1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Aging oak-aged beers = souring/infected brews

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by TonyTalon, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. TonyTalon

    TonyTalon Savant (430) Wisconsin Mar 20, 2012

    It may be my paranoia, but it seems like every oak aged beer I sit on for awhile goes sour/infected, anyone else notice this trend?
    From now on only drinking Oak aged fresh.
    List of brews Ive had go infected:
    2012 Insanity
    2010 Samael's ale
    2011 Olde bluehair barley wine
    Arctic Devil
    The Angels Share
    and even founders curmudgeon is beginning to taste off
  2. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Champion (850) Michigan May 8, 2006

    Insanity in Bourbon Barrel and "infected" is often a misused or misapplied term.

    There could easily be many examples of oak aged beers that age rather gracefully.
    krl2112 likes this.
  3. Keffa

    Keffa Advocate (550) Ohio Jan 8, 2009

    Yep, it's definitely your paranoia.
  4. How are you storing/cellaring them? I guess its totally possible that they could be bret infected.
    TonyTalon likes this.
  5. TonyTalon

    TonyTalon Savant (430) Wisconsin Mar 20, 2012

    Not sure why/how these particular beers turned into the drain pours they became then, chalking it up to bad luck and drinking them fresh.

    Storing them in an uncontrolled basement in wisconsin, temp flux isnt too erratic though.
  6. ncaudle

    ncaudle Advocate (620) Virginia May 28, 2010

    I don't see how storage could lead to a Brett infection
    atone315 and TNGabe like this.
  7. maximum12

    maximum12 Champion (825) Minnesota Jan 21, 2008

    I haven't aged any of those except Insanity for very long, but haven't noticed any such trend.

    Are you familiar with oxidation (not being a jerk, serious question). That might be what you're tasting - kind of like licking a cardboard box. I'm particularly sensitive to oxidation & can't stand anything with more than a touch of it.
  8. TonyTalon

    TonyTalon Savant (430) Wisconsin Mar 20, 2012

    I've noticed oxidation in some kbs I've had so I'm a bit familiar with the taste your speaking of. I am not a sour fan, these beers tasted worse than some sours I've sampled, could not even stomach them. The curmudgeon, may be falling victim to oxidation now that you mention it, it just taste bland and boring and off.
  9. Curmudgeon is not barrel aged.

    There have been problems with Angel's Share before so anything is possible with that. What year?
  10. Andygirl

    Andygirl Savant (280) Michigan Jan 3, 2013

    Anything I have had that's oaked has a oddball grapefruit taste to me that dh can never taste. I think some people just taste the oak differently.
  11. Some slight souring can occur from (some) brett infections, but it's really unlikely to result in barrels that held liquor.

    Wine barrels make it much more likely.
  12. jamescain

    jamescain Advocate (660) Texas Jul 14, 2009

    It doesn't lead to an infection but Brett naturally lives in wood so if there was a trace amount of Brett in the oak then over time it would become noticeable.
    TonyTalon likes this.
  13. ncaudle

    ncaudle Advocate (620) Virginia May 28, 2010

    I wasn't arguing that.
    the person I replied to was saying that cellaring/storage could lead to brett infections, not the wood itself that the beer aged on before bottling/storage.
  14. jamescain

    jamescain Advocate (660) Texas Jul 14, 2009

    I see that...well consider my post for them or everyone and not you :)
  15. TonyTalon

    TonyTalon Savant (430) Wisconsin Mar 20, 2012

    Founders wedsite says oak aged. The Angel share was prob. 2011. Drank it awhile back.
  16. Pour quality control on the brewers' parts + too fast of an increase in production size. Everyone's trying to throw things in barrels and they're not taking the proper precautions.

    Also, only the Angel Share GC was infected, correct?
  17. That might just mean it's aged on pieces of oak. Not actually aged in barrels.
  18. Scotchboy

    Scotchboy Advocate (510) Idaho Dec 7, 2010

  19. Does anyone on here really know what they're talking about?
    hoppy99 likes this.
  20. I think one or two of the very early bottlings were contaminated.
  21. TonyTalon

    TonyTalon Savant (430) Wisconsin Mar 20, 2012

    Right, notice I never used the word barrel to begin with. I left it at oak aged for a reason, it just hasn't applied to oak barrels its been beers in which oak-aging has been involved. It doesn't say barrels you are correct, but I never said it was either. I'm not going to gamble, as stated before, I will only be drinking oak-aged beers fresh from this day forth.
  22. I see, you are right. But I think barrels have a stronger track record of contaminating beers with foreign yeast/bacteria. Either way, welcome to the "Drink Fresh" club. We are looking for more members.
    atone315, oregone and TonyTalon like this.
  23. atone315

    atone315 Champion (835) Wisconsin Oct 8, 2008

    Except for the Insanity and Curmudgeon, I tasted all of these w/ Tony.....results were the same. Grapefruit/ Sour note. Also had a Certified Evil last night, same thing....I think oak definitely imparts a flavor that some people pick up as sour, and unpleasant.

  24. jedwards

    jedwards Savant (340) California Feb 3, 2009

    Brandy '07 was infected. Some bottles of Grand Cru may be infected, but every one I tasted just had prominent vinous tartness. Lots of stuff that isn't an infection can give a beer a tart or unusual flavor.
    atone315 likes this.
  25. TIL Oak is the asshole of barrel wood.
  26. I opened a 2011 Olde Bluehair just last night and no one present found any sign of infection. I was actually surprised how well it was drinking. Mine was also stored in a Wisconsin basement as well for what its worth.