Jovaru Lithuanian yeast- Strong weird smell during primary

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beskinazi

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I'm trying this Lithuanian farmhouse yeast from Omega for the first time. 12 hours after pitching (directly, no starter), I'm getting a very strong smell coming up through the airlock. I'd call it peppery in an unpleasant plasticky kind of way. But not like bandaids. I've never encountered anything like it before. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Brewing water was 90% RO water, 10% charcoal-filtered tap water. So there should be no chlorine. This is my usual procedure and I never have problems with other beers.

Grain was 76% Vienna malt, 15% spelt malt, 7% dextrine malt, and 2% acidulated malt.

Mash was 152 F, batch sparge was 170 F. Boil was 90 min with Willamette and 15 min with Kazbek to give about 30 IBU. OG was 1.057. Fermentation temperature is being held at 80 F.

I used my usual iodophor sanitation procedure, which usually works fine.

I hope the smell will blow off, but have no idea what it is!
 

TEWNCfarms

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I'm trying this Lithuanian farmhouse yeast from Omega for the first time. 12 hours after pitching (directly, no starter), I'm getting a very strong smell coming up through the airlock. I'd call it peppery in an unpleasant plasticky kind of way. But not like bandaids. I've never encountered anything like it before. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Brewing water was 90% RO water, 10% charcoal-filtered tap water. So there should be no chlorine. This is my usual procedure and I never have problems with other beers.

Grain was 76% Vienna malt, 15% spelt malt, 7% dextrine malt, and 2% acidulated malt.

Mash was 152 F, batch sparge was 170 F. Boil was 90 min with Willamette and 15 min with Kazbek to give about 30 IBU. OG was 1.057. Fermentation temperature is being held at 80 F.

I used my usual iodophor sanitation procedure, which usually works fine.

I hope the smell will blow off, but have no idea what it is!
I’m actually going to be pitching this this week for a bam biere sour clone, I’m kind of excited by what you’re saying. I would bet you money it’s probably just the type of yeast strain it is, it’s landrace traditional Lithuanian farmhouse strain that’s been passed down for hundreds of years at least. So I’d bet the smells and flavors are going to be a bit different, and it has the STA1 gene so it will definitely balance out after some time. I’m interested to hear how yours turns out
 
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beskinazi

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Both Lars and Omega mention phenols and black pepper so it looks like that's part of the character - qv something like T-58 :
http://www.garshol.priv.no/blog/351.html
https://omegayeast.com/news/new-strain-release-jovaru-lithuanian-farmhouse
Thanks. Yes, I saw peppery mentioned in the strain description. Yet I was surprised because I've made saisons that turned out too phenolic (with WYeast Farmhouse 3726, for example), but this problem wasn't apparent in the aroma during primary. Instead it became obtrusive later when the beer was well attenuated. Maybe the Jovaru strain is unusual in producing massive quantities of phenols during log phase growth. And once these get above a certain sensory threshold they start to seem unpleasant. Hopefully they'll volatilize down to a more pleasant range. I'll report back when I know.

For those who are interested, here's an open access paper that discusses the contribution of phenols to beer flavor. It points out that combinations of different phenols can interact to create new flavors that are not present in the individual phenols. The combination that results in a peppery character is not discussed, though:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814610016766?via=ihub
 

Northern_Brewer

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Pepper seems to be a characteristic of the less POF-y strains - that's why T-58 came to mind as perhaps the best example of a peppery yeast, it's not that phenolic in general. Be interested to see how you get on, still waiting for Jovaru to show up here.
 

brownni5

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Just got my pack the other day - can't wait to use it! Just have to figure out what I'm going to use it in...

Sorry to hijack the thread, but has anybody got suggestions for beers? Farmhouse ales obviously, and Omega brewed a Wit with it, but that can't be all. If it's phenolic like T-58, maybe a Tripel?
 

TEWNCfarms

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Hey if you’re smelling it, then it’s leaving the beer right :)
Haha I like that.
Just got my pack the other day - can't wait to use it! Just have to figure out what I'm going to use it in...

Sorry to hijack the thread, but has anybody got suggestions for beers? Farmhouse ales obviously, and Omega brewed a Wit with it, but that can't be all. If it's phenolic like T-58, maybe a Tripel?
I think you should try it with whatever you feel is right. I just did a bam Biere clone with it, and will probably use it for a Flemish Ale, I don’t know yet
 

Northern_Brewer

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Sorry to hijack the thread, but has anybody got suggestions for beers? Farmhouse ales obviously, and Omega brewed a Wit with it, but that can't be all. If it's phenolic like T-58, maybe a Tripel?
I wouldn't sweat too much about labels - there's a whole continuum of slightly phenolic beers ranging from Yorkshire bitters to full-on saisons. First time I'd choose a grist and hop bill that allows you to get to know it as a yeast - so something fairly simple that doesn't go too crazy on hops or strong malt flavous. So fairly pale, and with British,European or the "quieter" US hops (Liberty, Sterling etc).

