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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Wee Heavy Tastes Like Solvent, Now What
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:45 PM   #11
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Another note, my LHBS insisted that there would be no taste difference between the scotch ale yeast versus the ESB yeast. I trusted him, but question if I should have.
Both yeasts create malt forward beers with some esters and such.

As far as the advice your LHBS gave you, I'd say it's be like going ot the grocery store telling them you need turkey for thanksgiving and they tell you they don't have turkey but chicken is pretty much the same thing. Sure, they're sort of close, closer then steak vs turkey, but they aren't the same and will not provide the same results.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:00 PM   #12
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Yeah, you need a starter for a beer of this size if you're only pitching one pack. But, another issue I think you're facing is fermentation temperature, and here the difference in the yeast strains really comes into play. 1728 (low of 55°) can ferment a lot colder than the 1968 (low of 64°). The Scottish styles really benefit from a cold ferment, along with a lagering period.

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Old 09-30-2012, 04:10 PM   #13
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Another note, my LHBS insisted that there would be no taste difference between the scotch ale yeast versus the ESB yeast. I trusted him, but question if I should have.
In addition to pitching a much higher amount of yeast (I would probably pitch a 2L starter) Scottish ales are typically fermented rather cool so they have a clean fermentation character...think high 50's or low 60's. If you are just letting this thing go at ambient temperatures, I can definitely see it building up some fusel alcohol character as well. But if you only pitched one or even two vials with no starter, that's going to be part of the problem as well. Really if you are pitching proper quantities and fermenting in the right range, I don't think an ESB yeast is going to give you that much of a different character to the beer. Not every Scottish ale (or wee heavy) has a smoky character; that is just some weird impression that people seem to be stuck on. The most important thing is the maltiness.

The good news is that the fusel does tend to fade over time. Stick that beer in the corner for a year or so and forget about it. Then when you come back it will taste better.


Also: An English ale yeast is perfectly capable of fermenting in the high 50's/low 60's without any trouble. I have done it many times. People get stuck on the numbers the yeast companies put on their packaging.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:17 PM   #14
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In addition to pitching a much higher amount of yeast (I would probably pitch a 2L starter) Scottish ales are typically fermented rather cool so they have a clean fermentation character...think high 50's or low 60's. If you are just letting this thing go at ambient temperatures, I can definitely see it building up some fusel alcohol character as well. But if you only pitched one or even two vials with no starter, that's going to be part of the problem as well. Really if you are pitching proper quantities and fermenting in the right range, I don't think an ESB yeast is going to give you that much of a different character to the beer. Not every Scottish ale (or wee heavy) has a smoky character; that is just some weird impression that people seem to be stuck on. The most important thing is the maltiness.

The good news is that the fusel does tend to fade over time. Stick that beer in the corner for a year or so and forget about it. Then when you come back it will taste better.


Also: An English ale yeast is perfectly capable of fermenting in the high 50's/low 60's without any trouble. I have done it many times. People get stuck on the numbers the yeast companies put on their packaging.
My Scottish 80/- has a distinct smokey aroma. I added no smoked or peated malt. I fermented at 54F. None of my ESBs have the slightest hint of smokiness. I'm not stuck on smokiness but it seems to be a characteristic of the Scottish Ale yeast. At least for me it will be what differentiates this beer from my ESB.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:05 PM   #15
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My Scottish 80/- has a distinct smokey aroma. I added no smoked or peated malt. I fermented at 54F. None of my ESBs have the slightest hint of smokiness. I'm not stuck on smokiness but it seems to be a characteristic of the Scottish Ale yeast. At least for me it will be what differentiates this beer from my ESB.
I would assume the hops and bitterness levels are markedly different, too. Again, just to be clear I am not saying that Scottish ales shouldn't be smoky, I'm saying NOT ALL Scottish ales are smoky. It is not *the* distinguishing character of Scottish ales that many homebrewers make it out to be. They are stuck on that because they see the words "Scottish Ale Yeast" on the manufacturer's website, and somehow extrapolate that every ale in Scotland is fermented with that one strain.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:29 PM   #16
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If by solvent, you mean paint thinner, dump it, it won't get any better. I made a stout that tasted like paint thinner and it never got any better even after a few months.

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Old 10-01-2012, 10:01 PM   #17
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I wouldn't say it tastes like paint thinner, but it is has very strong alcohol tones.
I am bringing a sample to my homebrewing club this week to get their take, dump it or wait it out....l

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Old 10-02-2012, 12:28 AM   #18
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It's just fusel alcohols. They will fade over time. I say stick it in the corner and forget about it for several months, then try it again.

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Old 10-02-2012, 12:43 AM   #19
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I agree with weirdboy; it's most likely just fusel from uncontrolled ferm temps. Let it sit at least 6 months and then get back to to it.

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Old 10-02-2012, 12:45 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weirdboy
It's just fusel alcohols. They will fade over time. I say stick it in the corner and forget about it for several months, then try it again.
In my experience fusels don't fade. Had a heffy that was fermented way too hot. A year latter it was still bad. Off flavors from the yeast will fade but the fusels aren't going anywhere
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