Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Infected Beer: Habenero Amber

Here are a few images of my latest experiment. I didn't intend for this batch to be infected, but something happened and I don't know if it came from the actual peppers or from poor sanitation or what, but, it's infected. At this point in time I'm going to ride it out for about 8 months and see how it comes along. With more time the heat will subside and I may end up with a damned good hot and sour beer. It should be pretty interesting. There's no way I'm dumping this batch. I'll see what happens.

But for all of those who have a nasty white film on the top of their fermenter and it looks like this (yeah, pics aren't that great, but you can obviously see there is infection there) then the beer is infected. Ride it out, dump it or add some campden tablets to kill off the infection and keg it up and drink it fast if you want to save it.

9-15-09 Update:

Ok, I pulled a sample of this stuff. Everything smelled fine. I couldn't smell anything funky or sour to it. I took a hydrometer reading and it's final gravity is deadpanned at 1.000. I know US-05 is not this aggressive with its attenuation so something chewed at the other sugars and dropped it that low. Surprisingly, there was no sour or funky taste to it at all. There was definitely heat to the beer but it wasn't a "burn-your-freakin'-face-off" heat. It's not a session beer but I could see someone easily sampling two pints of this stuff.

I'm really stumped as to what is infecting it. It hasn't really formed an more film on the top so it's not growing a pellicle. I'll be kegging it up soon and drinking it.

So, for anyone who is interested in doing some kind of spicy pepper beer, two habenaros did the trick for me.