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First time dry hopping... first batch that's ruined... why?

I was brewing the Kiwi Express (my 3rd batch, first 2 batches of beer were great). I followed the same process…only difference is I used an outdoor burner and boiled the wort pretty hard.

3 weeks in primary
7 days prior to bottling I tossed the dry-hops directly into the primary

I noticed all the hops just sitting on top of the wort so I very gently ‘swirled’ the carboy to get some to drop down then left it for a week.

When bottling, I noticed there was a little carbonation and assumed it had to do with dryhopping so I filled 40 bottles. When I tasted a little sample, it had a very strong green apple flavor… nothing like I was expecting… but thought maybe conditioning would fix it.

4 days after bottling, I tested one and as soon as I popped the cap the beer overflowed out of the bottle because it was so carbonated. Tried a second bottle to see if it was a ‘fluke’ … same thing.

The beer smells and tastes awful… like a very strong apple/sour taste/odor.

First batch that has ever come out bad… any thoughts on what could’ve gone wrong? Very disappoined that I dropped $55, spent a lot of time, and now have to dump them down the drain so would like to avoid this on my next batch!


A few other notes…

  • During fermentation, I noticed the temp on the carboy thermometer get into the high 70’s (78ish) so moved it to a cooler spot in the house… wonder if it could be too much ester flavor from the yeast?

  • I’m completely dumbfounded by how carbed the beer is… to the point that it overflows out of the bottle before even pouring it (almost as if someone shook it very hard)

So, I’m guessing it was the high fermentation temps that gave it the bad flavors but I still can’t figure out the carbonation…

Give it time, young padawan.

Do not dump it. You will be happy with the outcome of this beer once it’s had some time to age.

If the high temp was after day 3, you’re likely out of the realm of fusels or esters. Even if it was that high initially, you can age most of those flavors out.

4 days is way to early to test the bottles. As the yeast eat the sugar and produce CO2, it is released into the headspace. As the pressure builds, that CO2 is then absorbed by the beer. The higher the temp, the higher the pressure needs to be for the beer to absorb the CO2. I’d fathom the gushing results you got on day 4 were a result of CO2 in the headspace.

My guess is that the disappointment you are feeling is because of a beer that just needs more time.

Good Luck

It’s been a couple of weeks now and I tested one tonight… it didn’t pour out of the top all foamy like it did before (I think your carb in the neck theory was right). The head was a really nice white with better lacing then I’ve had from my other batches… but… when I tasted it, still had a very off taste of almost rotten fruit (dont know how to describe it well).

I’m going to let it sit a few more weeks and try again… it’s drinkable but definitely not what the recipe describes… so on my next batch I’ve made sure to keep the temp within the range of the yeast.

Thanks for the post, even if no one else drinks it, it’s not going down the drain and I learned to pay better attention… not all bad.

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