Thinking about where T-58 is known to shine would point you towards big dark Belgians (qv Struise Pannepot) or in a cheeky blend eg 4:1 Hornindal:Jovaru for a NEIPA (qv the Treehouse thread where they use 92/5/3 S-04/T-58/WB-06).

Actually, if you have grain to hand, I'd do a "plain" 4-5% beer to get to know it and as a way to build up yeast for a big dark beer, back to back.
 
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beskinazi

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Reporting back. Indeed the strong peppery smell dissipated (as Isomerization said). It's still detectable, but pleasant. I'm dry hopping with 1 oz of Fuggle, and getting nice peppery and woody notes. The FG (if this yeast is finished with the dextrins- maybe not) is 1.008. So attentuation is around 86%, resulting in a beer that's quite dry, almost in Saison territory. The original grist (mostly Vienna plus spelt malt) worked out OK. It's not too "melanoidiny", but maybe I will go with a paler malt next time, as Northern Brewer suggests.
 

cmhaynes

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Just got my pack the other day - can't wait to use it! Just have to figure out what I'm going to use it in...

Sorry to hijack the thread, but has anybody got suggestions for beers? Farmhouse ales obviously, and Omega brewed a Wit with it, but that can't be all. If it's phenolic like T-58, maybe a Tripel?
What did kind of beer did you end up using this in, and how did it turn out?
A couple of days ago I used it in a low-gravity (1.042) "farmhouse" ale hopped with Saaz and Motueka. I pitched a starter around 82F, and a few hours later, it was going crazy.
 

cmhaynes

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What did kind of beer did you end up using this in, and how did it turn out?
A couple of days ago I used it in a low-gravity (1.042) "farmhouse" ale hopped with Saaz and Motueka. I pitched a starter around 82F, and a few hours later, it was going crazy.
I think this beer finished fermenting in less than 2 days, and I'm pretty sure I could have bottled after only a week, but I waited 12 days. I was surprised at how clear it was when I bottled since it's listed as having medium to low flocculation. I put one bottle in a cabinet above my fridge where it's pretty warm, and a pretty big bottle krausen developed. After only a couple days, I put one in the fridge, and it was surprisingly good for a beer only bottled for 3 days. The beer finished at 1.001. It is very wit-like, but also unique. I can update this later after the bottles have conditioned a bit longer.
 

Miraculix

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I think this beer finished fermenting in less than 2 days, and I'm pretty sure I could have bottled after only a week, but I waited 12 days. I was surprised at how clear it was when I bottled since it's listed as having medium to low flocculation. I put one bottle in a cabinet above my fridge where it's pretty warm, and a pretty big bottle krausen developed. After only a couple days, I put one in the fridge, and it was surprisingly good for a beer only bottled for 3 days. The beer finished at 1.001. It is very wit-like, but also unique. I can update this later after the bottles have conditioned a bit longer.
Now you got me hooked and I'll have to brew something similar with this yeast...
 

cmhaynes

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So, the beer I made with this yeast and Saaz and Motueka hops is really nice. I like dry, moderately bitter beers, and this yeast worked really well for that purpose. I also bottled some in heavier bottles with a new TYB brett strain.
 

Miraculix

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So, the beer I made with this yeast and Saaz and Motueka hops is really nice. I like dry, moderately bitter beers, and this yeast worked really well for that purpose. I also bottled some in heavier bottles with a new TYB brett strain.
Was it phenolic or not?
 

thehaze

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I currently have a Farmhouse Ale fermenting with Jovaru. 6.5 gal in the fermenter pitched with 1 pouch of Omega Jovaru that was 1 month old. It's fermenting at around 85F at the moment. Hopped with a combination of Motueka and Mandarina Bavaria BBC - a total of 3 oz. The smells / farts during fermentation are fruity, slightly belgiany, citrussy - from the hops. No funky/weird smell during fermentation. Omega does describe the character of this yeast as " lemon pith, black pepper, and a soft mouthfeel. "

Recipe:

70% Weyermann Pilsner + 30% Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner
Mash temp.: 65C/149F for 65 minutes
Boil time: 90 minutes
1 oz Mandarina Bavaria BBC at 30'
1 oz each of Motueka and Mandarina Bavaria BBC at 1'/Flameout
OG: 1.050
FG: hoping for it to get down to around 1.005

I will post more once the beer is carbonated and ready to serve.
 
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