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Old 07-30-2010, 01:37 PM   #1
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Default Please comment on my theory

I brewed a partial mash Kolsch from AHB in the middle of June. When the package arrived at my house, the yeast (WLP 029) and cold pack were warm (almost hot) to the touch.

Against better judgment, I brewed the next day and pitched the yeast straight from the vial. Thought it would be OK, as it was a relatively low gravity brew (1.050). Fermentation didn't really get going for about 72hours, which is MUCH longer lag time then I usually get. I fermented at about 73F (ambient house temp).

Well, the beer is done and it came out OK, but much fruitier (with wheat beer notes) and less carbonation then I would expect from the typical 5oz of priming sugar at bottling. So my theory is this:

1. Many yeast cells did not survive the trip from TX to PA. Thus the long lag time and reduced CO2 in the bottle.

2. Fermented too warm. Further investigation suggests WLP029 performs best in the mid 60's. Hence the noticeable fruit overtones (esters).

Whadda you guys think? Am I off-base here?

Thanks.



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Old 07-30-2010, 01:42 PM   #2
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1. yes to the long lag time, i'm less sure about the carbonation, how long have you had teh bottles conditioning and at what temp?
2. yes

I think you hit the nail on the head. You could solve the first problem by making a starter and the second problem by putting your fermenter in a large container with water and frozen water or soda bottles, swapping out the frozen bottles once or twice a day.

Cheers!




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Old 07-30-2010, 01:54 PM   #3
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not too sure about #1. While its not ideal, plenty of people have pitched just the vial or smack pack and not had problems with carbonation. It might be contributing to taking longer to carb though.

#2 is dead on. Higher ferm temps (for any yeast) will produce more esters. Those kolsch strains get pretty fruity when you bring them up that high.

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Old 07-30-2010, 03:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
Those kolsch strains get pretty fruity when you bring them up that high.
Even when fermented in the proper range, there will be a slight fruity character. That's what Kolsch is supposed to taste like. They aren't just referred to as Pseudo-lagers because they use an ale yeast. While they do share many taste characteristics of a lager, there is that slight fruity note that distinguishes it.
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Old 07-30-2010, 03:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjj2ba View Post
Even when fermented in the proper range, there will be a slight fruity character. That's what Kolsch is supposed to taste like. They aren't just referred to as Pseudo-lagers because they use an ale yeast. While they do share many taste characteristics of a lager, there is that slight fruity note that distinguishes it.
I agree with Ed that 72 F is too warm to for fermenting a Kolsch.
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Old 07-30-2010, 03:36 PM   #6
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1. yes to the long lag. no to the poor carbonation. wait 3 weeks and try another one.
2. yes to the fruity esters.

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Old 07-30-2010, 04:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I agree with Ed that 72 F is too warm to for fermenting a Kolsch.
10 degrees to warm. I'm a bit worried about the one I've got going at 65 F
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:29 AM   #8
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What was the FG? did the yeast perform as expected (other than the esters b/c of high temps)?

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Old 07-31-2010, 03:14 AM   #9
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I did that same kit.

Two weeks in the bottle, it was flat and FRUITY! I mean, way fruity, didnt think I could drink them.

A week or two after that, the fruit flavor was GONE! It was just a tad green.

I used wyeast and I think my fermentation got up to 74. But not until most of fermentation was over, it was probably high 60s, but there are no fruity notes now, given proper bottle conditioning.

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Old 07-31-2010, 12:43 PM   #10
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Another thing to conider is the fact that higher temperatures lower the amount of CO2 absorbed into the beer. Priming with 5 oz. of corn sugar will yield lower carbination levels at higher bottling temperatures.



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