Honey ale, why are you such a jerk to me? - Home Brew Forums

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Old 07-18-2012, 03:37 PM   #1
DarkMerosier
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Feb 2012
worcester, ma
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So I've been holding off posting this for weeks, hoping that the longer my honey ale sat in the bottles, it would get better. Well, it isnt. So here's the story/question.

We made a honey ale from a kit. We followed all the directions. We sanitized the living crap out of everything. And after several weeks in the bottles, and then several MORE weeks in the bottles, it has a sour smell/taste. To the point where I find it to be unpalatable. We used tettnang hops, vanguard hops, 8 oz carapils, 3 lbs of clover honey, and 3.3 lbs of gold LME. 4 weeks in the primary as well. We also used s-05 yeast, which is the closest I can point to for a potential taste like this. Any ideas, suggestions, stories similar? I don't think or know if it could be infected, and I'm reluctant to say it is because of the many posts of "no it isn't" that I have seen on here. Any help is awesome and appreciated.

 
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:44 PM   #2
Egghead
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Jan 2010
Central Illinois
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What temperature did you ferment at?

 
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:58 PM   #3
DarkMerosier
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Feb 2012
worcester, ma
Posts: 29

It varied between 65 to 68, but never higher than that.

Another point that may be noteworthy- after the hotbreak during the boil, there were large chunks of what looked to be protein boiling around in there. Never seen it that prominent before, but assumed it had something to do with the honey itself, seeing that there was so much of it.

 
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:18 PM   #4
Egghead
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Jan 2010
Central Illinois
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Hmmm. I'm not sure what's causing the sour taste.

I know that boiling honey drives off desirable aromatics, which is why I add it post-boil. I've only used orange blossom honey in beer, but I've used clover honey in mead, but never had an issue with sour flavors.

US-05 isn't my favorite yeast by any measure ( only used it a few times ), but I've never heard it giving a sour off flavor. I do know that at lower ale temperatures it's really clean.

Is the sourness getting more pronounced as time goes on, or is it constant. I would think that it getting more sour over time would be an indicator of an infection.

Other than that, I'm stumped. Sorry I couldn't be more help.

 
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:44 PM   #5
IXVolt
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How many bottles have to sampled? Is it consistent through all the bottles you've had so far?

 
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:44 PM   #6
JJL
 
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Feb 2010
, WI
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Could be old LME. Could be the honey itself. Honey won't add sweetness. It's going to add more floral notes. How long did you boil the honey? Did you maybe over heat your steeping grains or somehow extract tannins from the husks?

 
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:57 PM   #7
ombre42
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Oct 2008
Winnebago, IL (near Rockford)
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I brewed a honey ale kit from Midwest Supplies and had similar trouble. I bottled 6 and put the rest in a keg. After 3 or 4 month it was so unpalatable (can't remember if it was sour - don't have notes with me) I dumped the keg.
Recently I tried the bottled portion, and around 2 years after brewing it it tastes great. I did not taste it between 3 or 4 months and ~2 years.

 
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:09 PM   #8
roadymi
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Dec 2009
Middle of the Mitten, Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ombre42 View Post
I brewed a honey ale kit from Midwest Supplies and had similar trouble. I bottled 6 and put the rest in a keg. After 3 or 4 month it was so unpalatable (can't remember if it was sour - don't have notes with me) I dumped the keg.
Recently I tried the bottled portion, and around 2 years after brewing it it tastes great. I did not taste it between 3 or 4 months and ~2 years.
I brewed an AG batch of Honey wheat a few months ago. I added the honey in the secondary. I kegged it a month ago. It also has an unpalateable sour taste. My son and I brew together we made 10 gallons wort and fermented our 5 gal separately. He hasn't tried his yet.

I have about given up on this batch but after reading all of the do not dump threads, I have just pushed it to the back of the kegorator for now. This post gives me hope.
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:33 PM   #9
Ghost1220
 
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Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IXVolt View Post
How many bottles have to sampled? Is it consistent through all the bottles you've had so far?
I've tasted the ale of which the OP speaks, it's consistent across all the bottles we have tried (which up to this point is about 8). It improved marginally over the time it's been in the bottle, however, it seems the improvement has stopped.

 
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:55 PM   #10
jonmohno
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Corn, High Fructose Corn Fortress, IA
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I think i could envison honey giving a dry tartness,is it that strong of a sour? Only thing you can do now is age it and see how it goes.

 
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