When unintentional contamination goes right - Home Brew Forums
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:47 PM   #1
mccann51
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Feb 2011
Somewhere, CA
Posts: 227
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I brewed up a stout a few weeks back. Looking to get a dessert kind of stout, w oatmeal smoothness and chocolaty goodness. Here's the recipe to get an idea:

5 gal:
8 lbs American 2-row
0.75 lb chocolate malt
0.75 lb black malt
1 lb uncooked rolled oats
1 oz Magnum 60 min
1 oz Magnum 30 min
Safale-04 (rehydrated)
4 oz cocoa nibs in secondary
1 vanilla bean (Madagascar bourbon) in secondary
OG 1.050
FG 1.013

Well, somewhere along the line the batch got contaminated (perhaps the vanilla bean? I didn't sanitize that or the nibs). There was a really apparent Brett pellicle a couple days after I threw the vanilla bean in. I figured this beer was not going to be what I planned at all, but I've played w Brett and bacteria before, and I enjoy drinking funked and sour beers, so whatever, it'll be beer, I'll drink it. When I sampled it at bottling, I didn't notice anything funky, there was only a slight sourness, like a Brett sour, not a bacteria sour.

The other day, after just three or four days post-bottling, I cracked one open. Hot damn was it good! Tasted like chocolate covered cherries! Couldn't of asked for anything better, honestly. At first I couldn't really figure where the fruit flavor was coming from, but the next day I remembered that Brett can impart cherry pie flavors. I had totally forgotten, and was only thinking of the barnyard flavors when I saw it had gotten infected.

I plan to save a bottle to inoculate a similar batch down the road. Really pleased with how this turned out; very serendipitous.



 
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:49 PM   #2
othellomcbane
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Sep 2011
Beacon, New York
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You bottled after a couple weeks? Seems like you might be risking some bottle bombs, no?



 
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:15 PM   #3
mccann51
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Feb 2011
Somewhere, CA
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1 Oct to 12 Nov. Not sure where you're getting a couple weeks from but it was about six weeks between brew day and bottling.

 
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:30 PM   #4
skeezerpleezer
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Apr 2010
Roswell, GA
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Sounds good to me. I have been drinking a lot of New Belgium Clutch, which is a blend of imperial stout and sour. It's damn good. The only bad thing is you may have trouble replicating this!

 
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Old 11-20-2011, 01:14 AM   #5
mccann51
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Feb 2011
Somewhere, CA
Posts: 227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeezerpleezer View Post
The only bad thing is you may have trouble replicating this!
Yeah, I'm hoping saving a bottle will allow me to have the yeast to at least attempt it. I don't keep track of temp, though, and I don't know exactly when the contamination occurred, so there's a lot of variables that will be unaccounted for. Either way, trying to brew it again will be a fun experiment!

 
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:30 AM   #6
heywatchthis
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Dec 2010
lexington, Kentucky
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You need to be careful with the bottles here. Even after 6 weeks, if you hadn't reached terminal gravity, you might have some exploding bottles. Brett will ferment sugars that Sacc can't/won't.

 
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:42 PM   #7
mccann51
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Feb 2011
Somewhere, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heywatchthis View Post
You need to be careful with the bottles here. Even after 6 weeks, if you hadn't reached terminal gravity, you might have some exploding bottles. Brett will ferment sugars that Sacc can't/won't.
Okay, I'll keep this in mind.

 
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:16 PM   #8
statseeker
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Jun 2010
Sacramento
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I'm in the "this might be a little soon to bottle" camp. I would have waited a couple of months to see if the gravity dropped anymore after initial sacc fermentation. If it was stable, I would bottle.
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:18 AM   #9
dcHokie
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Mar 2010
Washington, DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by statseeker View Post
I'm in the "this might be a little soon to bottle" camp. I would have waited a couple of months to see if the gravity dropped anymore after initial sacc fermentation. If it was stable, I would bottle.
I'd be cautious with these bottles if you have any hanging around for a few months. As others mentioned, if you do have Brett in there it can keep chewing away at the residual sugars. Each gravity point represents .51 volumes co2 so that 1.013 FG could theoretically add another 6.5 volumes...about double the psi capacity of most 12 oz bottles.

having said all that, a funky cherry vanilla sour stout sounds amazingly delicious.
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:29 AM   #10
skeezerpleezer
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Apr 2010
Roswell, GA
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If its carbed and good you could always refrigerate them all. Or does brett and bugs not act like normal yeast when cooled?



 
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