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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Recurring acetaldehyde problem
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:26 PM   #1
JustinB
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Default Recurring acetaldehyde problem

Hi everyone, I seem to have developed a problem with acetaldehyde in my last few batches, including an American brown, a Scottish 80/- and a Golden Promise/Simcoe SMaSH (all all-grain).

I have left each of these beers in primary for approximately 3 weeks. The fermentation was temperature controlled in a chest freezer in the mid-60s with the probe taped to the side of the fermenter and insulated.

Each of these batches was brewed in mid-December. They are kegged and the acetaldehyde is still noticeable.

Does anyone have any thoughts/suggestions? Infection? Something else?


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Old 02-28-2011, 09:00 PM   #2
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Good question, you might be interested in following this thread where someone is having similar problems. Might I ask if you are using a plastic primary? It sounds like this thread is leaning towards a possible infection or off flavour getting carried forward from the primary...

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/1st-...s-sort-208534/


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Old 02-28-2011, 09:07 PM   #3
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Did you check what the yeast you are using likes to produce? Some are noted for acetaldehyde I believe. Maybe you need to change yeast?
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:09 PM   #4
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cklages: Fermenting in better bottles

RM-MN: I typically use US-05 or Nottingham - both clean yeasts
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:18 PM   #5
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Did you pitch enough yeast? My green-apple beers were traced to using expired dry yeast, not making starters for liquid strains, and just plain not pitching optimal yeast counts into my wort.

And I don't make many beers over 1.050 so its not much work to make a starter for liquid, or hydrate my dry yeasts (or pitch extra if they're expired).

I've kind of given up on nottingham completely.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:20 PM   #6
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I believe all batches were US-05. One pack of dry yeast is plenty of yeast for all of these beers.

I've thought through so many variables and to my knowledge I'm doing everything right...
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:39 PM   #7
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Has anything changed with your water? City water or well?
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:26 AM   #8
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Why do you consider it acetaldehyde? Has someone reputable confirmed this? There are many phenols and tannins that can taste "tart".

Have you tried leaving the kegs at cellar temperatures for a few weeks to clean it up? Acetaldehyde is a natural part of fermentation that will eventually be cleaned up by the yeast. It wouild be worth trying leaving a keg at room temp for 1-2 weeks and see if the problem goes away.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:20 PM   #9
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RM-MN: Denver city water, treated with Campden tablets. Nothing has (to my knowledge) changed.

theredben: Confirmed acetaldehyde by several homebrewers. I haven't left a keg at cellar temperature but that is definitely worth a try.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:51 PM   #10
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I don't know about Campden tablets either. I just read a wiki on them and dont want that (sulphur, and salts) in my beer. I'm not saying its causing your problem, but I purchase mountain spring water for my beer.
Do the other brewers in your area use them - with the same city water? I would prefer starting with clean fresh water, or invest in some filtering rather than use more chemicals.

are you fermenting primary only? The only thing that would "grow" a problem that tastes worse later, might be some sort of infection or contamination. perhaps your bottle sanitizing or bottling bucket?
I think you would find an infection in primary pretty easily.

I suggest trying different water solution just for taste if nothing else - on a future batch.


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