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Old 09-30-2008, 04:23 AM   #1
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Default Lager tastes like hefe

So I think I might have brought the temperature up for a diacetyl rest to quickly. This is suppose to be a cerveza style lager, which is one of the least flavorful beers, and it has almost the same taste as a hefe, that banana-ish flavor. I was only .005 away from my target gravity when I raised it for a few days.

I am thinking that the best option now is to just drop the temps down to lagering to settle out the yeast, then just transfer to kegs and let it lager out for a few weeks.

This is probably my first and last lager experience though. I did quite a few things wrong, and its been more of a hasle that it is worth since I dont care much for lagers anyway. One key thing for all first time lager brewers... Make a starter!. Niether one of my lagers met the expected final gravity and I just know that this is the reason. They have sat for 3 weeks in the primary. I dont do secondarys so this is plenty to ensure that fermenation was done.

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Old 09-30-2008, 02:08 PM   #2
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What yeast did you use, and what were your fermentation conditions?

Just not making a starter could be enough. Since your pitching count was so low, the yeast had to grow up a lot more before starting fermentation. That leads to higher ester production and, thus, the banana character.


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Old 09-30-2008, 11:35 PM   #3
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Both yeasts were american lager yeast. One was a smack pack from wyeast the other was a liquid yeast from white labs. They had no cerveza yeast and said that this would be a near exact. And I dont think for such a low gravity beer that it is goig to make much difference.

Fermentation was done at about 50-52 degrees for 13 days. I checked gravity at that point and everything was on schedule with very little to go for the diacetyl rest. So I went ahead and raised it up to 63-65 for a little over 3 days, checked gravity, and the american lager didnt change at all, the cerveza dropped only another .002. So it is basically done fermenting at 1.018, seems way to high. Might just have to be a sweet, banana flavored cerveza... definatly hold the lime in this one.

I still think I may just chill this right down and let the yeast drop right out for several days, then transfer to keg and lager. Probably my best solution at this point.

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Old 09-30-2008, 11:40 PM   #4
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I was going to say almost the same things that TexLaw said. Stressed yeast can have some esters (banana and other fruity bubblegum flavors), and not making a starter for a lager can be a cause. Your FG is also high for a Mexican cerveza, again probably because of stressed yeast.

Lagering may improve the flavor somewhat.

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Old 10-01-2008, 10:33 PM   #5
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gravity doesn't matter on lagers...you NEED a starter, or slurry...or a used cake.

ask the big lager guys/gals here...most of them will pitch 2-3 quarts of starter for a 5 gallon lager that doesn't have a particularly high OG.

time should do a reasonable job of healing this brew. I don't think your ester production occurred at the end/diacetyl rest.

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