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Old 11-21-2012, 11:02 AM   #21
julioardz
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I had a few banana bombs, like some like to call them, before I got fermentation temperature under control. My beers turned out much better once I got a dedicated fermenting fridge with temperature control. With my setup, the wort/beer is always 4 degrees warmer than the thermostat, so I can control the fermentation temperature pretty well. I get more ester production when I ferment warmer or when I pitch the yeast warm then cool it down. Some strains of yeast produce more esters/phenols than others, but controlling the pitch rate, pitch temp, and fermentation temp changes the flavor character of the yeast. So I suggest picking a clean fermenting yeast and look at controlling those three things.

It also seems like you are trying your beer while it's still a little young. If you had it in primary for 2 weeks then bottled and kegged, from my experience, I would expect the flavor to be best sometime after three or four weeks. I typically ferment my medium gravity ales 10-20 days, bottle, and let them sit for over 3 weeks. I can drink my IPA's earlier because all that hop flavor and aroma masks most other flavors, but for more balanced beers, it takes some time for the flavors to come together well. Considering you may have off flavors from fermenting warm, and your beer will need even more time to condition.

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Old 11-21-2012, 02:05 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattHollingsworth View Post
Specifically it's an ester called iso-amyl acetate.

British yeasts typically give you a beer with more esters, though not always banana character. Temp control will help for sure, but if you prefer a more neutral yeast character with less esters, try some of the less estery strains like 1056, 1272 (has some but not like Brits), 1728, etc, or their White Labs equivalents.

Most Brit yeasts fermented at 63-65 or so shouldn't have this at an elevated level. As others pointed out, that's the temp of the beer, not ambient temp. Beer will warm up much higher than ambient during fermentation.
Thank you - very informative and helpful - Even more cool that you are in Croatia! If you are a US Serviceman, thank you twice!
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:04 AM   #23
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Thank you - very informative and helpful - Even more cool that you are in Croatia! If you are a US Serviceman, thank you twice!
You're welcome, though I'm not military. Just an expat living here.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:48 PM   #24
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Age of the yeast does matter. If you are starting with a very old sample of yeast and growing it up for only a day, you've only increased a small number of cells by 20%. This is based on recent research from White Labs. The duration of starters matter.

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Old 11-30-2012, 06:53 PM   #25
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I made an AG Imperial Stout, and used the second runnings to make a "porter". Both used WLP-002 which is similar to the WLP-005. In my Michigan basement, temp was around 68 degrees.

I put the IS in a water bath - glass carboy sitting in a tub of water to help regulate the temperature and provide a thermal mass to get rid of the fermentation heat. I was not able to do this with the "porter".

I when it came time to put the IS in secondary, it tasted amazing. Smooth, roasty, full bodied - everything I hoped for and more. No esters that I could pick up and I was looking for them, because I was kind of worried about my fermentation temps.

The "porter" didn't go into secondary, it went straight to bottling. I almost didn't bottle it because it was almost like a Red Stripe, if you ground up bananas and put it in a Red Stripe bottle. But I figured I might as well bottle it since everything was ready. Two weeks out, it was pretty bad. Four weeks out, getting better... It's been over three months now and I've gone through about half the batch and wish I hadn't gone through that much. It's getting much better with age. Just let it sit and chill and it will probably get better with time.

I am all but certain that the porter's internal temp was well above the ambient temperature in the basement and that this was the source of my esters. I unintentionally did a side by side test

You may want to check out http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/neve...en-beer-73254/ for a short novel from Revvy on the subject - it matches my experience. Don't give up on your beer!

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Old 11-30-2012, 07:12 PM   #26
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Thanks for that! I've still got a dozen bottles and I am going to wait until Christmas to try one (the stuff in the keg is still banana-ey, but not un-drinkable). The interesting thing is, when I started this post I already had my "Christmas Stout" sitting about four days along in the primary in almost identical conditions to the ones of my previous brew that caused my post. After you all helped me figure out that it was ferm. temp. I got it in a water bath...will be interesting to see if the esters are noticeable in that one.

This is a great forum...

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