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Old 01-18-2009, 10:18 PM   #1
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Default Every beer is amber and clove/banana

It seems like every wheat beer I do, ends up with an amber color and clove/banana smell.

I know these flavors can come from fermenting too high of temps, so I was sure to stay within the temp range of my yeast.

When I brewed my latest hefe, the brew pot looked like a beautiful hefe. Transfered to primary, and felt like maybe just once, I would have a yellow colored wheat beer.

As it sat in secondary for a week, I noticed it getting darker. As I type now, I am bottling, my beer looks like a Dos Equis Amber beer, with a heavy clove/banana smell.

This is my 3rd wheat that has been brown, and I have yet to make a yellow beer.

Any ideas? I'm going insane.

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Old 01-18-2009, 10:27 PM   #2
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If you are brewing with extract, you could be scorching it resulting in a darker color. One way to combat this is using late extract additions. As far as the clove/banana smell goes, what yeast are you using?

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Old 01-18-2009, 10:40 PM   #3
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Well in this case, its a hefe w/ wyeast bavarian wheat. So I expect some clove/banana. But pretty much every beer I make has a hint of that, regardless.

When I add the extract, I take it off the heat, stir real well, then add back on. Also - on this particular beer, the color was right for a while.

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Old 01-18-2009, 11:00 PM   #4
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Try adding only about 25% of the extract early, then add the rest with 15 mins left in the boil. Remove from the flame and stir well, of course.

Regarding off flavors, just because you are within the yeast's fermentation range doesn't mean it's optimal...try to stick to the lower end of the yeast's tolerance, rather than the higher end. Fermentation adds heat, which can easily drive the temp above the top limit if you're close.

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Old 01-19-2009, 12:06 AM   #5
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I've fermented wheats in the upper 60s and they're very banany. If you stick to something more like 62-64 that'd probably be best.

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Old 01-19-2009, 12:46 AM   #6
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All good ideas I will try.

Another example is a lager I have fermenting right now. It's a european pilsner. It's got all light gain, extra light DME, and not many hops. It started out yellow like a wheat, and now is going amber.

I'll try some of the ideas above. Hopefully I'll be going AG soon anyway.

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Old 01-19-2009, 12:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonshae View Post
Try adding only about 25% of the extract early, then add the rest with 15 mins left in the boil. Remove from the flame and stir well, of course.

Regarding off flavors, just because you are within the yeast's fermentation range doesn't mean it's optimal...try to stick to the lower end of the yeast's tolerance, rather than the higher end. Fermentation adds heat, which can easily drive the temp above the top limit if you're close.
Can you explain the benefit to doing this? I figured the boil was really only for the hops
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Can you explain the benefit to doing this? I figured the boil was really only for the hops
The benefit is lighter colored beer (closer to style) and better hops utilization. Yes, the boil is for the hops.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
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All good ideas I will try.

I'll try some of the ideas above. Hopefully I'll be going AG soon anyway.
Controlling your fermentation temps is a better step than AG. Color isn't really a factor in your brew unless you're entering a competition. Flavor, however, is, and that's much better controlled by ferm temps.

And if you're entering a comp, and your color is dead on but you have off flavors from too high of a ferm temp, you've gotten no benefit.
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