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Old 09-21-2009, 12:12 AM   #1
ZachGild
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Default Bad Yeast, Infection, or...?

I have a all-grain hefeweizen cooling in a keg that is throwing some pretty sour unpleasant smells (bready, yeasty, sour) and a worse flavor. My troubleshooting line of thought is leading me towards a bad batch of yeast... is this possible, or would it be an infection from something else?

There was a little mold growing on the outside of the primary bucket (it was sitting in a larger bucket of cold water in a makeshift swamp cooler) but inside everything was normal. Here's the stats:

5.5lb wheat
3.5lb pilsner
1.0lb rice hulls
0.5lb munich
.75lb honey
assorted hops to 10IBU
O.G. 1.050
F.G. 1.010
Aerated and pitched Wyeast 3068 at 63 degrees F, ferment for 7 days at 62-65 degrees

There is no esters (clove or banana) to speak of (this plus the sour smell leads me to think there was problem with the yeast), but a nice color and pretty cloudy. How could I tell if the yeast happened to be old/bad, when compared to any particular infection? Also, my wheats seem to never work out compared to other batches I do, any hints or secret ingredients to not have wheat beers end up tasting off? Thanks.

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Old 09-21-2009, 12:41 AM   #2
Gremlyn
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Only 7 days? Let it go another week or two and see if the smells goes away.

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Old 09-21-2009, 12:47 AM   #3
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+1 on waiting a while.

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Old 09-21-2009, 12:52 AM   #4
LordHedgie
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Old yeast shouldn't give you off-flavors, at least not like you describe. Normally I'd say 7 days is enough for a hefe, but that's a low fermentation temp for Wyeast 3068, which normally should be used at 64-75. Sour implies infection, but I'd give it another week before passing judgment based on your fermentation temperature.

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Old 09-21-2009, 02:15 AM   #5
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Welcome to HBT!
I doubt there is anything wrong with your beer. Fermentation does cause several interesting aromas. Around here such occurrences are referred to as rhino farts and they are pretty common with some kinds of yeasts.

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Old 09-21-2009, 02:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordHedgie View Post
Old yeast shouldn't give you off-flavors, at least not like you describe.
I do plan on waiting to see, but on this batch I have my doubts. As I think about it, old yeast would lead to lower attenuation more than any other side effect.

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Originally Posted by LordHedgie View Post
Normally I'd say 7 days is enough for a hefe, but that's a low fermentation temp for Wyeast 3068, which normally should be used at 64-75.
I agree on the temp, but I had seen a handful of Hefe recipes using 3068 calling for 62 degrees as an optimal balance between clove and banana esters. If/When I do this recipe again, I'll probably aim for 65-68 degrees.

Thanks for your thoughts, and I'll give it another week.
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