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Ever Dumped a Brew? Regrets?

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NSMikeD

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Ever brew a beer that you decided to throw out? Have you ever grinned and beared through a bad brew? Are you a perfectionist that you will cast aside less than awesome brews?

I dumped a batch for the first time this week. I brewed a black IPA a few months ago, splitting the 5 gal kit into 2 x 2.5 batches brewed one day apart. I prime and keg. I had brewed a Stone clone in between so the rotation into the kegerator was the first black IPA, then the stone and then the second black IPA. The keg was stored at room temp for a week or two before being moved to the fermentor at 67° for more weeks before getting taped at 44°,

Way too sour. My suspects are as follows: missing gasket on BrewDeamon conical lid, air getting sucked into transfer tub at spigot connection. Too long at room temp and then when I cleared out the fermentor, didn't cold crash and hold it there and instead just left it at 67. I am pretty sure my sanitation is good, I clean and soak every thing in beer products manufactured for hime brewing (which BTW oxy cleaners are what hospitals use to sanitize) and use a commercial food grade contact spray sanitizer (nu-foam) on everything (thus my focus on infection during fermentation and kegging)

I had a friend who really liked the sour and I suspect I might be patting myself on the shoulder if I had set out to make a sour beer.

I bit the bullet and dumped it. Then I took a 1.5 gallon mini keg to the growler station of a distributer and filled it with Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Ale from Non Sequitur Project. (they operate pop-up tap rooms in NYC and use existing breweries to make their beer- tying them to various charities). This is a beer I could have probably never tried, but the empty kegerator gave me the opportunity to go outside my comfort zone and try something different. I am glad I did and now am looking at watermelon recipes for a summer beer for next year.

So, I think cutting my losses on that black IPA opened a new door in my homebrew journey.


Share your Dump or No Dump stories.
 

Rob2010SS

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About a year and a half ago, I bit the bullet and dumped one. I was trying to make a maple pecan brown ale. Since I hate using extracts, I tried to use real pecans in the secondary. All I did was bake them a couple of times for 10 minutes each to try and remove the oils. Well, something about those nuts turned the beer VERY cloudy, milky actually. It tasted fine... but I could not bring myself to drink it, let along serve it to someone else. I tried to jump it from keg to keg with a plate filter in between. Not only did I have problems sealing the plate filter and it leaked like a sieve, kept having to change out the filter pads because they would clog so I'm sure it got oxidized really badly. I cut my losses after the filter didn't work and dumped that thing right down the drain.

My other one, I tried to make a NEIPA 100% fermented with brett. That was nasty... Couldn't even drink that. After talking to some people, some people recommended I should bottle some and let it sit and age for a while and see what happens, but I did not do that.

Dumps happen to all of us.
 

Bramling Cross

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I've dumped one.

Back in the dark ages, I discovered the wonders of racking a new wort onto a previous batch's cake. Good things happened, good beer resulted. Naturally, I wanted to find out what the minimum possible gravity differential was between the two beers. I systematically shrank the differential until I got it into my head that it must be about ten points.

This was stupid.

Yeast don't know anything about specific gravity and as far as I can tell, base ten arithmetic is entirely lost on yeast. They're really good at making beer, not much else. I eventually made the ten point differential batch and it was foul. It tasted strongly of bacon and fruit cocktail. I dumped it without hesitation.

Sadly, I lacked the foresight to realize that bacon and fruit cocktail ale would likely be a big hit 25 years into the future.
 
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I did once dump a weak-a$$ porter that I just didn't like, and wouldn't want to share. That's the only dumper batch for me, out of hundreds.

I almost dumped my second-ever NEIPA: had a strong, almost burned seeming taste -- not really beer! Over time, it lessened some (like hop burn does), but didn't go away. Then I shuffled and jostled kegs while dealing with a newer brew. When I tried the icky NEIPA again, a clump of stuff (presumably dry hop material) came out of the tap, and thereafter it was fine.

