I've just done my first two AG brews last weekend. On Friday I brewed EdWort's Haus Pale ale, and on Sunday, Yooper's Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA. I'd consider both brew days successful, though not without hiccups -- Friday I was up til 3 AM. I nailed the SGs I was aiming for and was careful about sanitation. Went through a full spray bottle of star-san both times. Both fermentations took off within 24 hours and built up thick, normal-looking krausens with lots of activity visible in the carboys.
Popping off the airlocks briefly to take a whiff, I smell a very distinct sourness in both. I've done two extract brews a few weeks ago (generic Red Ale and IPA recipes from my LHBS) and neither smelled sour during fermentation.
Is this sour smell fairly ordinary for an AG pale ale? It's not overpowering and nauseating, but it's definitely strongly competing with the yeasty, malty smell I was expecting. I'm guessing it's a not a big deal, but having some reassurance from the HBT community would calm my nerves a bit. I put a ton of effort into these brews and would hate to see them go bad.