Uh oh! Sour beer

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by jeffpn, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    In January, I made a honey amber BIAB. The honey took a while to ferment, I think, so I just bottled it today, after a two week secondary. I always drink my partial bottle, of course. Usually it tastes sweet, due I'm sure to the corn sugar addition. I always use 3/4 C for my 5 gallon batch size. Today, it tasted moderately sour. In the primary, it was significantly heavier due to a higher efficiency than planned. It was also significantly under volume. When I racked it, I added a gallon of water using a sanitized milk jug I've been using for years to compensate for under volume and over gravity. Actually, I think there was distilled water in it when we bought it. I wouldn't consider the beer to be ruined at this point. It may just be a different beer than planned. My question, assuming I did pick up an infection, is what I should expect with my normal 3/4 C corn sugar? Do sour beers have different rules for conditioning?
     
  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    by no means am i an expert, but the 2 sour beers i've successfully brewed did seem to be a bit on the low end of carbonation. they also were a bit thin on body to me.
    I'll admit i'm a little gun shy though when it comes to priming. i've had enough gushers that i now shoot for the low end of the style, according to the calculator on this site.
    I will say that, as far as the conditioning goes, the taste of the beer seems to change on a weekly basis. It's not bad fresh (i've had it within a week of bottling), but it does get better with age. In fact, i hid some last night in the pantry, in the hope of them lasting a few more months :D
     
  3. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I'm quite aware that the final product will taste differently on bottling day compared to say, a month later. I've never tasted a sour taste on bottling day, however. That is new. My question is about gushers rather than taste.
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    On bottling day, sours don't taste nearly as sour as they will once carbonated due to the priming sugar. So describe "sour". Is it yogurty? Vinegary? Neutral sourness? Are there any other off-flavors you can detect? If it's infected, it will become more sour over time and may produce gushers or bottle bombs because the infectious bacteria or yeast can digest dextrines. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't become dangerous and if it's not obnoxiously flavored, enjoy the sour!
     
  5. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    It may have had a sort of yogurt sourness to it. I think the I'll store this batch inside of an unused cooler for now, to contain any potential mess.
     
  6. steinmb

    steinmb New Member

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    If you can taste the sourness it is usually fallen bellow PH 4.3. It would help if you have/borrow a PH -meter. You probably picked up some kind of lacto-bacteria strain. Found everywhere, including Yogurt. It is normally not dangerous, think sour bread and any sour beer you can buy. If you have an infection the PH will keep falling, keeping the bottles cold will slow them down but that is all. Might even turn into a good beer if you let is get tart enough :) That normally mean somewhere in the ballpark PH 3.25 - 3.5
     
  7. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Good news! The beer is not sour. Maybe I wasn't drunk when I thought it tasted sour when I bottled it. I'll make sure that doesn't happen again!
     
  8. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you need more practice before the reality show season begins :ugeek:
     

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