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Old 12-23-2012, 05:40 AM   #1
BeerKillLogic
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Default Is my beer shot. Infection?

Hey guys,

This is my 3rd extract brew w/specialty grains. Its a porterish stout that has been in primary since 12/5. So this is day 17 and this was the first time I opened the fermenter to take a peak and have a gravity reading, plus take a taste and this is what I saw. Something is definitely wrong, right?


It smells sour. Like sour apple jolly rancher. I know this is not right. But what is it??


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Old 12-23-2012, 05:50 AM   #2
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If it taste sour its probably some sort of infection... Definately not normal. Maybe lacto? Might still taste good enough time.


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Old 12-23-2012, 02:15 PM   #3
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I think that looks like little rafts of yeast and krausen. The smell you mention could be from one of the byproducts of fermentation. I'd take a taste of it to see if it tastes sour.

Tell us a bit about the fermentation. What temperature did you start it and what temperature was it when you opened it. Did you do a hydrometer test?
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:54 PM   #4
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What your pic show is drop out after fermentation . Your still about 1-2 weeks away from being finished. Porters and stouts take time to mellow and condition. What your tasting is green beer.
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:39 PM   #5
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It looks fine to me. Some yeast strains clump up like that and don't seem to fall out to the bottom. I just call them "yeast clumpies" and carry on.

Normally, the beer is fine to bottle, if it's been in the fermenter already for 17 days and the SG readings are stable.

However, if it's actually "jolly rancher's sour", I'd try to wait a few days to make sure it's not contaminated with lactobacillus. "Sour" might just be young beer, if it's an apple cider type of tang in the aftertaste. But really "sour" is a sign of infection. There just isn't any way for us to know which it is at this point. The slight "film" look makes me think it IS contaminated, unfortunately. But I"m guessing only.

It'll either get better (young beer) or worse (infected). If you wait a few days, you'll know which it is.
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:52 PM   #6
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The fermentation temps were between 66-70F for 17 days.

I did take a gravity reading and it was at about 1.020 Which is weird cause this should have finished fermenting by now don't you think?

Every time I take a reading its always high. For whatever reason I have never seen it read a number it "should". My OG's and FG's are always way higher than what seems possible.

It definitely smells of sour apple, but the taste was that of beer. Nothing actually tasted bad about it, so there may be a chance this beer will be ok. I'll wait untill wednesday which will be day 21, and take another gravity reading and proceed with bottling if everything is the same.
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:31 PM   #7
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Lots of people have reported trouble getting their extract brews to ferment out to less than 1.020. If your beer tastes like beer, I'd bottle it. In a week I'd open one to check how carbonation is coming along and I might open another one at week 2 to see that it hadn't overcarbonated which would be a sign of infection but I think your beer is fine. I looked hard at the "film" that Yooper mentioned and think it is a reflection in the picture rather than a film.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:22 PM   #8
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Its not going to hurt it to leave it for a couple more weeks. Porters and stouts are not "fast turn around" brews. For porters and stouts the minimum i go by is 6 weeks. 4 weeks in the fermenter and 2 weeks in the bottle " minimum ". let your hydrometer tell you when its ready.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BxBrewer View Post
Its not going to hurt it to leave it for a couple more weeks. Porters and stouts are not "fast turn around" brews. For porters and stouts the minimum i go by is 6 weeks. 4 weeks in the fermenter and 2 weeks in the bottle " minimum ". let your hydrometer tell you when its ready.
Well, that may work well for you, but I've NEVER left a beer for 4 weeks in the fermenter so I wouldn't say it's necessary. It's true that beers with lots of complex flavors may need time to meld, but that can happen in the bottle or keg just as well as in the fermenter. My oatmeal stout is really best at 4-5 weeks after brewday, but many other beers are great sooner. It's not just the "style" that determines when a beer is ready, but I agree that complex flavors (oak, roast, etc) may need more time before peaking. I just don't think that happens necessarily in the fermenter.
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper

Well, that may work well for you, but I've NEVER left a beer for 4 weeks in the fermenter so I wouldn't say it's necessary. It's true that beers with lots of complex flavors may need time to meld, but that can happen in the bottle or keg just as well as in the fermenter. My oatmeal stout is really best at 4-5 weeks after brewday, but many other beers are great sooner. It's not just the "style" that determines when a beer is ready, but I agree that complex flavors (oak, roast, etc) may need more time before peaking. I just don't think that happens necessarily in the fermenter.
Yooper, on the topic of amount of time to age certain styles of beer, I just read a post of yours where you said you are drinking your IPA's 2 weeks after brewing them. Would this be the same with a double IPA? With, say, a 1.080 OG? Does a high ABV necessitate aging it a bit longer despite the fact that you want the fresh hop flavors and aroma?


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