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Old 08-17-2012, 06:18 PM   #1
wowbeeryum
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Default Help with competition feedback - DMS

I received the score sheet for my wit and it did really bad: 22. The check boxes indicated this wasn't to style, was lifeless, and has significant flaws. The score should probably be lower given the comments.

Anyway, the main feedback from both judges is centered around a significant presence DMS in flavor and aroma (described as corny). Additionally, there was little yeast characteristics (I probably fermented too cold, easily fixable).

The suggestion they provided was to do a 90 minute vigorous boil with pilsner malt, since the DMS is really holding me back. However, I used exactly 0 pilsner malt.

The recipe I used: http://hopville.com/recipe/1456031

When I originally set this up it said something like 12 IBUs, not sure why it's calculating to less now.

Anyway, what else can cause DMS and how can I fix it in the future?

My IPA was scored a 35 and received honorable mention, so at least I don't feel like the worst brewer in the world.

*edit*

I did not boil with the lid on at all and this doesn't appear to be in any of my other beers (I haven't made that many though and I didn't detect this myself, I'll have to go back and try it now that I have this feedback). However, I am still working on a stove top with a partial boil (3-4 gallons). My boils are not super vigorous on a continuous basis, ranging from barely boiling to pretty vigorous during the 60 minutes (I keep moving the pot to find the hottest spots). I cool in an ice bath in the sink, uncovered, and it usually takes about 30 minutes to get to pitching temps.

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Old 08-17-2012, 08:27 PM   #2
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"Anyway, what else can cause DMS and how can I fix it in the future?"

The chemicals to make DMS are in malt, so there is no way getting around them. You can get rid of them with longer, more vigorous boils, quicker cooling, and vigorous fermentation. DMS is volatile, so you can also drive it off by bubbling co2 in the finished beer or really aerating the wort well before pitching.

And I LOVE forbidden fruit for Wit. I usually start at 67 and raise the temp a degree per day until I hit 75. If you want some serious belgian funk, start in the 70 range and let it free rise from there.

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Old 08-17-2012, 08:58 PM   #3
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Look into a heat stick to aid in getting a more vigorous boil (search the diy forum) or go to a 90 min boil for everything, 120 for anything with Pilsner. It sounds like not boiling strong enough is causing some issues for you.

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Old 08-17-2012, 09:26 PM   #4
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My vote would be a yeast health issue. Did you use a starter?

Also, do you still have some of the beer? If you taste it, do you experience the same thing the judges wrote? Sometimes, they can be wrong. I had a beer score 13 points in one competition, then score in the mid 30s for several competitions after that.

Again, I would make sure the yeast is healthy first. Be sure to make a starter. Aerate the wort. Drink another of your IPAs for the hell of it.

That is all.

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Old 08-17-2012, 09:38 PM   #5
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This from Palmer:
Dimethyl Sulfides (DMS)/ Cooked Vegetable Flavors
Like diacetyl in ales, DMS is common in many light lagers and is considered to be part of the character. DMS is produced in the wort during the boil by the reduction of another compound, S-methyl-methionine (SMM), which is itself produced during malting. When a malt is roasted or toasted, the SMM is reduced beforehand and does not manifest as DMS in the wort, which explains why it is more prevalent in pale lagers. In other styles, DMS is a common off-flavor, and can be caused by poor brewing practices or bacterial infections.

DMS is continuously produced in the wort while it is hot and is usually removed by vaporization during the boil. If the wort is cooled slowly these compounds will not be removed from the wort and will dissolve back in. Thus it is important to not completely cover the brewpot during the boil or allow condensate to drip back into the pot from the lid. The wort should also be cooled quickly after the boil, either by immersing in an ice bath or using a wort chiller.

When caused by bacterial infection, DMS has a more rancid character, more liked cooked cabbage than corn. It is usually the result of poor sanitation. Repitching the yeast from an infected batch of beer will perpetuate the problem.


I agree that you wither did not get a vigorous enough boil or your yeast health was poor

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Old 08-17-2012, 10:03 PM   #6
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i did make a 1 q starter and fermentation took off quickly. i fermented in the low 60s so i know that messed things up a bit, but isn't related to the DMS. i have more of the beer and next time i drink it i will look very closely for this. prior to this feedback i thought it was a little bland but easy drinking and not gross or anything. i'm getting a burner and bigger pot for christmas so at that point i'll be able to do vigorous boils.

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Old 08-17-2012, 10:09 PM   #7
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OK....Good on the starter. Even if it was cold, you had yeast activity in the starter and that means it is better than just a smack pack or vial.

Doing full boils will make your beer so much better. Tell Santa to get his butt in gear!

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Old 08-18-2012, 12:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wowbeeryum View Post
I did not boil with the lid on at all and this doesn't appear to be in any of my other beers (I haven't made that many though and I didn't detect this myself, I'll have to go back and try it now that I have this feedback). However, I am still working on a stove top with a partial boil (3-4 gallons). My boils are not super vigorous on a continuous basis, ranging from barely boiling to pretty vigorous during the 60 minutes (I keep moving the pot to find the hottest spots). I cool in an ice bath in the sink, uncovered, and it usually takes about 30 minutes to get to pitching temps.
I had the same problem with my first couple of all-grain batches. I was still boiling on my stovetop when I first switched. It did partial boils just fine, but couldn't keep up with a full size boil. I got a propane burner (a big one, a bayou classic banjo, highly recommended), and noticed a dramatic jump in the quality of beer because of the full boil. I skim the hot break off as it forms. Chilling faster helps too, gets a better cold break, which removes even more proteins you don't want. Yeast health is big too, but I think most of your DMS problem came from too weak of a boil. A good propane burner will cost around 60 or so, and if you keep an eye on amazon, ebay, and craigslist, you should be able to grab an immersion chiller for 40 or so, if you don't want to shell out $80 at the LHBS or online stores. My wife got mine, a 25' copper chiller, off Amazon for 38 bucks.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:58 AM   #9
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Did you only enter it in one competition or is did you get the same DMS comment from multiple competitions? My experience has been that there are some judges who are super sensitive to DMS and that the only way to avoid them writing you up is to boil vigorously for 90 minutes and then cool to below DMS forming temperatures quickly.

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Old 08-23-2012, 04:42 PM   #10
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sorry for the delay, i've been out of town. i only entered into one competition but both judges harped on DMS being a major fault of the beer. i had one last night and i do get a sort of bmc smell from the beer, among the spices/citrus. i guess that's the cornyness they are referring to. it isn't super strong, but i can detect it. i had thought it was just from the beer being a little too bland from a low fermentation temperature. until i can do full vigorous boils i'll cut down on my partial boil volume (to make boiling easier). i think i might have gotten up to 4 or 4.5 gallons starting volume with the wit.

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