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Old 02-28-2012, 05:03 PM   #1
NotJohnBoy
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Default WLP036 sour smell

I just got my starter going for an Altbier I'm brewing this weekend. When I opened the vial of White Labs yeast, I took a sniff and noticed it had a slight but definite tangy, sour smell to it. I'm not sure if that's usual for this strain or if I might have recieved a bad batch. I'll see what my starter smells like in a day or two, but I'm curious if anyone else who's used this strain might have some ideas.

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Old 02-28-2012, 06:14 PM   #2
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Some yeasts have sour and funky smells to them. I had a cream ale yeast before that I swore was infected, but it turned out great.

If it worries you, just taste your starter when it finishes. If its bad, you'll know.

FYI, that yeast is friggin awesome in alts. I always used 1007 until I tried that stuff. It doesn't attenuate as much, but I just mash low to make up for it.

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Old 02-29-2012, 12:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimTrone
Some yeasts have sour and funky smells to them. I had a cream ale yeast before that I swore was infected, but it turned out great.

If it worries you, just taste your starter when it finishes. If its bad, you'll know.

FYI, that yeast is friggin awesome in alts. I always used 1007 until I tried that stuff. It doesn't attenuate as much, but I just mash low to make up for it.
+1

Some yeasts smell horrid when fermenting - brimstone, rotten egg, dog farts, etc, etc. But, taste the starter when done and you will instantly know if it is infected. This is also a great way to test out yeast character without brewing a whole batch.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclonite

+1

Some yeasts smell horrid when fermenting - brimstone, rotten egg, dog farts, etc, etc. But, taste the starter when done and you will instantly know if it is infected. This is also a great way to test out yeast character without brewing a whole batch.
Tasting the starter is something I recommend anyone do if you have even a slight inkling that it's infected.

In fact, until I could taste different infections or flaws, I would taste every starter. It's a good training tool to at least sip beer you know is tainted to train yourself to know what your beer has.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:59 PM   #5
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After messing with a number of strains I ended up using 036 on all my Alts. I believe it is the best choice for a true Dusseldorf style. I also note the same funky smell when using it. I have gotten enough use to it that I don't really notice it any more, but your post reminded me of it.

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Old 02-29-2012, 03:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimTrone View Post
Tasting the starter is something I recommend anyone do if you have even a slight inkling that it's infected.

In fact, until I could taste different infections or flaws, I would taste every starter. It's a good training tool to at least sip beer you know is tainted to train yourself to know what your beer has.
+1 If the yeast is even a little past expiration or you think something might be wrong taste the starter. I lost 2 batches recently and with one of them the fermented starter beer smelled highly of clove. Guess what, so did the finished beer. If the starter beer is no good don't risk pitching it into the main batch.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:08 PM   #7
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Thanks for the all the feedback. I took it off the stirplate late last night and gave it a taste this morning. It has an overwhelming smell and flavor of diacetyl. I'm going to cold crash it and try to decant as much of the wort off as possible. Hopefully it's still salvagable.

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Old 03-02-2012, 01:27 PM   #8
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I'm still not sure why yopu think there is something wrong with it. Did the starter show life within 24 hours? If it did I would be sure that you are fine.

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