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My first sour beer.. accidentally

wow I almost just puked. On 8-20-13 I pitched a starter of wyeast 1968 London esb into a 1.048 OG amber ale. On 8-24 I got a gravity ready of 1.009. 80% attenuation for that yeast is high but at that point I wasn’t worried. At that point I started second guessing myself… mash temps thermometer hydrometer. I checked my thermopen, hydrometer and I know I stir the mash well to get a reading. So 3 days later I checked again 1.006… still didn’t taste bad but I started to come around to the fact that it was contaminated by something. Took a reading today 3 weeks after pitching it was 1.002 and had a taste that made me dry heave from a tiny sip.

I know there’s many combinations of things that can cause contamination but does anyone have thought on what type of bug I got. Im pretty certain is the plastic fermenter because I bottled a batch fermented in glass after this and had no issues. I was thinking brett at first but from what I understand it works slowly and the 80% attenuation after 4 days seems unlikely. I’m at a loss how this happened I oxy clean my fermenters after I’m done and then star san everything.

Can you describe the flavors you perceived? Different microbes produce different compounds, which have different flavors.

If it is indeed ‘contaminated’ with wild yeast or a microbe(s), I would leave it alone for six months, bottle it, and leave it alone for another 6 months. You will have an awesome sour at the end of that time, but an undrinkable beer before the end of that time.

Either that, or he’ll have something even more undrinkable at the end of the time, or bottle bombs somewhere in between.
Either way, doesn’t cost anything but time spent bottling, and room in the cellar.

I hope you (OP) got rid of that fermenter bucket, and are really careful if you plan to bottle.
Maybe just get a Home Depot Homer bucket to use for this one, and then send it for general home usage.
I wouldn’t use my regular bottling bucket for a suspected contaminated brew.

Good sour beers are tough enough to make if you’re trying to make one. If you’re not trying to make one odds are it will just be bad, a waste of time and a waste of space to bottle and save. Breweries that do wild fermenting have taken forever to perfect their craft. If it’s obviously contaminated I would dump it but that’s just me. And that bucket probably will need to go too.

Not very long after I started home brewing (late 90s) I brewed a cantalope wheat beer from a strain of cantalope that only grew where I was living at the time, Fallon, NV. The plan was to save some of the juice to prime with. Well, the juice got left out at room temperature and soured, but I didn’t discover this until after it was bottled. Turned out to have a refreshing bit of sourness and several months after moving back to the Portland area it was a decent psuedo lambic.

I would dump it.

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