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Old 08-04-2011, 06:45 AM   #1
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Default question about temp control and fruity esters

so my last batch has a good amount of unwanted fruity esters. yeast used was wlp001, made a healthy starter, and fermented between 60-62 with a temp control. after troubleshooting as much as possible, getting advice, and reading the bjcp off flavor notes i believe i fermented too cold. i always thought fermenting cold would leave a cleaner beer, but i think im wrong. i tape the temp control probe to my fermenter and set it at 61. my question- i always thought fermentation gets hotter during the initial period. since im doing this method am i actually fermenting at 61ish since the probe is touching the fermenter or is it reaching a higher temp? anybody have experience with this method or have feedback on the fruity ester profile.

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Old 08-04-2011, 07:28 AM   #2
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60-62 is a bit low on the fermentation scale, but like you mentioned, the actual beer temperature is normally 3-5 degrees warmer due to all of the yeast activity going on...for WLP001 though, that's still below the recommended temperature which might have resulted in unfermented sugars (i.e. fruity/sweet taste).

Are you positive it's esters that you're tasting? They normally result from above-average fermentation temperatures from what I've read. Can you describe the off-flavor a bit more (i.e. green apple, banana, etc.)? It might be that your brew is still too young to be tasting, as a green apple flavor is typical for young beer.

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Old 08-04-2011, 08:01 AM   #3
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yeah... there's a BIG difference between a beer tasting sweet and a little fuity and it having esthers which have a high order fruity taste/smell....

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Old 08-04-2011, 08:16 AM   #4
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What is "high-order" fruitiness? Banana? Ripe pit fruits? Pear? I think the difference makes the explanation more important.

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Old 08-04-2011, 08:20 AM   #5
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um.... hmmmm. like it is a flavor, but it happens up in your pallet and your nose. like it's the stuff that bridges the gap between flavor and smell. Regular sweetness is flatly on the tongue. "Fruity Esthers" are kind of like green apple flavoring and are most noticeable if you swirl the beer in your mouth and swallow then blow air out your nose.... does that make sense, or is the double chocolate stout i'm drinking talking for me?

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Old 08-04-2011, 08:23 AM   #6
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when i say "high order" i'm referring to the funkier alcohols that high ferment temps typically make. the ones that boil at lower temps and are therefore more aromatic... and kinda funky tasting.

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Old 08-04-2011, 08:48 AM   #7
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I thought those were phenolics. I think those are produced at much higher than ideal fermentation temps. The esters come out in the high end of the ideal fermentation range.

Are all things beer fermentation/taste related so ambiguous? I never really notice the esters or the fruity taste or the phenolics or anything like that. I dont have any beer geeks besides me in my circle. I need a couple of them. Then they could tell me if my brews had those properties. I dont taste anything besides tasty friggin' beer. Haha.

It could be the chocolate stout buddy.

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Old 08-04-2011, 08:57 AM   #8
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NO NO NO. Phenols come from chemicals in brewing water and taste like straight up band aids!!! seriously, I used unfiltered tap water one time.... ONE TIME! and it's is f-ing disgusting!

And yes, all the BS we chat about on here is completely ambiguous and silly. Don't get me wrong, I make a lot of beer and am familiar with problems caused by operating outside of the correct ranges, but I still spend MORE time blabbing about theory on here than I do actually screwing up brews

But I'm still quite sure the double stout is getting louder and louder with every reply :-/

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Old 08-04-2011, 08:59 AM   #9
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FYI belgian and lager yeasts tend to make banana esters. Some Lager yeasts make some really strange flavors when over temp. but that's a special case. Ale yeast make green apple-ish esters.

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Old 08-04-2011, 09:05 AM   #10
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ok, i'm drunk and going to bed... pobably should have done that an hour ago, huh... anyways, here's a pretty good simple explanation of off-flavors
http://www.homebrewzone.com/sour.htm

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