good taste after fermentation, sour after bottling

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It would be appreciated if i could get a bit of advice for a problem
I've had on my first ever batch of home brew.

I used the coopers "Australian Pale Ale" kit, plus brew enhancer 2
(dextrose, maltodextrin and Light Dry Malt).

I mixed it up in a brewpot on my electric stove for about 45 mins or
so. Struggled to get it to boil until the end of that time (because
wort was a bit large and electric stoves arent very powerful). In that
time I may have stirred too vigorously. I then cooled the wort in the
sink with water, and put it into the fermenter bucket with filtered
tap water. But it took a while to get to get it down from about 36C to
32C, where I was forced to add the ale yeast (not ideal). during this
time I think I did a lot of splashing, stirring.

It fermented pretty quickly - finished after 3 days. I bottled after 5
days at correct FG. Sampling from the spigpot, the beer appeared
healthy and the taste nice.

However 5 days after bottling, I decided to sample one to see if it
was on the right track. The beer looked fine - nice colour, good head,
good carbonation. But a sour? cidery? smell & taste overwhelmed the
beer. At least I thought it was sour.

I dont think I contaminated the brew in the fermenter as the spigpot
sample seemed tasty. there was no evidence of spoilage looking into
the fermenter. I used some bottles I cleaned myself, and brand new
plastic ones from Coopers that were pre-sanitised. both gave the same
result.

My conclusion is it was oxidation during wort handling/cooling- any
ideas / advice as what it is? However I read it should be sherry like/
cardboard like. Its hard to tell - it seemed sour. I am going to try
again and use heaps of ice in the sink to rapidly cool the wort.

Thanks,

Eamonn




Re: good taste after fermentation, sour after bottling


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Eamonn, it is unlikely that too much oxygen caused you the problem you
describe. Many of us struggle to get ENOUGH oxygen into the wort
before primary fermentation.

I bought a galvanized steel garbage can, 33 gallon with lid, from my
local building supply to cool the SSteel 5Gal brewpot. I put one bag
of ice in the bottom, and place the hot brewpot from the gas burner
directly onto the ice. With the brewpot lid in place, I then add two
or three bags of ice around the sides of the brewpot. It fills to
about 2/3 the vertical side of the brewpot. I then spin (slowly) the
brewpot in the ice, and as it melts, in an icewater-ice mixture that
is a measured 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Within 20 minutes or close to
that, the wort has cooled to 75 degrees F. You can actually see the
"cold break" precipitation of solids in the wort.

I'm a beginner too, and have had errors of misunderstanding that
changed the way my first few batches came out. On the very first
extract Saint Paul Porter, I BOILED the grain mix instead of steeping
at a lower temperature below boiling. The porter is now two months
old, and is very bitter, but I love it. I made it myself!

Make a list of everything you know you did right, that couldn't have
caused the taste you object to. Then look for things you are unsure
of, and start reading, reading, reading.

I am becoming aware of the importance of chemical content of brewing
water, The water on the Gulf of Mexico coast is very soft, very tough
to get rinsed enough during a shower not to feel soapy. I take water
from a name-brand multi-chamber filtering system for brewing, and have
just realized that I am using the near-equivalent of distilled water
for my first few brews. Having read that some beers derive their
characteristic signature from the hard water of the region, I will
next batch use high-school chemistry to add ammonium sulfate, calcium
bicarbonate, and after I read some more, maybe something else that our
groundwater is lacking. A good brew has gotta start with good water,
and I have learned that I need to pay attention to that very important
first ingredient.

I wish I had a silver bullet solution to pass along, but I don't know
enough yet to offer more than the simple things that appear here.

Denny
St Paul Porter - in cold aging but disappearing fast
London Nut-brown Ale - in cold aging, young but very tempting (like my
wife)
Biere de Garde - in second fermenter to bottle in a week
Dewberry Mead - in secondary fermenter to bottle in two weeks


Re: good taste after fermentation, sour after bottling


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Thanks for the tips. I will try the ice technique on my next batch
this weekend - my understanding was that oxidation is caused when
aerated at temps above 80F. I had my previous batch well above that
temp for too long I think! the only other thing that may have
contaminated my brew is the spigpot on my plastic fermenter. Its got a
ring of scum on the inside of it that I cant get to with cleaning
implements.

