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Old 05-09-2008, 07:59 PM   #1
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Default OMG - Ruined Beer? Another Saison Question

I pulled a bit of my Saison today for a hydro reading - moved maybe one point lower to 1.009 (fermentation will be two weeks this Sunday). Anyway, I noticed that it had an odd aroma. Sort of like a cross between an overripe apple, citrus and alcohol...and, I'm afraid to say, maybe a barnyard funk or rubber? At the time of the sampling, the temperature was about 84 or 85, though the tolerances of Wyeast Saison yeast is 70-95.

This is my first time fermenting this warm, so I'm not sure if I've overdone it, but I'd bet that the warmest it ever got was 92 or so. The beer tastes just fine, very unique, if a little citrusy, but in all my time homebrewing, I never experienced such an unusual odor. Can anyone vouch to what that might be? I fear it might be autolysis, though I don't think it's fusels because I can't taste any. In fact, I've never had "good" Saison before, so maybe this is one of its trademarks? But if it is autolysis or something, then I'm going to remove the yeast right away. As a precaution, I turned the heating pads off and am allowing it to return to room temperature of about 68-70.



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Old 05-09-2008, 08:15 PM   #2
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my saison smells funky for a while too - and always seems to smell worse than it tastes



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Old 05-09-2008, 08:20 PM   #3
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my saison smells funky for a while too - and always seems to smell worse than it tastes
Thanks for the feedback, it's a load off to hear that. Should I maintain my heat, then, until I'm ready to remove the yeast?
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:22 PM   #4
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I wish I had an answer to this - but I always ferment in my closet at room temp, which around this time of year is mid 70s. I've never attempted any sort of heat control with a saison.

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Old 05-09-2008, 08:47 PM   #5
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I suppose I'll take my chances on this, since it's already beyond the point of no return. Can you tell me if those unusual smells either fade or become something more pleasant eventually? I'm also curious if a higher temp, though within the yeasts' tolerance, would cause premature autolysis or fusels?

Finally, maybe it's because I'm using a minibrew fermenter and using such heat extracted unpleasantness from the plastic walls? Gasp...

EDIT: Hop aroma is minimal to zero. Should I dry hop some hallertau, tettnanger or saaz if I have it? I also have some Liberty too.

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Old 05-09-2008, 09:25 PM   #6
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My smell faded a bit in the bottle, but always had a 'smells worse than it tastes' kinda vibe to it.

I fixed it by adding buttloads of fruit the next time around. I've fremented them in buckets and carboys, so I don't think it's plastic from your minibrew. I don't see how dry hopping would hurt it any - certainly can't get WORSE smelling.

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Old 05-09-2008, 10:29 PM   #7
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I can't tell you if you're around the correct smell or taste for what you've got there. Your temps are just fine and perhaps your nose just doesn't like the smell of a saison.

All I can really say is that I highly doubt it is autolysis. Saisons are one of my favorite styles to brew and with the temps you've been at and for the time you've had it in a fermenter, you should be fine. i would be far more concerned with placing heating elements on plastic, but I doubt that's a problem either.

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Old 05-09-2008, 10:32 PM   #8
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Oh you want the horseblanket, farmhouse smell. No doubt about it.

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Old 05-10-2008, 02:45 AM   #9
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Oh you want the horseblanket, farmhouse smell. No doubt about it.
Thanks to you and carnevoodoo for also helping set my mind at ease. I've never made such a truly authentic Belgian style, even with the temps like this. I was expecting something with more fruity esters or spicy phenols, but I would definitely say there's a horseblanket, maybe a slightly burnt rubber thing going on here. Whenever I've heard of farm yard smells or horseblanket, it was usually in the context of lambics or Flanders Reds, etc.

I never doubted whether it was good. I knew it was unique smell-wise and it tasted just fine and I look forward to developing my taste in Saisons. Do you guys thing it was a bad idea to throw in an ounce of Hallertauer for dry hopping this 8 gallon batch? I figure it couldn't hurt myself...
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:50 AM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback, it's a load off to hear that. Should I maintain my heat, then, until I'm ready to remove the yeast?
Definitely maintain your temps. Belgian yeasts are well known to drop out and quit when the temp is lowered.

As for dry hopping, that is not often done in Belgiums. I think I would just let it ride as is.


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