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Old 03-17-2009, 11:16 PM   #1
punk_rockin2001
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I've bottled 3 batches that have all used versions of Nottingham yeast and they all have very similar fruity flavors. The "worst" in particular was a high gravity barley wine that tastes and smells very very fruity. Banana in particular. The flavor is not offensive, but strange. When you open a bottle of the barley wine it smells like wine much more than a beer. Has anyone else had anything like this?

 
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:18 PM   #2
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Probably high fermentation temps - that is normally where you get the fruity/bananery (is that a word?) esters. What are you fermenting at?

 
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:20 PM   #3
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Usually, the fruity flavors you describe come from fermenting at too-high a temperature. It's a more common problem in the summer. Under 70 degrees (fermenting temperature, not the ambient air temperature), nottingham usually gives a very clean beer with very little fruitiness. As the fermentation temperature increases, you definitely get more esters (fruitiness). I've used nottingham as low as 59 degrees with great results, but have noticed that it does get fruity after it gets above 68 degrees or so.

I have a stick-on thermometer on the outside of the fermenter to monitor actual fermentation temperature. I've had people tell me that their fermentating temperature is as much as 10 degrees over the ambient air temperature, in a very active fermentation. I've had it as much as 7-8 degrees higher inside the carboy as outside of it!
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:24 PM   #4
punk_rockin2001
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The room that the fermenter was in was between 50 and 55 degrees during primary and secondary. I thought maybe the room was actually too cold, but its possible the temp inside was actually too hot? Its interesting you say that because the first 2 days of primary the carboy was warm to the touch. So next time I do a high gravity brew should I put the fermenter in an ice bath?

 
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punk_rockin2001 View Post
The room that the fermenter was in was between 50 and 55 degrees during primary and secondary. I thought maybe the room was actually too cold, but its possible the temp inside was actually too hot? Its interesting you say that because the first 2 days of primary the carboy was warm to the touch. So next time I do a high gravity brew should I put the fermenter in an ice bath?
Not necessarily. You can buy a cheap stick-on thermometer, and monitor the temperature that way (an aquarium themometer works great, if you can't find a dedicated brew thermometer) and only put it in the ice bath if it's too warm. If the room was 50 degrees, though, there is no way the fermenter should have been over about 60-65, though. It wouldn't have been warm to the touch. That's very weird!
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:06 AM   #6
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Just a thought...I'm not sure it is relevant but are those temps just in the daytime or monitored throughout the night as well? Couldn't large temp changes stress the yeast and produce off flavors?

 
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Old 03-18-2009, 02:23 AM   #7
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Where can you find a stick-on thermometer, that's a great idea.

 
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastricky View Post
Where can you find a stick-on thermometer, that's a great idea.
At any brew store...or most aquarium stores. They're like $2
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:24 PM   #9
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Thanks...!

 
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:34 PM   #10
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I have had this happen to me as well. 2 carboy's side by side in a cooler, being held at 65deg, both with Nottingham yeast (though different recipes). One had a strong banana flavor, and the other turned out nice and clean like you would expect from notty.

I just figured it was a fluke and have never had the problem again. Interesting to hear that someone else had a similar problem.
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