Sweet and Sour, kinda scared

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Beau815

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Okay so I brewed a cream ale last saturday, a week and a half... 1.040 OG very weak because I ended up with 6.2 gallons after the boil. It is now at 1.012 and has been bubbling for hmm 8-9 days.... longest between bubbles was 15 seconds. I just took a reading and after disturbing it, its bubbling every 5 seconds. Ok, i put my sample in the freezer for a few min and tasted it, its kinda sour and still a tad bit sweet, it does not look infected at all... so im not sure why its a bit sour. I will wait for it to drop to 1.008 as it should, its still bubbling. and that's the estimated FG for 1.040 for this kit. Would anyone be worried at this point? I have brewed mostly very bitter hoppy IIPA's so this is the first BMC type of ale i brewed for BMC drinkers. I know I cant judge from this point but a tad sweet is one thing, but should it be sour at all? And will that mellow after 3 weeks bottle conditioning? Kinda scared.:confused:
 

brewmasterpa

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what temperature are you fermenting at? what yeast did you use. cream ales are almost identical to kolsch in the sense that they should be fermented at under 70f in the primary. if youve used a kolsch strain, you should have a sour taste from ester production. the way to get rid of this is to ferment in the secondary at lager temps and thats the point of the kolsch yeast. 55f for 30 days will settle your flavors and add sulfers to the brew. if youve used any other strain say an american ale yeast, you might have an infection. if youve fermented at high temps like 80f and up, you have high ester and furul acid producation and that can be settled by cooling your fermentation temps. give it some time at lower temps and youll probably be fine, unless its infected.
 

ArcaneXor

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Green beer can taste somewhat tart, but if it's truly sour like a Flemish Red Ale or Lambic, you've probably got something else going on. If so, age it for a few months, then blend it with a fruit beer for a nice, refreshing summer drink.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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Darn, it was nottingham yeast... orange packet. Its not SUPER sour, it was fermented at about 70 for the first 4 days because weather was nice and it was about 67 in the house and the ale itself was showing 70. But its been at 64-66 for the past 5 days or so. I hope its not an infection... at least it doesn't look like its infected. Man I hope it comes out ok... could it be the idophor not being rinsed out very well? Im gonna place it into the secondary now for the next week or so... anyone think this will help? maybe stir up the yeast to get them awake again? get it off that yeast cake and let it clear and bubble more in a second fermenter?
 

ifishsum

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I think it's still too early to get worried, let it finish and bottle it up and see how it is. The only infection I've ever had (aceto) had a sour, vinegar taste but it didn't develop until late in the secondary (about the 3rd or 4th week from brewday) and got worse after bottle conditioning. It was truly sour and sharp smelling.
 

brewmasterpa

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well i would let it go for another 5 days in the primary, then go to the secondary and lager it down to the lowest temperature that the nottingham says you can go. if the range is 55-72 or whatever it happens to be, take it down to 55 for 14-30 days. this will settle out any esthers youve produced and itll keep you along your style guidelines. cream ales are like kolsches in the sense that its an ale, but ferments at lager temps to produce a balance of esthers and sulfers. it adds a dry, sharp, creamy flavor to it, hence the name cream ale. give it 5 days more in the primary and then take it down to low temp for an extended period of time in the secondary. after its done, taste it before you bottle. if the sour flavor has gotten worse, its drain cleaner and youve got an infection. i would suspect it should level out and get to tastin pretty good. by the way, do not stir your beer. dont worry about resuspending the yeast, if its still bubbling, theyre stirring themselves. itll be fine, relax, have a homebrew. be patient. itll be fine.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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i did not see your last post and waited a few hours before i racked to secondary, heres what i discovered. It smells fine, it looks fine, and i drew a few ounces into a glass for a second sampling after transfer. It may have been my palate earlier after drinking strong coffee. It tasted flat obviously, but was less sweet and the sour taste was not as noticeable at all... very strange. Ok so ill secondary it another week and sample at that time.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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Ok, ever since i x-ferred to secondary the bubble have stopped... whats up with that? hmm, its at 66 degrees now.
 

ifishsum

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That's normal because it should have been finished fermenting before putting it into secondary. Whatever bubbles you had were just CO2 coming out of solution from the racking process.
 

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