Granddaddy’s Butterscotch Ale

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Jan 21, 2008
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Diacetyl. Man I hate this stuff. I have officially renamed my Cali Common Ale, Granddaddy’s Butterscotch Ale. At least this way I can tell my self that it's supposed to taste this way.

Now, what did I do to screw this up. My guess is either sanitation or temp. I used the WLP810, it is the California common ale/lager yeast strain. It says to ferment between 55 and 65 and thanks to my understanding wife, I had the house down to about 56 which had my beer fermenting around 62-63.

I let it go in the primary for 2 weeks and then racked it to the secondary for another two weeks where i dry hopped it. I have let it sit in the bottles for about 8 days now and it is buttery as hell.

I first noticed the Diacetyl when I racked from primary to secondary, I hoped it would go away. When I bottled, it was still there but slightly reduced. Again, I hoped it would eventually go away. 10 days later, after bottle conditioning, it is still very noticeable.

What did I do wrong? I was very anal with my sanitation as most newbie’s are (this is my second batch, maybe I wasn't anal enough). Was it the temps, it did rise to 69 one day before I noticed it and cranked the A/C on to adjust. (I bet this is where I screwed up, I shouldn't be trying to lager in my house. Especially on my second batch)

Any help and criticism will be much appreciated.

I cracked another one open last night and miraculously it tasted pretty close to what it is supposed to taste like. Amazing.

Seriously though, the diacetyl has gone down and the hop aroma from the dryhopping is now taking hold. My beer isn't screwed up after all.

For any newbie's out there reading this post, take it from me and learn to be more patient than you have been. That whole "RDWHAHB" stuff must have some truth to it.
I don't know the source of the diacetyl problem, but it sounds like you may not have let the yeast finish up in the primary before you racked. If you have a lot of diacetyl in the primary, the best thing to do is leave it for at least a few days before you come back to check it again.

The yeast creates that diacetyl as a fermentation byproduct. After the fermentation party is over, the yeast then eats it back up. To help it along, you can raise the temperature up well into the 60s (or even room temperature is fine, since you don't have to worry about fermentation off flavors at that point). Now, the yeast is cleaning up the diacetyl in the bottle, so it sounds like you'll be fine. I'm glad you learned the lesson about waiting on your beer, though. It goes at its own schedule, not yours. In the future, keep these points in mind:

- Beer doesn't care what the calendar says. You actually have to sample your beer, with both a hydrometer and your senses, before you know where you stand.

- The lower your fermentation temperature, the longer your fermentation. Two weeks isn't a particularly long time to keep an ale in the primary, and it's about the minimum for a lager.

- Patience pays off. :)

your wife let you keep the a/c at 56 so that your beer will be happy?

you're a lucky man.