early and not allowing a good amount of time for the yeast to come behind itself and clean up that taste. As the beer has bottle conditioned it has gotten much better with time. It could be Acetaldehyde which is just an intermediate compound in the formation of alcohol. (pulled that definition off another website :P) Basically it said the beer is just really young.

Just give the yeast it's time to do it's thing. Mine has been bottled for over a month now. It could also be that your fermentation temp was high. And I very well could be totally wrong, just throwing some ideas out there. Good luck!

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Old 12-04-2012, 04:48 AM   #4
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Did you taste the wort after you took your original gravity reading? Was it sour at all then?

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Old 12-04-2012, 04:49 AM   #5
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Is it common to have an infection without noticeable signs?

I do think the fermenting temp may have been a bit high. I was unaware how much heat fermentation puts off and I did a poor job monitoring it during the first 2 or 3 days

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Old 12-04-2012, 04:52 AM   #6
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I did taste the wort and I do not recall any sour flavors at that point.

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Old 12-04-2012, 03:04 PM   #7
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Age it out.

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Old 12-04-2012, 04:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceparadis View Post
Age it out.
After more reading that's definitely my plan of attack. Time heals all wounds, maybe even bad tastes.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBPackers View Post
After more reading that's definitely my plan of attack. Time heals all wounds, maybe even bad tastes.
Maybe yes, maybe no. That said, I had a batch this summer that developed a white crust on the neck of the carboy. I tasted it. Rats! Ruined! Then a friend gave me a saisson he'd made from the White Labs American Farmhouse yeast. Damned if it didn't taste exactly the same.

Moral: serve it to your friends, tell them it is a "sour" beer that is now becoming very popular among connie soors...
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:44 AM   #10
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It's only two weeks.

Bottle it, and then wait until after the bears and packers meet in the first round of the playoffs to open it.

It will be fine.

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