Primary a bit tart

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2007
Reaction score
Lynnwood, WA
So I called my LHBS when my Belgian yeasted dubbel gravity sample tasted a bit tart. He said this was not uncommon and wasn't a horrible concern because of the yeast strain and beer type. My first fear was contamination but I have next to godly sanitary conditions (expect maybe when pulling the cap and taking my grav samples) I was worried the tartness was similar to the infamous green apple contamination that I've heard about.

Any ideas if I should worry or is it safe to assume my young beer (pitched jan 1) is ok and still just working through the process?

I realized I might need some more info:

OG 1.060 last grav taken at 1.020 with a final that should end up around 1.014 or1.018. I used a white labs WLP550 yeast from starter and primary has been around a 65-68 temp zone from the pitch date. I still have a few bubbles in the ferm lock but they've slowed to about one every 20 seconds.
Green Apple is due to a normal fermentation intermediary and will age out. Some yeasts produce a lot of it.
It's just young beer. Give it some time to mellow out, especially with a 1.060 OG. Just let it age for about a month and all will be good. When in doubt, use the 1-2-3 method (one week primary, 2 weeks secondary, 3 weeks in the bottle). Your beer will be excellent in six weeks. :ban:
You'll be fine. Go ahead and leave that beer in the primary for at least two weeks. The yeast still has some cleaning up to do.

The esthers (green apple) flavors will mellow and fade with some time.
I am currently using the same yeast as you for a white beer and though I have not tasted it since I pitched the yeast, it smells quite funky (a bit of sulfur and a tangy character to it). I know that a lot of (but not all) Belgian beers have varying degrees of sourness to them, some from controlled bacterial "infection" and some from the strain of yeast. I am wondering if this strain of white labs has a certain tartness to it. I am looking forward to tasting it pre-carbonated, then again after 2 weeks and 4 weeks to get an idea how it changes over time.

The guys at my LHBS (and the website) advised that this yeast likes a higher than normal temperature than the average ale (Optimum Ferm. Temp: 68-78F). I have been sticking to 76 - 78F.

Anyone else try WLP550?
that's kinda funny. I thought the 70 temp I was fermenting at was a little high and might produce some off flavors from the yeast but by the time I really question it primary had run down. I moved my primary to an outside storage area where the wort is at about 45 degrees. I'm planning on leaving it there for 2 weeks and then either bottling or racking to a secondary. After 3 weeks though I think it may just be fine to bottle condition for another 3 weeks.
Ok, the tartness is more of a cooking sherry taste now. I think I let it sit above 80 before pitching for too long a period and oxidized it (probably 2 hrs >80). Will it continue to mellow with conditioning?
RDWHAHB ............................ I am going to prescribe patience followed but not tasting the brew til it has been in the bottle 3 weeks. You going to stress yourself out take a break.
It sounds like you have a massive yeast infection there, you should send it to me in Boston for proper disposal.
leave the kiddies alone and let them grow up to be wonderful beers! :D

it's good to taste along the way, but don't ever worry about it until the final product...and don't ever give up on it (unless it makes you puke from the smell, especially if you puke IN the fermenter)
To revive an old thread. I am in the same boat! My Dbl Belgian spent 8 days in the primary with an OG 1.082 and has been in the secondary for 14 days now and it started out sweet but now taste just like sherry or a port. My OG has been at 1.020 for the past 4 days should I just bottle it and forget about it for a month or two? How did yours turn out?
you should never transfer to secondary until it is finished fermenting in the primary.

you're at 76% attenuation, tho. i'd say it's done.

It was my first brew so I just went with what the local store wrote down. I now keep all them for at least two weeks in primary. But should I assume that this will mellow out after a few weeks or months:-( in the bottle.