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ClutchDude

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I'm posting here on behalf of my roomate, let's call him "Fred." He's just put his beer in for his second kegging. The first did not fair well for other reasons.

Fred made his first AG, a Red Dog Ale, with gravities being hit(according to fred). It fermented outside of any container save carboy and towel. It also experienced a cold snap but *should* have never dipped below the Ale fermenting temp.

After 2 weeks in primary and a week in secondary, he has let it cold-condition in the kegerator for another week and a half.

It has a pretty fruity taste when poured cold and does not taste right at all. After warming to room temperature, the flavor mellows and becomes somewhat drinkable.

Sanitation was done at all stages, and all beer was transferred with CO2 (being pre-run with solution of bi-brite.) It's sitting in a corny keg that was cleaned, though had some keg-lube. The faucets and lines have been cleaned as well.

So what's causing this flavor? In case there is a problem, I'm hoping to solve it before his next batch gets taken out of primary.
 

WBC

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Ale should ferment at 65 to 68F to keep other flavors from developing. Look at your yeast package and it should tell you what temperature range is best for that yeast. Temperatures that are too high can cause unwanted flavors generated by the yeast. If enough yeast was pitched into aerated wort it should be fermenting good in less than 12 hours in most cases. Everything that touches wort after the boil should be sanitized. Do not bother with a secondary fermenter as it is not desirable for ales. Ales need to condition on the yeast to clean up after the main fermentation. Ferment 12 to 14 days in the primary and then keg into a clean and sanitized corny keg. Any failure to keep equipment sanitized can infect the brew. For cleaning use PBW and Starsan for sanitization and you will do just fine.

Ref: http://www.fivestarchemicals.com/products.asp
 

Yooper

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ClutchDude said:
Fred made his first AG, a Red Dog Ale, with gravities being hit(according to fred). It fermented outside of any container save carboy and towel.
I don't understand this part of your post. What does that mean?
 
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ClutchDude

ClutchDude

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He fermented the carboy on his floor of his room with a towel draped around it during a cold snap. There was nothing to "buffer" the carboy from the surrounding air.

I'm wondering if this cold (or following warmth) could have caused this off-flavoring.
 

TexLaw

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It sounds like it is on the fruity side, and that is caused by esters in the beers. Esters are fermentation products, and yeast tend to produce more of them at higher temperatures. Fred can try to cool his beer down a bit the next time he ferments it, or he can also wait a little while. Esters tend to fade with time.


TL
 
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ClutchDude

ClutchDude

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I'm addressing the fermentation cooling concern right now with this project https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=52586 (should be done by next week)

Should we pull the corny keg out of the fridge for the time being to help the taste?

EDIT: Glad someone finally picked up on the fred flintstone.

I, personally, am a complete n00b to brewing and prolly gonna do an extract or simple brew next week.

My roomate on the other hand has some successful extracts under his belt but just started AG. Getting to swig those brews, I obviously have an interest in drinking good beer, hence asking here.
 

WBC

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Yes pull the keg out of the fridge and into a stable 70F for a while. This will let the yeast work on the problem. Let it work for a week or two and then taste it. If the problem is not an infection it should get better with time.
 
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ClutchDude

ClutchDude

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Will do. "Fred" will prolly chime in here about the beer. Hopefully this'll get him the help he needs. </horriblepun>
 

FlyGuy

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To quickly add to the good advice already posted here, another thing to watch out for is pitching your yeast while the wort is too warm. This can be especially pronounced if you did not aerate fully. Esters are produced shortly after pitching, and I have had an overly fruity batch or two when I knew I pitched a bit warm, despite having the fermenter in a room at the proper (cool) temperature.
 

srm775

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WBC said:
Ale should ferment at 65 to 68F to keep other flavors from developing. Look at your yeast package and it should tell you what temperature range is best for that yeast. Temperatures that are too high can cause unwanted flavors generated by the yeast. If enough yeast was pitched into aerated wort it should be fermenting good in less than 12 hours in most cases. Everything that touches wort after the boil should be sterile. Do not bother with a secondary fermenter as it is not desirable for ales. Ales need to condition on the yeast to clean up after the main fermentation. Ferment 12 to 14 days in the primary and then keg into a clean and sterileized corny keg. Any failure to keep equipment sterile can infect the brew. For cleaning use PBW and Starsan for sterilization and you will do just fine.

Ref: http://www.fivestarchemicals.com/products.asp
I think you mean everything needs to be SANITIZED, not sterilized.

The OP said it fermented for 2 weeks in primary and then 1 week in secondary. So, anything above 60&#176; should be plenty of time for the yeast to do everything they need to do and clean up off-flavors after the primary. 1 week in secondary for further clearing should be fine. And, typically I think you run into fruity off tastes at higher fermentation temperatures.

If you're carboy was inside, I don't see that any "cold snap" would have an effect, since you probably heat or maintain some sort of temperature in your house.

I think it might be more telling to share what yeast you used. Perhaps your choice in yeast is more likely the culprit than anything.
 
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ClutchDude

ClutchDude

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He used a Nottingham Ale Yeast.....

The Nottingham strain was selected for its highly flocculent (precipitating) and relatively full attenuation (transforming sugar into alcohol) properties. It produces low concentrations of fruity and estery aromas and has been described as neutral for an ale yeast, allowing the full natural flavor of malt to develop. Good tolerance to low fermentation temperatures, 14°C (57°F), allow this strain to brew lager-style beer. Recommended 14° to 21°C (57° to 70°F) fermentation temperature range.


http://www.homebrewit.com/Nottingham_facts.pdf

Could he have left it next to his heating vent?
 

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