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Old 06-07-2011, 10:03 PM   #1
duffman2
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Default What to do with Accidental Sour?

Well, I'm just having horrible luck with my nut browns. First couple were great, next few not as much.

My recent batch developed an infection that I let it sit on. The infection subsided and the big gray bubbles went down and now sit on top of the beer looking pretty harmless.

I've tasted the beer a couple of times and it's not bad but slightly sour. So the question now is, what do I do with it? If I have made a sour beer is there anything I should do to really accentuate and embrace it's sourness?

I was thinking about kegging it and seeing what happens but I've never tried to make a sour beer and don't know much about them.

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Old 06-07-2011, 10:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duffman2 View Post
Well, I'm just having horrible luck with my nut browns. First couple were great, next few not as much.

My recent batch developed an infection that I let it sit on. The infection subsided and the big gray bubbles went down and now sit on top of the beer looking pretty harmless.

I've tasted the beer a couple of times and it's not bad but slightly sour. So the question now is, what do I do with it? If I have made a sour beer is there anything I should do to really accentuate and embrace it's sourness?

I was thinking about kegging it and seeing what happens but I've never tried to make a sour beer and don't know much about them.
Here is a great reference for off-flavors: http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html
I assume that your sour flavor is due to the beer being Astringent, after you read the descriptions of off-flavors, and if this is the one...it will never go away but will mellow.
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:27 PM   #3
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Default Astringency?

I don't know about that. Mine is not really bitter and is only slightly sour. But once again it doesn't really taste that bad.

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Old 06-07-2011, 10:33 PM   #4
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As far as accentuating the sourness, at this point he main option you have is time. Generally your standard "sour" bugs (brett, lacto, pedio, etc.) will all keep working if you leave them in the fermenter, so if you'd like to get more of that sour flavor, just let it hang out for a while more. Not sure how long its fermented already, but a lot of people keep their sours going for up to a year or more.

Of course, the opposite side to that is that since you don't know what you've got, letting it go longer could make things worse. If its something like acetobacter, you'll wind up with 5 gals of vinegar (although probably damn tasty vinegar!). If at this point you like the way its tasting and you could see yourself drinking 5 gals of it, go ahead and keg it up. Or, maybe just keg part of it, and let the rest hang out in the fermenter. You can always go back and blend the two together in the keg if you desire, or just let it keep going in the fermenter and see how funky you can get it .

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Old 06-07-2011, 11:56 PM   #5
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Yes I am very intrigued by all of this.

I brewed this on 3-29 and it's still sitting in primary now. I've done nothing to it besides crash cool a month or so back. And it's only slightly sour now. Minimum sourness

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Old 06-08-2011, 03:23 AM   #6
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I would keg and see how it reacts to co2 ...........my .02

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Old 06-08-2011, 05:09 AM   #7
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I had a stout that got infected. I moved it into a secondary, and added about 1 lb. of sugar and dregs from a bottle of Orval (to get some brett in there). Fermentation kicked in right away and was very active for a few weeks. It has been in there for about 6 months now, and the brett is definitely taking over. I sampled some recently - it has a noticeable sour taste, followed by some brett character, and finishes with the roasted barley flavour. Not bad, but I will let it go for at least another few months. I might dry hop it at the end for a bit more of the Orval character, but I'm kind of playing it by ear. I would like it a bit more sour, but I'm not in any rush for it to finish. I might also throw in some sour cherries. Lots of options. My thinking - if I dump it, there is 100% chance of it being undrinkable. As it is, I will possibly get something drinkable, and may even get lucky and happen upon something awesome. I'm not holding my breath on that, but I like the way the flavour of this beer is trending.

If you got the fermenter available, lock it in the back of a closet and forget that you have it. Feel free to throw in some brett for the funk. Maybe a year from now, we can exchange a bottle of our respective sours.

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Old 06-25-2011, 10:47 AM   #8
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Still haven't kegged. Still not sure of what to do with it just yet!

But the infection came back alive and is scaring people

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