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Old 05-06-2008, 10:54 PM   #1
Rivercat96
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Default Cream ale smells funk!?

Just brewed a cream ale kit this past Saturday night using Saflager 23 lager yeast. By Sunday afternoon the brew was smelling like a dirty sock. This is my first time using a lager yeast for an ale and was wondering if the 70 F temp in my house is a bit too high for this yeast. The package says it is fine up to 70 I think. I'm not sure if it's a bacterial infection or the yeast. Anyone have a similar experience with this yeast at room temps? I'm going to wait until it's done and taste the brew and see what's going on. I've been brewing for about 9 months now and have over 15 brews under my belt with no issues, my sanitation is good but you never know, just remembered that I spilled a little tap water into the wort from my airlock, wasn't much.



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Old 05-06-2008, 11:01 PM   #2
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I have never used that yeast specifically, but lager yeast to tend to throw off some pretty nasty sulfur smells which may be compounded by the higher temperature. After fermentation is complete, time and cool temperatures will help that.

Also, if it is 70F in your house, then the active fermentation could be 6-8 degrees above that. I would try to cool it down if possible.



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Old 05-06-2008, 11:41 PM   #3
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Oh, yes, it's the yeast for sure! Lager yeasts at ale temps spell sulfur/esters for sure!

Here's some great info on that yeast: http://www.brew-winemaking.com/ProductPDF/3701.pdf

It says the ideal fermenting temperature is 12C (53F) but can go lower- you're about 20 degrees out of the range. You can expect some weird flavors and smells from it. If you could possibly cool it down, you'll have much better beer. Lagers are tricky without a fermentation fridge- I use an igloo cooler (I call it my Yooper Lagerator), see my gallery for pictures. I use water up to the beer level, and then frozen water bottles with a floating thermometer to monitor the temperature. It works for me, but some people might think it's a pain.

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Old 05-07-2008, 01:43 AM   #4
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Right on guys, appreciate the help. My girlfriend actually did most of the work this time brewing and she was bummed out that she may have infected the beer with some kind of bacteria. The damn yeast package says it's good up to 70-72F so I'm a little confused, if I knew it wouldn't work I would of just used some ale yeast. So you guys think after after a couple weeks and some cooler temps the smell should die down and not affect the flavor of the beer too much? It smells so bad right now I'd hate to have any of those flavors or smells when I'm sipping on one. Thanks again.

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Old 05-07-2008, 04:28 PM   #5
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I have a steam beer recipe that I use saflager 23 in. My ferm temps for this particular recipe are around 73. I know it's a bit high for a steam, but this gives me the best resulting flavor profile. The first couple days of fermentation can produce some very bad smells, but after a rest in the secondary and 3 weeks in the bottle, the end result is a great steam style beer (one of my favorite extract recipes).

Your beer should turn out fine, it will just take a little time.

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Old 05-07-2008, 07:21 PM   #6
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i recently fermented a steam beer with the SF Lager yeast. it fermented too high (72°F) and forced me to build a fermentation cabinet cuz that pissed me off.

however, it tasted incredible when i racked it.

go figure

at least i have a cabinet now

EDIT: a cream ale, however, needs to be lower IMO. 65°F max. i had a cream ale going about the same time as the steam. it's good, but a bit too fruity.

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Old 05-07-2008, 08:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathBrewer View Post
i recently fermented a steam beer with the SF Lager yeast. it fermented too high (72°F) and forced me to build a fermentation cabinet cuz that pissed me off.

however, it tasted incredible when i racked it.

go figure

at least i have a cabinet now

EDIT: a cream ale, however, needs to be lower IMO. 65°F max. i had a cream ale going about the same time as the steam. it's good, but a bit too fruity.
exactly, I have a lagering box but I liked the finished product on the steam much better when fermented in the low 70's versus the low to mid sixties. I increased the IBU's slighty higher than traditional steam and combined with the flavors from the yeast and a small amount of roasted barley, it makes a real tasty brew.
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:00 AM   #8
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nice to know. the last one i fermented at 60 turned out great, but i guess it's not really necessary.

i use a little chocolate malt in mine and a little carapils for mouthfeel. the most recent batch used vienna as the base malt.

mmm...i think i'll pull a sample today. it should be ready to keg next weekend

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Old 05-08-2008, 02:37 AM   #9
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Thanks for the feedback McSwigging & DeathBrewer. My girlfriend actually wants to add some apricot extract to the beer so it sounds like it'll go well with the fruity flavors of the yeast. Good info. on creams being good till about 65F, I'll keep that in mind next time. Hmmm, steam beer, gonna have to try that one.

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Old 05-12-2008, 12:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivercat96 View Post
...just remembered that I spilled a little tap water into the wort from my airlock, wasn't much.

While unlikely this was the cause just avoid the problem in the future by filling the airlock with alcohol. Anything will work; 151, cheap vodka, heck even rubbing alcohol. You won't have to worry about contamination and if any spills in it just adds to the alky %.

Hope the brew turns out OK.


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