Author Topic: infected  (Read 638 times)

Offline dawwwgs

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infected
« on: August 18, 2016, 05:18:40 AM »
I am brewing a blonde sour ale with 70/30 Pilsner to wheat. Primary ferment with Belgian Abbey and after 7 days to moved to secondary and pitched Wyeast 3278. Been in cellar now for 2 months, took a taste test and tastes like vinegar. Is this infected or just the natural progression of the bugs. Thanks for any help!!

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Re: infected
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2016, 06:47:02 AM »
I don't think you have an infection. Overly sour or acetic is often caused by too much oxygen. Do you have a lot of headspace and have you broken the pelicle or pulled samples often?

If the flavor is good, you can salvage by blending.

Offline dawwwgs

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Re: infected
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2016, 07:00:27 AM »
yes there is headspace. and I have only pulled the one sample. You say blending, you mean blend with another beer or add some new wort to it?

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infected
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2016, 07:26:44 AM »
Blend with more beer. Brew another beer and blend the two to your liking. Maybe use a different bug mix. Once you do this, you will still need to wait for the blend to be stable.

Honestly, the beer is months, maybe more than a year, away from being done. Rack it to a CO2 purged fermenter where you can fill it all the way up to the neck and forget about it for a while. Keep an eye on the airlock to make sure it doesn't dry out or add a breathable bung.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: infected
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2016, 07:46:57 AM »
I could be wrong but I don't believe vinegar to be a curable condition.  Heat pasteurization at like 160 F for 15 minutes then repitching with more bugs might be your best bet.  You also want to ensure you have a CO2 blanket to keep the oxygen out.  If you play around with the beer too much, racking into new vessels or whatever, you lose this CO2 blanket, which can cause the acetobacter to take hold.

Or so I have been led to believe.  I'm certainly no expert on sour beers.  Now making vinegar from cider, on the other hand.......
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: infected
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2016, 10:38:56 AM »
What size batch do you have currently residing in what size fermenter? 

Vinegar notes are typically formed by acetobacter (bacteria) that grow in presence of oxygen and produce acetic acid. This acid does sour the beer but can easily overpower the more gentle lactic acid desired in these beer styles.

If you have a big headspace above the beer and did not purge your fermenter with CO2 prior and after racking, then this could be your culprit.  As stated above, depending on its intensity, your beer could be a dumper. A little acetic acid is perfectly fine in some sour styles (Flanders Red, gueuze), but not all. And BTW, as the batch ages they typically tend to become more acetic as more oxygen ingresses over time.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: infected
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2016, 07:17:27 AM »
How certain are you that it's vinegar?

Sour beers can taste pretty weird at two months.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: infected
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2016, 09:44:03 AM »
How certain are you that it's vinegar?

Sour beers can taste pretty weird at two months.

+1 - in my experience, only really clean sours with Lacto alone have a reasonable sour profile in two months (and do better even longer).  Although, the new sour blends and some specific strains are aging more quickly than used to be the case...I think that Vrie/Drie strain can work in a couple months.  To the OP - if it is really vinegar, then bottle some of it as such and enjoy your salads with it!
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Online homoeccentricus

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Re: infected
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2016, 02:48:07 PM »
As the OP fermented first with sacch and then with brett, lacto and pedio, this is not a spontaneous fermentation, and therefore there should be no acetic acid. The acetic acid from Flanders red comes from the barrels.

I assume no wooden barrel is used? If not, this might be an acetobacter infection. Are there fruit flies where you live?
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: infected
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2016, 06:41:25 AM »
As the OP fermented first with sacch and then with brett, lacto and pedio, this is not a spontaneous fermentation, and therefore there should be no acetic acid. The acetic acid from Flanders red comes from the barrels.

I assume no wooden barrel is used? If not, this might be an acetobacter infection. Are there fruit flies where you live?

Acetic acid can be produced in sufficiently problematic volumes by brett without the presence of an unwelcomed infection or barrels. Enough oxygen could have been introduced during racking that he ended up with a mess of acetic acid.

However, I'm not convinced it's definitely acetic acid. Mixed fermentations can be weird, sometimes with quite sharp flavors, after a couple months.
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Online homoeccentricus

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Re: infected
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2016, 06:48:25 AM »

Acetic acid can be produced in sufficiently problematic volumes by brett without the presence of an unwelcomed infection or barrels. Enough oxygen could have been introduced during racking that he ended up with a mess of acetic acid.

Yes, but is that also true if there has first been a sacch fermentation?
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: infected
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2016, 02:56:22 PM »
Yes. I have also heard of some brett strains being capable of producing acetic acid in the presence of oxygen. Some have experienced this when putting brett on a stir plate.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: infected
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2016, 09:58:43 AM »

Acetic acid can be produced in sufficiently problematic volumes by brett without the presence of an unwelcomed infection or barrels. Enough oxygen could have been introduced during racking that he ended up with a mess of acetic acid.

Yes, but is that also true if there has first been a sacch fermentation?

Yes, perhaps even more likely without sacc fermentation. Brett throws acetic acid when it has access to glucose and oxygen. The absence of a sacc fermentation means more glucose for brett. Brett doesn't use the same metabolic pathway to create acetic acid as many bacteria which use ethanol to create acetic acid.
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