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Old 11-29-2009, 09:59 PM   #1
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Default Did I make vinegar, or does this beer need some time. Like a year.

So, I bottled my first sour beer that I brewed in October 2008. It was a Framboise, and I learned quite a bit. The most important being, taste before you bottle, as the beer will tell you when it's ready.

Anyway, I bottled the batch yesterday. When I pulled the carboy cap off and sniffed, I caught a strong acidic scent. It occurred to me that it was a little vinegar-y, but I thought it could also have been natural acids from the raspberries. It was from a batch that I had split, so I only had a little over 2 gallons to work with, and I didn't want to lose too much tasting. Mistake number one. I tasted it after bottling, and it was VERY unpalatable. Super sour, with a very unpleasant bite on the back end. I went back to Wild Brews, and it would appear that acetobacter kind of took over. The other half of the batch I left in the carboy, but it has a nice pellicle on top, which the Framboise did not (it was more of a film).

So, I guess my question is this: is this Framboise dead? I've become an expert on acetobacter in the last 24 hours, and it seems like they need an oxygen rich environment to grow. I think I left too much head space in the carboy, and also probably didn't have a real good seal. They will run out of oxygen real quick in the bottles. Is it possible that the Brett and other bugs may clean some of that up if I leave it for a while, or did I make vinegar and that's that?

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Old 11-29-2009, 10:14 PM   #2
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Don't throw it out, but it is unlikely that the acetobacter is going to mellow over time, it is more likely to get stronger. The brett and other bugs will not consume acetic acid, but the flavors from brett and other bugs may cover up the overwhelming acetic character.

Give it a year, then decide what to do with it.

Raspberry vinegar doesn't sound too bad.
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