[Is it fine to pitch?] Yeast Starter - smells different ... ? (Help!) - Home Brew Forums
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Old 06-04-2009, 06:52 AM   #1
maztec
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-- My question is - is this fine to pitch, has something gone wrong, and why am I only noticing this now?

I have tasted and smelled every yeast starter I have made to date. So far, they have been agreeable, and beery.

A few days ago I began a new starter (WYeast 3944 Belgian Witbier). I have done this one before, and noted its aroma/etc and it seemed fine. However, today, after getting my brew ready for adding yeast, I sniffed the starter I made and cringed. It doesn't smell infected, but it smells sharp and tastes sharp. I am not sure how else to describe it. It isn't metallic, but it is sharp. It is fruity, but that is what I expect from this yeast.

So, now I am afraid to pitch it. Have I ruined it? Or should I be fine as long as I make sure to limit the excess liquid I pitch into my new brew?

The only thing I can think of is that we had an unexpected heat wave the last few days and I have been having a hard time keeping it below 85F . SWMBO is "afraid of burglars" (she goes through this every year until it is hot enough to make her no longer care) and refuses to leave a window open and a fan on during the day ... so the house makes for a nice little oven *sigh*. By the time I am home, it is up to 90F, and my fermentation cupboard is around 80F and everything inside is around 84F. I swear she just wants to ruin my beer so I'll stop this crazy experiment.

Luckily, it is supposed to cool down tomorrow .. and I am leaving after her the next few days, so will make sure fan is on and a window into the chillway is open.

Thanks for the help folks,

-M



 
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:27 AM   #2
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Are we talking about a "farmhouse" or "horse blanket" smell ?

some unique scents are common with Belgian strains, smells and tastes sharp that is kinda hard to decipher

-Jason


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Old 06-04-2009, 12:33 PM   #3
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yeah, my belgian wit starter had a little funk to it, but it turned out fine in the beer. you may have gotten some off flavors with temps that high, but just try to control fermentation temp as much as possible with the actual beer. i did my wit around 68* and it came out well.
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maztec View Post
-- SWMBO is "afraid of burglars" (she goes through this every year until it is hot enough to make her no longer care)
-M
Maz, that's funny - my SWMBO does the same thing. It usually lasts until mid to late June, then she gives up keeping those burglers out and opens the windows

 
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:17 PM   #5
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This is my second wit, the funky starter really had me worried. I let a lot of it off. I've probably under pitched it . . . hope it will be fine.

We'll see if this wit, unwittingly becomes a Saison. I should have added more hops :\.

@phatuna: Good to hear I'm not the only one with this experience!

Thanks guys. I ended up pitching it, but we'll see how it goes. I might get stalled due to how much I let off, and then I guess I will just add more yeast...

 
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:16 PM   #6
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I have only made 1 starter with a Wit yeast strain (WLP400), and man it was seriously funky I kept it in the guest bathroom and in all honestly it smelled like someone dropped the kids off at the pool, if you're pickin up what I'm puttin down. I would have to surmise that Belgian Wit Yeasties are stinky from my one and only experience and from all the posts here about them.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schnitzengiggle View Post
I have only made 1 starter with a Wit yeast strain (WLP400), and man it was seriously funky I kept it in the guest bathroom and in all honestly it smelled like someone dropped the kids off at the pool, if you're pickin up what I'm puttin down. I would have to surmise that Belgian Wit Yeasties are stinky from my one and only experience and from all the posts here about them.
Yes, I do, good lord, you are evil. However, that reminds me, it did have that sharp aroma of an over chlorinated, filthy pool. Except, it didn't smell like chlorine :\

 
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:27 PM   #8
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I was thinkin more of like a funky deuce.
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Old 06-06-2009, 03:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schnitzengiggle View Post
I was thinkin more of like a funky deuce.
Except, it didn't smell like chlorine.

 
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Old 06-06-2009, 03:15 AM   #10
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Under 90F is probably alright for most Belgian starters (but not necessarily the beer.) The worst thing is all though temps that high may produce higher numbers of yeast their health may not be so good.


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