Removing unwanted esters?

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JMcManaway

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So I've noticed a ton of threads about esters, what causes them, what they smell like, and even the chemistry behind them. What I haven't noticed are any ways of getting rid of them other than just waiting. I've seen people say they've had success with getting rid of them after a long time in the bottles, others have stated that an extra amount of time in primary does the trick. Some say both.

So - what exactly is the preferred way to reduce/get rid of esters?
 

GilaMinumBeer

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I have always gotten rid of my Esters by sleeping with Gertrudes. Esters hate Gertrudes.






Seriously, aside from managing fermentation temps better the only thing that has worked for me is time.
 
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JMcManaway

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Sure, controlling them is ideal. My question is - what happens when your fermentation temperatures spike and your closet smells like bananas? What then?
 

BarleyWater

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Sure, controlling them is ideal. My question is - what happens when your fermentation temperatures spike and your closet smells like bananas? What then?
Then you have a banana beer. There isn't really anything, even time, that will get rid of the esters from stressed out yeast. Flavors mellow as time goes on, but by the time the ester flavors weren't noticeable anymore, the beer will likely be old and oxidized.
 
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JMcManaway

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The reason I asked is because there was an extremely banana-y smell coming from the airlock and I had had a day or two of hot fermentation. I was sure that this batch was going to be Esteriffic. I had already named it, "Top O' the Banana Irish Stout" (okay, not really). At any rate, I took a sample this evening to see where I was (OG: 1.052, and right now it's at 1.021) but I went ahead and tried the sample: it tasted great. There's no banana taste whatsoever. I taste hints of coffee, a bit of the chocolate malt - but certainly no banana.
 

Yooper

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There's all kinds of odors that might come during fermentation- banana, sulfur, sour, etc, but that is just a product of the fermentation process. It doesn't usually lead to any off flavors. "Hot" fermentation does tend to make fusels and esters that will not fade away afterwards in the taste. Also, some yeasts just are way more ester producing yeast than others are. Sometimes you want some esters, and sometimes you want a more neutral taste, depending on the type of beer, so you can greatly control that with the type of yeast.
 

Genjin

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I had a similar experience with an Irish Red. It was my first batch and I wasn't sure where to ferment it. My house is about 72F and my basement is 63F. The yeast that came with the kit said 65-72, so I did the first two days in the house. As fermentation produces it's own heat my precious red was fermenting at 78F and it smelled like a banana farm! I quickly ran it downstairs and left it for three weeks. There was a hint of that banana at bottling, but now after three weeks conditioning in bottles I cannot pick up the smell. And here I was with labels all made up which said "Banana Bread Red". There is hope!
 
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