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I think my beer turned into vinegar. How do I know for sure

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seanjwalker1

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You can sanitize your hands only to a certain degree, so skin contact with chilled wort or beer should be avoided unless you pasteurize (the wort) again, afterward. Maybe wear gloves when squeezing?

On the other hand, there's really no need to strain/filter the (chilled) wort that tightly (finely). Just by letting the chilled wort sit in the (covered) pot for 30 minutes, most trub will have precipitated. Pour or siphon the clear wort on top carefully into your fermenter, leaving the trub (with some wort) behind. Even some trub in your fermenter won't harm your beer. It may be even helpful, and it all precipitates out after fermentation has finished, while it conditions, before packaging (bottling/kegging). Cold crashing generally speeds up precipitation.

That leftover trubby wort can be strained or refined but if touched by skin or other non-sanitary devices, should be re-pasteurized before adding to your batch in the fermenter. I often do that under the paradigm: "No wort left behind!"
From a 5 gallon batch I can reclaim about 2-3 quarts from the trub by straining through tight mesh nylon "hop bags." The reclaimed wort gets then re-pasteurized at 150-160F for 20' or simply reboiled. It can then be added to the main batch (if volume is lowish), fermented on the side in it's own (small) fermenter, used to make syrups, or (yeast) starter wort.
When I used to do BIAB, I would place the bag in the giant colander, and use the wort spoon to push on it to get a little extra out. DON'T USE YOUR HANDS unless your going to do a vigorous boil after that....naw, I wouldn't use my hands anyway!
 

Tobor_8thMan

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What do you mean 'at an undesirable time?' Well for one the ice melts pretty quick after I pour the wort over it, and it cools to just about 33C by the time I'm done. Secondly I thought at this stage since we want to oygenate the wort anyway, this is fine. Are you saying that oxygen gets trapped in some way and released at a later time?

Thanks for the tip about paint strainer bags (I'll have to look it up, I don't know what they are). When you say wort is not at the ideal temp for introducing oxygen....what is the ideal temp?
Wort best temp to introduce oxygen, I'm sure others at HBT can provide better recommendations, but I use 72F.

Please realize pouring hot wort over ice introduces oxygen before the wort is cooled to the proper temp for introducing oxygen to the wort. Oxygen at the wrong time leads to cardboard, wet bag taste. This doesn't only happen to homebrewers. We visited a local brewery when they first opened. Guess what? Every beer their served had the oxidization problem.
 

VikeMan

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Introducing O2 during chilling is not going to cause oxidation problems, unless there's a long time until pitching yeast.
 

Tobor_8thMan

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Sounds like Acetaldehyde and Lacto to me. Let's face it, no matter how diligent we are with our sanitation, sooner or later it happens to all of us. In 16 years I've had 3 batches go sour. All 3 soured batches happened using plastic buckets and 6 years ago I switched to all stainless steel. So I probably had micro scratches in my plastic. Or, maybe I just had a micro lapse in my sanition, like forgetting to resanitize a spoon or something? But it's not a question of if but when. Some folks are quite happy to chalk it up as a sour. Not Me! My last soured batch about 6 years ago was a Aventinus clone that made me want to puke. I was gonna toss the whole batch. Decided first to take a few bottles to my LHBS to get some advise on what went wrong. They pleaded with me to not dump it and let it sit a few more months as it would be, to them, a wonderful sour in the making....😳😳. I gave it to them with my blessings! What to them was a great sour was to me a foul tasting total waste of time money and effort. So to each his own. Let someone else , who you know is not sour beers , taste it . They might love it. Personally I would chalk it up to an enevitable 1st incident of lost cause batch. It happens. My 2 cents.
If acetaldehyde, you'd know as this gives the fresh cut green apples fault. Think of the Jolly Rancher green apple candy.

"Make sure fermentation is vigorous using healthy yeast. Allow full attenuation. Leave beer on yeast longer. Oxygenate wort fully. Try another yeast strain. Make sure sufficient yeast nutrients are available. Let beer age longer."
 

VikeMan

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Wrong, wrong, wrong. Above a certain temp, introducing oxygen, aka hot side aeration, will cause stale beer.
How long do you think O2 is making contact with the hot wort as it goes through the ice, before the wort is chilled?
 
