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Old 10-23-2012, 12:17 PM   #1
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Default US-05, pale ale and diacetyl. Ring a bell?

So, I'm officially giving up using US-05 for pale ales, and wondering if I should stop using it for any style.

I recently dumped a batch of APA because of diacetyl. It could not be missed, trust me. I'm sure you are wondering what I did wrong. Well, I have a standard brewing approach for ales that has been working for a long time. I make sure my pitch rate is adequate, sanitize well, oxygenate the wort, ferment steady at 68F for 2 weeks before kegging. I have made wonderful brown ales and stouts using US-05 under this same methodology, no problems with off flavors whatsoever.

Yesterday I was kegging a black IPA fermented with US-05 and I'm pretty sure I picked up diacetyl in the green beer. It's less than the dumped APA and I'm surely hoping it will be minimal once the beer is carbonated and conditioned but, I'm skeptical because I had become very sensitive to diacetyl.

I wonder if others have had similar experiences with this yeast. Thanks!


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Old 10-23-2012, 12:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Indyking View Post
So, I'm officially giving up using US-05 for pale ales, and wondering if I should stop using it for any style.

I recently dumped a batch of APA because of diacetyl. It could not be missed, trust me. I'm sure you are wondering what I did wrong. Well, I have a standard brewing approach for ales that has been working for a long time. I make sure my pitch rate is adequate, sanitize well, oxygenate the wort, ferment steady at 68F for 2 weeks before kegging. I have made wonderful brown ales and stouts using US-05 under this same methodology, no problems with off flavors whatsoever.

Yesterday I was kegging a black IPA fermented with US-05 and I'm pretty sure I picked up diacetyl in the green beer. It's less than the dumped APA and I'm surely hoping it will be minimal once the beer is carbonated and conditioned but, I'm skeptical because I had become very sensitive to diacetyl.

I wonder if others have had similar experiences with this yeast. Thanks!
I haven't had any issues at all with S05 producing diacetyl. It sounds like you're doing everything right, but if you want to try again there is something that might help. That's just raising the fermentation temperature to 70 at day 5 of active fermentation. That would encourage the yeast to clean up any diacetyl they created.

One thing that comes to my mind is that diacetyl is sometimes produced by bacteria, like pediococcus. If you're using washed S05, that is a possibility. Otherwise, if you're using S05 straight from the package, and not having this issue with other strains, then I just don't know.


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Old 10-23-2012, 12:24 PM   #3
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I trust you, but I've never gotten diacetyl from any of the 3 Chico strains. When exactly are you picking it up- when racking to kegs/bottles, after a few weeks of conditioning, during fermentation? Green beer often throws off interesting aroma and flavors, but nothing a week or two of cold conditioning can't fix (in my experience). Using WLP001 (same strain at US-05), I often go from grain to glass in 14-20 days, sometimes less with a low OG, and my beers some out crisp and clean. Hmm...
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper

I haven't had any issues at all with S05 producing diacetyl. It sounds like you're doing everything right, but if you want to try again there is something that might help. That's just raising the fermentation temperature to 70 at day 5 of active fermentation. That would encourage the yeast to clean up any diacetyl they created.

One thing that comes to my mind is that diacetyl is sometimes produced by bacteria, like pediococcus. If you're using washed S05, that is a possibility. Otherwise, if you're using S05 straight from the package, and not having this issue with other strains, then I just don't know.
I currently don't have the ability to raise the room temp where I ferment but I thank your suggestion. I always use a fresh package and rehydrate before pitching. US-05 is my working horse... I keep a couple of packages in the fridge because its stable for a long time, it's cheap, easy to use, and have a clean profile. It will be a shame if I give up using it but I'm getting traumatized
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brulosopher
I trust you, but I've never gotten diacetyl from any of the 3 Chico strains. When exactly are you picking it up- when racking to kegs/bottles, after a few weeks of conditioning, during fermentation? Green beer often throws off interesting aroma and flavors, but nothing a week or two of cold conditioning can't fix (in my experience). Using WLP001 (same strain at US-05), I often go from grain to glass in 14-20 days, sometimes less with a low OG, and my beers some out crisp and clean. Hmm...
In the APA the diacetyl flavor was strong since the beer was green upon kegging all the way to 2 months of cold conditioning. I had to dump it. Some off flavors are tolerable when subtle but diacetyl ruins it for me. I would rather have a bud light honestly.

For this black IPA I just legged it yesterday. Smell was clean but I picked up diacetyl on the green beer. Maybe this one will be ok once carbonated and conditioned. I hope.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:23 PM   #6
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Only time I really had a problem with diacetyl with US-05 was a DIPA that a pro brewer picked up on.. now every beer over a 1.050 OG, US-05 gets rehydrated and left on the cake an extra week.. that seemed to solve it for me..
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:31 PM   #7
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I had this issues when I started brewing because I fermented too hot and didn't let the beer sit on the yeast cake for at least 2.5 weeks. Now I do 21 day primary fermentations every time 65F for the first week and then 70F for 2 more weeks, then bottle.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:13 PM   #8
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I use S-05 for most of my brewing (including an APA that I've brewed 4-5 times) and never had any issues. Like you, I tend to be pretty sensitive to diacetyl and once I find it in a beer that's all I can taste. I know this doesn't solve your problem, but I'm surprised you're having issues...
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:53 PM   #9
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The yeast isn't the problem.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osagedr
The yeast isn't the problem.
I have problems believing that when I have been using the same technique for ales and this problem is showing up only with this yeast.

Having said that, I do have a hand full of ales brewed with US05 that turned out great, so I'm really puzzled.

Looking back on my records of ales fermented with US05, the 2 that gave me diacetyl have only one thing different from the other successful ones. They both had an OG around 1.060 while the others were more around 1.050-54. I wonder if this yeast is getting "stressed" at higher gravities or perhaps 1 packet of rehydrated US05 is not enough for a 5 gallon batch of a 1.060 wort?


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