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Old 11-20-2012, 04:44 PM   #1
DerBraumeister
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Hello

I am heavily disappointed by my last brew, a belgian Tripel with the Wyeast 3787. I bottled the beer two weeks ago and since I wanted to repitch the yeast, I opened a bottle last weekend and behold; Phenols. Medicinal, bandaid, disgusting. Needless to say, I threw away the yeast!

I have had this happening in a Kolsch and the phenols did not age out. But I wanted to ask if this could be normal for a young belgian Tripel. (I have picked up some phenols in commercial tripels btw.)

Here is the process:
-Total fermentetion volume of 6 gal.
-100% German Pilsener for a starting gravity of 1.065.
-Mash temp 149.
-I used tab water-our water supply is not chlorinated (they use ozon and there is not the slightest hint of chlorine in the smell of the water)
-I do not use sanitisers based on chlorine (I use Chemipro Oxi)
-Batch sparging.
-90 Min boil
-Irish moss
-No chill.
-1.5 quart real wort starter overnight with a fresh pack of 3787
-At high krausen, I added 25 gravity points of table sugar dissolved in boiling water to reach a theoretical OG of 1.080
-Ambient temperature of fermentation in my cellar: 67 F
-On the third day of primary fermentation I wrapped a sheet of sponge around the fermenter as an isolation to let the temp rise for proper attenuation.
-Bottled after 3 Weeks in primary (the fermentation was over after 2 weeks).
-Final gravity: 1.008.

When I added the sugar to the fermenter, I noticed some sulfur but no phenols to mention. When I bottled, the beer had a strong banana aroma.

So, what do you think?

Have I just produced 6 gallons of nail polish remover, or is this normal for a 9% abv belgian tripel, that has only been on bottle for a week?

Regards, Der Braumeister

 
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:54 PM   #2
ajdelange
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Though I am not familiar with the particular yeast strain you used some phenolic character is definitely a part of many strong Belgian beers. It is not a part of Kölsch, however so I must assume that some part of your process is causing phenol production and if it's doing it to your Kölsch it is probably doing it to your Belgians as well. If the level of phenols was 'disgusting' the first thing I would look at is sanitation as this strongly suggests infection with a wild yeast strain carrying the POF (phenolic off flavor) gene. Some of the Belgian strains carry this gene (as does Bavarian wheat beer yeast) but none of them should produce phenolics at the 'disgusting' level.

Obviously the thing to do is let it age. New beer stinks for a time. If it doesn't dissipate with time then I'd start with sanitation.

 
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:25 PM   #3
g-star
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I agree with the infection assessment. No-chill brewing is a risky proposition for just this reason.

 
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:52 PM   #4
Denny
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I use that yeast a lot and have never gotten those flavors. I'd say you either have chlorine issues or an infection.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny View Post
I use that yeast a lot and have never gotten those flavors. I'd say you either have chlorine issues or an infection.
I also use it alot and don't get those flavors.

Quote:
Have I just produced 6 gallons of nail polish remover, or is this normal for a 9% abv belgian tripel, that has only been on bottle for a week?
For a 9% tripel you really should give it more time than one week. Let it sit for a few more weeks and taste one. Nothing about your ferment temp makes me think that you created fusels. If it does not mellow in a few more weeks, it could be an infection or chlorine issues.

 
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:09 PM   #6
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Most likely not an infection, especially if you are careful and sanitary in your process. Look at the water. I bet somewhere in your process you introduce cloramines via water source. Make sure that you use water that is filtered or that is free of chlorine from start to finish. I have discovered that even small sources can cause bandaid beer, especially with strains that are prone to have the POF gene. Even as much as rinsing your carboy bottles out with tap water has caused it in my experience. More bad news too, Phenols never go away!!
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:23 PM   #7
ajdelange
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I find it interesting that 3 out of 5 responses suggested chlorine though the OP says his supplier does not use it.

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Old 11-20-2012, 06:28 PM   #8
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One week is nowhere near enough time to evaluate this beer

Oxi is NOT a sanitizer!

Infection is highly possible if that's what you thought you sanitized with
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:36 PM   #9
Denny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duboman View Post
one week is nowhere near enough time to evaluate this beer

oxi is not a sanitizer!

Infection is highly possible if that's what you thought you sanitized with
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:54 PM   #10
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Also, if you got any oxyclean in your beer, that's likely the source of any phenols as well- but yes, oxyclean is definitely not a sanitizer. Also, at 1 week in bottles you're probably also experiencing a ton of alcohol heat. Nothing you can do at this point but to let it ride- see where it is in a couple months.
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