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Cider Flavor in Belgian Dubbel

Brewed a Belgian Dubbel about two months ago. When I took a sample right before bottling, the beer tasted great. No off flavor to speak of. However, my first bottle the other day and it had a very cider/vinegar type flavor to it.

Here are my thoughts for what might of happened.

Wondering if the beer just needs to sit longer to fully ferment the priming sugar that I added. (Added a half of cup of Corn sugar to a 3 gallon batch)

Or if it picked up some wild yeast while sitting in the bottling bucket during bottling.

Here is the Recipe:
2-row 7lb.
Belgian Caramunich 1lb.
Corn Sugar 1lb. End of boil
Belgian Candi sugar 1lb end of boil

Liberty 1oz 60 minutes
Hersbrucker .5oz 30minutes
Hersbrucker .5oz 5 minutes

Made 1000ml Yeast starter two nights before
Wyeast 1214

OG 1.080
FG 1.010

Thanks for the help

A vinegar flavor suggests acetobacter infection creating acetic acid. The cidery flavor can also result from acetobacter.

I would say that vinegar is almost certainly from contamination. The cidery flavor could be a number of things depending on how you interpret “cider”. Sometimes belgian beers can be weirdly fruity and a bit acidic from the yeast. If you combine that with “alcoholic” or “hot” you might get a cidery impression.

How long has it been bottled? If it is a sour apple/green apple type flavor it may age out. Store the bottles warm (70 deg-ish) for at least two weeks.

The Beer has been bottle for 3 weeks going on 4 weeks. I am hoping the cider like flavor will ferment on out. I have read that sometime cider like flavor can be caused by the addition of to much sugar. Which I am hoping is the case.

It’s not the sugar’s fault. Talk of “cidery” flavors from added sugars has been declared hogwash by thousands of homebrewers.

It seems more likely that it could be one of the following:

  1. Apple/pear flavored esters produced by the yeast. Belgian yeast throws off all sorts of fruity flavors. Maybe you found one that you just didn’t expect.

  2. Contamination. Sorry, but… how good are your sanitation procedures? For one example not yet discussed… When you add your priming sugar, do you boil it first in a little water, or do you just throw it into the bottling bucket or into each bottle? Just a thought. It could be any number of dozens of other possibilities as well. Even if this is not the real issue with this batch, it’s worth exploring.

Good luck.

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