Ok guys -
I'm new here, my first post! Me and a buddy of mine who is into craft beer brewed a batch of IPA a couple of weeks ago. He is more into beer than me, so after helping him with this process, I decided to get a Mr. Beer kit to experiment a bit myself.
One of my favorite beers is Magic Hat #9, which is brewed with apricots, so upon receiving the kit with a can of West Coast Pale Ale, I decided it might be a good idea to add fruit to the fermenter to boost the alcohol and give off a hint of fruit flavor. I should note that I also added about a half cup of honey. Using the calculator in the Mr. Beer kit, the ABV should turn out between 5-6%.
However, I've taken a sample or two from the tap to test the progress of fermentation and I have to say there is a strong, somewhat off odor. It's tough to find something to compare it to. When you taste the beer, it tastes decent but from the smell I think something is wrong. It's also been in the fermenter (Mr. Beer Keg) for about 15 days now.
I've read a lot in the past few weeks so I feel more educated now, but I really did wing it when it came to adding this fruit. I bought a packaged bag of dried apricots (although they were a bit spongy, so I'm not sure they were completely dehydrated), and roughly chopped them up. I then added these directly to the fermenter after boiling the booster and added the hopped malt extract. I didn't boil them since I've heard the pectins can add cloudiness to the beer.
Initially, this fruit gathered on the bottom but eventually rose to the top of the fermenter. Now, some of it is exposed to the air. My question is this - is it likely that the exposed fruit could be rotting, causing this off smell? It seems most recipes call for pureed fruit (which I didn't know when I made this batch). Or is it possible that there are preservatives in the fruit which may have affected the fermentation process? Unfortunately I didn't pay much attention to the details of my fruit when I did this
... live and learn
Any input is appreciated, thanks a lot and I hope to become more of a regular here now that I've been hit with the brewing bug!
Oh and I should make it known that my buddy and I bottled the first batch of IPA yesterday and it tasted awesome - at least the 5 gallon batch turned out well! First taste of carbonated homebrew is only a few weeks away