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Old 12-22-2010, 06:12 PM   #1
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Default London Ale Yeast: strange aroma?

Brewing a Brown Porter using Wyeast London Ale Yeast for the first time. The fermentation seems excellent. I used a 2 step starter to get the right amount of yeast for the batch. BUT I've noticed since it's been fermenting that the aroma coming from the bung is not as pleasant as with other beers I've made. It's a little sour. Not rancid, definitely yeasty, but not the bread yeast smell I'm used to or the hop smell I'm used to with more hoppy beers.

I'm wondering if this is a normal smell for London Ale Yeast or if maybe I have an infection...I'd be shocked since I've never experienced this before and am very careful with sanitation. But I definitely didn't notice this scent when I was growing the starter...

The other possibility is that I noticed after sanitizing the primary bucket with starsan (no-foam), I opened the lid and poured out the starsan and it kinda reeked. My brew buddies were surprised by how strong the scent from the bucket was (as was I), but I didn't think much of it at the time. I thought that maybe it was just a combo of the acid from the starsan and the hop residue that had been in the bucket from my last IPA...it was still a bit green from it. BUT instead of washing out the smelly bucket and re-sanitizing I just poured out the solution and brewed as usual...

Any thoughts? I could use some reassurance that this batch won't be disgusting.

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Old 12-22-2010, 06:32 PM   #2
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You need to clean the bucket before sanitizing it, if there is hop residue in the bucket when you put the star san in you failed. Use some oxi-clean or PBW with hot water and let it soak to clean, this will kill most of your odors as well as clean up any residue or stuck on debris. Take the spigot apart if your bucket has one and clean that up too. Then it is ready for sanitizing. This is a two step process, I know of nothing on the market that claims to both clean and sanitize in one step. Other than that, let it ferment and see what happens, you are probably fine, but may have gotten an infection from not cleaning your equipment.

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Old 12-22-2010, 07:09 PM   #3
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If it does claim to clean and sanitize in one step...it's lying. There is no such product that actually does that.

Also, if the star san reeked coming out of the bucket, your beer will to. It's a mistake that I've made before and will never make again.

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Old 12-22-2010, 07:30 PM   #4
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What if you mixed some oxiclean in water, then added starsan to it. Will that clean and sanitize in one go?

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Old 12-22-2010, 10:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiberntepaths View Post
What if you mixed some oxiclean in water, then added starsan to it. Will that clean and sanitize in one go?

No.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:43 PM   #6
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Sorry. The bucket was cleaned with dish soap. It just had a subtle greenish color and smelled a bit hoppy. All plastic takes on some aromas and staining from use. Think pasta sauce in a tupperware in the microwave turns orange. That's all I meant by residue. It wasn't filthy with stuck on hop stuff.

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Old 12-23-2010, 12:48 PM   #7
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This is my first post, but I have experience with the London Ale Yeast.

This yeast DOES smell somewhat sour relative to other English ale strains I have used (Whitbread, Ringwood)

See http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/strains_wlp013.html.

Specifically, it gives off "oakey esters" which, to me, seems reminiscent of wine sourness. As the fermentation goes on, the sourness flavor subsides and then you smell "good beer" coming out of the airlock, in my experience.

I made an English Mild with this - it turned out great. When I use the yeast again, I think I want to make a stronger, hoppier beer, like an ESB or even an IPA.

The other issues about sanitation or chlorine may apply here but it's entirely possible that everything is fine and this is just the normal smell for the yeast.

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Old 12-23-2010, 02:03 PM   #8
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I've used the 1028 several times, but never with a Porter. I'm not an airlock sniffer, but I take an FG sample prior to bottling/kegging, and that sample usually does not taste or smell as good as beers made with 1968 or WLP002. A couple of times, I've had a very pronounced metal taste after about 3 / 4 weeks in the bottle/keg, but leaving it to mature for another 4 - 5 weeks completely got rid of that. Normally, after maturing for 3 weeks, the beer is fine. I have found that the WLP013 seems to be very different than the 1028.

-a.

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Old 12-28-2010, 06:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwarl View Post
This is my first post, but I have experience with the London Ale Yeast.

This yeast DOES smell somewhat sour relative to other English ale strains I have used (Whitbread, Ringwood)

See http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/strains_wlp013.html.

Specifically, it gives off "oakey esters" which, to me, seems reminiscent of wine sourness. As the fermentation goes on, the sourness flavor subsides and then you smell "good beer" coming out of the airlock, in my experience.

I made an English Mild with this - it turned out great. When I use the yeast again, I think I want to make a stronger, hoppier beer, like an ESB or even an IPA.

The other issues about sanitation or chlorine may apply here but it's entirely possible that everything is fine and this is just the normal smell for the yeast.
Thanks! That makes me feel a little better!
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf View Post
I've used the 1028 several times, but never with a Porter. I'm not an airlock sniffer, but I take an FG sample prior to bottling/kegging, and that sample usually does not taste or smell as good as beers made with 1968 or WLP002. A couple of times, I've had a very pronounced metal taste after about 3 / 4 weeks in the bottle/keg, but leaving it to mature for another 4 - 5 weeks completely got rid of that. Normally, after maturing for 3 weeks, the beer is fine. I have found that the WLP013 seems to be very different than the 1028.

-a.
Cheers! Feeling better and better!
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