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Old 02-14-2008, 04:22 AM   #1
Benny Blanco
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Default Butterscotch Wit

As most of you may have guessed, butterscotch isn't exactly what I was looking for in my wit. Coriander and a bit of orange. Thats all I wanted......was that too much to ask for?

Anyway, I did everything fine in this recipe. WLP400 at 66 degrees. 2 weeks in primary, then decided to put it in the secondary for a week due to a strong sulfur smell in the primary that worried me. Bottled as usual. It's been about 2 weeks and I tried one a week ago and the sulfur was still there so I feared infection. Now, there is a strong butterscotch flavor/aroma. I'm guessing this will not fade in time.

I had high hopes for this batch since everything went smoothly. What gives?

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Old 02-14-2008, 11:34 AM   #2
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butterscotch is usually from diacytl and will fade in time as the yeast cleans it up. At least, I hope. I can't get to white labs site from work, so I don't know if that's one of the properties of WLP400. I do know that many yeasts have sulfur smell as normal fermentation, so I wouldn't be worried about that.

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Old 02-14-2008, 02:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny Blanco
As most of you may have guessed, butterscotch isn't exactly what I was looking for in my wit. Coriander and a bit of orange. Thats all I wanted......was that too much to ask for?

Anyway, I did everything fine in this recipe. WLP400 at 66 degrees. 2 weeks in primary, then decided to put it in the secondary for a week due to a strong sulfur smell in the primary that worried me. Bottled as usual. It's been about 2 weeks and I tried one a week ago and the sulfur was still there so I feared infection. Now, there is a strong butterscotch flavor/aroma. I'm guessing this will not fade in time.

I had high hopes for this batch since everything went smoothly. What gives?
Definitely sounds like diacytle ... which is very odd sounding. You don't usually get a very pronounced diacytle taste in a finished ale like that unless is wasn't finished and was fermented too cold. Though with all ales its well within style, but most are usually fermented warm enough to clean up the diacytle taste. Also, I've made lots of wits and have never had a strong sulfer smell with any of them at any stage of the fermentation.

Looking at the White Labs site, you were a little low on your fermentation temp (suggested 67° - 74°F) but you weren't that low. Are you sure your ferment temperatures were correct? Perhaps you were off by 6°-7° which would definitely account for the diacytle. Also, maybe you pitched a vial of something else, thinking you were pitching WL400.
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Old 02-14-2008, 04:12 PM   #4
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After considering everything else, It seems that the temp was too low. I should have bumped it up a few degrees at the end of fermentation.

I've read too much about how bad your beer comes out in high temps that I never put much thought into low temps. Live and learn, I guess.

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Old 02-14-2008, 04:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny Blanco
I've read too much about how bad your beer comes out in high temps that I never put much thought into low temps. Live and learn, I guess.
That is true that a lot of ale yeasts preform best when operating at the bottom of their optimum range. The problem comes, though, when you're subjecting your yeast to below optimum temps.

AND typically, belgian strains are far more forgiving, and usually prefer, warmer temperatures. That's why you hear of people letting their doubles, strong ales and saisons ferment at temps higher than mid-70's
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:53 PM   #6
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Yup, my last two ales fermented with WLP001 or US05 both have a diacetyl flavor and they both fermented at 62F which I think is too cold. Luckily, my last IPA was just racked to keg and I still have a chance to age it at about 70F for a bit before putting it in the cold.

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