While waiting for weeks for it to clean up, I think I missed the part of its life with maximum hop aroma. But it's quite tasty -- glad I didn't dump.
 

jbschuyler

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I have definitely had a few that have merited dumping over the years, after grinning and bearing the first few bottles. The last questionable batch though was a bit of an oddity - one friend said it was a terrible Hefe (the intended brew), but another said it a pretty solid sour.
 

Knightshade

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I dumped my first batch, a Tropical Stout a couple of months ago. It was my first 5G batch. I had done little 1.5L batches w/the Pico C, but this was the first on the stove, using a kettle, mash tun, etc I had done. I kept it hoping it would get better, and while the fusels eventually did get milder what I know now as oxidation just got worse....and worse...and DUMP!! Just to mock me though...it smelt pretty good while I was dumping it into the deep hole I had dug in the side garden.

First mistake...not knowing that I would need a blow off tube. Woke up one morning, decided to open up the mini fridge to check on it and it was a MESS!!!! Anvil Ferment in a Kettle, so the seal had popped for I have no idea how long and yeah...just....messy. Fixed that, set it back right but the first round of damage was done.

Second mistake...of which plenty were made here too. While racking the beer, I had a gravity flow problem which became evident at one point....or maybe I didn't have the pot high enough or who knows what, and then the damn spigot got plugged, so I was futzing around w/it (A LOT) trying to get it to work, moving the pot/beer around (lots of jostling and sloshing by now) to try and clear the inside area of the spigot, (Lid open, bright garage fluorescent light raining down on it) finally said F it, and racked with the only racking cane I have which is a mini one so that took for freekin ever too and I'm positive I pumped the crap out of it because I was so irritated from the spigot fiasco.

Good times! :cool:
 

Dinadan

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I guess I am like the hunters who say "If I kill it, I eat it" no matter how tough or gamey. If I brew it, I drink it. So far nothing has actually made me sick, other than hangover. I have never dumped a batch, though I am sure some other folks would have said it needed dumping.

Think of the billions of yeast who did their best to make your brew. To dump the beer would be to completely negate the purpose of their lives!
 

Nokie

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I dumped a batch probably 2 years ago and it still bugs me. I always think....
What if that batch would of conditioned til now ? It still bugs me to this day. I bet it’d be good by now.:rolleyes:
 
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dawn_kiebawls

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I dumped a cherry Quad with Bourbon infused oak. It was going to be so good..all the samples were phenomenal. I let it rest and do its' thing in primary for months. When I finally got around to bottling it I looked in the fermentor and there was a rotting, decayed wasp floating right on top and I about lost it. Would it have been an excellent brew and safe to drink? No doubt. Would I have been able to drink it without thinking about that rotten winged Hell demon, every sip of the way? Not a chance. Down the drain she went. I regret it :( but, my wife is allergic to bees so I keep telling myself I dumped it for her safety even though I know it's damn well because I have a weak stomach.
 

S-Met

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I've dumped 4 or 5. 1 beer and 3 ciders I think. Regret the beer, off taste after being off tap. Turns out the next one that went on had same off taste. Changed the lines and all was better. I wonder if the beer was fine. Never know.

1 cider was actually really good, but it just wasn't what I wanted, every time I had a pint, kept thinking, I should have done x,y,z and didn't enjoy it for what it was.

2 others were party remnants that I wasn't really interested in finishing and I wanted my kegs back.

There have also been a few bottle/partial batches that got forgotten about for too long. Pop a couple and they were past prime. I always say, "Life is too short for bad wine," the same mostly holds true for beer and cider.

Edit:
Also didn't think early on about small batch. Cost per oz was cheaper at 5gal, but doesn't hold true when I realize that I don't really want 40 pints of something. Yeah, yeah, invite friends, share, send growlers... sometimes its worth it, other times not.
 
