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Old 01-30-2011, 07:28 PM   #1
jigidyjim
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Default corn smell versus diacetyl in classic american pilsner

I just bottled my first lager, a classic american pilsner. I've gotten help about it before on here, because i under pitched my yeast and fermentation took forever.

Anyway, it's got a smell of diacetyl to it, but then I also think it reminds me of corn. It's 20% flaked corn and 80% 6-row.

Does flaked corn usually give a distinct smell to the beer? Is it similar to diacetyl? Maybe I'm smelling both. Or maybe some other off flavor is reminding me of corn.

Anyway, just curious to find out what I'm smelling. I don't think it will be the most drinkable beer. I'm hoping carbonation will mask some of the diacetyl, but I doubt it.

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Old 01-30-2011, 08:50 PM   #2
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Did you lager (x ammount of weeks), prior to bottling?

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Old 01-30-2011, 09:00 PM   #3
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Are you getting Diacetyl and Dimethyl Sulfide (DMS) mixed up? The former causes a buttery/butterscoth flavor and is normally caused during fermentation. The latter smells and tastes like cooked corn, happens during the boil, and is more common in pilsner based beers that haven't been boiled long enough (and some would say not cooled fast enough).

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Old 01-31-2011, 01:05 AM   #4
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Yup - lagered for 5.5 weeks at 32 degrees.

At first I thought it smelled and tasted like butter. But now I also smell/taste corn. Given that it actually is 20% corn, I don't know if this is normal or an off flavor.

Thanks.

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Old 01-31-2011, 02:27 AM   #5
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How long was your boil? I don't think the corn alone would necessarily impart a very strong corn flavor, but it will impart some.

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Old 01-31-2011, 03:20 AM   #6
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It was a 60 min boil. I think it's probably just diacetyl, with a slight hint of corn from the corn. If I ever make it again, I'll be sure to pitch the right amount of yeast, and do a longer d-rest if necessary, that way I can rule that out.

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Old 01-31-2011, 03:39 AM   #7
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It's hard to say since everyone's perceptions/descriptions are different. IMO, I don't think you can smell diacetyl as much as tasting it. At least the bad beers that I've had with it are pretty distinct: it makes your lips smack. Since you say you just brewed corn and 6-row, how did you mash? German 6-row needs at least a step infusion if not decoction.

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Old 01-31-2011, 04:49 AM   #8
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I think it was US 6 row but I'm not positive. It was a 20 min at 122, 45 min at 148 mash on a stove top, followed by a sparge in a second pot (doh the term for that is escaping me right now... is it "batch sparge"?). I hit the OG and FG numbers as expected. It was wyeast 2206 Bavarian lager yeast.

I also tasted the beer, so I can't say my observations are just smell. For me, it sort of blended together, once I tasted it, the smell/taste were both the same - buttery but with a distinct sweetness I associate with corn bread.

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Old 01-31-2011, 04:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jigidyjim View Post
I hit the OG and FG numbers as expected. It was wyeast 2206 Bavarian lager yeast.
OK, you did do some protein rest...now, since you used lager yeast, what was your fermentation temp? With lagers, it's pretty important that you do ferment at a cooler temp (and especially for a pilsner, do a diacetyl rest), then lager for at least 4 weeks.
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