Ever brewed a drain pour? I haven’t yet but I know eventually one will come. According to every source I’ve seen the beer is perfectly safe to drink drain pours thanks to the alcohol and the hops. Drink it yourself if you hate wasting but I wouldn’t serve it unless you warn others. Of course, you could use it for revenge on those who take beer but don’t share their own or help buy ingredients!
As a homebrewer experimentation is a must. Of course, not everything will work out but keeping notes will help you perfect your brews. Keep a list of the exact ingredients and your boil addition times. Make notes of any problems with fermentation, cooling or even your boil. Hopefully, it won’t happen but at least with plenty of notes you can avoid a drain pour the next time.
The style isn’t the end all for causing drain pours. If your beer fails in a certain style but tastes good then go with it. I’m all for a stout that turned into a sour as long as it is great. On the other side if a flavor of something became too strong or doesn’t work then pour it. I’ve had beers that tasted like everything from soap and ashtrays from professional breweries. I know these were potent beers but come on. Potency can downright make you sick with certain flavors!
Save your beer or at least use it!
Blending is the first thing that you can try. Brew another beer or mix another beer you have sitting around with the failed batch. If you’re lucky it will dilute or balance out your off flavors. Otherwise, I would use the beer for culinary uses. Beer can easily be used in everything from bread to marinades and only really bad off flavors would make them useless here.
This one is for professional breweries or you future pro brewers. Please never ever release drain pours to the public. Starting out any business is hard as money is tight but you are better off pouring a bad beer down the drain than ruining your reputation. I’ve had beer from a few breweries which should have been poured out. I’m a nice person and know mistakes happen so everyone gets a second chance. It’s getting harder now as new breweries come out and I’d rather try a new beer over someone who made a bad impression with their beer.
People are funny as they love when things go well but are more likely to remember when something goes bad. Just look at a restaurant that you can tell sells a high volume but has few reviews. Typically you will see a lot of bad reviews as people really enjoy expressing their annoyance of bad experiences. I personally don’t really leave reviews but feel I must when something really lets me down!