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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > PLEASE HELP! Frustrated beginner....Odd smell, not rotten but fruity, banana? esther
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Old 02-07-2009, 06:40 PM   #1
Dominator6
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Default PLEASE HELP! Frustrated beginner....Odd smell, not rotten but fruity, banana? esther

So I turn to the experts for advice. I have brewed 6 batches total including this one. In all 6 batches I get an off flavor, fruity kinda, banana-ish off flavor and smell. I just went to dry hop this ale and it has the same DAMN smell. I am VERY frustrated w/this and don't want to give up brewing but REFUSE to waste money on batches of so-so beer. HELP PLZ!

- I've tried eliminating this in the following ways:- 1st batch was hefe, LME 3 gal boil w/tapwater, dry yeast
- ALL others were amber/pale ales but produced the same off flavor.
- I've switched between dry to liquid yeast - same result
- I also tried using a starter for the dry yeast as opposed to just sprinkling in
- DME to LME - same result
- I've went from 3gal to 5 gal boil same result
- Changed my cleaners from bleach to oxy-clean(0 chlorine) - same result
- Cleaned what I feel is a little more thorough
- Bottled one batch as opposed to kegging which I normally do - same result
- I use a plastic fermenter 7.5gal for primary and glass for secondary (plastic doesn't seem to have any scratches for bacteria growth.)
- My friend that used to live in the neighborhood used tap water and bottled and his turned out great, no off flavor so I think it's something I'm doing.

I've heard that using the entire liquid yeast packet and having a very active fermentation could cause this. I've also noticed that most of my fermentations only last at most 24 hrs of good activity. Temp in my room is usually constant at 68-72degrees and I keep it out of light.

Please help w/some suggestions, I really want to make this work and produce GOOD beer.

TIA

"Frustrated Brewer"

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Old 02-07-2009, 06:45 PM   #2
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From Palmer (hope it helps!):
Estery / Fruity
Ales are supposed to be slightly fruity, and Belgian and German wheat beers are expected to have banana flavor components, but sometimes a beer comes along that could flag down a troop of monkeys. Esters are produced by the yeast and different yeast strains will produce different amounts and types. In general, higher fermentation temperatures produce more esters. Next batch, contrive to lower the fermentation temperature by a few degrees.

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Old 02-07-2009, 06:46 PM   #3
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I would like to know what your fermentation temps are. You say the room is 68-72, but what is the temp of the beer? It can easily be 10 degress warmer than ambient temp. Do you have a fermometor on your fermenter?

Based on your description, I am betting that fermentation temps are the culprit. Try putting your next batch in a cooler place. If none is available, try putting it in a large rubbermade container with water and frozen soda bottles.

I ferment most of my ales aaround 64F. Not the room at 64, the beer.

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Old 02-07-2009, 06:49 PM   #4
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I think banana esters are usually from yeast or temp problems.
You might try a little cooler fermentation temperature but the 68-72 doesn't seem excessive to me.

I see you've tried more than one yeast, but it might be helpful to know which you've tried.

Good luck. I'll wait for the experts with you.

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Old 02-07-2009, 06:50 PM   #5
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Okay. Steve and Monty posted while I was typing...What they said.

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Old 02-07-2009, 06:51 PM   #6
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I'd guess your fermentation temps were too high.

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Old 02-07-2009, 06:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99 View Post
I'd guess your fermentation temps were too high.
+1

My first several batches all smelled like get on da boat, da banana boat. Once I started controlling my fermentation temps (search for "son of fermentation chiller") this smell stopped completely. How long are you letting your fermentations go?

Also, Revvy has some good advice here.
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Old 02-07-2009, 06:59 PM   #8
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When I do check the fermometer it is usually 68-72 but I don't check it at night and it very well could go lower, or higher w/the heater kicking on. It is an old house and I know that temps fluctuate quite a bit.

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Old 02-07-2009, 07:25 PM   #9
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Did anyone mention fermentation temps yet? LOL

Try to keep it in the low 60s, at least for the first 5 days. I bet you'll see an improvement in flavor.

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Old 02-07-2009, 09:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ifishsum View Post
Did anyone mention fermentation temps yet? LOL


+1 and ditto on ferment temps. I just kegged a SF lager that had the same problem. I have just let it sit for four months in the carboy in my cold basement and it seems to have mellowed out. I also decided to dry hop it in the keg. Hopefully the bulk aging and dry hopping will make it a good beer.
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