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Old 01-10-2010, 07:03 AM   #1
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Default Help with Diacetyl

I brewed a Dortmunder style lager with Wyeast 2487. I made a 4 quart starter, and pitched the 1.047 beer at 50F. When fermentation slowed at 6 days I ramped it up to a 62F diacyetyl rest and held that for 2 days.
When I racked it to a secondary at 2 weeks, it was at 1.015, smelled and tasted very strongly of sulphur. I just kegged it tonight, and the sulphur is gone, but it tastes of diacetyl, which SWMBO confirmed.
I've brewed about 20 lagers so far, and this is my first that had noticeable diacetyl at kegging time.
Is there anything I can do about it now?


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Old 01-10-2010, 07:23 AM   #2
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Man, after it is off the yeast I really don't think there is too much you can do. I do have to ask, why on earth did you do a diacetly rest after only 6 days? I usually let my lagers sit in the primary for a month, then i taste a sample, if I find any hint of diacetly, I then do a D-Rest for 48-72hrs then rack to a secondary and lager for at least another month. Sounds to me that you racked way too early and didnt give the yeast a chance to clean up their byproducts.


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Old 01-10-2010, 07:53 AM   #3
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I do have to ask, why on earth did you do a diacetly rest after only 6 days?
I've brewed about 20 lagers without the slightest hint of diacetyl using the procedure from Palmer - http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter10-4.html

" [The diacetyl] rest at the end of primary fermentation consists of raising the temperature of the beer to 55-60 F for 24 - 48 hours before cooling it down for the lagering period. "
After 6 days, it was within a couple of points of my expected terminal gravity. I let it sit on the cake for another 8 days after that.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Newbeerguy View Post
Man, after it is off the yeast I really don't think there is too much you can do. I do have to ask, why on earth did you do a diacetly rest after only 6 days?
All available evidence suggests that enzymatic reduction of diacetyl is well under way by the 6th day of a lager fermentation.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:13 AM   #5
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If it's because the yeast didn't take it up, then pitch some more active yeast to see if that helps. It's possible that it could be from a pedio infection, which means pitching more yeast won't help much. Is it just diacetyl that tastes off?
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:16 PM   #6
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If it's because the yeast didn't take it up, then pitch some more active yeast to see if that helps. It's possible that it could be from a pedio infection, which means pitching more yeast won't help much. Is it just diacetyl that tastes off?
It is just the diacetyl.
Pitching more active yeast sounds like an interesting idea. By "active yeast", do you mean like a starter at high krausen? Or a rehydrated dry yeast?
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:21 PM   #7
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You need activly fermenting wort, so a starter at high krausen will do the trick providing the diacetyl isn't from an infection.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gxm View Post
I've brewed about 20 lagers without the slightest hint of diacetyl using the procedure from Palmer - http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter10-4.html

" [The diacetyl] rest at the end of primary fermentation consists of raising the temperature of the beer to 55-60 F for 24 - 48 hours before cooling it down for the lagering period. "
After 6 days, it was within a couple of points of my expected terminal gravity. I let it sit on the cake for another 8 days after that.
I didn't mean to question your process. I never had a lager finish up that quick. Actually I found that if I leave my lagers in the primary for 1 month, I don't need to do a diacetyl rest at all.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:27 PM   #9
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You can try krausening, which has worked for me. Add a qt. of actively fermenting wort and let it reduce the diacetyl. This assumes the diacetyl is not due to an infection.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Newbeerguy View Post
I didn't mean to question your process. I never had a lager finish up that quick. Actually I found that if I leave my lagers in the primary for 1 month, I don't need to do a diacetyl rest at all.
My understanding of the diacetyl rest was that you wanted to do it while the yeast are still in suspension & actively fermenting. I've read some sources say you should do it when the beer is 2/3rds of the way to FG.
Personally, I'm not sure I need to do the rest with most lagers, though I've done it more as a precautionary measure. With many of the lagers I've made, at the time I want to do the rest, the sulphur is so strong I'm not sure I'd notice the diacetyl.

Anyway, I'm brewing a another beer with 2487 week after next, so I'll draw off 2 quarts of that while it's actively fermenting and add it to the Dortmunder. Thanks for the suggestions.


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