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Old 02-20-2006, 10:34 PM   #1
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Default need advice on my yeast for tonight's brew

Hey fellas... I think I know what to do here, but I wanted to hear your input.

I smacked my Wyeast 1082 yesterday and set it on a ledge above my stereo receiver where it was a little warmer. At some point within the next couple of hours, it actually fell off the ledge and landed on the receiver, where the temp of the air coming out of the venting is considerably warmer than nice, clean fermentation temps.

The bag swelle pretty quickly, and I moved it back to the ledge as soon as I saw what it looked like. It was lying there in a too warm place for probably 3 hours max.

Anyway, I made my starter last night, and when I cut the smack pack open... whew! it smelled a little ripe. My thinking it that the fermentation that happened in the little smack pack has got some pretty serious off-flavors from the high temp. It certainly smells like a batch I had brewed at too high a temp once... I guess you could say it smells like plastic bandages, but that would be strange b/c it smelled like this right out of the smack pack so no bleach was ever involved.

I went ahead and made my starter and it's been sitting and doing it's thing in a more controlled climate (it's in my fermentation fridge between 61 and 69 degrees F). Yeast appears healthy and reproduced nicely in the starter over the last 20 hours.

So.. here's the question... if the yeast did produce off flavors in the smack-pack, do you think I am still safe to use the starter in my batch tonight, or will these off flavors continue to be produced in the full batch?

My hunch and common sense says that it will be just fine to use and, as long as I throw away the starter's liquid and pitch only the yeast slurry out of the bottle, I'll be just fine and dandy to brew tonight.

-walker

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Old 02-20-2006, 10:40 PM   #2
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Interesting conundrum.

I don't know what I'd do. One part of me says it will be fine, another part is scared to death of anything phenolic. I had a batch go bad with phenolics and it is a taste/smell you will NEVER forget. I'm scared shi***ss of it now.

Do you have any dry yeast you can pitch instead?

I always keep a few packs of Safale-56 and Nottingham around in case I need it for situations like this. It is dirt cheap and can be a brew-saver in a pinch.

I don't know what to tell you, bud.

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Old 02-20-2006, 10:40 PM   #3
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I think the yeast will be fine and not produce any off flavors in the beer.

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Old 02-20-2006, 11:05 PM   #4
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Also you should hold your starter at room temps as you are only growing yeast, not making beer yet. The warmer the temps (within reason) the better/faster the growth.

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Old 02-20-2006, 11:18 PM   #5
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I'd sniff the starter and if that smells good you're good to go. If it smells off I'd be scared of it. I usually let my packs swell at room temp (65F lately), but after I pitch them in a starter I set the growler on top of the satellite receiver which I leave on and let it do it's starting there...it gets fairly warm but I've never had any off-flavor problems.

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Old 02-21-2006, 12:30 AM   #6
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I bet it'll be fine.

Having dry yeast on hand is a really good idea. I had a bad starter last summer and ended up having to drive 3 hours for yeast. I keep some dry around now

If I'm ever in doubt, I'll pour the starter liquid into a glass and have a sniff and taste. That'll tell you what's up.

Dude, care to elaborate on the bad phenolic batch? I don't think I've ever had that. What caused it? What are the chatracteristics?

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Old 02-21-2006, 12:35 AM   #7
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i've got some dried yeast in the fridge, but I really want to avoid using it if possible.

I'm going to sniff and taste the starter in a bit. Provided it's not wretched tasting, I'll go ahead and use it.

thanks for the input, guys.

-walker

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Old 02-21-2006, 12:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janx
I bet it'll be fine.

Having dry yeast on hand is a really good idea. I had a bad starter last summer and ended up having to drive 3 hours for yeast. I keep some dry around now

If I'm ever in doubt, I'll pour the starter liquid into a glass and have a sniff and taste. That'll tell you what's up.

Dude, care to elaborate on the bad phenolic batch? I don't think I've ever had that. What caused it? What are the chatracteristics?

Cheers
I'm pretty sure it was because I didn't rinse a keg well enough after soaking it in bleach.

It was a strong band-aid tasting beer. It was really gross. I hope that never happens again.
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Old 02-21-2006, 12:53 AM   #9
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Chlorophenols can be produced by chlorine reacting with organic compounds, but can also be caused by bacterial action. As far as I know, they cannot be caused by fermenting at too high a temperature.
As you smelled the odor immediately upon opening the pack, it would seem probable that the pack was contaminated before you opened it. On the other hand, it could be that the high temperature caused some other side effects that you wrongly interpret as Chlorophenols. I know that my nose occasionally plays tricks on me such as causing me to sneeze violently while decanting a bottle of CA glue (super glue).
Personally, I would not use the yeast, and would substitute one of my emergency dry yeasts. (I have Safale S04 and Nottingham)
It scares me that I seem to be similar to Dude

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Old 02-21-2006, 03:23 PM   #10
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change of direction here. I ended up not feeling too well last night so I went to bed very early. I won't be able to brew until tomorrow night, so I'll check out my starter when I get home from work Wednesday... hopefully it's still good to go.

FYI: I am beginning to think that the smell I likened to bandaids might have just been the smell of Iodophor. I had dunked the smack-pack in my sanitizer solution prior to snipping it open, so it kind of smelled like a hospital.

-walker

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