Windsor Taste or Mild Infection

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jbschuyler

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HI All,

I am about 17 days in on fermenting an Irish Red Ale, for which I used Windsor yeast for the first time. I did gravity samples 4 and 2 days ago and it appears to be steady and done at 1.015. I tasted both samples and got a slight hint of sour (not heavy at all), which reminded me of a couple other beers that got a lacto infection. Perhaps I am being paranoid and it is just some Windsor flavor that I don't know about? Anyway, would it be best to let it sit several more days and recheck for changes (positive) in taste, or go straight into cold crash and keg. By the way the fermentor is temp controlled and set at 69 degrees.

Thanks!
 

VikeMan

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Clean beers made with Windsor shouldn't be sour. Or really, not even tart.

Just a random thought... since this is Red Ale, any chance you used some Munich malt (especially Briess)? I have noticed an apple-like flavor that could kind of maybe be described as tart in amber/red ales and lagers using Briess Munich. But I definitely wouldn't go as far as "sour."
 
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jbschuyler

jbschuyler

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Thanks VikeMan,

No Munich. Here's what grain I used:

5.9lbs Pale 2-Row (last bit of 30 lbs I bought last summer)
5.1 lbs. Maris Otter Pale
0.5 lbs American - Caramel/Crystal 40L
0.5 lbs American - Chocolate

Again, no shocking sour taste, as there was in a couple prior seriously bad batches, just something a bit odd. A bug could have gotten in there, but I my fermentor was seriously hosed down with StarSan as usual before sending in the wort, and this batch was fermenting like a mofo a lot faster than most of my batches.
 

VikeMan

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Hmm. Is the fermenter, or any of the post-boil gear, the same as with the previous (infected) batches? If so, what kind of equipment is it?
 
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jbschuyler

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Spike Flex+ fermentor. This is the first possible issue after 8 other "perfect" batches. My last infection was in summer of 19 on an SS Brewbucket (which has since produced a few more clean batches too).

I am still trying to figure out if letting sit in the tank for longer might improve things, or if I should just chill now and keg it, cause it is what it is?
 

VikeMan

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I am still trying to figure out if letting sit in the tank for longer might improve things, or if I should just chill now and keg it, cause it is what it is?
Well, if it is contaminated, more warm time will only make it worse. But without tasting it, I'm afraid I can't offer much of an opinion on that.
 
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jbschuyler

jbschuyler

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Yes - agree on that. Hard to predict the future on this batch (along with everything else)!

I guess I will crash and keg it to stop an increasing issue. Maybe like on one of my earlier accidents someone might think it is a not bad, if unintended sour.

Cheers!
 

dmtaylor

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Windsor is a very fast yeast that always finishes in about 40 hours. So the fact that you've had it in there for 17 days has not helped it, if that was your hope.

What was your mash pH? A pound of specialty malt can be expected to bring the pH down by an extra 0.3. If you used soft water with any calcium additions, your pH could have been down in the low 5's, which could add a slight tartness. Unlikely, but possible.

Otherwise, hope it's not a real Lacto infection, and if it is, drink it up quickly if you can.
 
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jbschuyler

jbschuyler

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What was your mash pH? A pound of specialty malt can be expected to bring the pH down by an extra 0.3. If you used soft water with any calcium additions, your pH could have been down in the low 5's, which could add a slight tartness. Unlikely, but possible.
I actually don't know the pH, as I didn't have a meter available for this batch. I do now and water chemistry is the next new thing I will be working on to up my game and make better beer.
 
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jbschuyler

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UPDATE: I tasted it again last night, and it's definitely a lacto taste. I am quite bummed as I don't know how the bugs snuck in and got going on this batch. I was about to dump it right away, but decided to cold crash to clear it up and I'll pour a glass to check where I ended up color-wise for this grain bill.
 

dmtaylor

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Might be time to replace all plastic and rubber materials in your brewery. I have had to do this 2 or 3 times over the past 20 years. Look at O-rings, hoses, buckets, stoppers, etc.
 
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