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seatazzz

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Several. Most of them back in the day before I understood yeast pitching temperature as well as fermentation temperature control. In the last two years, just two; a Wit that went south because I overpitched Kveik, and a lager using 4th gen 34/70 that had just had enough and didn't want to go another generation. I want to add, although it may seem pricey, there's no shame in dumping a truly horrible beer. It happens to the best of us (I am NOT in that category) as well as rank beginners. Teaches us to learn from our mistakes, is my opinion. There have also been many that I've brewed that I wouldn't share with my worst enemy (well, maybe, if it made her seriously ill - story for another time), where I forced myself to finish the keg, or at least drink until I had something better on tap.
 

bobeer

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I've dumped 2 batches and both were for the same reason. We had just moved into a new county and I had consumed all my homebrew before the move because I didn't want to move it all. So, naturally, once all the boxes were put away the first order of business was to get the pipeline going again. I had ordered a water report but was impaient and didn't wait to brew until I got it. So what did I brew? Why of course a Heady Topper clone which cost around $80. I also brewed a pale ale for my wife's birthday. In the end the beer smelled like burnt rubber and tasted pretty horrible. I tried to add more dry hops to the heady clone to try and mask the taste but nothing would. The apa fell to the same fate so I dumped both and chalked it up to bad water and that's exactly what it was. I learned an expensive lesson to not jump the gun when you don't know the water!
 

DNuggs

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Just dumped 9 gallons of an IPA last weekend.....despite a higher mash temp (155), the yeast over-attenuated the hell out of it and destroyed any malt character that would have been there.....literally tasted like hop water. It also threw off some odd Belgian flavor notes despite a steady 65° fermentation temperature. This is now the 3rd time I've had a 3rd generation pitch of Imperial Juice yeast that went haywire.
 

bracconiere

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I will confess I poured out the last third of my one and only keg of barley wine after a year of it lingering along in my 6 tap keezer. Finally just got tired of it, tbh...

Cheers!

that wasn't your bed time one was it? or was that a porter?

and being that i brew 10 gallon batches, and always need that 'extra' keg free, i've done similar....4 full kegs 1 empty, and that pesky one that just won't kick.....but got an idea for a new brew! :D
 

Brewer_Dad

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I dumped a batch during fermentation. It was going to be an APA. It was my 3rd batch. I made the mistake of not leaving enough space for the kreusen and it poured out the fermenter big time, leaving the entire room with a disgusting smell and lots of kreusen in the floor and adjacent wall. I had drank a few beers myself so I got frustrated and dumped the whole thing down the drain. Not my finest moment. Then I realized that I could have just cleaned the mess and replace the airlock, since it was about the 3rd day of fermentation. I still think about that sometimes, as a reminder when batches are not developing the way I think they should be.

I regret it, it might turned out to be good beer. Now I'll never know.
 

Craiginthecorn

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I've been brewing since the mid-1980s and have dumped just one, but in retrospect, should have dumped a bunch of them back in the dark ages of homebrewing. The one I dumped was not long ago -- a batch that was scorched as a result of using a false bottom in the 220V Grainfather and not being able to scrape the sediment off the bottom that accumulates during the boil. The scorched flavor was unmistakeable and really unpleasant.
 

Mutant

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This past year, for some reason I have had no interest in drinking any alcohol. I kept brewing for competition, and then there were no competitions. After COVID isolation, I did get a Silver at the 'SF (Un)Official Regionals' (money had been refunded, but they kept the beer, and then found a way to judge with social distancing over the summer - YouTube video out there). I now have ~40 gallons of beer just sitting in 5 gallon kegs. It is likely it will all get dumped, but I might try to keep it until the end of the year and give bottles away as gifts. One of those 5 gallon kegs is a Dopplebock recipe from very early 2020 that will get transformed to an Eisbock at the end of 2020 - I might continue with that project as this Eisbock is aged for several years before consumption. Maybe by then, I'll want to drink again.
 

