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Old 11-29-2012, 05:00 PM   #1
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Default Help with Unfamiliar Odor / Taste

I've got an odor in my newest pale ale that I can identify, but I don't know what's causing it. The pale ale is a Jamil Z recipe - the one on the beer du jour website, not the ones in the book. I used MO for the 2 row and the hops are cascade, centennial and Nugget (sub for Warrior). I used Denny's Fav 50 as the yeast from a properly sized yeast starter (it was fresh from the pack).

What I'm getting is a distinctive odor that is exactly the same one as the smell coming off the bottom of a yeast cake. Or if you're washing yeast and you've got the trub / hop sludge left at the bottom after decanting. It's a sharp organic type smell that isn't pleasing like normal hop smells. The beer smells like that in the nose and there's also an impression of it in the taste.

I want to know what I messed up to get that and I'm not educated enough in flaws yet. Is it what people call yeasty or is a DMS vegetal smell or is it something else?

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Old 11-29-2012, 08:28 PM   #2
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How long has it been in primary or secondary? Denny's 50 is a low flocculator so if there is a yeasty smell/taste then it will likely dissipate after cold crashing and/or using additional fining agents like gelatin before bottling. DMS smells/tastes more like overcooked veggies and it's pretty hard to mistake for anything else.

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Old 11-30-2012, 12:05 PM   #3
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It was in the primary for 4 weeks, then racked over to keg and put in the kegerator. It's been in there almost 6 weeks now and while not super clear, you can see clearly through it. I might be sensitive to this particular aroma since some people get it too and don't like it, while others think the beer is good and don't taste anything off.

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Old 11-30-2012, 12:23 PM   #4
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That's the exact way I describe centennial hops

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Old 11-30-2012, 01:24 PM   #5
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Huh maybe it is them? I've had them in beer before and never had this smell/taste but maybe they've been more subdued...

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Old 11-30-2012, 02:28 PM   #6
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If it was in the primary for four weeks, and it tastes/smells like yeast, then I'd say it's a yeasty character. I don't like strong yeast character in my beers, so I almost never leave a beer in the fermenter more than 2 weeks. Some people love that character, though, and routinely leave their beer in the fermenter for 3-4 weeks.

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Old 11-30-2012, 08:33 PM   #7
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I can't tell if its the yeast or the trub / hop matter that has that smell but you may be right. Usually I've been dry hopping and so I pull it off the yeast sooner. This time I didn't dry hop and left it on. It was fresh yeast from a properly sized starter so I thought it'd be ok. Time to rethink that maybe.

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Old 11-30-2012, 10:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munchman View Post
I can't tell if its the yeast or the trub / hop matter that has that smell but you may be right. Usually I've been dry hopping and so I pull it off the yeast sooner. This time I didn't dry hop and left it on. It was fresh yeast from a properly sized starter so I thought it'd be ok. Time to rethink that maybe.
There are a lot of brewers that like that character in their beers.

I was listening to a podcast (can't remember which one, but possibly Basic Brewing Radio) and they discussed long primaries vs medium long primaries vs short primaries. Something like 25% didn't care, and the remaining people had a preference. The thing was, almost exactly half of the people that expressed a preference liked the shorter primary (less yeast character) while the other half liked the longer primary (more yeast character).

So I suggest trying a similar beer with a 10 day primary, to see if that's the flavor that you're finding objectionable. I know for myself, I like a much "cleaner" beer without yeast character except for some esters in English beers.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:25 PM   #9
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That's a good suggestion. I might even do the same exact beer with the short primary and see how it turns out.

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