vinegar beer fertilizer

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brewmasterpa

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so i finally made a mistake that cost me a whole batch. i made 10 gallons of american wheat, split into 2 fermenters. i made a starter that was triple ramped up and divided in half. after day 1, i blew the lids off of both buckets so bad that the seals came out of the lids and the airlocks were in a different room. i kindly refilled my arilocks with a heavy dosed sanitized solution and reapplied the lids. i just went to rack into the secondaries and one of the batches was fine, the other however smelled heavily of vinegar. i know this is now drain cleaner due to infection. my question is, i was told by a local brew shop that it will work excellent as a fertilizer for citrus trees. does this make sense to anybody???? i dont want to kill my orange trees which i have painstakingly raised from saplings. :eek:
 

JesseRC

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I dont know about that, I saw once where one of those home shows used vinegar in sidewalk cracks to prevent weed growth. I know we're not talking the same vinegar here, but I would not chance it. Vinegar is acidic, so you might do some research on citrus trees, do they prefer acidic soil, if so you might try it on acidic loving small plants first.
 

EoinMag

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I've heard before that beer makes a good fertiliser.
I tip my yeast cakes and my mistakes into my composter and find that it helps a lot with decomposition.
I don't think it can harm anything, if it worries you then mix it 50:50 with water.
 

menschmaschine

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Not sure about vinegar/acidity, but I've dumped yeast cakes onto my lawn and weeks later noticed nice green patches in those areas.

Did you taste the beer? Are you sure it's infected? I've had beer before that had the odor of vinegar at the end of primary and they turned out just fine.
 
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brewmasterpa

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i didnt want to taste it, it wreaked. its still in the bucket, i havent dismissed it yet. my local brew shop guy gave me the name of the bacteria that causes that smell and said its junk. this guy has been brewing for 250 years!!!!! well, he looks that old anyway and seems to know, well everything. i tend to trust him, but i just wanted to see if anybody knows if thats good for the trees. now, if its bad mensch, and i taste it, what should it taste like. i know what the other batch tasted like. which was weird because it was kinda chalky and a little flavorless. i hope it just needs to condition. id really be pissed if i killed all 10 gallons.
 

ChshreCat

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I've seen vinegar used on house plants, but it was to the tune of a tablespoon per gallon of water.
 

pjj2ba

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I wouldn't pour it directly onto a tree. Vinegar is used as an organic herbicide - although that stuff is a litle more potent. You could just add a bunch of baking soda to it to neutralize it, and then it would make a nice fertilizer.

Acetobacter in the bug that makes vinegar. If this got in, then the beer will taste like malt vinegar. Lactobacillus also makes beer sour, but the flavor is different.
 

menschmaschine

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now, if its bad mensch, and i taste it, what should it taste like. i know what the other batch tasted like. which was weird because it was kinda chalky and a little flavorless. i hope it just needs to condition. id really be pissed if i killed all 10 gallons.
Holy capitalization, Batman! :D

Acetobacter is the bacterium of concern here. How long has it been in primary? I don't know that much about vinegar making, but doesn't it take like 6-8 weeks for acetobacter to convert alcohol to acetic acid?

It should taste like young beer. I know that's a bit vague, but the batch I had that smelled like vinegar tasted pretty normal. In other words the odor surprisingly didn't match the taste. So, if it tastes like it smells, it's probably a dumper.
 

Brew-Happy

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What a waste! That would stink having to pour out 10gals.

I am wondering if you couldn't allow the acetobacter (if you have it) to finish making the vinegar and then use it to make a big bucket of vinegar beer pickles!!! When life hands you lemons.... or in this case an infection.


Hmmm beer pickles......
 
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brewmasterpa

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well it was in primary for 12 days, the lid blew off on day 2, so 10 days of infectious fermentation. the other issue is that i had no way to control the fermentation temperature at the time so it was going at about 76-80 degrees farenheit. i am certain theres quite a bit of esther production present. i used wyeast 1010, and thats not meant to go that high. i did put the "good" batch in the fridge at 66F now that i can control temperature. i figure ill just leave that one in there for about 2 weeks to see if i can get the sulfer production up and equalize a bit. now im wondering if i can just go to the secondary with the vinegar batch and stick it in the fridge at 66f and see what happens. i think most of the vinegar smell was coming from the goo on the outside of the bucket, but when i stuck my head in there and took a whiff, it was prevelant. do you think its worth attempting to save, or if its infected, its just downhill from here?
 

Mutilated1

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I would highly doubt that beer makes fertilizer. I'm not certain what the composition of infected beer is, but I'm very familiar with fertilizer so it seems extremely unlikely.
 

menschmaschine

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do you think its worth attempting to save, or if its infected, its just downhill from here?
Taste it, man! I suspected you fermented at a high temp. The one I brewed that smelled like vinegar was also fermented slightly high. It could be the fusel alcohols that are giving a vinegar-like odor. But if it tastes like vinegar, well either use it for vinegar or dump it.
 
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brewmasterpa

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okee dokee, ill sample, rack, label infected carboy, mini-lager, and see what happens. thanks mensch.
 

ChshreCat

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10 gallons of malt vinegar. That'd take a LOT of fish and chips to go through that...
 
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brewmasterpa

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ok, so the news...... i cleaned up the lid which was covered in this vinegar smelling stuff and put it back on the bucket full of suspected infected beer. that sat in the garage for 48 hours. i was going to go work with this beer out of curiosity and when i brought it in the kitchen i removed the lid and to my pleasant surprsie, the vinegar smell had subsided but was still there. so i took a taste sample of said beer, wow, ok no vinegar beer. it was pretty good. so i racked into my carboy and placed it in the fridge and turned it down to 62F. ill let it go for about 2 weeks and see how it is. the infection was all over the bucket from the lid blowing off and the smell was so bad that it masked the smell of the beer. PHEWW! tragedy averted. unless of course, it just hasnt settled into it yet and time will tell.
 

JesseRC

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no, I think some beers and yeast varieties smell this way. YOu almost think to yourself, I dont know how I am ever gonna drink this beer. Especially when you smell the sulfur farts. It starts off with a bready yeasty tasty smell, then sulfur, sometimes vinegar. I have also almost gagged when cleaning out the primary, scooping out the yeast. It reminds me a my college days of bmc drinking and vomiting with hangover, but in the end, the beer taste great. It's just weird. Its certainly a case where you can say DON'T trust your nose. Even young beer will tast horrible. Give it 3 weeks carbed , and serve at the right temp too.
 
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