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Old 03-07-2012, 04:51 AM   #1
Feb 2010
Posts: 73

After tasting my cream ale, I have found that it is slightly sour. The beer is still young, 2 weeks old and I just started carbing it in a keg. I doubt that the sour flavor will mature out.

However, in a small test glass, I add a extremely small dash of baking soda and the the sourness was gone, resulting in a completely different beer.

Has anyone tried this?

Beer stats:
OG 1.050
FG 1.008
Yeast: WLP001

90% Two Row
10% Flaked Maize
12 IBU

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Old 03-07-2012, 04:52 AM   #2
Jul 2009
Posts: 5,071
Liked 268 Times on 229 Posts

give it a little time. that looks like a basic recipe that should work. i use a little different recipe, but yours is ok too
There is no "i" in denial.

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Old 03-07-2012, 12:09 PM   #3
Oct 2011
Charlotte, Nc
Posts: 215
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts

This is intriguing. Thanks for sharing this. I will have to give it a shot next time I have a beer that's a little too acidic. Or maybe I'll make one on purpose so I can try it.

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Old 03-07-2012, 12:53 PM   #4
Nov 2010
Solway, MN
Posts: 10,243
Liked 1944 Times on 1542 Posts

Your beer is likely sour tasting from a bit of acetaldehyde that was a byproduct of the yeast eating sugar and if you leave it alone for a bit the yeast will finish converting that to alcohol and the sour will be gone. You may need to let that beer sit where it is room temperature for a few days so the yeast doesn't go dormant.

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Old 03-07-2012, 01:06 PM   #5
BillyBock's Avatar
Feb 2011
Maiden Rock, WI
Posts: 170
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

"Sodium bicarbonate can be used as a wash to remove any acidic impurities from a "crude" liquid, producing a purer sample. Reaction of sodium bicarbonate and an acid produce a salt and carbonic acid, which readily decomposes to carbon dioxide and water." - wikipedia quote.

There are a few by-products of yeast that are acidic and can be neutralized by adding baking soda, acetaldehyde being one of them. Acetaldehyde is formed by the oxidation of ethanol. (this is why you avoid contacting air with fermented beer, ie transferring to secondary or keg) Acetaldehyde is also thought to contribute to hangovers.

I see no reason why you can't do this and I may try it on the next batch that comes out a little sour.

(this was based off just a little research and a crude understanding of chemistry, so feel free to scrutinize)

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Old 10-11-2014, 02:02 PM   #6
Oct 2014
Posts: 1

Your science is sound.....as per this science teacher and his similar experience. I don't drink coffee and am not accustomed to how acidic it can be. I made a coffee porter and added some espresso......too much espresso. I cut the acid with baking soda and ended up with no sour acid taste. In fact, it ended up tasting like root beer lol. Not my favorite batch, but far better than the coffee dominated first attempt. Lesson learned.

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Old 10-11-2014, 02:04 PM   #7

A little chalk will work well if the beer is carbonated.
Mead Lane Brewing
The liver is evil and must be punished

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Old 10-11-2014, 07:13 PM   #8
Jul 2013
Posts: 1,194
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The only thing you need to be careful with NaCO3 is the sodium. If you have high Na water to begin you could end up raising Na levels above taste freshhold
Bottle:Imperial Stout (chilli/chocolate)
Fermenter: Imperial Red
Keg: US barley Wine, Milk Chocolate Brown, Mosaic/simcoe/nelson ipa, El-Dorado, Equinox, Galaxy IPA

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