Happy HolidaySs Giveaway - Winners Re-Re-Drawn - 24 hours to Claim!

Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Avoiding Fusels
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-19-2007, 03:16 PM   #1
swampdog
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ashland, Ohio
Posts: 23
Default Avoiding Fusels

I'm getting frustrated. Nearly every batch I brew has a touch of fusel alcohol. Sometimes, more than a touch. My most recent, 10 gals of EdWort's Haus Ale has the same issue. Actually only half of it does. I spit the batch in half to ferment in two six gallon carboys. They sat side by side for ten days in a cooler filled with water and floating ice packs, covered with wet towels. The thermometer in the cooler never exceede 68 degrees. The batch from one has mild fusel hotness, the other does not. I did not notice it until after the two halves had been in the kegs for several days.

My process: Mash for sixty minutes at 152. Fly sparge at 170 (takes about 40 minutes). One hour boil. Cool with immersion chiller. Rack and pitch. Dry yeast this time with no hydration and no starter. (But I get fusels with White Labs and starters too.). Filter after primary and keg. I know my fermentationj temp never exceeded 70 degrees.

What is the best way to avoid production of fusels? I'm ready to try anything. Should I be racking off the trub sooner? Or skimming the krausen???

Thanks for your thoughts.

John

__________________
swampdog is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-19-2007, 03:27 PM   #2
Ó Flannagáin
Registered User
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Wichita Falls, Tx
Posts: 3,026
Liked 16 Times on 11 Posts

Default

How do you know it has fusels? Hangover? Taste? If so, what do they taste like?

__________________
Ó Flannagáin is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-19-2007, 03:53 PM   #3
FlyingHorse
Formerly Bike N Brew
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
FlyingHorse's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Evanston IL
Posts: 1,864
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts

Default

The other likely cause of fusels in excessive amounts of yeast, or too much yeast contact time:
http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html

Quote:
A sharp flavor that can be mild and pleasant or hot and bothersome. When an alcohol taste detracts from a beer's flavor it can usually be traced to one of two causes. The first problem is often too high a fermentation temperature. At temperatures above 80°F, yeast can produce too much of the higher weight fusel alcohols which have lower taste thresholds than ethanol. These alcohols taste harsh to the tongue, not as bad as cheap tequila, but bad nonetheless.

Fusel alcohols can be produced by excessive amounts of yeast, or when the yeast sits too long on the trub. This is one reason to move the beer off of the hot and cold break when the beer is going to be spending a lot of time in the fermentor.
If that's not the problem (as suggested by your side-by-side fermentation test) maybe these might not be fusels? Could it be some medicinal or solvent-y phenolic compounds, either from residual cleaning chemicals, plastic contact, or some sort of infection?
__________________
No signature required.
FlyingHorse is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-19-2007, 04:05 PM   #4
Ó Flannagáin
Registered User
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Wichita Falls, Tx
Posts: 3,026
Liked 16 Times on 11 Posts

Default

Just noticed you didn't mention a secondary.. maybe that will help a little. Take it off the primary after a week and moving to a clearing fermenter.

__________________
Ó Flannagáin is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-19-2007, 04:29 PM   #5
FlyGuy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
FlyGuy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 3,618
Liked 136 Times on 42 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Fusels are a symptom of stressed yeast. Warm temperatures, especially in combination with too little yeast or poorly aerated wort, are the typical cause. You generally never hear of anyone attributing it to over-pitching (you would have to pitch obscene amounts of yeast) or from effects of trub/lack of a secondary.

Here is my advice (based on a number of fusel-ridden batches):
- be SURE you are ferementing cool enough. Even if ambient temps are 70F, the yeast will generate heat of its own up to 10 degrees higher (I didn't know this before and it was the cause of my problem). Admittedly, though, a water bath should help.
- always pitch enough yeast and aerate really well so that yeast aren't stressed, particularly for higher gravity beers
- protect your beer from temperature fluctuations (fermenting in your water bath should help, assuming there is a good volume of water there)

Despite what many people will tell you, the good news is that the hot-alcohol taste of fusels will begin to disappear over time, if you are patient. The bad news is that it takes months (not all beers will last this long), and it never goes away completely.

