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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Acetaldehyde in EVERY all grain batch!
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:46 PM   #11
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Something that you should do to get healthy fermentations is oxygenate your wort. I didn't see that as part of your process. I started out dumping wort between to buckets to get oxygen into the wort. That is back breaking work and not really a very effective technique. I bought an aeration kit that has an aeration stone, a wand, and a valve. You hook this up to a oxygen bottle that you get at a hardware store and it pumps pure oxygen into your wort. This is so much easier and much more effective at raising the oxygen levels in the wort.


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Old 05-02-2012, 01:48 PM   #12
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This is where the equipment-building bug might bite you! I built a cheap fermentation chamber by taking the door off of an old dorm-fridge, the cube shaped one, and built a box around it out of pink foam. Just hot-glued it and duct taped it together. You can make it any size you want. Then I put a cheap temp controller from ebay on it for $20 bucks. Voila! No need to haul your beer down the stairs.


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Old 05-02-2012, 01:56 PM   #13
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Yep, I echo what others have said.

I strongly suggest Star San instead of One Step - even if that's not the primary source of your off flavors.

Drop fermentation temp to closer to 70.

Oxygenate well.

I never rehydrate my yeast and have never had off-flavors. Don't make the process harder if you can avoid it and if you are [eventually] pleased with the results.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slarkin712 View Post
Something that you should do to get healthy fermentations is oxygenate your wort. I didn't see that as part of your process. I started out dumping wort between to buckets to get oxygen into the wort. That is back breaking work and not really a very effective technique. I bought an aeration kit that has an aeration stone, a wand, and a valve. You hook this up to a oxygen bottle that you get at a hardware store and it pumps pure oxygen into your wort. This is so much easier and much more effective at raising the oxygen levels in the wort.

Do you think an aquarium pump would work for oxygenating the beer? I have a number of those from old aquariums with stones and what not. funds are a little tight for getting pure O2 setup.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:00 PM   #15
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This is where the equipment-building bug might bite you! I built a cheap fermentation chamber by taking the door off of an old dorm-fridge, the cube shaped one, and built a box around it out of pink foam. Just hot-glued it and duct taped it together. You can make it any size you want. Then I put a cheap temp controller from ebay on it for $20 bucks. Voila! No need to haul your beer down the stairs.
If my old fridge wasn't already being used in my garage (detached garage) I would probably do that. Luckily my basement is always in the 60's and I can keg and bottle down there making it easier on the back once everything is moved
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:15 PM   #16
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I had cidery flavors in my beers due to improper pitch rates, old yeast, not making starters, not rehydrating yeast...everything except temperature was to blame.

Now I rehydrate, use yeast nutrients, always aerate the wort thoroughly, make starters for all liquid yeasts (even got a stir plate), and the cider is gone.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:22 PM   #17
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I always forget to make a starter until it's brew day and then it's too late. Rookie mistakes, I know.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:35 PM   #18
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I'm in a similar boat - last 8 batches (all-grain) have had Acetal. I still have not figured out why, but I think I'm getting closer. Things I have tried so far:

- different O2 levels (with stone as well as the old shake method)
- yeast starter (different sizes); dried yeast, liquid yeast
- decanting yeast starter before pitching

None of the things I mention above got rid of the acetal. Nor did the acetal ever go away after prolonged conditioning. I am now concentrating on fermentation temps. The one variable that did change when all this started happening is I got a new fridge for controlling fermentation temps. So everything points to too high or low temps during fermentation; or big swings. I do have a two zone thermostat, one zone controls the fridge and the other a heater in the fridge.

A couple notes about my set-up: the fridge is now in the basement where it stays around 65-66. And there is a lot of dead airspace in the fridge. What I *think* is happening is that by the time ambient records too high of a temp, the actual beer is probably another 4-5 degrees higher. So for example, the fridge kicks on when it reads 72 (trying to ferment at 69). But I wonder what the temp is of the actual wort? Probably closer to 76-77. So I'm going to try adding a small computer fan to keep the air circulating. I'm also working on a way to log the temps of both the ambient temp as well as the beer so that I can really decipher what's going on.

Another observation, when I first got the fridge it was summer (hot) and the fridge was in the garage. All the beers I brewed then did NOT have acetal. I'm wondering if the fridge turned on more often because it was so hot outside, keeping the temp swings down (eg. the ambient temp in the fridge fluctuated more rapidly due to the heat outside, so the beer may never have had a chance to get too hot). Maybe I'm reaching here, but thought I would mention it.

Hope this helps, and if you find a solution please let us know.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:39 PM   #19
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To caskconditioned: To avoid the big temp swings you need to have your temp probe taking the temp of the beer, not the ambient temp. The easiest way to do this is to tape the probe onto the side of your frementer and then insulate it by taping some bubble wrap or a foam beer cosy (sp?) over the probe. Tests have been done and show that this method gives you the beer temp within a degree.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:49 PM   #20
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To racetech: If you forget to make your started ahead of time all is not lost. Go ahead and make the starter when you first begin your brewday. Four or five hours later, especially if you have a stir plate or swirl it up often, it will have gotten started and be that much better than pitching straight from the vial or smack pack.


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