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Cro Magnon

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Hahaha... easy lads....this isn't youtube! I appreciate all your advice very much. Honestly each tip is something I didn't know before. Although now I have no clue whether oxygenating my wort by pouring/not pouring over ice at ideal/not ideal temperature is right/wrong 😅 😅

@toboR That's a very interesting fact about introducing oxygen above ideal temperatures causing cardboard flavours. Would love to know the science behind this. This was the first batch I had done used this technique with...but then I did an IPA right after with the same technique and it's come out tasting pretty good. I'm guessing the interplay between all these factors is too complex for us to understand when using less than scientific methods.

@VikeMan You mentioned that oygenating during chilling is not a problem unless there is a long time before pitching yeast. What about when brewers do overnight cooling? Wouldn't this be a long time? Was thinking about attempting this because the whole ice bath thing really doesn't bring it down enough. So how do I combat the oxygenation with long cooling time before pitching?
 

Tobor_8thMan

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Hahaha... easy lads....this isn't youtube! I appreciate all your advice very much. Honestly each tip is something I didn't know before. Although now I have no clue whether oxygenating my wort by pouring/not pouring over ice at ideal/not ideal temperature is right/wrong 😅 😅

@toboR That's a very interesting fact about introducing oxygen above ideal temperatures causing cardboard flavours. Would love to know the science behind this. This was the first batch I had done used this technique with...but then I did an IPA right after with the same technique and it's come out tasting pretty good. I'm guessing the interplay between all these factors is too complex for us to understand when using less than scientific methods.

@VikeMan You mentioned that oygenating during chilling is not a problem unless there is a long time before pitching yeast. What about when brewers do overnight cooling? Wouldn't this be a long time? Was thinking about attempting this because the whole ice bath thing really doesn't bring it down enough. So how do I combat the oxygenation with long cooling time before pitching?
Cro magnon,
Introducing oxygen into the wort before the temp is ideal, say 72F or below, will cause stale issues in the future. Sometimes noticeable very soon. Pouring hot wort over ice doesn't immediately lower the temp of the wort to 72F (or less). Oxygen is introduced. Think of pouring a soda in a glass of ice. The ridges on the ice allow CO2 to come out of the soda solution. In a similar matter oxygen is being introduced. Will yeast clean up the hot side oxygen in the wort? No, as the damage is done.

Cooling overnight? Meaning souring? Or, fermentating from yeast in the air?

Below 72F, splash all you want. Force O2 into the wort.

Please realize I've been homebrewing since 1995. I've made these mistakes. Get tired after a long day of brewing, wort is at 85F or 95F and oxygen is introduced. Is beer drinkable? Yes, for a while, but then it quickly goes bad.
 

VikeMan

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Why, so you can continue posting wrong, misleading, incorrect items?
Wow. Did you go back and read the exchange from Friday like I suggested? If there's even one incorrect thing I said in that exchange, please cite it and provide evidence to the contrary. Why do you suppose @Qhrumphf said you were off in a corner talking to yourself?
 

VikeMan

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@VikeMan You mentioned that oygenating during chilling is not a problem unless there is a long time before pitching yeast. What about when brewers do overnight cooling? Wouldn't this be a long time? Was thinking about attempting this because the whole ice bath thing really doesn't bring it down enough. So how do I combat the oxygenation with long cooling time before pitching?
I wouldn't leave an oxygenated wort overnight. Then you really would have issues.
 
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Cro Magnon

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Re: cooling overnight....It's only what i've seen in a few homebrew channels online. Sometimes they choose to just leave the wort to cool overnight (covered of course). I have no idea why they choose to do this vs using the immersion/plate chillers they have.

@Tobor_8thMan thanks for the explanation with the soda and ice....makes sense now. Would simply chucking ice cubes(sanitary of course) into the cooling wort to cool it make a difference or does this still have the same effect?
 

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So with the 02 and temp debate how do you address the 95* starting temp for Kveik? I add the amount of 02 that the OG calls for in my SOP's. So far most of the beer is consumed at the 6 month mark ,my RIS with Voss 1.134 OG 5 min 02 at 1/8 l per min. is over 1.5 years old and is one of the most stable ones I've made.
 

VikeMan

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So with the 02 and temp debate how do you address the 95* starting temp for Kveik? I add the amount of 02 that the OG calls for in my SOP's. So far most of the beer is consumed at the 6 month mark ,my RIS with Voss 1.134 OG 5 min 02 at 1/8 l per min. is over 1.5 years old and is one of the most stable ones I've made.
I suspect your beers are fine because you are pitching yeast soon after oxygenation.
 
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