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Old 07-23-2010, 07:49 PM   #1
Jif
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Default Beer Maybe Not Quite As Infected As I Thought...

About a year ago I brewed a very high gravity hop-heavy brown ale. After a few weeks of fermentation, I opened up the fermenter and was hit by a wave of cidery smelling air. I decreed the beer had been infected and disregarded its existence.

Fast forward to yesterday. Out of sheer laziness, the beer has never been moved from the carboy. I opened it up and lo and behold, the smell has largely subsided! There's a mild green apple aroma/taste to the beer, making me assume it's acetaldehyde. When I brewed this beer, I just tossed in a vial of White Labs WLP001. No starter, bad on me. Is it possible that this was just an underpitched beer and the yeast croaked out too early, leaving all of these off flavors? If that seems like even a vaguely intelligent idea, I've got half a mind to brew up a 2L starter, get some 001 really eating, toss it into the beer and see what happens.

Anyone agree/disagree with me? Waste of good yeast?

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Old 07-23-2010, 07:52 PM   #2
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Hydro readings? Taste it? I think you have a bit more diagnosis to do, (other than smelling), before you can make a determination.

Drink some, test some, and report back.

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Old 07-24-2010, 12:26 AM   #3
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Well he said theres a green apple aroma/taste to the beer. I would start with a gravity measurement and report back. Even better would be to know the OG. Have you brewed in the last year? I couldn't live without one of my primarys for more than a few weeks!

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Old 07-24-2010, 12:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrck17 View Post
Well he said theres a green apple aroma/taste to the beer. I would start with a gravity measurement and report back. Even better would be to know the OG. Have you brewed in the last year? I couldn't live without one of my primarys for more than a few weeks!
My bad, missed the "taste". In that case, yeah, OG and FG please. If the FG is at a decent value, then more yeast is useless. If it still tastes like apple juice, either let it sit longer, or trash it.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:46 AM   #5
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I would say "very high gravity" plus no starter equals a high possibility of undesirable results. Strained yeast could definitely account for off flavors.

Not saying that is what happened, but it's one possible scenario. Try the beer again sometime with a starter, see if you get different results.

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Old 07-24-2010, 01:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
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My bad, missed the "taste". In that case, yeah, OG and FG please. If the FG is at a decent value, then more yeast is useless. If it still tastes like apple juice, either let it sit longer, or trash it.
It's also pretty unlikely after a year that the gravity's going to budge too much short of a super-attenuative yeast.
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:11 PM   #7
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The beer is at 1.011. Looks like yeast may not help too much, unless I want something rather dry.

Before I measure, I mixed up a starter of champagne yeast. Worth trying to see if it clears up? I'm also considering just dry hopping the heck of it, chilling it down, and seeing how it tastes.

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Old 07-25-2010, 10:22 PM   #8
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1.011 would be a waste of yeast, IMO. Champaign yeast might bring it lower, so what the heck, you made a starter already, go ahead and try it.

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Old 07-26-2010, 03:32 PM   #9
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I threw in a 1L stater of Champagne yeast and a T of amylase, so we'll see what happens, I suppose!

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Old 08-02-2010, 01:29 AM   #10
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No dice. The yeast didn't take. Guess it was already too low. I'm flip flopping between dry hopping it, crash cooling it and seeing what happens or just tossing it down the drain.

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