Immocles

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I almost dumped out a simple blonde ale that had a bit of a bandaidy flavor to it, but it was only like 17 bottles and I just suffered through it. It wasn’t *that* bad. I had an early failure in starting with all grain that was a grainy, thin mess but again still drank it.
I also had a honey brown that should have been dumped, but I held onto it and after about 8 months, it was amazing
 

Kark

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I dumped an Orange Creamsicle Cream ale. I was not paying attention and added a bottle of vanilla flavoring I had for a stout I was going to brew and added the entire bottle to the Cream ale and it was just overwhelming. I was going to dump it before bottling but hoped it would eventually go away...after drinking through 6 of them at various points, I had to finally call it. Was really looking forward to it too.
 

Chuckbergman

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I have a dumper and a saver storie. Had to dump most of a 5Gal BarleyWine that I brewed as part of my homebrew club's bourbon barrel project. Unfortunately mine had a super strong cidery smell and green apple flavor. Club wouldn't let me at it to the barrel - I don't blame them!

My save was a porter that I aged on bourbon soaked medium char oak spiral. I left the spiral in the porter too long and it just had an overwhelming oak flavor. I bottled it and just let it set. I'd try a bottle every few months but it didn't really settle down. Last year I brewed another porter and split the batch into 2 corneys. I added quite a few of the bottled over-charred porters to one of the corneys and it came out nice. LESSON: sometimes blending will make an awful beer less awful if not tolerable and enjoyable!
 

JSmetalcraft

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I did a clone barley wine 6 moths ago. It was fantastic out of the keg while conditioning. I added the dry hops even though it was a few week early. I , to this doy do not know what has happened. The great taste has gone south. I have 2.5 gal kegged in refrigerator and it became drinkable but I need the keg for a trip. On wall to dump it. I have 12 bottled for a rainy day in the future. I have since brewed it again just to see if something went wrong. I love the original but it is a seasonal limited run beer. This morning I tasted it out of the conditioning keg and is very very good. I think I am going to forgo the dry hop. No to dump or not....
 

Velnerj

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I've dumped three batches. The first batch I dumped was do to a strong medicinal off flavor i later traced back to chlorine/chloramines. I prolly drank about half that batch before I couldn't stomach any more.

I recently dumped two separate batches for two separate reasons.

One was a Belgian golden strong that carried a strong sulfur smell and flavor. I let those bottles ride for nearly 8 months but I didn't detect any improvements. Some sulfur is caused by the yeast and can dissapate but other times the sulfur is some infection.

Then I dumped a kveik pale ale. I think I rushed this batch too fast. I went from grain to keg in three days. No cold crash. The beer carried a nasty yeast bite that made it very unpleasant. After three months of no improvement I dumped it
 

Andre3000

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I happily dump way more beers now than I did before. And that's not because I'm making more bad beer than I did before. On the contrary, I am honing my process with every brew and becoming more picky.

I'd rather dump meh beer and make room for another another that I could be getting way more enjoyment out of. Life is too short to stubbornly choke down mediocre homebrew.
 

day_trippr

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that wasn't your bed time one was it? or was that a porter?[...]
Oh, no, definitely not my beloved 11%+ chocolate stout that I've kept on tap for going on 14 years straight and that a 6 ounce pour kicks my ass into a deep sleep. Nope, not that :)

This was a one-off, "Can I Brew This" massive barley wine science-y deal, that by the numbers went well (cumulative og with all the "feedings" was 1.150, fg was 1.036, for ~15% abv @ ~74% attenuation - thank you wlp090), but found that kegging a 5 gallon batch of even good barley wine is a mistake given the rate of consumption. Would have much better been bottled - in demi bottles...

Cheers!
 

bracconiere

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1.150, fg was 1.036, for ~15% abv @ ~74% attenuation
damn, how do you stay thin? i'd do it 1.112, and finish it .996.....all those carbs wouldn't have any nutrients with them!


Oh, no, definitely not my beloved 11%+ chocolate stout that I've kept on tap for going on 14 years straight and that a 6 ounce pour kicks my ass into a deep sleep. Nope, not that
LOL, so you don't get a lot a sleep? or REALLY don't drink that much? ;) (mostly i just like using the same ingiedents, never the same recipie twice....my favorite is special b)
 

Bramling Cross

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I will confess I poured out the last third of my one and only keg of barley wine after a year of it lingering along in my 6 tap keezer. Finally just got tired of it, tbh...

