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Old 09-12-2010, 03:52 PM   #1
Redpiper
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Default Questions about effect of bottling warm, yeast, etc.

I'm not sure where to ask this, but am putting it here as it is more of a curiosity/learning question than anything urgent.

Because of my most recent bottling experience, I'm wondering about the effect of some things on the smell and taste at the time of bottling. First, let me say, I don't think my batch is ruined - I've read enough here to be fairly at ease about that. But, my most recent batch didn't smell all that pleasant when I opened and bottled it, and I had no desire to finish the hydro sample. This is in contrast to previous batches where in the sample I taste the promise of the future. I can best describe the smell as a strong beer smell (duh) dominated by the pungent smell of what I think is the yeast. At least, reminds me of the smell from when I dumped the batch 4 yeast cake in the garden. Sort of this mixed with the smell of stale beer gardens I remember from being a kid at the fair!

This was my 5th batch and here's what was different from the earlier ones:
First 5 gallon
First in bucket (all in MB size before)
First bottled warm (others spent a couple days in the frig prior)
First with Nottingham yeast

Really just wondering if anyone has any insight into how these various components might have played into this. I heard from another forum where I ended up asking this question that Nottingham can be fairly distinctive, not always matching the beer flavors (until it's done of course).

If it matters, recipe was all extract with steeping grains which I've done before.

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Old 09-12-2010, 05:33 PM   #2
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Default Watch your sanitation and fermentation temperature

From your description, it sounds like it might be caused by an infection, this can cause off flavors in your beer. Early on I had some of these weird yeast batches caused by my sanitation (or lack thereof). My brother said that my beer had a wang... funny.

Your other option may be the fermentation temperature or the bottle conditioning temperature. Too high of temperature can also affect the flavor of the yeast/beer especially if you get fruity notes such as banana flavors.

As per Nottingham, this is a tried and true ale yeast that should not give you this type of trouble

Odiwan Brewobi

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Old 09-12-2010, 07:48 PM   #3
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Well, of course infection is always a possibility, but I'm going to go with the hundreds (1000's?) of replies to noobs like myself about just relaxing... If I find out otherwise, I'll post accordingly.

Also, visibly no sign of infection whatsoever - just nice red beer.

Fermented a pretty consistent 68* for 3 weeks. Bottled at around 74*.

Isn't it possible Nottingham adds an odor that conditions out?

Wondering if others have found the taste at bottling not so pleasant only to find it good later?

Wondering if the cold crashing of prior batches helped knock out the yeast smell? Also if opening the top of a 5 gallon bucket releases a lot more smell than just draining from a little MB keg.

All this just to inform myself, to learn and understand why things happen as they do. Sort of how I figure things out - thanks for any replies.

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Old 09-12-2010, 08:50 PM   #4
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Haven't heard of Nottingham doing that, perhaps others will know

Good luck and let us know how the beer turns out

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Old 09-16-2010, 12:51 AM   #5
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Well, it's not infected. Took a partially carbed bottle down to the LHBS for input and it received high marks! So that's good to know.

None of the smell/taste at bottling was present.

So my current theory is I was experiencing an unfamiliar yeast, a warm batch, a greater quantity of brew, and a mild case of newb-itis.

Now looking forward to October when I'll get to taste the actual finished product.

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Old 09-16-2010, 09:42 AM   #6
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My guess would be that it was simply a matter of bottling warm rather than cold. Fridge temperatures have a bad habit of suppressing both flavor and aromatics in a big way. I'm sure it will turn out great given a little time!

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Old 09-16-2010, 12:05 PM   #7
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This is so interesting. I had the identical experience, using nottingham, making a cream of 3 crops. I am a noob myself, and assumed that the large amount of adjuncts was the culprit. Either that or I somehow oxidized the batch (because your description of the stale beer gardens was right on). The good news is that after only a couple of weeks in bottles, that smell is mostly gone, and I'm sure will soon be nothing but a memory in only another week or two.

I don't generally just dump hydrometer samples, it is fun trying to get to know your beer at its many stages, but in this case I was happy to see it go down the drain!

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