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Old 06-16-2010, 06:23 AM   #1
lpdb185
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Default beer too yeasty?

okay, i'm starting to get irritated with my beer. particularly, the last two batches i made with wlp550. the first batch, a belgian pale ale, was mashed at 150 and fermented at 72F. it came out tasting okay flavorwise, but it had too much of a sweet/yeasty taste. i figured it needed more time, but it's been bottled for nearly 3 months and it's still there.
so, i figured maybe it needed to be mashed higher, fermented at a higher temp, and left in primary longer. so, i mashed the second batch, a la chouffe clone, at 152F and left it in primary for 4 weeks at 75F (per Houblon's recipe). Result: it tastes identical to the belgian pale ale. it's a fairly good tasting beer, but overwhelmed by a big sweet yeastiness.

does this sound familiar to anyone? anyone know why my beer is being overpowered by a sweet yeasty taste? i do cold crash before bottling and i also decant when pooring, so i'm not getting excessive yeast in the glass. any ideas?

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Old 06-16-2010, 01:32 PM   #2
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Well... in my opinion, "sweet" and "yeasty" are two totally different things. I would never call the flavor of yeast "sweet", so I can't really lend you a hand here.

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Old 06-16-2010, 02:30 PM   #3
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Whats the finish gravity?

How much yeast did you pitch into what size batch?

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Old 06-16-2010, 02:40 PM   #4
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+1 to Walker...mashing at a warmer temp will only result in more residual sugars so its a counter productive way to remove sweetness. You may also need to adjust your recipe as well.

On the other end of the stick you might want to consider adjusting your fermentation temp if you are having issues with too many fermenationg byproducts. I start my ferments for Belgian's around 66 and bump it up a few degrees a day until I hit the low 70's and then hold it there. Healthy levels of carbonation also help lighten up the palette too.

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Old 06-16-2010, 02:40 PM   #5
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Some yeast are DEFINITELY sweet tasting. I brewed a big Saison with white labs Saison II strain. This beer has a slight sweetness to it, even with a 1.006 FG. Well about half way through the keg, I had to do some keg shuffling and the saison got jostled a bit and stirred up the yeast (naturally carbed). Well the next few pints were very cloudy and VERY sweet. When it cleared, the extra sweetness was gone - but still had a slight sweetness to it.

I recently used the PU lager strain for the first time. When I first tapped into this beer (naturally carbed again) it was very sweet and fruity. To the point I thought about entering it as a pale ale. Eventually it cleared and now tastes like I expect a lager too. This one has lost any sweetness.

While many people are now doing primary only beers. I find that if if beer is left on the yeast for a long time AND the temperatures are a bit on the warm side, this can result in a yeasty/bready flavor.

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Old 06-16-2010, 02:42 PM   #6
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Well it seems that you enjoy Belgians, but to me, the style in general has always seemed a bit sweet. I know that it's not the gravity b/c every time I make one, it finishes where it's supposed to gravity wise, but I just think they taste sweet. As far as the yeast flavor goes, I hope you do know that you're supposed to taste the yeast in Belgian beers considering the yeasts flocculation is so low

This is what I'd do. It seems as if you're into Pale Ales, so make one, but use a neutral ale yeast such as Nottingham or S-05 and ferment at the low range of the yeasts tolerance. By doing this, it will create a dry/clean ale.

That's my advice, but until you find out what your final gravity was, it's hard to tell if the reason why they're sweet is b/c the yeast is doing it's job or not or if it's something else.

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Old 06-16-2010, 03:00 PM   #7
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You could always use gelatin but for Belgian yeast that would be like using a nuclear bomb to kill a fly.

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Old 06-16-2010, 05:37 PM   #8
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yes, i love many belgian styles and am familiar with their flavors. these seem to have the right flavor, just waaaay too much of it. i say it's a sweet yeasty flavor because i don't have any other way to describe it. it's got a slight hint of the bubblegum flavor ester, but that's pretty minimal and not an issue at all. they taste a lot like this yeast smelled in the starter: sweet, bready, and fruity.

belgian pale ale OG=1.062, FG=1.010, 1L starter from 1 vial of WLP550
la chouffe clone OG=1.080, FG=1.006, 1.5L starter from ~80ml of washed wlp550 from first batch.

i thought i might need to mash higher on the second batch because the only thing i could figure was the low mash and high attenuation dried the beer out so much that the only flavor i got was the yeast. but, that didn't seem to fix it. is it possible that 3 months in the bottle is just not long enough?

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