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Old 04-14-2008, 01:28 AM   #1
Hammer
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Default Strong smell

My Belgian Wit came out of secondary today. Been looking forward to it. I stuck my head in the bucket, cause it always smells so good to catch a fresh batch of beer.
It about knocked me down!
The smell was so strong I didn't know what it was at first. The Wyeast 3944 I used says it has some phenols (is that an odor?)
Anyway, long story short, once I'd FG'd it, stirred in my bottling sugar, and racked off a couple Tap-A-Drafts, the odor had disbursed enough to identify. It's strong of bubble gum. Memory tells me odors are esters. Can they be phenols, too? None of this seems terribly unpleasant, nor even abnormal, but I have never had such a strong smell before.
Comments on the odor? Amateur chemist want to explain phenols and esters? The bubble gum aroma? TIA!

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Old 04-14-2008, 01:47 AM   #2
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I'm thinking esters are definitely scents as wine tasters are fond of "volatizing their esters"...

After some wikipedia-ing I've concluded that esters are fragrant... and since "bubblegum" is actually a blend of different flavors, I'd say you've got a few different esters balancing to produce that signature "bubble gum" flavor. wintergreen (Methyl salicylate), peppermint (Methyl acetate), cinnamon (Ethyl cinnamate) and vanilla. I'm pretty sure phenols impart scents as well (but for some reason I'm associating this with medicinal type scents).

Anyway, I'm no chemist and I don't know much about phenols or esters, but my last batch of beer smelled strong of whiskey and the one before that smelled just like bananas. Yum!

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Old 04-14-2008, 01:57 AM   #3
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This page might help you pin down the off flavors:
http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html

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Old 04-14-2008, 02:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubbel dutch
I'm thinking esters are definitely scents as wine tasters are fond of "volatizing their esters"...

After some wikipedia-ing I've concluded that esters are fragrant... and since "bubblegum" is actually a blend of different flavors, I'd say you've got a few different esters balancing to produce that signature "bubble gum" flavor. wintergreen (Methyl salicylate), peppermint (Methyl acetate), cinnamon (Ethyl cinnamate) and vanilla. I'm pretty sure phenols impart scents as well (but for some reason I'm associating this with medicinal type scents).

Anyway, I'm no chemist and I don't know much about phenols or esters, but my last batch of beer smelled strong of whiskey and the one before that smelled just like bananas. Yum!

Thanks for the feedback. The longer I dwell on it, I think this is just the smell of the yeast I'm using. I liked the first batch well enough, I brewed a second right away and got a second use from the yeast in the primary fermenter. The yeast and bubbles in the blow-off pail smell just like the beer I just bottled, but not as strong.
One of my goals for this year is a true Hefewiezen, complete with the banana esters. Gotta find the yeast for that.Meantime, my tangerine wit should be ready in 3 weeks!!!
So, how do we get a smell of tequila and lime?
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Old 04-14-2008, 02:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquidicem
This page might help you pin down the off flavors:
http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html
He didn't mention bubble gum, but I think I have it isolated now. Looking forward to the beer!
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Old 04-14-2008, 04:16 AM   #6
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Hey Hammer~
I've been reading "Brew Like a Monk" lately and the author describes the flavor/odor profiles of several of the Belgian strains. "bubble gum" is right up there for several of the strains along with banana and clove, especially when fermented above 75 degrees. Maybe your fermentation heated up once it got going? Either way, it definitely sounds like a yeast effect and you're probably good to go! Happy drinking!

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Old 04-14-2008, 01:18 PM   #7
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WLP300 lends itself to a heavy bubble gum odor and flavor as well as banana when brewed at higher than 70F.

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Old 04-14-2008, 02:10 PM   #8
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Bubble gum, banana, and all those other fruit aromas come from esters. Clovey, spicy, peppery, smoky, and medicinal (i.e., Band-Aid) aromas come from phenols. All of those come from yeast, and I would certainly expect them from that yeast strain.

It sounds like you are right where you ought to be, and that you are fairly happy about that. Rock on!


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