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Old 03-21-2009, 12:51 AM   #1
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Default 2 batches failed!

So I think I found the problem but there's not much I can do about it. I brewed two batches with some recovered WLP001. Both batches have the same "sour" taste or "fresh chicken meat" smell to it. The stuff is drinkable but not very enjoyable. I tossed the leftover yeast.

So now I'm about to brew a Steamer from some washed yeast (which I'd like to think I did right) and it occurred to me just because you brew with a starter doesn't mean the yeast wont impart "off" flavors later on.

How, exactly, can you tell with a starter if the yeast is going to ruin a batch? Do I sample some of the starter before pitching? (sounds yukky)


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Old 03-21-2009, 01:14 AM   #2
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You can sample the starter. I do. It usually just tastes like unhopped beer like you would expect. However, I once had a starter smell like steak sauce. I tossed that one and used the backup plan. But, a lot of people here say that their starters usually smell/taste weird, so I'm not sure how much information you can get by sampling the starter.


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Old 03-21-2009, 03:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by duskb View Post
How, exactly, can you tell with a starter if the yeast is going to ruin a batch? Do I sample some of the starter before pitching? (sounds yukky)
Fermentation performance may be a indication, but taste and smell can tell you a lot. To get an idea of what it should taste like, save a little from the tube/smack pack (if liquid). Taste and smell it. Compare that later.

Keep in mind that it might not be the yeast. Your beer could've picked up some wild yeast/bacteria by other means.

Good luck!
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Old 03-22-2009, 02:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by FireBrewer View Post
Fermentation performance may be a indication, but taste and smell can tell you a lot. To get an idea of what it should taste like, save a little from the tube/smack pack (if liquid). Taste and smell it. Compare that later.

Keep in mind that it might not be the yeast. Your beer could've picked up some wild yeast/bacteria by other means.

Good luck!
I don't know, I'm pretty anal about sanitation and yeast. The yeast was immediately washed and put into a mason jar. I have been dipping into the jar every now and then with a measuring spoon to get some yeast out but I always soak the transfer mediums in idophor for at least 5 minutes before I do. I'm not sure what happened but those containers weren't open long enough to gather wild yeasts.

I did have a situation a ways back where my yeast fridge had the power shut off without my knowledge. It mustve been off for two days before I got to it. All of the food had to be thrown out...I suspect temp was in the 50-60's when I opened it. I've asked around if the yeast was still useable and the consensus was it should be "ok". Maybe this stuff came out of that batch?

I did compare smells BTW and all of my washed yeast has a slightly off smell to it, not like a fresh yeast tube, even the steamer stuff I just harvested does. I assumed that had to do more with the trub particulates that are still mixed in with the yeast solution?

I have a starter going with the steamer now and its been foaming nicely...I'll sample a bit before I pitch. i cant imagine it would taste all that good but I just want to be sure it doesnt turn my brew into a sour beer.
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