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Old 03-23-2006, 04:39 PM   #1
samuelzero
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Default Can high ferm temps cause phenols?

I made reference to this problem in Walker's recent post about a slump, then decided to start a new thread about it. Sorry for the redundancy.

My first ever batch (pale ale, og 1.054) tastes pretty good, but has a definite clove taste. I'm told this indicates the presence of phenols, which can be caused by bacteria or wild yeast.

For some reason, I don't think it's bacterial in this case. I haven't had any gushers, no rings around the bottle necks, and like I mentioned before, it actually tastes pretty good.

I know higher fermentation temps can cause fusel alcohols - aren't phenols a form of fusel alcohol? Alot of the stuff I'm reading about phenolic flavors point to sanitation issues, though I wonder if high fermentation temps could have been the cause? The room temperature was in the high 70s for some of the fermentation.

What do you guys think? Have any of you had a pale ale come out tasting like a hefeweizen? Should I switch yeast? Am I gambling to use my plastic fermenter again?

Thanks, all. And rock on.

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Old 03-23-2006, 04:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samuelzero
What do you guys think? Have any of you had a pale ale come out tasting like a hefeweizen? Should I switch yeast? Am I gambling to use my plastic fermenter again?

Thanks, all. And rock on.
Two of the first three batches I made after moving here to NC came out with a banana-like flavor that reminded me of hefeweizen. This was due to my fermentation temps being up around 75°F. I have brewed the exact same recipes again, using the exact same equipment and ingredients, but with better temp control, and they have come out fine.

High temps can lead to fusel alcohols.
High temps can lead to clove-like phenols.
High temps can lead to banana/fruity esters.

So, if you make a pale ale in the upper 70's, you can get one that tastes like a HW and gives you hangovers.

-walker
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Old 03-23-2006, 05:00 PM   #3
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Thanks Walker. I have to say thanks again - you've responded to every single question I've had, and I really appreciate it.

I'm going to try putting my fermenting bucket in a large tupperware container with ice water next time. I hear this works pretty well. I live in NYC on the top floor of a building, and during the winter it is hot as hell at virtually all times. I swear it's cooler in here in the summer sometimes...

Should the ice water be added after the lag period, once fermentation begins, or right after pitching the yeast?

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Old 03-23-2006, 05:17 PM   #4
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Should the ice water be added after the lag period, once fermentation begins, or right after pitching the yeast?
I can't answer that one. I have a fridge dedicated to fermenting.
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Old 03-23-2006, 05:22 PM   #5
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I wish I had room for a second fridge...

Does anyone know when to add the ice water when using this method to control ferm temp? I'd hate to prevent the yeast from getting a good strong start.

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Old 03-23-2006, 05:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samuelzero
I wish I had room for a second fridge...

Does anyone know when to add the ice water when using this method to control ferm temp? I'd hate to prevent the yeast from getting a good strong start.
let the yeast get started at around 75°F, then at the first signs of active fermentation, bring your temp down to where you'd like to ferment....
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Old 03-23-2006, 07:03 PM   #7
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What Lou said...except that if you're using a starter, there's no reason not to go ahead and start cooling it right away, as fermentation will start before the wort has a chance to cool to much.

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Old 03-23-2006, 11:00 PM   #8
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When doing a lager I never wait for fermentation to start before popping it into the fridge at 50°f. By the time it cools down it has started fermenting anyway.

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