My WLP001 tastes like a Belgian. What happened?!?
So I just made up my own recipe for an all Centennial IPA and I thought it looked normal enough, so I went ahead with it. It's been fermenting at 60F (air temp) for about 11 days now and the Krausen just dropped. I figured I would go ahead and get a sample to check the gravity. It attenuated reallly well, 82%! I had a smell and it smelled extremely sweet for the style of beer and formula, and I tasted it and that was even stranger.
It tastes like a Belgian ale of some sort. Fruity, spicy, and some bubblegum flavor. What the heck!
Anyway, here is the info and if anyone has some insight please help me figure this out. Will the off taste clear up with more time on the yeast?
IBU: 61.0 (Rager)
Color: 10 SRM (Gold to Copper)
Primary: 3 weeks at 60F
5 gallon batch
6.5 gallon boil
MALT AND FERMENTABLES
11lbs 2oz German two-row pils
8oz Crystal 55L
8oz Biscuit Malt
6oz Toasted Malt
4oz Torrified Wheat
4oz Amber Malt
60mins 0.5oz Centennial (10.0 AA)
30mins 1.0oz Centennial (10.0 AA)
15mins 1.0oz Centennial (10.0 AA)
15mins 1tsp Irish moss
Plan to dry hop in the keg for a week with 1oz Centennial
Mashed @ 152 for 60min. When I pitched the yeast the starter was around 65F and the wort was around 78F. The tap water here is hot in the summer and I couldn't get it any cooler with the immersion chiller. Anyway, right from there to the 60F fridge, so the temp dropped pretty quickly and fermentation started after about 24hours. Even if the high pitching temp had some effect (I assume it was minimal since it chilled fairly quickly in the fridge) I don't see how it would make it taste like a Belgian. It was REALLY sweet too. I mean I can see peach flavors and whatnot, but even when I have done other beers with WLP001 at high temps I don't remember it being so Belgiany. Ideas?
I just think your temps didn't come down as fast as you think they did. 78F is pretty high to pitch.
I have found myself putting my carboy in an old chlorine bucket (or you could use a tote or something) and fill it with ice water, then chill (CFC/IC, whatever) into your carboy.
I have a hard time believing that a 60F fridge is going to make 78F of wort come down 10-12 degrees in 24 hours. Do you have a temp sticker on your carboy? Fermentation is going to add a couple of degrees. With it as warm as it was, it probably took off quick.
Also, we don't know if your fridge really is 60 degrees. It depends on where you take your temps. My beer bottle/cold crash for carboy fridge can range 4-6 degrees depending on where you're taking the temperature.
I used to use the aquarium stick on thermometers, but they only go down to like 62 or 64 or something. The brew store had ones that went down to the low 30s. It's been helpful when I've been forced to use the ice bath in a bucket method to help my CFC get down to a pitchable temp.
I have a glass thermometer right next to the carboy. You very well maybe be right about the temp not dropping that fast, but within 48 hours no more water was leaking in from the airlock either.
Let's say your right though and it fermented too high. The thing is I have fermented too high with this yeast before and the flavors I find have been peach/plum/nectarine like flavors, but right now I am tasting bubblegum and spices. I even thought that with off flavors I wouldn't taste it because the IBU is relatively high, but it's so sweet!
Do you know if it's possible for WLP001 to produce those off flavors?
So either the chico strain is capable of that under some circumstances, or we both got a mislabeled yeast from different manufacturers (entirely possible).
Like you I have fermented fairly warm with the strain and got a different character.
Hmm, interesting that US05 did that all at assumably low temps. Do you remember what you fermented at with that batch of US05? I am fairly sure this is WLP001 since it was from washed yeast from my last IPA. It is possible that I mislabeled the yeast, but I am 99% certain it was the correct yeast.
Did the bubble gum and clove flavors mellow out a bit over time. Also how well did it floc that time around?
I tasted a beer (IPA) at a little brewery in Fiskdale, MA. The new brewer did the same recipe as always (which uses Cal Ale) but he said he made a mistake and it came out like you're describing. I forget what he said happened, wish I could remember so I could help you.
Did you use WLP001 or US-05, I am not a big fan of either strain, but have tried them because they are so darned popular. With US-05 it is fairly common to get some peach, and I have even had some faint spice come up with the strain. WLP001, as long as you are below 70, should be failry clean.
Any yeast that you pitch too high is going to get all estery and whatnot. You said you pitched at ~78 degrees. That means this thing could be in the low 80s when it fermented.
As for it being sweet, what was the OG/FG of this batch?
(PS, go to your brew store and get the stick on thermos. If you don't have a place near by, go to the pet store, its better than not having one at all)
If you harvested this yeast from an IPA it was likely stressed so that may have played a part (did you make a starter with it or just pitch?). Also, if you pitched at 78* F then you must have aerated at 78* F or higher and you probably didn't get as much O2 in solution as needed, something yeast (esp stressed yeast) won't like.
It seems the more I brew the more I realize that in order to make my best beers; I'm a slave to the yeast, not the other way around.
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