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Old 09-22-2009, 02:56 PM   #1
EvilBrewer
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Default Problems with liquid yeast strains??

I've done 3 all grain batches using either Wyeast American Ale II or White Labs American Ale...I can't remember the exact names. But it's whatever was recommended for a Sierra Nevada PA clone. I also did a clone of Bell's Two Hearted IPA using the yeast strain that was recommended. Again...I think it was American Ale II or IV.

I use starters every time. I see temps of about 70-72 during the peak of fermentation...and about 67-68 afterward. I keg the beer afterward and have bottled a few six packs using a beer gun.

I'm about as careful as is practical when it comes to sanitation and the avoidance of oxidation post yeast pitching.

Each time, I get flavors that I consider 'off' in some way--especially when taste-tested against their professionally brewed counterpart. It's almost an over-sweetness that isn't quite right. And there are other flavors in there (subtle as the may be) which seem to cover up the flavor of the malt.

I've brewed 2 batches of all-grain using dry yeast (a blonde and an Oktoberfest-inspired Ale). Both have turned out great...much better than with any liquid strain I've used. My friends and I have agreed that they tasted like they could have come from a beer store (Just to be clear...I consider this a good thing!)

Anyone else have problems with liquid yeast?? Are they supersensitive to temperature?? I'm wondering if I should keep them in a water tub or something to keep the temperature lower during peak fermentation.

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Old 09-22-2009, 03:17 PM   #2
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I'm gonna suggest that it's underpitching that may be your problem. Were you using the Wyeast Activator pack or the Propagator pack? The Activator is larger & has more yeast. Even so, most liquid yeast packs (from Wyeast or White Labs) have fewer cells in them than dry yeast packs. A simple starter made the night before brewing may help to up your cell count.

Honestly, though, the SafAle US-05 dry yeast is the same strain as Wyeast 1056 (American Ale), it's a lot cheaper, & gives you a higher cell count. I'd say there's no harm or shame in using dry yeast. These days, much of it is great stuff.

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Old 09-22-2009, 04:40 PM   #3
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And I quote:

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...I use starters every time...
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:47 PM   #4
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I see temps of about 70-72 during the peak of fermentation...and about 67-68 afterward.
This may be the source of your specific issue; the strains you indicated are known for being very clean and highly attenuative, but these temperatures are too warm and likely resulting in esters and possibly fusel alcohols.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:08 PM   #5
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This may be the source of your specific issue; the strains you indicated are known for being very clean and highly attenuative, but these temperatures are too warm and likely resulting in esters and possibly fusel alcohols.
What kind of temperature would you recommend? I don't have any sort of climate control; I just keep the thermostat as consistent as possible. My basement is pretty reliably in the 67-69 range. Suggestions?
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:13 PM   #6
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What kind of temperature would you recommend? I don't have any sort of climate control; I just keep the thermostat as consistent as possible. My basement is pretty reliably in the 67-69 range. Suggestions?
I'd suggest keeping the fermenter at approximately 65°; just know that fermentation is an exothermic reaction, meaning heat is generated. When your basement is reading 67, it's likely that the fermenter is a minimum of five degrees above ambient.

The simplest way to drop the fermentation temperature is the swamp cooler, which is really nothing more than a Rubbermaid bin half filled with water with the fermentation vessel inside. Frozen water bottles swapped out a couple times a day can easily drop the temperature 5 - 10 degrees. If this is difficult to do because of your schedule, you can cover the fermenter with a wet T-shirt and keep a fan blowing on it. Evaporative cooling at its best.
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by flyangler18 View Post
I'd suggest keeping the fermenter at approximately 65°; just know that fermentation is an exothermic reaction, meaning heat is generated. When your basement is reading 67, it's likely that the fermenter is a minimum of five degrees above ambient.

The simplest way to drop the fermentation temperature is the swamp cooler, which is really nothing more than a Rubbermaid bin half filled with water with the fermentation vessel inside. Frozen water bottles swapped out a couple times a day can easily drop the temperature 5 - 10 degrees. If this is difficult to do because of your schedule, you can cover the fermenter with a wet T-shirt and keep a fan blowing on it. Evaporative cooling at its best.
Thanks for the information...I've heard of both of these methods but have not actually tried them out. I was wondering...can you tell me from experience how many bottles to use? I guess I'm just worried about using too much ice and taking the temperature too low for the yeast to do their job.
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:30 PM   #8
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If this is difficult to do because of your schedule, you can cover the fermenter with a wet T-shirt and keep a fan blowing on it. Evaporative cooling at its best.
I did this and it made the room I ferment in smell all moldy. Is this a common thing with using the evaporation technique? It only takes a t-shirt two day to start smelling bad when its wet...
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