Author Topic: Starter tastes sour  (Read 1364 times)

Offline Joe Sr.

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Starter tastes sour
« on: January 21, 2012, 09:53:58 AM »
I've got two starters ready and two worts boiling on the stove.

Both starters taste sourish and not tasty.  I've never really tasted my starters before, so I don't know what they would usually taste like.

I had a batch come out sour recently, and now I'm thinking that my frozen starter wort maybe is sour/contaminated (there's no more left, but I used the last of it in these starters).

Just curious what others think.  I know most people who taste them say the starters taste nasty, but sour?

I'm thinking of splitting both batches and doing half with the starter and half with dry yeast to see what's up.  Or just chucking the starters and going with dry, but then I won't learn anything...
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline tygo

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Re: Starter tastes sour
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2012, 10:24:17 AM »
I'd be pretty nervous about a sour smelling starter. 
Clint
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Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Starter tastes sour
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2012, 10:35:45 AM »
They don't smell bad.  But the taste makes me nervous.

I'm going to dump the lager starter and go with dry yeast.

I'm going to split the ESB batch and do one dry and one with the starter to see what's up.

Since I keep the dry yeast for insurance, it seems like I should cash in.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline tygo

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Re: Starter tastes sour
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2012, 10:55:35 AM »
Yeah, that sounds like a good plan.
Clint
Wort Hogs

Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Starter tastes sour
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2012, 01:06:31 PM »
A good plan right up until I dumped the starter in the crapper (the sink was full) and down went the stir bar.

Pure genius.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline tygo

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Re: Starter tastes sour
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2012, 01:08:17 PM »
Things just aren't going your way today.
Clint
Wort Hogs

Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Starter tastes sour
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2012, 01:14:52 PM »
Yeah.  Off to Williams Brewing to order more stir bars.  $5 off an order of $50 or more if you write a product review!
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline gmac

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Re: Starter tastes sour
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2012, 09:03:25 PM »
I find my starters often seem to be a bit off tasting.  I think it's because there's no hops in them, they've been aggressively aerated and usually done warmer than I'd do a beer.  I only dumped out one when there we a clearly evident vinegar smell to it.  Otherwise they've all been fine.

Offline Pi

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Re: Starter tastes sour
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2012, 07:30:01 AM »
A good plan right up until I dumped the starter in the crapper (the sink was full) and down went the stir bar.

Pure genius.
Your stir bar is probably sitting in the sink trap. if your drain is PVC, you could tape a magnet ti some wire and try and fish it out or just take the trap apart.
Primary:Stella Rosemary IPA
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Starter tastes sour
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2012, 09:37:25 AM »
It went down the toilet.  My guess is it's in the stack somewhere since it's magnetic, but I'll consider it gone.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Starter tastes sour
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2012, 12:18:50 PM »
You should re-boil your frozen starter wort.  I can mine but still re-boil.  And if you ferment at a warm temp it can make for a pretty funky tasting starter.  Better safe than sorry, what yeast did you end up using?
Lennie
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Starter tastes sour
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2012, 12:23:33 PM »
I split the ESB and used the starter on 2.5 gallons and dry Nottingham yeast on the other.

The lager I pitched with a dry lager yeast I had in the fridge.

All are happily fermenting.  We'll know the taste when I check the gravity in a week or so.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton