oh. the. joy. Popcorn Butter....

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CHUM_

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Thought I made a rad IPA (Amarillo Simcoe blend)

Extract recipe...got FG, dry hopped and bottled 7 days later (used WLP001 yeast).

Tasted PHENOMENAL right before bottling. I was a happy camper.

Wait a week to taste a 'green' beer. Carbonation is a little low...but tastes/smells like buttered popcorn (Blech) So I do some searching and find out it's Diacetyl...great.

Waited another week to see if the yeasties would chew up that fake butter flavor - nope.

I have moved the bottled batch from a 65 degree F to a 71F about 5 days ago....

When can I expect that popcorn butter flavor to start dissipating? When should I worry that it won't?


ARGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
 

freisste

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I think if you do a diacetyl rest, you can get rid of it in a couple days. Since you didn't and likely the fermentation is completely finished, I believe you have to wait quite a while for the yeast to clean it up. If I'm not mistaken, it is a few months. Brew another beer.
 

Yooper

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It probably won't get better now, unfortunately.

If there was no diacetyl when bottling, then it could be from an infection. If that is the case, it will get worse.
 

BigFloyd

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+1 to what Madam Yooper said.

For future reference, what yeast did you use and what was your ferment temp?

While it's standard to do a d-rest with lagers, certain ale yeasts also produce a fair amount of diacetyl precursors. A good technique to combat the butter-beer issue is to step up your ale fermentation after the first 5-7 days so that it spends some time finishing and cleaning up about 5-6*F warmer than where it began.
 

freisste

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But you can't just wait a few weeks and increase temperature (as I understand it). You have to have remaining yeast activity, which ends only a day or two after FG is reached. If you let a beer sit in the fermenter for four weeks and then try to raise the temperature, I doubt you will get much diacetyl cleanup.

Again, that's my understanding. Feel free to correct me where I am wrong.
 

BigFloyd

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But you can't just wait a few weeks and increase temperature (as I understand it). You have to have remaining yeast activity, which ends only a day or two after FG is reached. If you let a beer sit in the fermenter for four weeks and then try to raise the temperature, I doubt you will get much diacetyl cleanup.

Again, that's my understanding. Feel free to correct me where I am wrong.

I'd agree with you.

That's why it's generally good to bring an ale up after the first 5-7 days. For some faster ferments (like with Windsor or if you somewhat over-pitch), you can begin stepping it up after just a few days (once the krausen has started to fall).
 
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CHUM_

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+1 to what Madam Yooper said.

For future reference, what yeast did you use and what was your ferment temp?

While it's standard to do a d-rest with lagers, certain ale yeasts also produce a fair amount of diacetyl precursors. A good technique to combat the butter-beer issue is to step up your ale fermentation after the first 5-7 days so that it spends some time finishing and cleaning up about 5-6*F warmer than where it began.
Yeast was WLP001

Ferment temp was 70F ambient for the first 18 hours, then I realized that was too high so I moved it to 65F ambient (I have 2 rooms that stay pretty consistent).

OG was 1.068, FG was 1.014 (on 3 readings) Dry hopped in secondary for 7 days then bottled.

I did do 1 thing different. I heard maltodextrin improved 'mouth feel' for thin tasting beers - I added that to the bottling bucket along with the corn sugar (all boiled for 20 minutes prior and cooled).

I'm gong to do another taste test tonite again to see if there's any change....they've been sitting warm for about a week now...
 

BigFloyd

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Interesting. I'd not heard before of the Chico strain yeasts (001, US-05, etc.) being known for causing much of a diacetyl problem.
 
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CHUM_

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Interesting. I'd not heard before of the Chico strain yeasts (001, US-05, etc.) being known for causing much of a diacetyl problem.
When I smell fake butter, my wife smells sweet and fruit - here nose trumps mine.

In the recipe I also steeped 1lb of Cara 8 at 155F.

sooooo, after a mess of google-fu I may have made several mistakes contributing to the over-sweetness if it's not Diacetyl or infection.

1. too high initial ferm temp (estery)
2. not accounting for Cara 8's caramel flavor
3. 4oz corn sugar (enough for 5 gallons) to prime 4 gallons racked to bottling bucket
4. added dextrin (8oz)
5. need to get the FG lower...maybe in the 1.009 range?

anything else? recipe was 6lbs DME and 1lb corn sugar + a mess of hops. OG 1.068, FG 1.014


man...i'm a mess at this (still having though :ban:)
 

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I don't claim to be an expert but i would suggest letting your beers sit in primary 3-4 weeks before racking/bottling. That would give the yeast the extra time needed to clear up diacetyl.
 

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I actually had a lot of problems with 001 and diacetyl when I first started brewing, fermenting around 70-71 because that's the mid-range according to WL. Then I read a quote from Vinnie Cilurzo in Brew Like a Monk about 001 spitting out diacetyl over 68*. Once I changed to fermenting at 65 the problem resolved (beer temp, not ambient). I will typically start there and then at the tail end of active fermentation let it rise up to 70. I can have them in the keg by 2 wks or so and ales are super clean now. At 70* ambient you may have been mid to high 70's for the first part of fermentation. I would put my money on that as the problem - both for diacetyl and fruity flavors.
:mug:

Edit: slight misquote, just re-read that part of the book. Vinnie actually names Wyeast 1056, says "You let that get over 68*, 70 tops, you start spitting out diacetyl." So different chico strain but I can confirm the experience with 001 as well.
 

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So if your wife smells something different that you trust, then you can't be sure it is diacetyl. And if you can't be sure, it's going to be damn hard to track down the problem.

However, a hop-experienced nose could often overlook the hop aroma and smell everything else.

The best way to improve is to look at what you *know* you did wrong, instead of assuming it was the yeast/ingredients/recipe what was wrong.

You already know you fermented high. 70 ambient is probably a very healthy, active, churning 79 in the fermenter. That right there is a huge source of possible headaches.
 
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CHUM_

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... At 70* ambient you may have been mid to high 70's for the first part of fermentation. I would put my money on that as the problem - both for diacetyl and fruity flavors.
:mug:
...
You already know you fermented high. 70 ambient is probably a very healthy, active, churning 79 in the fermenter. That right there is a huge source of possible headaches.
Appreciate the advice - and yah, that's what I'm guessing...initial ferm temp too high (along with other less major mistakes).

I'll know tonite if my nose is wonky or not - I figure a warm week of conditioning *should* give the yeast a chance to clean up any diacetyl if that was what I was actually smelling.
 

two_one_seven

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The temp drop just after initiation is the issue, it shuts the yeast down before you they can convert the diacetyl to flavorless compounds. As others have stated it is best to start the fermentation low and increase as fermentation progresses.

The reason that you had no diacetyl in the early tasting is because the yeast created precursors to diacetyl. Once these compounds formed new diacetyl the yeast was no longer active to convert it.
 

two_one_seven

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Also fermentation is generally 3-4 degrees over ambient temp. I doubt initial fermentation was 79 if you are certain that ambient was 70.
 

Yooper

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Also fermentation is generally 3-4 degrees over ambient temp. I doubt initial fermentation was 79 if you are certain that ambient was 70.
Really? I've personally seen ambient of 68 temperatures produce a 79 degree fermentation by day two! Maybe it depends on how fast it creeps up or something, but it can get explosive when it gets over about 75, and that makes it get even hotter due to the activity, since fermentation produces heat.

If the yeast was pitched warmer than 65 degrees or so, it could even be hotter in my experience. that's why I always pitch ales at about 62-64 degrees and allow it to rise to the desired fermentation temperature (about 64-66 in most cases).
 

two_one_seven

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I think it depends on the fermenter Yooper. It is about the mass of yeast and the shape of the fermenter....I personally haven't ever had one higher that 3-4 with my set up. Conicals can get crazy warm....especially in the cone. Trying to recall the reference....thinking "yeast, practical guide to beer fermentation", but not 100%.
 

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You all have me stressing I have been f-ing my batches by leaving at ambient 71 deg's. Next batch is going in swamp bucket....
 

Yooper

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You all have me stressing I have been f-ing my batches by leaving at ambient 71 deg's. Next batch is going in swamp bucket....
Oh, definitely not f-ing them! But......................try a "stick on" thermometer and keep the beer itself at 68 degrees. Try it, and compare it to a beer fermented at much higher temperatures. I think you'll be happy, and surprised, at the difference just 5-8 degrees really makes in the beer.
 

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Oh, definitely not f-ing them! But......................try a "stick on" thermometer and keep the beer itself at 68 degrees. Try it, and compare it to a beer fermented at much higher temperatures. I think you'll be happy, and surprised, at the difference just 5-8 degrees really makes in the beer.
However, keep in mind that if you stick the the stick on thermometer to a point where it will be underwater, it not only will be inaccurate, it will also be hard to read... lesson learned from experience.

Swamp coolers make a HUGE difference from the ol' stick it in a closet and forget it method.
 

BigFloyd

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I think you'll be happy, and surprised, at the difference just 5-8 degrees really makes in the beer.
It's quite hard to convince some folks of the importance of this^^^^^, but it is oh so true.

Same with pitching/starting lower and then stepping the temps up as fermentation progresses.
 
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CHUM_

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OK - shared a bottle with Mrs. CHUM last nite.

Diacetyl (fake butter) aroma is gone - warming up the bottles for a week of conditioning fixed that (whew!).

BUT....its fairly heavy on the caramel aroma and sweet taste (that I detect), and really pretty 'not good' on the overripe fruit aroma (Mrs. CHUM nailed that one). It's drinkable...but absolutely nothing to brag about (even though it had a nice finish)

Conclusion - too high ferm temp is the main culprit...IMO

thanks for all the advice - I will work on temp control more seriously..
 

freisste

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Don't drink another for a month - shoot for September 1st because it will be easy to remember the date. See how it changes from now until then. It may be identical, but it may e (comparatively) fantastic.
 
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