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Vinegar smell?

I brewed the cream ale on 01/04/2012 racked to my secondary the following week.

was getting my reading for bottling this Tues. And it has a vinegar smell to it. can i save it or do i need to start over? and where did i go wrong?


10 day and into a bottle? I would let it sit for another week.

If it truly turned to vinegar all is lost. Except for cooking with it.

I had a beer turn to vinegar last year. But it had sat in a carboy for 10 or so months. The day it started to ferment again I knew it was not good. I thought about keeping some around but dumped it all. A competition BBQ’r later said he would have taking most of it.

First, are you sure it is an acetic acid smell, not an apple-like smell (which would be acetaldehyde)?

Second, vinegar comes from a bacteria called acetobacter. It turns alcohol into acetic acid and requires oxygen. The two ways to control it are good cleaning and sanitization practices and minimizing oxygenation of the beer after fermentation.

One real common source of acetobacter contamination in the brewery is fruit flies. They love wort and beer, so keep them away. My buddy had an acetobacter contamination when he didn’t notice that his airlock had started to run dry, but a fruit fly did and found it’s way into the fermenter.

Thanks or the feed back guys. After i posted this . I went back and tasted a sample it tasted like a really thin beer, with a strong alcholol taste almost like wine with a aint vinegar smeeel as your nose was in the glass. I will give it a week longer and report back around the 24th or 25th and give you a update.

thanks again for the help.


Could be an infection, but it could also be that you fermented too warm. Ferment below 70F and that includes the heat that is generated during fermentation which can raise the wort temp by 5F. I’ve had beers that were so estery you couldn’t drink them as a result of warm fermentations.

Thanks for the help guy’s everything came out alright. I had a professional beer drinker try it yesterday. And He’s collaboration on tweaking the recipe, Could be a staple brew around here With some crazy flavors in the future.


Man! How do you achieve that status? :cheers:

He’s a former Marine and has drank beer from all over the world.

And follows a strict regiment thru the week, Last summer on vacation He and six other guys went on a 4 day vacation and took a pickup truck load of beer and still had to buy some before they got home.

And no he’s not an alcoholic he holds down a forty hour a week job and has a nice family.


Holding down a 40 hr a week job is not a good indication of whether or not a person has a drinking problem.

Just saying…

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