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Why would my pumpkin beer taste sour?

I brewed 1 gallon of the smashed pumpkin beer using the starter kit. I was super careful to sanitize everything including the thermometer every time I needed to use it and wore my gloves throughout the process. Used star sans. Yeast was not old. I bottled the beer and did not open until four weeks later. Sour :sob:

Hard to tell. Can you describe the “sourness?” If truly sour it might be infected. Take your bottles and shine a light in the neck of the bottle. Do you see anything?

Is it a green apple type sour or a sourdough bread type sour?

Green apple. Also a couple of the bottles bubbled over when I popped the cap. I can taste carbonation in the beer. It smells yeasty.

I do not see anything in the neck of the bottle when shining a light…

Just an aside, do they(NB) still give you that DVD with Dawson and Keeler with starter kits? I watched that instructional video end to end repeatedly. A lot of good info there.

As far as the pumpkin, did you do canned or fresh? That potentially could be the source…agree with @loopie_beer need more info. Lots of pitfalls for the first time brewer.


The kit did not come with a video, though I watched the one on the northern brewer site a couple times before brewing. This pumpkin beer was made with spice (which was included in the kit). I didn’t dare use fresh pumpkin as a first time brewer :wink

I was extremely diligent about sanitizing everything to prevent contamination…

Some of the bottles foamed heavily when I opened them. Others were just fine, but had a very yeasty smell and a sour (green apple like) taste. Beer has been in the bottle for four weeks.

Yeasty and “green apple” sounds like young beer. Put some of them in the fridge for awhile and allow the yeast to settle. Then pour carefully to keep the yeast sediment in the bottle.

RINSE YOUR BOTTLES WITH HOT WATER AFTER USING. It will help with cleaning them later.

Thank you. I’ll try that!

Are you sure the beer was finished ? A gusher could mean it’s not done, yeasty could mean it’s not done. Best to keep them very cold and drink them if they taste good if not maybe dump

I’ll pop the bottles in the fridge and let them chill for another two or three weeks. That will be 7 weeks. I am crossing my fingers that it tastes good by then.

Could be your yeast not done yet. Leave the bottles stand longer

Welcome to the forum! As you can see lots of folks here ready to offer help and advice.

How long was the beer in a fermenter? Did you see or smell anything abnormal during the fermentation?

Hi! The beer has been fermenting for four weeks but I’m gonna leave it in for another 2 to 3 weeks and see if it helps. In all this time I’ve never noticed anything strange or abnormal… In fact it looked pretty good. I’ll post an update in a few weeks when I pop one open thanks for all the help!

Okay, let me understand. I think you’re saying you bottled it right after boiling it? If that’s what you did you have a potentially dangerous situation where your bottles could explode. Please lay out your brewing/fermenting process for us.

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I was assuming he bottled it early but not that early. Noboy would do that right?

No I don’t think so but I can’t think what might be going on from the info. Just like to hear what the whole story is and especially don’t want someone getting hurt.

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Hi, I did not begin the bottling process until the beer was cool. I watched the video on the northern brewing site and follow the instructions. Later tonight, I Will try to outline the exact process that I followed when I brewed. Thanks for all the great advice.

Green apple is an acetaldehyde problem. Often it is caused by drinking the beer before it is done fermenting, as yeast usually converts the green apple flavor to alcohol. It can also be due to too much yeast being used.

It can also be a result of oxidation. Exposing the beer to oxygen too much leads to a lot of off flavors, green apple being one of them (wet cardboard another).

That being said, you shouldn’t bottle a beer until it has fermented. This means letting the beer sit in a jug/bucket/vessel for weeks, letting the yeast do it’s magic. If you bottled on the same day as you brewed, you are in for a nightmare of a situation

Unless I’m misunderstanding what you’ve written it sounds like you may have misunderstood the fermentation step and pitched (mixed in) the yeast In your wort and bottled it. Actually once cool, your wort should have gone into a fermenter with the yeast, been sealed up with an airlock and been placed in a cool dark place for a few weeks. Once the fermentation was complete then you would mix in some priming sugar and bottle it. Here’s a link to the process on Northern’s site:

How to Make Beer in 4 Basic Steps - Homebrewing 101 for Beginners

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