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Old 10-05-2007, 01:48 AM   #1
Danny013
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Default Hefeweizen esters

Hey all,

I made the hefeweizen from Charlie Papazians book and went with the White Labs Bavarian Hefeweizen yeast on a reccomendation from my LHBS. Fermentation went fine, I had it in the primary for 2.5 weeks and bottled it tonight. The only problem I noticed was the esters from the beer - it was a very intense 'solvent' or 'bug spray' smell and flavor, so much that I could only take a little sip. It fermented at the reccomended temp range as well. Will this age out in the bottle? I know hefes are meant to be drunk young, but I guess I'm just worrying.

It's really clear, too! Strange...

Off to get more homebrews to relax!

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Old 10-05-2007, 01:53 AM   #2
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What temp did you ferment at? I think if you go above 72 you start getting some real intense esters. They will fade a bit though with time. I've let mine hit as high as 75, but I really enjoyed the flavors and aromas I got. They weren't like bug spray, more sweet and a fruit-like acidity.

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Old 10-05-2007, 02:09 AM   #3
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Esters don't usually smell solventlike...those occurring in beer anyway. Esters produce the banana/apple/fruity nose in the beers. WLP351 has a strong phenolic character, and I imagine that's what you're probably smelling.

Give it some time, let the phenols react with some of the other compounds in the beer, and it should end up more clovelike than solventlike.

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Old 10-05-2007, 02:26 AM   #4
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By Bavarian Hefeweizen, do you mean WLP300 or WLP351? I have used both and prefer 300. Anyway, if you did ferment too warm the yeast was probably out of control and created too much esters, possibly some fusels, which can give you a headache. This is why I ferment weizens at 60-62F, I get a very balanced ester profile without any flavors that stick out. The beer will probably mellow out in time, however if there are fusels I'm not sure whether they will disappear with aging.

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Old 10-05-2007, 02:43 AM   #5
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This is from How to Brew by John Palmer.

Solvent-like

This group of flavors is very similar to the alcohol and ester flavors, but are harsher to the tongue. These flavors often result from a combination of high fermentation temperatures and oxidation. They can also be leached from cheap plastic brewing equipment or if PVC tubing is used as a lautering manifold material. The solvents in some plastics like PVC can be leached by high temperatures.

I'm guessing oxidation, personally.

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Old 10-05-2007, 02:45 AM   #6
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I went with the 351.

I fermented it around 66-70 or so, which is what the WL site said. I dunno.

I had to go out of town last weekend and it got up to 72-74 or so for 2 days, but I don't know if that would contribute to such a strong smell. I'll let it age for 3 weeks or so and leave it in the fridge for another week or so, hopefully that'll mellow out some flavors.

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Old 10-05-2007, 03:13 PM   #7
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Just saw the reply above mine...

I'm not sure it can even be oxidation - I dumped the brew into my primary, aerated, let it ferment, and racked it into my bottling bucket. I don't think there was even a chance for that.

I think what I smell was probably more phenolic than solvent like - I havn't smelled either so I was just going off a guess. Now that's I think about it it is definitly a huge clove smell and unpleasant taste. As I said above, I'll let it age out for a month or so and go from there.

/I guess I shoulda went with the regular hefe yeast, not the bavarian with the huge clove notes. bah, LHBS.

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Old 10-05-2007, 03:26 PM   #8
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Clove is another normal ester, and to some it smells 'medicinal'.

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Old 10-05-2007, 03:48 PM   #9
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What did you sanitize with?

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Old 10-05-2007, 04:01 PM   #10
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LHBS was out of Star-San, so I had to use bleach. 1 tsp. per 5 gallons, rinsed well with hot water.

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