Cheers!
I've certainly done this with regularity. I don't think of it as dumping, so much as evicting a squatter. At the end of the day, I'm much better at brewing than I am at drinking. So while I enjoy brewing a Burton Ale for the holiday months, it's just wasting space by June.
 

Smudgey

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I knocked the caps off about 4 crates of old fuselagers I fermented too hot and some yeasty stouts and brown ale I gave up getting through and up-tipped them on the lawn. It was bitter-sweet, regret and relief. A year later, there's still a guilty little green spot growing there like a gravestone to remind me.
 

Mtrhdltd

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Yes, i have dumped in my early brewing days. Forgot about it when life got in the way. Probably 3 months in the primary fermenter, dumped without even tasting. I still regret it. That could have been good and I didn't even know it. Now I have a 2 year old, so money and brew days are less available so I drink it all. The only questionable one is the one I'm drinking now. We shall see if I finish the keg or not.
 
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I've dumped two, and they were both the same recipe (mild), but not because the recipe was bad. The first time it was 10 gallons of mild. I brewed it with a buddy who was visiting, and I hadn't been brewing in while and, honestly, kind of forgot about it. I remembered it 2 weeks later, but just didn't have time to tend to it, not to mention that I needed to clean up my kegs and keg storage to do it all properly... and then forgot again.

About a month later, I decided that a 6 week old mild sitting on a yeast cake was probably not going to be very good and wrote it off. I finally got around to dumping it about 6 months after that.

I'm back to brewing regularly again, though, and I tried that mild recipe again... and didn't hit my gravity. I didn't even realize it until I was running it off into my primary. So I let it go and, sure enough, I ended up with something that wasn't so hot, but here's the good part: I've recently started distilling and had some feints (the part of the distillation run you don't want to drink, but still has a considerable amount of ethanol it it), so I dumped the feints into the, uh, grain water, and distilled it. The hearts blended well and it's currently got another couple of weeks of oaking to go. I'm really looking forward to this!
 

tracer bullet

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Bottled an Imperial Stout w/ raspberries thrown in. Let is sit for a month, tasted it and was sure it was bad, and dumped half of the bottles. A year later, when moving, realized half the bottles were still left in a closet. Tasted one just to remember how awful I thought it was, and it turned out superb.

Learned then that some beers need to age. This was like 25 years ago, and so it was before the easy internet searches or recipes to decide what to do. If your friends didn't know, or the guy at the LHBS, you were kind of stuck.
 
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Tasted one just to remember how awful I thought it was, and it turned out superb.
I've done that, too! The first time was a barleywine, the second was an imperial stout like yours. It's amazing what a year or two can do. And, just like you said, I was just opening the bottle to show someone how awfully it turned out.
 
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I like to keep some of the bad ones around to see if they change for the better (I've had a barley wine, imperial stout, and some sours get better with age). One of my first beers, an IPA, got horribly oxidized-but with a slice of lime it tasted just like Corona. Tony Romo would have been proud. I have had to move a case into the driveway that got infected and was popping off caps making little stout fountains (to avoid them blowing up in the aging closet). I am currently sitting on a stout that didn't work, it's band-aidey. Waiting to see if it gets better or the keg gets used for something else and the avocado tree gets a 5 gallon shower.

I made an experimental saison with chilis, soy sauce, and buckwheat. It's really odd, I wanted to dump it, but SWMBO likes it so it'll get bottled.
 

Docod44

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I dumped a batch probably 2 years ago and it still bugs me. I always think....
What if that batch would of conditioned til now ? It still bugs me to this day. I bet it’d be good by now.:rolleyes:
I currently have a dumper that I decided to hold on to and condition for 1-2 years just to see what happens. It's not an inherently bad batch, just bland and malty with some acetaldehyde on the finish.
 
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