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Old 10-10-2010, 06:13 PM   #1
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Default Too much banana flavor

I recently brewed my first American Rye and its been on tap for about 2 weeks and it has a very strong banana flavor. Here is the basic recipe info:

50% 2-row
25% malted wheat
25% malted rye
WLP001- Pitched and fermented at 66
Pitched a starter and used pure oxygen with a diffusion stone for 1 min.

It is a tasty beer, just a bit strong for what I was looking for, the banana-ness is almost as strong as a German Hefe. I know that the enzymes in wheat contribute to the banana flavor in a German Hefe, but Im just curious if anyone has any thoughts on what is giving me this strong fruity flavor.

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Old 10-10-2010, 06:29 PM   #2
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Different yeasts will impart more or less fruity tones and aromas to the beer. But, if you have a very strong banana presence in your brew (i.e., esters), my guess would be that your fermentation temperature was too high. You wrote that you fermented at 66F, so that makes this theory and your issue puzzling to me. Was the temp always 66F?

To my knowledge, there's nothing you can do to get rid of the banana, except just let it condition for months. Who knows, it may lessen or get cleared out altogether.

Read this page - look for Esters about 1/2 way down the page.
http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html

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Old 10-10-2010, 06:30 PM   #3
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Ive fermented this yeast at 66 with numerous other beers and never had this happen before. My understanding was that WLP001 was pretty neutral to begin with?

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Old 10-10-2010, 06:37 PM   #4
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if you underpitched you can expect banana even at 66. one vial directly in the wort is probably a significant underpitch.

did you use just one vial? did you make a starter? what was the date on the vial?

if this hasn't happened to you before maybe this vial was alot older than usual

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Old 10-10-2010, 06:50 PM   #5
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Read above. I had made a starter. It was the pitching amount according to Mr Malty.

It was the same fermentation temp, pitching rate, and oxygen amount I use for all of my beers i use WLP001 on at this gravity.

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Old 10-10-2010, 07:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnybrew View Post
You wrote that you fermented at 66F, so that makes this theory and your issue puzzling to me. Was the temp always 66F?
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Thats what is puzzling me too. Its definitely esters, but it was in my fermentation chamber, which is temp controlled. Once fermentation was basically done, I let the temperature rise to 68 to help the yeast finish up, but that shouldnt have an effect that late in fermentation
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:28 AM   #7
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I read a story once of a guy whose kid dropped crayons into his primary. You don't have young kids walking around with fistfuls of bananas, do you?

I'm mostly joking about that, but anything is possible.

Otherwise, I'm really stumped on this. Using a ferm chamber really kills my original theory.

I guess it is possible your yeast was mislabeled, but I think the odds of that are astronomically thin.

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Old 10-11-2010, 02:42 PM   #8
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Starter from slurry or vial?

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Old 10-12-2010, 08:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chode720 View Post
Thats what is puzzling me too. Its definitely esters, but it was in my fermentation chamber, which is temp controlled. Once fermentation was basically done, I let the temperature rise to 68 to help the yeast finish up, but that shouldnt have an effect that late in fermentation
Was it 66/68 ambient or was that the temp of the beer?

There is a difference.

If it was 66/68 ambient then your beer was actually at 71/73 or more.

You would want to set your temp controller at ~60/61 to get the beer at 66.
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Starter from slurry or vial?
Starter was from washed slurry. Maybe about a month or so old that I had washed and split into several vials. I also made a pale ale a week prior with yeast from the same washing and fermented at 66, so I dont think it was an issue with the washing/storage.

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Was it 66/68 ambient or was that the temp of the beer?

There is a difference.

If it was 66/68 ambient then your beer was actually at 71/73 or more.

You would want to set your temp controller at ~60/61 to get the beer at 66.
Temperature probe is taped to the side of the fermenter and insulated with lots of cotton balls. Ive done it like this many times before and seems to be a pretty accurate reading of the actual beer temp
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