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Old 01-04-2013, 01:45 AM   #1
senfo
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Default I made an Irish Red....monkey beer?

I recently brewed an Irish Red with an OG of 1.056 using WLP004. I had pretty high hopes for this beer because it tasted great before I primed it with 2.5 oz of priming sugar for a 2.5 gallon batch. Admittedly, I only waited 10 days before cracking the first bottle open, but it now has a very distinctly sweet (maybe banana) characteristic that I don't like at all.

I don't recall tasting a hint of this prior to bottling. The beer fermented for roughly 16 days around 66 degree and comfortably reached the target FG of 1.016 F before bottling.

The first couple of bottles I sampled were grossly under-carbonated (possibly because I didn't give them enough time) and, as previously mentioned, had an unpleasant sweet taste.

I've done some research and it sounds like banana flavors usually come from higher fermenting temperatures, but I monitored the temperatures throughout the process fairly closely and they never got above 66 degrees.

From White Labs description for WLP004, I quote the following: "It produces a slight hint of diacetyl, balanced by a light fruitiness and slight dry crispness."

Does my description sound like an expected characteristic from this yeast strain? I could deal with "light fruitiness", but this is overpowering the beer to the point I can't taste anything else. If the issue is the strain, are there any others that would better suit an Irish Red (a lager, perhaps)?

I was considering switching to WLP005 for the next batch of the same recipe. I'd lose some attenuation potential, but White Labs doesn't mention the "fruitiness" characteristic.

Any help on this will be greatly appreciated. I was very excited about this batch and it didn't turn out anywhere close to where I was expecting it to.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention, somebody recommended I keep the bottles at a slightly warmer temperature to allow the yeast to do their job easier and make a good carbonated beer, so the bottles sat for about ten days between 68 and 72 degrees.

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Old 01-04-2013, 01:54 AM   #2
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WLP001 or WLP007. Both produce very few fruity esters.

Since diacetyl is a fusel alcohol which is created by the yeasts during their initial feasting fermentation, it's converted into estery compounds later in the fermentation when the yeast has little else to eat.

Make sure that when you use a fermentation chamber, you have a way of placing the probe of the termometer as close to the beer as possible. I tape mine to the side of the fermentation buckets I use with duct tape. Beer warms up quite a bit above ambient temperatures when fermenting so this helps manage that a little better.

Second, you could have developed those characteristics after bottling. If you had residual sugars or diacetyl in the bottles and let them carb up in warm conditions over 70 degress F, you could wind up with more of the banana/clove characteristic.

Look for yeast strains that offer crisp, clean fermentation with low diacetyl and low esters in their profiles. Live and learn.

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Old 04-25-2013, 04:08 AM   #3
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Did the banana/fruitiness ever mellow out? I am getting the same notes in my Irish Red.

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Old 05-05-2013, 04:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isleofman View Post
Did the banana/fruitiness ever mellow out? I am getting the same notes in my Irish Red.
Unfortunately, they did not. They actually got worse.
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