We have clean, softish water here in Western Australia, so its good
for brewing.

Its a little disheartening when you have to pour out the whole batch,
but I'm ready to have another crack at it.

Cheers,

Eamonn

Re: good taste after fermentation, sour after bottling


Foles wrote:
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Yours is a good description of the typical crappy "hombrew" taste that
detered me from trying to brew my own beer in the past.  Finally, after
considerable success in home winemaking, I decided to try beer again and
found I had no problem at all producing tasty beers of several styles
without running into the sour taste.  I feel your, and my previous,
problem is bacterial contamination.  You simply must understand how
important it is that EVERYTHING be well sanitized.  Clean with hot water
and detergent all items, then rinse well and sanitize with your choice
(1:100 dilution of chlorine bleach, iodophore, phosphoric
acid/detergent, etc.).  Get advice on locally available sanitizers and
their use from your local homebrew store.  Wash all your bottles inside
with a brush, and sanitize them well.  Don't start your siphon by mouth
- fill the tube with boiled water or sanitizer solution and let it run
out before filling your bottles.  I don't use spigots because they seem
difficult to clean inside.  You can store your siphon cane & hose in a
loop, filled with sanitizer. You'll get a good batch on your next try if
you approach the whole process thinking about avoiding contamination.

Cal
(drinking a very tasty weizen I made)



Re: good taste after fermentation, sour after bottling



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Thanks for the tips. I will try the ice technique on my next batch
this weekend - my understanding was that oxidation is caused when
aerated at temps above 80F. I had my previous batch well above that
temp for too long I think! the only other thing that may have
contaminated my brew is the spigpot on my plastic fermenter. Its got a
ring of scum on the inside of it that I cant get to with cleaning
implements.

We have clean, softish water here in Western Australia, so its good
for brewing.

Its a little disheartening when you have to pour out the whole batch,
but I'm ready to have another crack at it.

********************************************************************

Many people will tell you to give it a good time before dumping it. Many brews
taste much better with some ageing.

If you haven't discovered "rec.crafts.brewing", that group is much more active.



Re: good taste after fermentation, sour after bottling


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thanks - i sampled another one today and its getting better. I think
I've fallen into the trap of mistaking "green" beer for contaminated
or oxidised beer! I have a funny feeling that it will be pretty good
in a few more weeks time.

Problem is ive poured all but a few bottles out already. And I did
another batch, this time using finishing cascade hops on top of the
coopers pale ale extract kit.

Cheers - and ill give the other group a visit.

Re: good taste after fermentation, sour after bottling



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Hopefully it will be fine...

I'll throw out a couple points, tho' ...
    1. Always give it time.  Don't rush, there are often odd tastes
        early on.
    2. Truly SOUR probably means bacteria, as the other poster
        mentioned.  Refrigerate it and drink it as long as you
        can stand it (some people actually like sour beers?)!
        I've also saved a bad sour batch to use as boiling
        liquid for bratwursts...  If it is sour from bacteria,
        it will not get better, only more sour over longer
        periods of time.
    3. On a few occasions I've had hops give a rather sour note, but
        that improved with some age.

Derric

Re: good taste after fermentation, sour after bottling


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thanks for the tips - ill give it another taste this weekend for the
final conclusion (over 2 weeks since bottling).
I'm thinking my interpretation of sour wasnt actually sour, and the
beer was simply not bottle conditioned yet. Ill see what happens -
although ive got another batch fermenting at the moment (and a new
spigpot in case that was the cause).

Re: good taste after fermentation, sour after bottling


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If it's only been two weeks since bottling then the beer is still
young. When I bottled I would let it age a month before passing
judgement.



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