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Esters in No Chill

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NobleNewt

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Hey all. I've been experimenting with no chill brewing lately.. Usually leave the finished wort in the kettle until it's cool enough to transfer into my bucket (usually around 90F or so).

This last batch, I did a short and shoddy version of a blonde ale I've done before. The previous version was delicious, crisp, and highly drinkable, but I used conventional 60 min. mash, 60 min. boil and chilled (as best I could) down to about 90 degrees.

The version, I opted for a 30 min. mash, 30 min. boil and no chill. My grain bill is pretty much all Vienna with a little CaraPils thrown in. Hallertau hops to around 25 IBU with a few thrown in the fermenter at pitch (new to this batch). Used US05 yeast with a healthy, vigorous starter. For some reason, I couldn't get my wort down below 72F overnight, and I know as fermentation increased the temp. of the fermentation bumped up north or near 75F. Left the beer in primary for 1 week before bottle conditioning. It's been 2 weeks and I've still got a good deal of banana esters.

I know that my ferm. temp was a high, but my question is: Could my short and shoddy methods (short mash, short boil, no chill) have resulted in higher ester production from US05 in addition to the warmer ferm temps? If I had left the brew in primary for 10 or 14 days, would the yeast cake have cleaned it up more? Will those characteristics mellow after a few more weeks?

The reasons I ask are because I've fermented US05 at room temperature (and reused the yeast) several times now, but this is the first time I've had a perceivable banana ester in the beer. Makes me think that it's partly ferm. temps and partly a function of my process. The beer isn't bad, but it's not what I wanted.. More of a Belgian Blonde than an American Blonde as intended.

Interested to hear any thoughts.
 

wilserbrewer

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I think your high fermentation temps are the culprit...especially since you don’t know how high they got....

Fermenting kicks off a lot of heat, and allowed to progress to higher temps can see very appreciable temp rises.

Pitching at 72 is too high unless you have a means to lower the temp...fermentation can boost temps 10 degrees if left unchecked.
 
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NobleNewt

NobleNewt

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I think your high fermentation temps are the culprit...especially since you don’t know how high they got....

Fermenting kicks off a lot of heat, and allowed to progress to higher temps can see very appreciable temp rises.

Pitching at 72 is too high unless you have a means to lower the temp...fermentation can boost temps 10 degrees if left unchecked.
Thanks Wilser, I figured
I think your high fermentation temps are the culprit...especially since you don’t know how high they got....

Fermenting kicks off a lot of heat, and allowed to progress to higher temps can see very appreciable temp rises.

Pitching at 72 is too high unless you have a means to lower the temp...fermentation can boost temps 10 degrees if left unchecked.
Thanks, Wilser. I figured that was probably the issue. I wasn't sure if there were certain proteins or enzymatic processes that are hampered by shorter mash durations. I've done short mashes before without any major impacts, but coming off of a good version of this particular brew I was a little skeptical since I changed so much.

Based on my stick-on thermometer, fermentation got north of 75 at times. I don't remember, but I want to say it even may have hit 78 at one point. I know that's high, but it hasn't been an issue in the past. I may just throw a wet t-shirt over the carboy next time to keep the temps closer to 70F.
 

Kenmoron

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Esters come from yeast and based on your ferm temps I have no doubt that that was the cause. Mash and boil times will primarily effect your OG and FG and not too much else. Most of my beers these days are 30 min boils.

Before I had temp control I would always place my fermenter in a large rubbermade tote filled with water at or just below my goal fermentation temp. This was then placed down in my basement which sits in the mid 60's. Having a large reservoir of water will really help temp swings due to the thermal mass. You can always throw in some ice here and there if the water gets a little warmer than you want as well.
 
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NobleNewt

NobleNewt

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Esters come from yeast and based on your ferm temps I have no doubt that that was the cause. Mash and boil times will primarily effect your OG and FG and not too much else. Most of my beers these days are 30 min boils.

Before I had temp control I would always place my fermenter in a large rubbermade tote filled with water at or just below my goal fermentation temp. This was then placed down in my basement which sits in the mid 60's. Having a large reservoir of water will really help temp swings due to the thermal mass. You can always throw in some ice here and there if the water gets a little warmer than you want as well.
Yeah, thanks for the advice!

I've done that in the past when I lived in Houston. I would basically put my fermenter in a tub like you're describing, put an old t-shirt over it and let the capillary action keep the t-shirt wet, then add a frozen bottle of water once or twice per day in the water reservoir to keep temps down. Always worked well for me.

I think my biggest problem was not getting the wort down low enough to begin with. From there, the rest of the fermentation ran hot despite my house being much cooler than usual.

All to say, I know that longer mashes and boils help to clean up some of the proteins and other less-desirable parts of beer, so I wasn't sure if shorting those two things may have affected fermentation.
 

wilserbrewer

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I think my biggest problem was not getting the wort down low enough to begin with. From there, the rest of the fermentation ran hot despite my house being much cooler than usual.

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Unless you have a means to further chill the wort within a few hours, pitching warm is typically a bad idea.
 

HB_ATL73

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I think your high fermentation temps are the culprit...especially since you don’t know how high they got....

Fermenting kicks off a lot of heat, and allowed to progress to higher temps can see very appreciable temp rises.

Pitching at 72 is too high unless you have a means to lower the temp...fermentation can boost temps 10 degrees if left unchecked.
Seriously?

I hadn't known the temp could raise that much.
 
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NobleNewt

NobleNewt

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Just as a bit of a follow up here..

Popped open another one of these blondes and the esters have mellowed considerably. Still there, of course, but they're not quite hitting you in the face as much. Also wish I had hopped this beer a little more which would have covered up some of the esters a bit (plus I wanted more bitterness).

Doubt I'll be getting to all of these as fast as I have in the past, so we'll see what they're like in a month or so.. Still a very delicious, drinkable beer, but no where near what I was going for in the first place.

Also, I'll be ditching CaraPils in favor of some other base malts or maybe some light Crystal from now on.. I've tried CaraPils several times for head retention, and I just don't see the big deal. I've had great heads on anything I've brewed with quality base malts or with Caramel malts but never much head to speak of with CaraPils.
 
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