Sour Batch, bacterial infection?? Please help!

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Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2009
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Greenpoint -Brooklyn, NY
A lil' help please...

My first batch of beer seems to have developed a strong sour taste. It's a True Brew Nut Brown Ale extract kit. I let it sit in the fermentation vessel for two weeks before bottling. Then cracked the first one for a quick taste after just one week in the bottle and it seemed weak and overly sweet. After the second week in the bottle, a definite sour taste has developed. It's overpowering and there's a residual sour aftertaste that's hard to cleanse from the palate afterwards. I've tried 4 bottles now and it's in all of them. Does it sound like Lactobacillus? Or some other bacteria, perhaps? Should I dump the whole batch, or is there any way this could resolve itself with continued bottle conditioning/storage?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
I have not had an infection yet but have read plenty of responses to this very question and all the replies are the same. Let it sit. Cover it up and dont look at it again for another couple weeks. May just be taking its time conditioning. That being said, I have read that bacterial infections will almost always leave a film ring at the top of the bottle. After you poured your beer, did you notice this?
I have not had any experiance with this myself, but from what I have read, it sounds like Lactobacillus.
I have tasted a Lacto-infected beer. It has a definite sour taste; the beer was cloudy as well. It actually wasn't bad, but only if you were expecting it to be sour (like an exotic beer).

From what I've read here, you have 2 options. Let it age for a month or two (or longer) to allow the flavors mellow or dump it.

Before you dump it, check out this thread:

But, as always, I'll defer to the experts here. They may have better advice.
Much thanks for all the input. I guess I'll sit on it for a while. There's been no gushing and I hadn't noticed a film on the surface, nor a ring on the top of the inside of the bottles, so maybe it's no lacto... fingers are crossed!
my first batch had the same thing happen. it's not a "dump it" situation, so don't worry.

it is a kind of infection, but not really all that bad. like others have said, let it sit and continue like normal. once you get three consistent hydrometer readings? prime & bottle it, put them in boxes, put them in a warm place and forget about them for a month or so.

by the time you come back, it should be okay. it won't be mind-blowing beer, but still beer none the less.
I think he has already bottled it. Definitely no harm with letting it sit until it starts tasting better, or until you need the bottles. If you do reuse the bottles, make sure you sanitize the piss out of them. You never know, though, might turn out to be a great Lambic! :p
My first batch of beer seems to have developed a strong sour taste....

I've had the same problem with my previous Batches . I also thought first that it might be an infection , but it was NOT !

You could have let it sit in the fermentation vessel 1-2 more Weeks . The Beer would always benefit from that .

It would be helpful if you would write your Recipe here .

Is that an all-Extract Batch ?

Did you use any specialty malt ?

What was the fermentation temperature ?

O.G. and F.G. ?

Which yeast strain did you use ? Is it a fast or a slow fermenting yeast ?

After all , it's going to be a very good experience . I've also learned a lot by my previous Extract batches .

I had posted about a sour taste in my beer a few weeks ago. I brewed Biermuncher's all grain Blonde Centennial ale. After being in the keg for about a week I tried a taste. Was definitely sour. Sort of like the twangy sourness you get on your palate from biting into an orange peel. So, I went on vacation for a week and forgot about it. When I got back I tried another taste. Sourness was just about completely gone. I'm expecting it to be completely sour free this weekend.

So definitely let it sit and condition for a bit before pronouncing an infection and dumping the whole batch. You will be surprised at what can happen to beer as it sits for awhile.
I'm by no means an expert, but I did just recently have a lacto infected batch. Unfortunately for me it was a "dumper". Mine was a LME Stout that I had added coconut and honey. The tell tale sign for me was a white bar soap looking substance that had formed on top. I tried leaving it bottled for about 3 months, but the sourness actually got worse, they all ended up being gushers too. Some of the experts on here told me that if I did in fact have an infection of that type, then it would only get worse with time, in terms of sourness. They were spot on.

Wait it out, and with any luck your flavors are just developing as it matures, and you don't have an infection. No sense in giving up on it until all options are exhausted.

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