From the HBD Archive
From: John Dilley <>
Subject: I'm beginning to worry ...
Date: 1992-03-08 17:05:42 GMT

I just racked a batch of steam beer I'm making, using The Sun
Has Left Us On Time Steam Beer recipe from Papazian, and I'm getting
real worried. It's kind of early on a Sunday morning to have a homebrew
but since I need to relax, perhaps I should ... :-) In this batch I
tried WYeast California Lager liquid yeast (recommended by the brew shop
for a good steam beer). This is my first experiment with liquid yeast.
The primary ferment went OK but it took a while (nearly 24 hours) to get
started (I popped the yeast packet 24 hours before brewing, and it had
swelled up nicely). Now, three days later, the primary seems to be
done. The gravity dropped from 1048 to 1020 and bubbling has ceased.
But when I took the last gravity reading I noticed that the beer had a
very bad odor. I'm worried that it may have spoiled. I can't describe
the odor exactly -- it's not like vinegar or sour milk or anything else
I recognize. What I'm wondering is whether others who have made this
type of beer or used this type of yeast (at room temperature for the
primary fermentation) have noticed a similar odor -- I'd love to hear
that this is normal. I'm afraid I'll hear that I've just learned the
smell of sour beer. This was a pretty expensive batch, and I'd sure
hate for it to be my first bad batch. Any wisdom from the net will be
appreciated. Best regards,

-- jad --
John Dilley

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