All my beers taste like Hefe's, wut?

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Haydn-Juby

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So every brew I have done recently has ended up tasting like a Hefe. Bubblegum Banana esters, the works. My pumpkin ale and pale ale I made up got these flavors and I'm really confused as to why. I used US-05 and no grains that would touch a Hefe and fermented somewhat cool so I'm really at a loss to what it could be. Over pitching perhaps?
 

snowveil

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Over pitching is very unlikely as ester production is usually amplified with underpitching and general yeast stress.

What were the *actual* fermentation temps? Did they stay steady? How were you controlling them?

Care to elaborate more on the recipes?
 
OP
H

Haydn-Juby

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Over pitching is very unlikely as ester production is usually amplified with underpitching and general yeast stress.

What were the *actual* fermentation temps? Did they stay steady? How were you controlling them?

Care to elaborate more on the recipes?
My pale ale consisted of maybe 10% crystal 40 and the other 90% being pale DME. What I'm thinking it might be now is maybe I pitched the yeast before the wort was entirely cool. That could definitely put some stress on it. I have no wort chiller and have been doing ice baths. Really I should be checking the temperature before pitching but I usually pitch once the kettle feels cool to the touch.

I didn't control the ferm temps but I would envision 65 being typical in the area I ferment. It's fairly consistent as well.
 

SPR-GRN

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I'm going to go ahead and ask about the sanitation procedure... most issues I've seen regarding off flavors are due to poor sanitation prior to brewing.. I don't know why my brother in law doesn't listen to me when i tell him to clean his equipment properly...
 

Culbetron

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Your pitch temp is too high and/or your ferment temp is too high. The pitch and the first 72 hours or so are a very critical time in the fermentation to have the temp dialed in. Don't forget that fermenting wort temps can often be up to 10f over the ambient air temp.

I'm sure has has absolutely nothing to do with sanitation. Unless it's been left long enough that the bacteria have evolved into intelligent life, started an agrarian civilization, grew some bananas, and allowed them to influence your wort.
 

fuzzy2133

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Definitely should get a stick on thermometer for your primary (for fermentation temp) and some sort of way to check your kettle temp during chilling.

For me cool to the touch is still in the 80's and bathtub warm is 95!
 

BlackGoat

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use a swamp cooler to get your ferm temps down, and obviously you need to pitch at a lower temp, should solve the problem.
 

feinbera

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Seriously, get a stick-on thermometer, that $3 is well worth being able to brew non-hefeweisens.

I started out with this exact problem; my first batch was meant to be an IPA, but came out as a hoppy hefe. My second batch was meant to be a porter and came out as a porter, the only difference in technique being that I put my fermentor in a water bath and added ice cubes and/or frozen half-gallon jugs to keep the temp on stick-on thermometer at 65° or lower.

Maybe your issue actually is pitch rates or infections or cosmic rays or whatever -- but getting your fermentation temperature dialed in is the most likely fix for the problem you describe, and, worst-case scenario, at least you've ruled it out as the problem if you ferment in the low 60's and still get a hefe.
 

tagz

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I didn't control the ferm temps but I would envision 65 being typical in the area I ferment. It's fairly consistent as well.
I like to envision that I don't have a fat ass.
 

ktblunden

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65 ambient (if that's really what the room is) could mean wort temps of 75 or higher during active fermentation. Most clean American yeasts will throw a lot of esters in the mid- to upper-70s.
 
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