Author Topic: My homebrew smells like vomit  (Read 11150 times)

Offline nateo

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Re: My homebrew smells like vomit
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2012, 11:06:11 AM »
But, was the beer in the end better than if it had never smelled like vomit in the first place?

I find it strange that people have so many issues with spontaneous souring. I've brewed a half dozen or so sour beers using grains for souring, and never had any issues like that, knock on plastic.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 11:07:47 AM by nateo »
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Offline kramerog

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Re: My homebrew smells like vomit
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2012, 12:10:32 PM »
But, was the beer in the end better than if it had never smelled like vomit in the first place?

The BN folks thought the beer was so good they called it vagina beer.  The beer is actually called Pure Guava Petite Sour http://www.crookedstave.com/2011/08/pure-guava-petite-sour
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: My homebrew smells like vomit
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2012, 12:28:48 PM »
The BN folks thought the beer was so good they called it vagina beer.

Somehow, despite being two of my favorite things, the combination "vagina beer" just doesn't sound appealing.
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Offline nateo

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Re: My homebrew smells like vomit
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2012, 12:30:28 PM »
The BN folks thought the beer was so good they called it vagina beer. 

Sometimes I wonder why there aren't more women brewers, but then I'm reminded why.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: My homebrew smells like vomit
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2012, 10:51:02 AM »
A brief update.  Last week I added a Brett-infected oak spiral (clausenii) to the vomit beer.  Yesterday I racked to secondary.  There was definitely a pleasant pineapple on the nose but there is still plenty of vomit odor in general.  Anyway I'm hopeful that a long secondary will eat up the vomit.  I did not notice any Brett-induced barnyard characteristics.
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: My homebrew smells like vomit
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2012, 10:52:30 AM »
Go Brett Go!!!

I don't know that I would want I pineapple beer either though  :o
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Offline nateo

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Re: My homebrew smells like vomit
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2012, 10:54:03 AM »
Anyway I'm hopeful that a long secondary will eat up the vomit.  I did not notice any Brett-induced barnyard characteristics.

I'm pretty sure you could get a dog to eat the vomit. They'll eat anything. Plus, you'll get plenty of barnyard character too!
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Re: My homebrew smells like vomit
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2012, 11:35:45 AM »
Anyway I'm hopeful that a long secondary will eat up the vomit.

If not I know a Labrador Retriever that likes to eat barf...
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: My homebrew smells like vomit
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2012, 12:04:43 PM »
KEEP IT AND WAIT.

I'm really interested to see how versatile brett is when it comes up to 'cleaning up' a wild beer. I've had some sours go WAY off the reservation and come back into balance when the brett finishes its fermentation cycle.

To increase chances of success, I would do two things:

1. Make sure you are mimizing oxygen uptake. Wait several months between sampling (4-6), purge the headspace (if you can), and don't move the carboy around a lot. If brett has O2 to work with, it will take the easier aerobic pathway (all while making vinegar and ignoring your butyric acid).

2. Check the acidity. Brett does more efficient work in a lightly acidic environment. Qualitatively, the beer should be lightly tart, not too sweet or too sharply acidic. The lacto will help you a bit, but depending on your primary fermentation you may not have given it enough to work with.
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Offline richardt

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Re: My homebrew smells like vomit
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2012, 01:34:09 PM »
The BN folks thought the beer was so good they called it vagina beer.

Somehow, despite being two of my favorite things, the combination "vagina beer" just doesn't sound appealing.



Ron Burgundy: "Brettanomyces is German for 'Vagina Beer.'"

Offline kramerog

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Re: My homebrew smells like vomit
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2012, 08:36:26 PM »
KEEP IT AND WAIT.

I'm really interested to see how versatile brett is when it comes up to 'cleaning up' a wild beer. I've had some sours go WAY off the reservation and come back into balance when the brett finishes its fermentation cycle.

To increase chances of success, I would do two things:

1. Make sure you are mimizing oxygen uptake. Wait several months between sampling (4-6), purge the headspace (if you can), and don't move the carboy around a lot. If brett has O2 to work with, it will take the easier aerobic pathway (all while making vinegar and ignoring your butyric acid).

2. Check the acidity. Brett does more efficient work in a lightly acidic environment. Qualitatively, the beer should be lightly tart, not too sweet or too sharply acidic. The lacto will help you a bit, but depending on your primary fermentation you may not have given it enough to work with.

Thanks for the advice.  I was planning to add some no boil Berliner Weiss to one of the carboys anyway just to see what happens.  Now I know something might happen.
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Offline bo

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Re: My homebrew smells like vomit
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2012, 09:03:09 PM »
I'll sure be glad when this thread goes away or at least the "vomit" term is deleted. :D

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: My homebrew smells like vomit
« Reply #27 on: May 11, 2012, 06:28:16 PM »
Just in case nobody's mentioned it, next time, make sure you keep your sour mash at about 100 *F. If the temperature drops, you can get wort spoiler infections - like the one you've got.

Fortunately, sulfur compounds are highly volatile, so there's a good chance that wort boiling, fermentation and long aging will make it go away.

Offline unclebrazzie

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Re: My homebrew smells like vomit
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2014, 03:37:24 AM »
Bumping this.

I brewed a gose about half a year ago. I intentionally soured the wort (not the mash) by adding a bottle of Cantillon geuze to it while it was still warm (around 50°C). Left it in a hot room (26°C) for 48 hours.

Stank of vomit like somethng crazy. Butyric acid, probably by geuze beasties combined with uncontrolled temperature and too much head space.

Still decided to boil since it didn't taste bad (or at least, not as bad as it smelled). Stank up the whole house, which didn't make the Missus none too happy and which has resulted in a perma-ban were brewing sour beer is concerned.

Post-boil, only a little of the vomit-smell remained (since most of it was now all over the house).

Fermented with top fermenting yeast (need to look up which one, not that you could tell in the end) which seemed to clear the remaining butyric acid smell just a bit.
The stench came back after a week or so in primary.

Racked to secondary, and despite being repeatedly and vociferously advice to dump the brew, I pitched a pack of Wyeast 5112 Brett brux, which I'd heard to be capable of metabolising organic acids to more savoury esters.

The beer's been sitting in secodandary for about half a year now, and the smell has made a winding journey from vomit, over pig sty, to sweaty parmesan, to something now resembling pine-apple scented band aids.
Flavour has evolved too, and is now incredibly complex and, well, weird. The salt and coriander of the original gose recipe, combined with the tartness coming from the Brett and the estery/phenolic metabolic by-products make for a beer unlike anything I've tasted before.

Also, almost all of the weat malt haze has disappeared, and the beer is now crystal clear.

While still not a beer I'd pour for just anyone, I think it has become interesting to a point of being presentable.

The kids call this one "dad's Puke Beer".

The Missus calls it "Get that thing away from me."

By which I mean to illustrate the power of Brett as a flavour modifier, and, in a pinch, a saviour of dodgy brews.

I think Chad Yakobsen and Michael "MadFermentationist" Tonsmeire are setting up casual experiments, trying to produce worts rich in "unwanted" precursors for Brett to turn into more desirable flavour compounds; my own limited experiences outlined above seem to corroborate there is merrit to the idea at least.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: My homebrew smells like vomit
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2014, 10:19:07 AM »
Don't get me wrong - I don't discourage anyone from performing any experiment where something useful could be learned. But for me, I'd much rather dump a batch than pitch some Brett and wait for a year or two to see if it gets better.

I applaud your patience. Thanks for sharing your results!
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