i know exactly what you mean and it sounds like you fermented at a low temp, so you did it right. my 1st was am lager and it had a green apple cider taste. The beers will improve with some of the craft refills. even better are the partial mash recipes. keep it up!
That sour batch was American Lager and I did not cold crash it. I really didn't know about it, but I read a link from rick beer's signature line about it now and will certainly cold crash this next batch.
Yes, Jdub, it fermented for 3 weeks to the day. I didn't have a hydrometer then so I just went by 21 days. Again, that morning before setting up all my bottling operation, I tasted a small sample from the spigot. I had learned that if it tasted sweet it was not ready. And if it tasted like flat beer, it was. Well, it tasted like flat beer with a "wine" smell and taste. After bottling and carbonating for three weeks that wine taste and smell subsided but you could taste the sourness in the aftertaste. Not a lot, but certainly noticeable.
i read your question and you said you saw the bubbles at bottling time. i assume you let it ferment for 3 weeks. did you cold crash? i have had yeast rafts before as well. cold crash and they will most likely disappear. cider taste could be extract twang. i have experienced that, even when fermenting at low temps. just the way it is sometimes. good luck and keep brewing.
That picture was taken just before bottling. No, the cap stayed on until bottling day. In fact, I even bottled it before calling Mr. Beer about the yeast rafts, mostly because I had everything set up and waiting. Now, I had tasted a shot glass full out of the spigot earlier that morning, and that's when I first noticed the aftertaste, but I didn;t notice the rafts until bottling time.
I did my fermentation in a regular Walmart cooler which was at about 60-62 degrees for the duration of the ferment. I really don't know what the wort temperature was, but a little thermometer sticker that came with my Kit showed the temperature to be "right" the whole time. I was anal about peeking in with a flashlight at all hours. This little thermometer doesn't show degrees, it's just a three-way: too warm, just right, and too cool. It stayed in the checkmark center position the whole time.
Anyway, thank you. If they're indeed yeast rafts then they probably didn't cause the aftertaste, is that right? I've discussed this "sourness" a little in another thread (carbonation vs conditioning) and the only thing left to conclude is that I did something wrong during sanitizing.
Attached is a small picture of the thermometer on the keg. I'm brewing 1776 Ale right now and the "checkmark" has been very steady, indicating proper temperature. Safale US-05 yeast was used in this one. The two flip top bottles you see are two of the bottles I put back for more conditioning. I'm trying these two at the cooler temps in the cooler - the rest are in a top cabinet in the kitchen for warmth.
I'm seeking and following all advice given. I don't want another "sour" batch.