Infection? Temp too high?

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pkpdogg

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So I brewed Pelikan's DC Raspberry Stout (see recipe database) a while back and it was tasting GREAT for the first 4 weeks. After that, however, there was one hot weekend and I think the room where I do the bottle conditioning got way too hot. I had a single bottle bomb. From that point on, every bottle that I opened just fizzed over like crazy and has an acidic taste. It's not completely ruined, but man, it just doesn't taste half as good as it did early on, and now I'm so spoiled, I just can't drink a full bottle. One thing I noticed is that all of the bottles have quite a bit of sediment at the bottom. I'm just trying to figure out what it might be, because I'm super anal about keeping everything clean.

Could it be:
1) The hot weekend ruined the batch?
2) I transferred too much trub into the bottles?
3) The batch got infected?
4) All of the above?

Thanks in advance for your input!
 

Fat Guy Brewing

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I get it, its a trick question: the answer is 5) didn't let it fully ferment.

Although you may have some of 2) going on as well.

What's your timeline on this, how long was fermentation and the temp during it.

Oh yeah, how about some gravity readings also.
 

Blender

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Try refrigerating them for several days or more before comsumption. It may help the CO2 dissolve back into the beer better and will compact the sediment harder. The heat may have accerated the carbonation process if the beer had not finished out completely. My thoughts anyway.
 
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pkpdogg

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Thanks for the responses guys! I'll try refrigerating longer, but I think the last bottle had been in there for about a week.

OG = 1.069
It sat in primary for 2wks, then I added the raspberry puree, then left it for another 2wks. At that time, I transferred it to secondary, where I lost about a gallon to trub, and left it for another 2.5wks. There was still about 1/4 gal of trub at the bottom when I bottled.
FG = 1.021
Temp during entire fermentation varied between 60 and 66-degrees F. I used White Labs Edinburgh yeast (WLP028?).

So perhaps the raspberry kicked it into overtime and never finished up? Since I'm anal about keeping clean, would it hurt to do a transfer off the yeast when adding the raspberry? Then let that fully finish before transferring to a tertiary? I'm dying to try this one again.
 

Fat Guy Brewing

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I will post a recipe below that I found worked well. You may want to try following the fermenting procedures there. I essentially did a 3 stage fermentation. Go from the primary to secondary and add your fruit to the secondary. After about a week, rack off whatever trub and raspberries are at the bottom into another secondary. In my case, I only have 1 glass carboy for a secondary so I racked from secondary back to primary, washed the secondary, then racked back into it, all in the same night. Based on your gravity readings, you got about 70% attenuation which is probably correct. Try the triple rack method and maybe that will cut down on sediment. Raspberries are alot of work, but worth it IMHO.

As for the acidic flavor, could it be more like a solvent? I accidentally got my porter up to 75* for the first 2 days of fermentation and it got a solvent like aftertaste and aroma. Search HBT for acidic flavor and see what you can find. Also, I wonder if you are using too much chemical in your cleaning. Do you use bleach? That is very hard to rinse out. Let the rest of the batch sit for a while and the fizzing, etc may settle down.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f75/raspberry-ale-55316/
 
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pkpdogg

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Thanks a ton for the follow-up. I'll give the third racking a try, sure can't hurt. And you're right, raspberry is totally worth it ... had an amazing taste at the beginning. I'll scroll through the link and see what I can pick out of it.

I'm not sure about the solvent flavor ... I guess it's almost like a bile/stomach juice-like flavor, like how some of the Flemish Sour Ales can taste. I rinse twice after washing and rinse again after sanitizing with Idophor, so I should be OK with the chemicals.

Looks like I'm gonna have to be really careful as we're leaving winter and it starts heating up.

Thanks again for the help!
 
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pkpdogg

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Sounds like it makes sense to me ... I couldn't find much on acidic flavors, but then I'm a search-tard. Since I lost so much to trub, I was left with < 4gal to bottle and used 3.5oz priming sugar. Combine that with the fact that it probably didn't finish fermenting ...

Good thing is that my 8 cornies should be arriving on Monday, so at least that should ensure I can't screw up the priming sugar qty's. =D
 

WBC

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I find that a lot of my brewing friends ferment too high temperature and do not use enough yeast. I also find that they don't really know how hot the beer got during fermentation. I have my Ranco controller sensor in a stainless tube and it is in the fermenter liquid. This keeps overheating due to exothermic action under control and my beer stays in the fermenter because fermentation is not so violent. I always stay in the lower range of the yeast's fermentation temperature range and this alone has made the biggest improvement in all my ales. Try this and you will see a big difference too.
 
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pkpdogg

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Just thought I'd give an update after two more bottle bombs last week (another 90-deg+ week) ...

The bottles still fizz up quite a bit, but not as much as before. The weird thing is that the acidic taste has subsided for the most part and it actually tastes damn good! Now the problem is that it's too strong! Don't get me wrong ... I dig a high ABV, but it's now at the point where I feel it's countering what Pelikan was going after with the recipe.

I brewed another 10gal of this beer as my first AG attempt. With my cruddy efficiency (47.7%) and improved fermentation schedule per your feedback (thanks a ton!), I'm hoping to get improved consistency. I'm in serious need of an ale fermentation chamber given WBC's feedback. My 10gal fermented at >80-deg for two or three days at the start, which worries me a bit.
 

webnmar

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For OP. Although I am still a newbie and also no AG experience.

1- It is clear to me that fermentation temperature, carbing temperature, conditioning temperature are all just as important as sanitation.

2- I also think that although your total fermentation time is 6+ weeks (if I did the math right), I think you would be better off fermenting longer. Soemone posted that 1.021 and 70% eff. seemed about right, but that FG seems a little high still given a 1.069 start.

Ferment longer, and colder for everything. Remember what this opinion cost you... I am going to try a raspberry lager soon, so I hope I can learn from your thread and enjoy the beenfits!
 
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