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Old 06-19-2013, 05:43 PM   #1
bzwyatt
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Default Couple questions on bottling and flavors

Questions and then explanations for them...

- Is bottle priming with table sugar at amounts recommended by MrB too giving my beer some fruity flavor?

- Does your yeast stick to the bottom of the bottle in the fridge?


I brewed 4 or 5 batches of MrB, I moved to extract/specialty grains and I've done a few batches of those. I expected a difference in taste from MrB when I went to the boiling and it is better, but there was still the fruity flavor. I didn't have good temp control with the batches I've had so far, so maybe that is it, but I am suspecting that maybe bottle priming has drawbacks.

I've brewed 3 varieties of MrB, and my 2 extract/specialty grains batches were a Belgain pale ale and an amber ale. All of these beers had a distinctive, sweet/fruity flavor. The first batch I drank early, but the latest one fermented for 3 weeks and bottled for 3 weeks, but it has the same sweet flavor.

Could it be too much sugar in the bottle? I followed MrB, and I've heard others say those amounts are a little higher than is 'customary'.

Also, all the yest sediment in my bottles sticks really good to the bottom of the bottle when it gets cold. I pour slowly, but none of my beers - as long as they are stil cold from the fridge - bring any visible sediment with them when I pour. But I am thinking maybe this flavor is too much yeast still, and maybe some came from the bottom and I just didn't see it.

Do you always leave a 1/4" of beer in the bottle when you pour? What if the sediment isn't moving?


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Old 06-19-2013, 08:42 PM   #2
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I will take a stab at this.
I only did a single MrB batch years ago and I carefully measured the amount into each PET bottle. I do not remember any "fruity" flavors, instead it was really good beer and hence my new hobby.

In theory, if you use a priming calculator (ie BeerSmith) the recommended are to give the beer a specified volume of CO2 per bottle.
The remaining yeast consume the priming sugar and release CO2.
I doubt very much that it would contribute any sweet flavors, essentially because any priming sugar that would be left to give you a "taste" would still be useful to the yeast and you would end up with bottle bombs.
The only "fruity" flavors that I am aware of are called esters and are a direct result of yeast type and fermentation temperature. If you can admit that your ferm temps were not within range, then that would be a more reasonable explanation for the fruity taste that you are getting.

As far as the yeast taste, in my experience it is not "fruity" at all. It is sharp and not enjoyable in the least.

Yes, dependent on the yeast strain, it is common to have flocculated yeast that has to be forcibly removed from the bottom. If you are careful with the pour, you can even get less than 1/4".


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Old 06-19-2013, 09:09 PM   #3
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Yeah, the flavor is the same and all those beers had crappy fermentation control, they all were on the high side of the fermenting range. So that is probably the 'cause of the off-flavor.

My first batch that I fermented in my fridge should be ready to drink in a week or two... I hope it is finally good, without any off-flavors.

On the pouring thing though, I have never had the sediment come off the bottle when I pour. I always have just poured it all out, gently. Well, one time I let it sit for a little longer than I wanted to, and it got kinda warm, and that one the yeast actually started to come off the bottom and I left that part in the bottle. But every other beer I've made I just poured it all out. I can't be the only person whose yeast sticks to the bottom of the bottle...

So is there some invisible sediment I am missing, and even if I don't see anything coming off the bottom of the bottle, I am getting some yeast if I pour all my beer out of the bottle?
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:38 PM   #4
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The batch that you are fermenting in the refrigerator I am assuming is a lager? Otherwise, you may have gone to the other end of the spectrum and fermented at too low of a temperature and it might not have fermented at all.

What kind of yeast did you use in the batches? Couple of factors that you need to be aware of when it comes to yeast:
1) ale vs lager yeast
2) attenuation% (usually in the high 60 to 70 and 80's)
3) flocculation (higher flocculation yeasts are the ones that do the job and then "clump" together better and sink to the bottom.
For instance Nottingham dry yeast is a great neutral ale yeast that does not impart any special flavors to the beer and I have found that it is one that really sticks to the bottom of the bottle, especially when they have been in the fridge for a week or two.
So to answer your question again, yes a lot of us have yeast that sticks to the bottom of the bottle. A quote from my prior message:
"Yes, dependent on the yeast strain, it is common to have flocculated yeast that has to be forcibly removed from the bottom. If you are careful with the pour, you can even get less than 1/4"."
It happens all the time.
As far as invisible yeasties making it into the glass. I am sure that there are some little critters that avoid the sticky bottom of the bottles, but as you can see most are stuck at the bottom.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:07 PM   #5
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You might try conditioning longer. Only one of my beers was ready at three weeks, the others were cidery. These were also MrBeer, though I've taken to priming with less sugar. I don't have temperature control either, but the ambient temps for all of those was in the mid sixties.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:19 PM   #6
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The table sugar used for bottling will not be enough to give any flavor and if you were using too much you'd probably have bottle bombs or at the least at lot of foam when you open them. What temps were you fermenting at? Many ale yeasts will give off fruity flavors when fermented too high. Try finding a place where you can keep it in the 60's if possible.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:12 PM   #7
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The fridge is my temp controlled fermentation chamber, set at 65 and with ale in it.

I didn't mean that you can still taste actual sugar sweetness, just that maybe priming with too much sugar can affect the final flavor, not just the level of carbonation?

And I still am confused about pouring. If my sediment is not disturbed as I pour, is there a good reason to stop and not empty the bottle of all the beer in it?
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:29 PM   #8
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Fruity flavors is yeast and temperature dependent. Too high a fermentation temp can cause fruity esters. Good fermentation temperatures with certain yeast strains are supposed to produce fruity esters.

As for the yeast in the bottle, if you don't mind the possibility of it getting in your glass then pour all you want-its a personal thing

No, priming sugar should not add sweetness to the beer as it is supposed to ferment out fully to create the desired volume of CO2.

Since there is no recipe on this post or strains of yeast used take these as generalities pertaining to the question.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:33 PM   #9
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Ferment chamber. Copy that loud and clear. That beer should be great. I will ask again though, what kind of yeast?

Sugary sweetness is not the issue. Copy that loud and clear.
Like i said in my previous post, I think that too much priming sugar would give you a much more serious problem in the form of bottle bombs. High ferment temps are more than likely the cause. Off flavors from yeast are infinitely unique and fruity is one of the many.

If the majority of your yeast is caked on the bottom of the bottle then pour until you start to see particles in the thin stream of beer and then stop. I have on more than one occasion gotten all the beer leaving wet yeast behind.
The downside of yeast consumption is beer farts. SWMBO is not find of them, so the decision is easy for me.
Happy wife = Happy life
Leave a little bit in the bottles and open another home brew. It has taken me a while to get a pipeline going but I have a lot of beer stockpiled.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:28 PM   #10
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Thanks for comments. I have used MrBeer yeast, Wyeast Belgian ale yeast and American ale yeast. I don't remember all their numbers, but I think 1056 was one.

My IPA bubbled for a couple days after pitching, then quit. It is in my fridge which is set at 66, but I think overnight it got lower than 65, maybe 63 or 64. Could it have stalled? Should I take a gravity reading?


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