Infected beer

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MarcGuay

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Hi folks,

My first beer got infected (it tastes sour and folks from the local homebrew club tasted and confirmed). They suggested I stick it in the fridge and drink it soon in case of bottle bombs, which I've done.

In How To Brew Palmer talks about sour beers in the Common Problems section (http://howtobrew.com/book/section-4/is-my-beer-ruined/common-problems) and seems to say that it's not a big deal. "If you don't like the taste, then pour it out", "This type of beer is very refreshing and is excellent with heavy food.", etc.

However, in the "overcarbonated" section, he says that there are some bugs that will keep fermenting the beer until there's nothing left and this is when bottle bombs are an issue. I find that the beer is overcarbonated but that's probably because I miscalculated the bottling sugar.

I guess my question is: How do you tell the difference between a bottle-bomb causing infection and a harmless one?

Thanks
 

Black Island Brewer

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You wait until they start blowing up.

Okay, not helpful. My first beer (almost 21 years ago) was also infected. If I could do it all over again, I would have refrigerated most of them, to slow the growth rate of the wild yeast/bacteria, but I would also have left a couple out just so see how they developed. Before opening the ones I left out, I would chill them completely to minimize gushing.
 
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MarcGuay

MarcGuay

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And if you were going to keep a few at room temp to see how the developed you would store them inside a well-constructed box of some kind in case they blew?
 

GnenieGone

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And if you were going to keep a few at room temp to see how the developed you would store them inside a well-constructed box of some kind in case they blew?
You have a 99.999999% chance they're not going to develop well. Personally, I drink beer to enjoy. Drinking infected beer is not enjoyable. I'd suggest spending more time, energy and thought on understanding WHY it got infected in the first place then holding on to your 1st brew with dear life. Been there myself, but by your 20th brew, you'll wonder why you fussed so much. :)
 

Black Island Brewer

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And if you were going to keep a few at room temp to see how the developed you would store them inside a well-constructed box of some kind in case they blew?
A pressure cooker would work. Something to contain the shrapnel.

You have a 99.999999% chance they're not going to develop well. Personally, I drink beer to enjoy. Drinking infected beer is not enjoyable. I'd suggest spending more time, energy and thought on understanding WHY it got infected in the first place then holding on to your 1st brew with dear life. Been there myself, but by your 20th brew, you'll wonder why you fussed so much. :)
One man's "infected beer" is another man's "brett saison". Okay, not really, but if one has the space and the time and the extra bottles, it's not "holding on for dear life", it's being adventurous, which is kinda the point of the hobby anyway.
 

GnenieGone

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One man's "infected beer" is another man's "brett saison". Okay, not really, but if one has the space and the time and the extra bottles, it's not "holding on for dear life", it's being adventurous, which is kinda the point of the hobby anyway.
You are correct. However, for me adventurous is sampling a Jester King beer for $4 then work the bugs out (pun intended) on making a true Brett Saison.
 
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