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Sour Smelling Starter

So I was just about to get started brewing this afternoon and checked on my starter. I gave it a little sniff and there was a very sharp sour smell to it. I tasted it and didn’t get any sour flavors but there was a definite sour smell. Could this be my first infected starter? Thought I would check before I chucked or pitched it.

It was WL002, about 48 hours on a stir plate.

I frequently get a sour aroma out of starters with no accompanying off-flavor. I’d guess it’s fine.

If you have a LHBS nearby and are willing to push back the brewday, it might be worth doing a new starter for peace of mind. I don’t think anyone else can answer that question for you.

Thanks. That pretty much the same answer I got everywhere. So I am thinking I am good. I am going to decant as much of the liquid as I can and cross my fingers.

Please keep us posted. I often make starters and give them a sniff and think Hmm, I’m not sure how I like the smell of this… but the beer comes out okay. I have had maybe 2 starters smell like absolute hell where I knew right away that something was off. I do keep dry yeast on hand for this but it hasn’t happened in awhile. One starter was with White Labs 800 Pilsen Lager and it smelled so absolutely wrong, my entire house smelled. I can’t even describe how bad it was but I’ll be damned if I’m pouring that into fresh wort! :lol: Good luck.

Ps. 002 = Yum.

[quote=“Ken Lenard”]Please keep us posted. I often make starters and give them a sniff and think Hmm, I’m not sure how I like the smell of this… but the beer comes out okay. I have had maybe 2 starters smell like absolute hell where I knew right away that something was off. I do keep dry yeast on hand for this but it hasn’t happened in awhile. One starter was with White Labs 800 Pilsen Lager and it smelled so absolutely wrong, my entire house smelled. I can’t even describe how bad it was but I’ll be damned if I’m pouring that into fresh wort! :lol: Good luck.

Ps. 002 = Yum.[/quote]

I will keep you posted. I had my reservations cause it smelled fairly sour but tasted fine. I worry because this is my bad luck beer. Making a Deschutes Red Chair clone and have gotten an infection twice… kinda feel like this one is cursed. Though I am not giving up on it.

I’ve had a few that I wasn’t so sure about the smell as well. They tasted fine and all was well.

I think at some point you just trust your instincts and if it really smells foul, you go with something else. It’s funny how you say you have a bad luck beer because I have run into that a few times too where the same recipe just doesn’t want to come out… either it’s just plain bad or it’s infected or whatever. Good luck on this one!

Took a reading and a taste test this morning. Usually I wait a full week before touching but fermentation was just about done and I couldn’t help myself. :smiley: There is a very slight taste and smell similar to what I got in the starter. At this point it is very slight and hell if it doesn’t get any worse I would drink it.

So I am going to give it a few more days and taste again. If it hasn’t changed should I go ahead and dry hop and move forward? What do you all think?

I’ve never had a sour smell. I figure if it smells fruity, like yeast, it’s good. I can’t say from experience if the sour smell doesn’t matter, but it sounds like, from what others are saying, that it’s fine. I guess I’ll keep that in mind if I ever get a sour smelling starter.
I’m guessing whatever smell you’re getting from the beer will age out. I’d go forward as planned.

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