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Old 02-21-2008, 08:30 PM   #1
gkeusch
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Default My beer has gone bananas?

I did an all grain batch, 10# pale 2-row, 1# oatmeal, added less than a pound of honey in the boiler (hop adds were fairly typical - don't think the specifics have anything to do with my problem).

While drinkable, I can discern a fruity aroma that I have never experienced before and a hint of what I can only describe as a banana flavor.

I Used White Labs pitchable ale yeast (was well within the use-by date and had been properly refrigerated). Initially I thought the yeast didn't start. Turns out that it had but I didn't know it because the pail lid seal was leaking and the CO2 was getting out that way instead of through the airlock. Because I had assumed the yeast didn't start I had already procured another vial of yeast to re-pitch with. So about two days after the first pitch I opened up the pail to re-pitch, saw that I had a good head of foam, and I should have just put a new lid on but since I had the new yeast in my hot little hand I went ahead and pitched it in anyway.

I pitched the initial yeast when the wort was about 173 deg. F and it cooled down to about 60 deg. F which was average ambient temp. for the cold end of my basement in January in Michigan.

Does anybody have an idea of why I got the fruity characteristics in this batch and what I could do differently to prevent it?

Thanks!



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Old 02-21-2008, 08:32 PM   #2
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I got a fruity hint from my last DME batch that I used honey in. I never experienced it before that time so maybe that I don't though.



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Old 02-21-2008, 09:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkeusch

I pitched the initial yeast when the wort was about 173 deg. F and it cooled down to about 60 deg. F which was average ambient temp. for the cold end of my basement in January in Michigan.

Does anybody have an idea of why I got the fruity characteristics in this batch and what I could do differently to prevent it?

Thanks!
A Hundred and Seventy-three Degrees !
That might be your problem.
You should pitch at fermentation temperature. I'm suprised 173 didn't cook the poor little yeasties.

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Old 02-21-2008, 09:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudeboy
A Hundred and Seventy-three Degrees !
That might be your problem.
You should pitch at fermentation temperature. I'm suprised 173 didn't cook the poor little yeasties.

Rudeboy
I think that's precisely what it did...stressed them out, increased ester production, hence the fruity aroma.
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:25 PM   #5
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the yeast would die at 173 degrees. If he meant 73, there shouldn't be a problem. Also what yeast was it, that might be what the flavor is coming from as well?

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Old 02-21-2008, 09:26 PM   #6
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I am pretty sure that 173 degrees will kill yeast. Are you sure that is correct? What were the types of liquid you used, hefewiezen will definately give you distinct banana flavor.

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Old 02-21-2008, 09:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkeusch
I did an all grain batch, 10# pale 2-row, 1# oatmeal, added less than a pound of honey in the boiler (hop adds were fairly typical - don't think the specifics have anything to do with my problem).

While drinkable, I can discern a fruity aroma that I have never experienced before and a hint of what I can only describe as a banana flavor.

I Used White Labs pitchable ale yeast (was well within the use-by date and had been properly refrigerated). Initially I thought the yeast didn't start. Turns out that it had but I didn't know it because the pail lid seal was leaking and the CO2 was getting out that way instead of through the airlock. Because I had assumed the yeast didn't start I had already procured another vial of yeast to re-pitch with. So about two days after the first pitch I opened up the pail to re-pitch, saw that I had a good head of foam, and I should have just put a new lid on but since I had the new yeast in my hot little hand I went ahead and pitched it in anyway.

I pitched the initial yeast when the wort was about 173 deg. F and it cooled down to about 60 deg. F which was average ambient temp. for the cold end of my basement in January in Michigan.

Does anybody have an idea of why I got the fruity characteristics in this batch and what I could do differently to prevent it?

Thanks!
First, cool the wort down to a reasonable temperature (less than 80° and more like 65°-70°F). I'm fairly certain that pitching yeast at 173° killed them.

Also, you should be more specific with what type of yeast you used. Did you use White Labs Hefe yeast, English Ale yeast, etc. There are lots of different types of ale yeasts and all of them create different flavor profiles.
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:43 PM   #8
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I'm sure he meant 73 degrees guys. If he pitched at 173, there would be no fermentation... right?

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Old 02-21-2008, 09:50 PM   #9
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At 173 a few of the buggers could survive, but they would be terribly stressed. When he said bananna flavor the first thing that jumped into my head was a high fermentation temperature, do you happen to have the thing next to your water heater or something...

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Old 02-21-2008, 09:56 PM   #10
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OOPS!! Fat fingers strike again - yes it was 73 deg. F pitching temp. - sorry for that distraction!

first pitch was Burton Ale Yeast WLP023
second was Pacific Ale yeast WLP041
The reason I didn't use the same one is simple - when I got to Bell's shop (Kalamazoo Michigan, home of Oberon, it doesn't get any better than that!) I had forgotten what it was I used the first time!



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