Alas! My first American Pale Ale is no longer with us. After falling behind on my schedule and letting this little guy sit in the fermenter for an extra week before kegging, I finally had time to keg on Saturday. I prepared all my equipment, took a whiff of the beer (which was extremely pleasant), began racking into my keg, took a reading on the final gravity, and noticed that it was coming up a little short. I drew a sample for tasting and it was sour! OH NO!
5 gallons of beer goes down the drain, along with a lot of my emotions. A bunch of equipment goes into the trash. Anything that can’t be heat sanitized has to be replaced. Unfortunately, StarSan doesn’t kill the bacterias associated with sour beer, so I have to be very careful not to cross-contaminate. Since I had already started racking, I had to boil off some water and pour it into my keg.
While I was bummed enough to not brew my tremendously popular Belgian IPA with Elderflower on Sunday, I’m not letting this get me down as much as it did the first time it happened. Onward and upward, and I will be much more careful next time.