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Old 04-04-2012, 06:51 AM   #1
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Default Really? WTF Banana again!

Like all new home brewers, I have met with some difficulties with my first beers. Enemy number for me one has been banana esters (smell and taste) due to too high of a fermentation temp or lack of oxy- duh know for sure but I did them all wrong.

So brew number 7, I got my act together and got the temperatures in line (pitch and ferment at an average of 64-66 within the parameters of the yeast). I made a NW Hefe that was looking like it was going to be fantastic! At bottling (2 week ferment) it tasted and smelled perfect. I even opened one bottled a week early and it was looking like it was going to be awesome!

Now two weeks later I opened a bottle and that that goddamn banana scent is back, really? What the hell could I have done... Am I cursed with banana scented beer?

OK... I understand that banana scent is OK with a Hefe but it appeared from out of the blue... And at this point I loath it!

BTW- Used drops to prime, Wyeast 2565, oxygen for 1.30 min, steady temp, low head space, clean clean clean...

Help!

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Old 04-04-2012, 07:30 AM   #2
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how are you controlling your temps? I set my carboy on my basement floor full of tap water for 2 days once, it was at a steady 64deg... i then brewed a beer, pitched yeast, and set it one the same floor, the next day my temp was at 72deg with a full on fermentation. moral of the story, fermentation creates its own heat. Never brewed a hefe so i cant help you with the yeast strain, but i do know if you air temp is mid 60s it WILL ferment higher than the room temp. I now ferment in a large Tub with water in it. In the summer I add frozed water bottles to keep things cool. sorry about the bad beer. I couldn't drink the first 5-6 beers I brewed. I feel your pain and frustration

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Old 04-04-2012, 07:49 AM   #3
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How warm did you keep the bottles while carbing? Could have been made during that ferment if it was done warm.

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Old 04-04-2012, 08:49 AM   #4
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Isnt a hefe suppsed to taste like a banana. Isnt that the point. I like the banana and clove flavors. But if you don't like banana don't brew a hefe.

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Old 04-04-2012, 11:32 AM   #5
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lol yea i would complained at the next batch. for this one, you not only get no sympathy from me, but i might just digitally highfive you for awesome bananas in your hefe

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Old 04-04-2012, 11:52 AM   #6
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That banana character is very common in German wheat beers. Wyeast's website mentions that the Kolsch yeast (2565) has some fruity esters of an ale yeast, I guess banana is one of those fruity esters. It's been my experience that fermenting in the upper temperature ranger of a yeast produces more of the fruity esters, 64-66 is closer to the upper range for this yeast (56F-70F). Also, is 64-66 the temperature of the beer or the ambient temperature? If it's the ambient temperature, the beer fermented even warmer, typically by 5-10 degrees.

I would say if you enjoy a wheat beer, but don't want the banana character, that you may want to try an American Wheat beer.

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Old 04-04-2012, 12:01 PM   #7
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I've brewed Hefes, but I've never used 2565 Kolsch yeast.

Nothing in the description of this yeast mentions banana, but it does call for cool, almost lager-like temps.

Make sure your temps are actual fermenter temps and not ambient.

If you want to brew a wheat beer without any banana use 1010 Am Wheat. This is what I use for SWMBO's Honey Wheats. No banana or clove at all..

Pez.

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Old 04-04-2012, 12:15 PM   #8
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My stout and my Belgian ale both smelled like bananas for the first few weeks in bottles. After 1-2 months in bottles that banana smell was gone!

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Old 04-04-2012, 12:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncommonsense View Post
Isnt a hefe suppsed to taste like a banana. Isnt that the point. I like the banana and clove flavors. But if you don't like banana don't brew a hefe.
This.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:57 PM   #10
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I fermented a Dunkelweizen at 68 (measured on the outside of the Carboy) and I didn't notice banana esters until I made pancakes with it.

How are you aerating your wort? I swirl the wort for about 15 minutes before pitching.

Wyeast's writeup on 3068 says that overpitching can eliminate banana esters. You might have to experiment with your pitching rate.

Also, and I don't know how much this really affects the beer, but it's traditional to have the pitching temperature and the fermentation temperature of a hefeweizen add up to 30C.

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