Hope you get it figured out. If/when you do, please post back to this thread so we can hear what you did to solve things.

Cheers!

FlyGuy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-19-2007, 06:56 PM   #6
boo boo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hearts's Delight, Newfoundland
Posts: 4,171
Liked 30 Times on 26 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyGuy
Fusels are a symptom of stressed yeast. Warm temperatures, especially in combination with too little yeast or poorly aerated wort, are the typical cause. You generally never hear of anyone attributing it to over-pitching (you would have to pitch obscene amounts of yeast) or from effects of trub/lack of a secondary.Cheers!
And I'll agree to this. From the time your yeast is first pitched until the first signs of fermentation is when the majority of fusels are produced.
__________________

How do you BBQ an elephant....first you get your elephant....

boo boo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-19-2007, 07:30 PM   #7
Baron von BeeGee
Beer Bully
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Baron von BeeGee's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Barony of Fuquay-Varina, NC
Posts: 5,419
Liked 17 Times on 16 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by boo boo
And I'll agree to this. From the time your yeast is first pitched until the first signs of fermentation is when the majority of fusels are produced.
If indeed it is fusels your getting, I think boo boo and Fly Guy have it. What is your wort temp post chilling? If you are pitching and then cooling to 68-70F you could see fusels since fermentation starts before you see actual activity, i.e., bubbling/kraeusen.

OTOH, as careful as you are being, it could be another flaw you are detecting.
__________________
Baron von BeeGee is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-20-2007, 02:04 AM   #8
Bellybuster
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 170
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

I suggest having someone else sample your beer for you without telling them of your persepted flaw. May be just flavours you yourself are sensitive to, I really can't see fusels being produced in near enough quantity to be a flavour issue

__________________

Beer me!!!!!!!
www.bellybuster.netfirms.com

Bellybuster is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-20-2007, 09:26 PM   #9
swampdog
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ashland, Ohio
Posts: 23
Default

Its really not a flavor I detect, but rather a sensation. There is a distinct hotness on the tongue, gums and throat. There really isn't a medicinal or solvent-like taste, which makes me doubt that residual cleaning solution is to blame. I never use bleach, just Oxy to clean followed by a hot water rinse and Starsan to sanitize.

I do pitch at around 70 degrees, and then reduce the temp after I notice activity, but never pitch anywhere near 80 degrees. I think I will try chilling to sixty-five before pitching, and just deal with the slow start.

I think I will also try skimming the "crust" off the krausen as well. I've heard it suggested that the best way to avoid fusels is to rack off the trub BEFORE you pitch. I've always been affraid to wait that long to add the yeast. Anyone ever try that?????

Thanks for the advice.

JG

__________________
swampdog is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-20-2007, 10:15 PM   #10
boo boo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hearts's Delight, Newfoundland
Posts: 4,171
Liked 30 Times on 26 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampdog
I think I will also try skimming the "crust" off the krausen as well. I've heard it suggested that the best way to avoid fusels is to rack off the trub BEFORE you pitch. I've always been affraid to wait that long to add the yeast. Anyone ever try that?????
JG
That's a nice invitation for infection. The reason for pitching early is to head off any chance for bugs to get going in your wort. Unless your sanitation is
the best ever, then I would suggest you avoid waiting to pitch yeast and not to try skimming the krausen.
Anyway, fussels are caused by high starting tempertures of the yeast/wort,
and weak yeast, like was already stated.
__________________

How do you BBQ an elephant....first you get your elephant....

boo boo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fusels? brewslut Recipes/Ingredients 6 10-03-2009 09:14 PM
Fusels in Sour beer WorryWort Fermentation & Yeast 7 08-27-2009 07:45 PM
Green beer and fusels hoppheadIPA Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 04-03-2009 12:39 AM
Will time heal fusels etc.? yeoldebrewer Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 12 10-16-2008 07:02 AM
Fusels and how to get rid of them? Desert_Sky General Beer Discussion 14 08-02-2006 04:30 AM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS