Quantcast

Did I ruin my first pils attempt ?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Romex2121

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
115
Reaction score
26
Wanted to try brewing my first Czech style beer ,
This was a 2.5 gallon brew
4.2lb. Weyermann Pilsner malt
3oz. Briess carapils
1.5oz Ireks acid malt
.32oz Perele @ 60min
.5oz Saaz @ 30min
.5 oz Saaz @ 5min
11.5 oak of 34/70 yeast
All said and done
OG came to 1.044
FG was 1.008
IBU 34 , .73 BU/GU
did a single infusion mash @ 154
and batch sparged @ 165 ish
My problem is after fermenting for 5 days at 54 degrees and doing a D rest at 64 degrees for 3 days the wort has a smell of something like cooked vegetables with a slight taste of the same as it smells, not a popcorn butter smell nor a corn smell , Not sure how to explain it other than a cooked vegetable type smell.
I did rehydrate the yeast per instructions given by maker and slowly cooled yeast to 54degrees (same as wort) before adding to the wort .
I did notice fermentation activity was pretty slow compared to ale but I expected that being lager yeast , FG reading was taken at day 4 and was @ 1.012 this is when I started bringing temp up to 64 degrees ,took about a day to get to 64.
today makes day 4 @ 64 degrees and FG is at 1.008 and has been for 2 days in a row now .
the smell has me worried and wondering if something went wrong or I need to leave it a few more days to see if it goes away ??
 

bu_gee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2014
Messages
420
Reaction score
73
Did you use a wort chiller after the boil?

My first attempt with pils went off the rails in the same way and the only thing we can determine was that we didn't chill it fast enough after the boil.
 

OldDogBrewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
383
Reaction score
285
Wanted to try brewing my first Czech style beer ,
This was a 2.5 gallon brew
4.2lb. Weyermann Pilsner malt
3oz. Briess carapils
1.5oz Ireks acid malt
.32oz Perele @ 60min
.5oz Saaz @ 30min
.5 oz Saaz @ 5min
11.5 oak of 34/70 yeast
All said and done
OG came to 1.044
FG was 1.008
IBU 34 , .73 BU/GU
did a single infusion mash @ 154
and batch sparged @ 165 ish
My problem is after fermenting for 5 days at 54 degrees and doing a D rest at 64 degrees for 3 days the wort has a smell of something like cooked vegetables with a slight taste of the same as it smells, not a popcorn butter smell nor a corn smell , Not sure how to explain it other than a cooked vegetable type smell.
I did rehydrate the yeast per instructions given by maker and slowly cooled yeast to 54degrees (same as wort) before adding to the wort .
I did notice fermentation activity was pretty slow compared to ale but I expected that being lager yeast , FG reading was taken at day 4 and was @ 1.012 this is when I started bringing temp up to 64 degrees ,took about a day to get to 64.
today makes day 4 @ 64 degrees and FG is at 1.008 and has been for 2 days in a row now .
the smell has me worried and wondering if something went wrong or I need to leave it a few more days to see if it goes away ??
Is the smell sulphuric? Like rotten eggs? If so, give it more time, lager strains create more sulphur compounds than ame strains and some lager strains produce bigger amounts than others.

I brew my "house" tripel with the Westmalle strain, you don't want to be close to that bucket for the first two weeks and it takes 2 months to completely get rid of it, so if sulphur is your issue, time is your answer.

For future brews, adding nutrients and choosing a less sulphur prone lager strain can reduce the issue
 

day_trippr

"Now brewing exclusively with Hydrohydroxic Acid"
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
35,176
Reaction score
17,122
Location
Stow, MA

Immocles

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
2,025
Reaction score
6,506
Location
Minnesota
To me, cooked vegetables goes with DMS. I had a Kolsch end up with a vegetable taste to it and strongly think it was DMS related
 
OP
Romex2121

Romex2121

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
115
Reaction score
26
I did use my stainless wort chiller , with the ground water being cold this time of year it took maybe 15 min to get wort down to 60 degrees...
Not a sulphur smell and trust me we know what sulphur smells like , we have a train that goes thru town hauling cars full of sulphur...
If it is DMS and fermentation has completed will it still go away with a little more time ??
Id really hate to spend the time letting it lager just to find out it was a waste of time .
I’ll give it a couple more days and see what happens if no change I may just start over and chalk it up to beginners luck , I was really careful with sanitation So I highly doubt there’s any infection.
 

Immocles

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
2,025
Reaction score
6,506
Location
Minnesota
I did use my stainless wort chiller , with the ground water being cold this time of year it took maybe 15 min to get wort down to 60 degrees...
Not a sulphur smell and trust me we know what sulphur smells like , we have a train that goes thru town hauling cars full of sulphur...
If it is DMS and fermentation has completed will it still go away with a little more time ??
Id really hate to spend the time letting it lager just to find out it was a waste of time .
I’ll give it a couple more days and see what happens if no change I may just start over and chalk it up to beginners luck , I was really careful with sanitation So I highly doubt there’s any infection.
Fwiw, mine never faded. I tried to convince myself that it did, but it was still there on the final bottle a couple months later.
 
OP
Romex2121

Romex2121

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
115
Reaction score
26
Boiled 90 min. ,,
Because I was concerned about DMS I did boil harder than I usually do with ales ,
It was a good medium ta hard rolling boil.
 

OldDogBrewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
383
Reaction score
285
I did use my stainless wort chiller , with the ground water being cold this time of year it took maybe 15 min to get wort down to 60 degrees...
Not a sulphur smell and trust me we know what sulphur smells like , we have a train that goes thru town hauling cars full of sulphur...
If it is DMS and fermentation has completed will it still go away with a little more time ??
Id really hate to spend the time letting it lager just to find out it was a waste of time .
I’ll give it a couple more days and see what happens if no change I may just start over and chalk it up to beginners luck , I was really careful with sanitation So I highly doubt there’s any infection.
I feel you with that train, I used to work at a port and some days it was pretty awful dependent on what was being unloaded
 

Beermeister32

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 20, 2013
Messages
381
Reaction score
442
Location
Southern California
Pilsner malt does require the 90 minute, hard open boil, no lid. DMS has that vegetal cabbage taste. I had to dump a batch of Pilsner once due to following somebody elses 60 minute boil recipe. If this is what you have, there is no saving it, dump it and move on.
 
OP
Romex2121

Romex2121

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
115
Reaction score
26
;; If this is what you have , there’s no saving it , dump it and move on. ;;

I was afraid of that , I’m gonna give it till Tuesday and check it again, if it’s still there I’ll dump it and try again this weekend.
Bad thing is I really can’t think of anything I did wrong other than my water (RO) in sealed jugs being a couple weeks old
but even that has never been an issue in the past.
Beginners luck I guess 🤔
 

Dland

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 28, 2018
Messages
1,848
Reaction score
920
I brew w pilsner malts regularly, use a 60 min vigorous boil, and cood quickly, as you did. The 90 min boil thing is an oft sited "fact" that has not born out in may experience. In fact I have tested batches with 100% pils and differnt boil times, and noticed no difference in DMS levels. The wort gets stronger and darker with longer boil, but beer is otherwise similar.

I am assuming your grain was fresh, dry and uncontaminated.

The off flavor is likely to be something else. I would not rule out some problem with the water, depending on the type of plastic the jugs are made of. The thinner plastics are porous to gasses, as well as prone to retaining flavors of previous contents, if any.

I would also not recommend dumping it until it has cold crashed and rested cold for a while. Lagers really do need this to achieve their true flavor, much less do than ales.
 

OldDogBrewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
383
Reaction score
285
I brew w pilsner malts regularly, use a 60 min vigorous boil, and cood quickly, as you did. The 90 min boil thing is an oft sited "fact" that has not born out in may experience. In fact I have tested batches with 100% pils and differnt boil times, and noticed no difference in DMS levels. The wort gets stronger and darker with longer boil, but beer is otherwise similar.

I am assuming your grain was fresh, dry and uncontaminated.

The off flavor is likely to be something else. I would not rule out some problem with the water, depending on the type of plastic the jugs are made of. The thinner plastics are porous to gasses, as well as prone to retaining flavors of previous contents, if any.

I would also not recommend dumping it until it has cold crashed and rested cold for a while. Lagers really do need this to achieve their true flavor, much less do than ales.
I brew all pilsner too, which means that for me to be more efficient I only use pilsner as a base malt, I do 60, 90 and 120 min boils and never had an issue
 

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
3,380
Reaction score
1,823
Location
Long Island
I agree your description is right in the wheelhouse for DMS.

But I'd still vote for not dumping. Even if you become sure it has DMS I'd bottle it up and save at least some for future comparisons. Maybe to share with other homebrewers as an example of the off flavor. I don't run into DMS often, maybe I an just not that sensitive to it, but would be curious to try it for learning.

And maybe like others have said it is just lager being lager and needs some time. You won't find that out if you dump it.
 

hottpeper13

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2013
Messages
1,001
Reaction score
276
Location
Mequon
I split a 10 gal batch with a friend (it was a 90 min boil), Mine was very good with no off flavors and his was like a batch of cream corn. We're still scratching our heads.
 

bu_gee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2014
Messages
420
Reaction score
73
It is worth noting that smell doesn't always translate to flavor, and flavor in a young beer doesn't always reflect the flavor of the mature beer, so I would say that you probably want more information before you dump.

I would agree with the others that it does sound like DMS. I had a bad DMS experience with a hefe recipe that called for half pils and half wheat. Eventually chilling quickly, or more precisely, lack thereof, appeared to be the issue. I also remember reading something about copper chillers being more effective for this particular problem as well and I had even read about people throwing pennies into their wort right before flameout.

I should also note that the hefe in question was drinkable, but not the most pleasant experience. Letting it offgas for 5 mins before drinking was quite helpful.

With all that said, I don't do any pils recipe without my copper chiller and I also don't use pils between May and November because my water supply isn't cold enough to chill the wort through the critical DMS range quickly. I kind of get a feeling for why the German beer purity laws had a similar restriction in place. I use this as an excuse to make a Marzen in March, as the name says you should.
 
OP
Romex2121

Romex2121

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
115
Reaction score
26
I may take the advice for not dumping yet, I found a can of Czech style Pilsner in the back of the fridge so I opened it and poured a bit in a plastic vial test tube like container we use at work ( oil field) to send in oil samples ( yes it was clean, LOL ) I let the sample warm up to room temp and took a whiff , the smell is not far off from what I’m getting with my brew . I’m boiling a pot of water now and gonna set both samples in the hot water to heat up for 10 ta 15 min. and smell both
If by chance their close I’m gonna go ahead and run with what I have .
I’m starting to wonder if maybe it’s not the Saaz hops I’m smelling and confusing that with a potential bad beer .
I did put a sample of my brew in the fridge last night and when I gave it a smell & taste this morning it wasn’t that bad , temp was around 34 degrees.
 
OP
Romex2121

Romex2121

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
115
Reaction score
26
Both heated samples are dang close in smell , my brew is a little stronger hopefully due to a difference in IBU’s but pretty much the same scent ,
I had to talk the wife into it but she took a smell of both and had the same conclusion and she didn’t even know what she was looking for between the two samples ;)
I’m gonna transfer from the plastic jug it fermented in to my 3 gallon
SS Brewbucket , purge with Co2 and start dropping the temp to crash for a few days then move to a 2.5 gallon keg to lager for awhile , or should I just go straight to the keg and lager ??
was thinking if I went to brewbucket first I wouldn’t have as much yeast dropping out in keg ..
I want to thank all of you that replied with your opinions and help and hope you never get tired of helping us new guys get better .
I’m still not 100% sure the brew isn’t bad but I do feel better that both the store bought and mine were close enough in smell test to go ahead and let what I made finish out..
 

Dland

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 28, 2018
Messages
1,848
Reaction score
920
Hops & yeast flavors and smells defiantly mellow out and improve w aging process, glad you are staying the course. While many ales are somewhat to pretty enjoyable right after fermentation, this is not true of lagers.
 

Vale71

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Messages
3,425
Reaction score
1,804
That's most likely diacetyl which is typical for most Czech lagers. If that's the case then it will mellow out thanks to the yeast cleaning it up. If it's really DMS on the other hand then it's defnitely there to stay.
 

BrewZer

Take Me To Your Liter
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2017
Messages
376
Reaction score
398
Location
SW Ohio
I trust that by now you've decided to save your beer.

Good call; at best, you'll enjoy it after it has aged a few months in the cave -- at worst, you'll have plenty of boiling stock for tough meats, hot dogs, and soup.
 

bu_gee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2014
Messages
420
Reaction score
73
... at worst, you'll have plenty of boiling stock for tough meats, hot dogs, and soup.
This is something I never thought of and it would have helped go through my stocks of stinky hefe a littler faster. Gonna file this in the back of the ol' noggin in the hopes that I'll never have to use it.
 
OP
Romex2121

Romex2121

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
115
Reaction score
26
What else is gonna go wrong !!
so I decided to not dump it and see what we get so yesterday morning before leaving for work I dropped the temp in fridge to 50 degrees and planned on transferring to keg to let lager when I got home , got home went to pull fermenter from fridge and saw that my blow off tube had sucked all the Star San/water mixture in a mason jar being used as my blow off container ,,
I couldn’t believe it , after all the stressing I went thru and now this , it sucked in 2 maybe 3 cups of star San and water ,
I pulled the blow off tube out
capped the fermentor and slammed the fridge door cursing the whole time , I was so aggravated I didn’t want to even mess with it anymore.
I really didn’t think 50 degrees was gonna cause suck back but it dang sure did ,
when I get home today I’ll take another sample and test the OG and take a taste to see what kinda damage the added fluid caused also gonna check calibration on ink bird temp probe ,,
Maybe this brew is just not meant to be ,
Seems nothing is going right with this one.
 

bu_gee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2014
Messages
420
Reaction score
73
Was it a quart mason jar?

I've had suck-back before to no major ill effect, but that was no more than 3-4 oz.

Give us an update after you check it.
 
OP
Romex2121

Romex2121

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
115
Reaction score
26
So far looks like the fluid that got sucked in didn’t bother it to much , did notice a little less hop flavor , OG was about the same .
I let it set a couple more days just to make sure but so far so good , I did keg it up today and dropped temp to lager
I’m kinda thinking about dry hopping to get some flavor back but I’ve never done it and have no idea how much hops to add for a couple gallons of beer , if I did it I would use Saaz hops in a small bag I have . Any thoughts on dry hopping ??
 

shoreman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
1,201
Reaction score
221
Pilsner malt does require the 90 minute, hard open boil, no lid. DMS has that vegetal cabbage taste. I had to dump a batch of Pilsner once due to following somebody elses 60 minute boil recipe. If this is what you have, there is no saving it, dump it and move on.
I brew short and shoddy 30 min boils all the time with Pils malt and no DMS - I think that's just an old myth perpetuated out of unmodified pils malts. Not saying it couldn't happen but this pils malt is the only base malt I've used for the past 3 years and no issues on a 30 minute boil - have even done a 20 min with no DMS.

I use a highly modified german pils though - Avangard Malz
 

bu_gee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2014
Messages
420
Reaction score
73
I brew short and shoddy 30 min boils all the time with Pils malt and no DMS - I think that's just an old myth perpetuated out of unmodified pils malts. Not saying it couldn't happen but this pils malt is the only base malt I've used for the past 3 years and no issues on a 30 minute boil - have even done a 20 min with no DMS.

I use a highly modified german pils though - Avangard Malz
It isn't a myth. I've had it happen. My LHBS only sells one brand of each type of base malt so I don't have much choice in malts unless I want.to buy 55 lb bags, which I'm not at that stage.

What size batches do you brew? I'm beginning to wonder if that has any bearing on DMS production and purging.
 

OldDogBrewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
383
Reaction score
285
I brew short and shoddy 30 min boils all the time with Pils malt and no DMS - I think that's just an old myth perpetuated out of unmodified pils malts. Not saying it couldn't happen but this pils malt is the only base malt I've used for the past 3 years and no issues on a 30 minute boil - have even done a 20 min with no DMS.

I use a highly modified german pils though - Avangard Malz
I just drank an IPA I made with pils as base malt and a 20 minute boil, no DMS at all.

Some malsters maybe require such long boils but with the local malster I use or Weyermann, I had no issues
 

shoreman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
1,201
Reaction score
221
It isn't a myth. I've had it happen. My LHBS only sells one brand of each type of base malt so I don't have much choice in malts unless I want.to buy 55 lb bags, which I'm not at that stage.

What size batches do you brew? I'm beginning to wonder if that has any bearing on DMS production and purging.
2.5 gallon and 5 gallon batches.

Brulosophy did a few experiments on it but this one stands out as the best b/c they sent it off for testing in a lab for DMS - Update: Lab Data on Pils Malt Boil Length exBEERiment

"A sample from each batch was sent to a lab for objective analysis, the results of which validated the results of the original xBmt: neither the 30 minute boil nor 90 minute boil samples contained measurable levels of DMS."
 

shoreman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
1,201
Reaction score
221
One of my favorite beers - 100% pils, 100% Amarillo hops. 30 minute mash, 30 minute boil then dry hopped. Never experienced DMS. I've never brewed it at scale like a 10BBL batch, I guess at those levels it would be very important to make sure DMS is not an issue, just never experienced it myself and there's data that points to highly modified malts not needing it. I can see if it happened to you at some point, you might be cautious, but who knows if it was the boil length that was the issue - you can get DMS from other faults in process.

Screen Shot 2021-01-17 at 10.45.03 AM.png
 

bu_gee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2014
Messages
420
Reaction score
73
Much agreed that it is good data helps us understand what actual problems exist, but I would note that almost every DMS problem I've seen reported on these forums has involved pils malt, but the plural of anecdote isn't data.

What it does imply to me, however, is that pils does require a particular method that is both easy to accidentally do and easy to accidentally not do and easily do so relatively repeatably.

I've done the 60 vs 90 minute boil test. Being the test conductor, I swore I was getting more DMS in the 60 min, but blind tasters couldn't tell any difference even when I described what flavors to look for. Being a firm believer in placebo effect, I tend to want to believe them, but I wish I had a group of buddies I could put 3 beers in front of and say "which one has the most DMS?"
 

bu_gee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2014
Messages
420
Reaction score
73
This got me thinking:

I can't find the thread anymore, but the claim was that the DMS in your beer was inversely proportional to the amount of copper in your water. That is, if your water is freakishly low in copper, DMS is more likely. The proposed solution was to throw pennies into the water or use a copper wort chiller in the last 5-10 minutes of your boil.

This fits the "easy to accidentally do or not do repeatably" mold, but again anecdotes aren't data.
 

Immocles

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
2,025
Reaction score
6,506
Location
Minnesota
This got me thinking:

I can't find the thread anymore, but the claim was that the DMS in your beer was inversely proportional to the amount of copper in your water. That is, if your water is freakishly low in copper, DMS is more likely. The proposed solution was to throw pennies into the water or use a copper wort chiller in the last 5-10 minutes of your boil.

This fits the "easy to accidentally do or not do repeatably" mold, but again anecdotes aren't data.
I recall seeing that as well. I also agree with @Beermeister32 in that if you've experienced it once, you're far more likely to avoid it at all costs. I only use pilsner malt about 4-5 times a year and have experienced vegetal, cabbagey flavor only once. And that was on my first brew on a new system. The boil was noticeably less boil-y than my old set up, and I was pretty fast and loose with the boil time because I was in a hurry. Since that brew, I tack on 15minutes (to 75M overall) to my pilsner boils and have not experienced it again. I *think* I've only used weyermann (and their barke as well) for pilsner, but there might have been a random 5 pounds of briess in there somewhere as well.
 

shoreman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
1,201
Reaction score
221
Check out Scott Janish’s article on DMS, there’s plenty of other ways it shows up in beer outside of boil times in pilsner malt.

 

bu_gee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2014
Messages
420
Reaction score
73
Here's a great video podcast (Beersmith #121) which includes a good section on DMS reduction with Dr. Charlie Bamforth. Also copper not the answer in this as well.
Interesting. Altitude also fits that condition.
 
Last edited:
Top