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Old 12-01-2008, 02:26 PM   #1
Oct 2008
North Carolina
Posts: 26

So after my first beer was done, a pumpkin spice ale, I got to thinking about reasons it went wrong and I came across one that might explain the sour taste and smell coming from the beer. When pouring the wort into the fermenter, I did not have a strainer at the time, so all the hops that we used went into the fermenter with the wort (we used Fuggle pellets). I was wondering if the beer sitting on these hops during fermentation for about 10 days could have caused the sour flavor that now overpowers the pumpkin and spice taste in the beer?

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Old 12-01-2008, 02:36 PM   #2
Sep 2006
Sacramento, CA
Posts: 362
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I doubt that sitting on the hops in the fermenter for 10 days is going to pull any undesirable flavors from them. From what I have read and heard, "sour" tastes are usually the result of an infection, not something that comes from hops.

Here is a description of various off flavors and what can cause them:
How to Brew - By John Palmer - Common Off-Flavors

How old is the beer? I'd suggest letting it sit in the bottle for at least 4-6 weeks before you make any judgments on the taste. If it's a young beer, the taste could change significantly in the next few weeks. Spice beers can change even more than other beers over time as the spices mellow and meld with the beer.

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Old 12-01-2008, 02:36 PM   #3
Ale's What Cures You!
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Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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I rarely strain my wort and have done over 200 batches of beer. Sour flavor tends to come from infection (like lacto) and not flavor from the hops.
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Old 12-01-2008, 03:09 PM   #4
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Nov 2007
Posts: 51,516
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I may know what you're talking about. I made a (extract) brown ale with fuggles last February. It tasted, not sour, but twangy. Is that what your' tasting? It was in the smell and taste and was my worst beer to date. I wouldn't even drink it and of course it seemed to be the batch that had the highest yield into bottles. Then I put one in the fridge a few weeks ago, and the "twang" has turned into a very definite Hop flavor. It is not what I figured it would be being a Brown Ale, Taste more like a light IPA-ish Brown. But it's good now. Might just be the flavor of fuggles. I'd be curious to grab some fuggle pellets and make a tea and see if that's the flavor/smell. Actually that seems like a good idea for lots of hops. Then again that's the point of Smash recipes. Experimenting here I come. But I've strayed. See if it mellows over time and changes.
But if it is in-deed a sour taste/smell, buy new lines for next brew and clean everything real well. What do you use for sanitizing and How do you use it?
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I should have stuck to four fingers in Vegas.

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