AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby Veth » Wed Jun 05, 2002 1:21 pm

After a couple decent batches using packets of Dunstar I desided to upgrade to "real" yeast. Excited about the even better beer I would be brewing I ran to the brewstore and and purchased some high gravity White Labs Yeast (the pitchable vial), but the problem is that particular batch bubbled well for 3 weeks. I didn't think alot about it because after all I was making a strong triple. However when I transfered to a secondary it had a hard to describe off smell, almost a dank musty smell but not really. When I tasted it, the odor had definately carried over into the flavor. I chalked this up to an infection even though I am very anal about my sanitation. THis batch still sits in its secondary because I haven't the heart to dump it. A little diheartened I went and bought some more WHite Labs Yeast (Heffeweizen). This batch of wheat beer bubbled int he fermenter for 2 weeks so far and still bubbles slowly. This batch too has an off smell.

Quick run down of my process
I am an extract brewer
I sanitize with bleach for an hour before brewing then soak everyhting in "one-step sanitizer" until I am ready to use it.
I boil for an hour, and I am sure I am airating the wort enough.
Please help me before my carbois end up out on the curb with the rest of my trash.

Yes I have read a ton of tutorials and "how to articles", and like I said my other batches turned out fine.
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Fermentation Temp

Postby Team Beer » Wed Jun 05, 2002 1:45 pm

It may not be your sanitization practices. What temperature are you fermenting at ? I do know that with some Belgium yeasts a Horse hair aroma is common trait of some strains. The higher the temp the more pronounced the aroma will be. As an avid hefeweizen brewer you want to ferm weinstephen strain at 68 for best results. I have brewed hefe at a higher temp and it did have an off flavor but not enough to dump the beer. I have converted to white labs myself and have used their products for over a year with good results.
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Empathetically, I Agree with Team Beer

Postby stumpwater » Wed Jun 05, 2002 2:41 pm

I did the same thing. My first all-grain effort suffered dramatically when I changed to a liquid yeast strain that fermented at a lower temperature. When I went back to using my old strain, everything turned out fine. Somewhere, I ran across a list of different yeast strains and their optimum fermenting ranges. I will try to find out where that is unless someone else knows off hand. Perhaps if you are going to continue with that particular strain, you can find out from White Labs. Good luck with your next batch.
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Well,

Postby Freon12 » Wed Jun 05, 2002 3:36 pm

I have never used anything but liquid yeast. I have only dumped 1 batch due to grain that was labeled well modified and in fact was not. Maybe make a starter in a flask from the yeast and see if it smells bad in a small well contolled situation. If the stater is fine than we know to look elsewhere for the problem. Water quality may have changed like in my area. Tempretures are warmer now and many more nasties are floating about in the summer. I wouldn't point to the yeast right away. If you are using a plastic bucket as a primary as I do, it may be time for a new one. Let us know what you find, I'm curious.
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One last thing

Postby Team Beer » Fri Jun 07, 2002 8:43 am

Whenever you are using Belgium yeast strains be sure you age the beer longer than you would english/british styles. Belgium strains are almost weird in the way the change over time and what might seem bad now in 6 months might be the best beer you have ever made. A few months ago I made a Beligium Wit, the flavors seemed way off, but now ( several months later ) it has developed into one very close to style. If you decide to dump, bottle a little of it before you do and age it a few months. At least if was good you will know what to expect the next time. Of course if it is good you will kick yourself.
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Dump???

Postby andytv » Fri Jun 07, 2002 11:10 am

I've made a few bad beers, but I've never dumped a batch. I say as long as your bowels can tolerate it, we drink our mistakes!!
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Switching yeast

Postby jayhawk » Sat Jun 08, 2002 8:49 pm

I too have had problems with liquid yeast. After 5 successful batches using Danestar dried ale yeast, my local HBS owner convinced me to switch to liquid. My next three batches all turned out odd, with off flavours. I had just chalked them up to infection, but after talking to my HBS owner again, he confessed that the yeast was more temp. sensitive and that it could actually be more troublesome. He said the dried yeast was "foolproof", so I switched back for my current batch. Everything has gone fine so far. Good luck.
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Thanks...

Postby Veth » Sun Jun 09, 2002 4:28 am

I think maybe I will go back to the dried yeast. I have little ability to control the temp in my house because my AC is pretty old and not very efficient. The temp in my house can go from 70 to 8o on a warm day. The beer I made with dried yeast was like I said, good beer. I guess I should have listened to the old adage "If it isn't broken, don't fix it."
I thank all of you for your replies to my question.
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Don't give up!!!

Postby Brewer2001 » Sun Jun 09, 2002 3:51 pm

I noticed, as others, that when I changed something I also had to adjust my methods. You need to progress in your brewing. Several of the above mentioned points are valid.
First - the higher the original gravity the greater your pitching rate should be (to a point).
Second - liquid yeast should always be 'grown' as a starter.
Third - if you are using contact sterilizer I would drop the bleach. I use brewery wash and Starsan.

Good brewing.
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Read my post to Andytv.

Postby Brewer2001 » Mon Jun 10, 2002 12:00 am

Veth,

The biggest problems to brewers come from the yeast. As I told Andy home brewers generally don't repitch (I have started to for about a year)and are not able to learn the characteristics of the strain of yeast they are using. You made a drastic change. I ,who should have known better, started my friend Irish of in a high gravity Stout. (they serve me well, but I still hear them complaining!)
THERE IS NO SUCH YEAST AS PITCHABLE! They may say it, but read the disclaimer about 'high gravity' on the tube or pouch. Dry yeast is fortified to start quick, that is why it should not be repitched. Try producing a 2 Qt yeast starter using wort about 1020 to 1030 SG with nutrients and airate well (I use O2 from a Bernzomatic tank run through a 2 micron filter, they sell it but it cost too much. Medical O2 would be better if you could get it.)

Don't give up.

You can email me directly at tjflanagan@covad.net

Tom F.
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???

Postby Monkey Man » Tue Jun 11, 2002 4:08 pm

Veth,
How long do you mature your beer?
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