I believe my first homebrew is a lost cause. I'm at 3 weeks, and each week I've done a gravity reading and a taste. The flavor has gotten increasingly sour(astringent) with each week.

It's almost vinegary, but with a citrus twist. It's like eating the pith of an orange peel and it's getting worse with each test.

My understanding is that I likely have some sort of infection: http://beersmith.com/blog/2012/08/12/sour-off-flavors-in-home-brewed-beer/


  • BSG's Bavarian Hef extract kit
  • 2 x 3.3 lb cans Wheat LME
  • 1 oz German Hallertau hops
  • 11.5 g Fermentis WB-06
  • one orange peel added to boil (pith fully scraped off)

Gravity readings:

  • week 1 - 1.012
  • week 2 - 1.010
  • week 3 - 1.014

homebrew2 homebrew

  • What's the question, here? – jsled Jan 17 '15 at 16:54
  • When you say astringent, do you mean the mouth-puckery feel that happens when you eat an unripe banana, date, or soft-type persimmon? (I don't think I can really help, but I just find that remarkable.) – piojo Feb 25 '15 at 6:45
  • Are those gravity readings adjusted for temperature? – nullability Mar 28 '15 at 3:21

Sour, astringent and vinegary. Definitely sounds like bacterial contamination ("Infection"). Lactic and acetic acid also both have higher specific gravity than water or alcohol, so that's probably why your gravity went up between weeks two and three.

Lost cause? I don't know, can you stand to drink it? If not, it's certainly not going to get any better with time.

What is your sanitation regimen? And what equipment are you using to ferment in? A bit more info could definitely help us to try and pinpoint any potential sources of infection.

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It could be an infection, although there doesn't appear to be anything wrong in the pictures. Maybe you just don't like the style?

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  • Funny, I had the same thought.. – Franklin P Combs Jan 17 '15 at 18:27
  • I'd hesitate to call this a style, as I drink a lot of wheat beers...this taste actually turns my stomach. It's not a natural sour/bitter beer taste. – Jason Jan 17 '15 at 18:51
  • I agree with Denny that the pics look fine for now. Personally, I never liked what WB-06 did in any of my wheat beers, maybe you don't either. "Real" German wheat beers have a very different yeast character than anything I got with WB-06. – Graham Jan 19 '15 at 13:21

A friend of mine tasted a big batch right before a party and realized it had gone sour. His wife convinced him to serve it anyway and act really proud, so everyone assumed it tasted that way on purpose!

I also once read the advice: if you brew a beer and don't like it, add some fruit juice and everyone that tastes it will assume it's "one of those weird lambics".

To summarize: use it up at a party. :D

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