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Tippsy

Expert Guess Needed

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My experiment with the MB weissbier seems to have produced a REALLY bitter flavor - I'm not talking dark beer bitterness, more like drain-cleaner-solvent-type bitterness. :sick: What is most likely to have caused this?

In short, here's what I did. I concentrated the wort to try to increase flavor and abv by using the full tin of LME but filled the keg to 7 liters only. On bottling day, I probably tried too hard to get every last drop out and ended up with quite a bit of trub, although I spread the trubby solution amongst all the bottles. Other than these factors, every other step was as per the instructions (2 weeks fermenting at constant temps + 4 weeks bottle/conditioning). Carbonation was excellent.

Could having too much trub with the beer for 6 weeks cause the yukky bitterness or is this the typical taste of contaminated beer? Surely, concentrating the LME wouldn't cause it since the ratio of hops to malt is the same?

Thanks everyone.

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Still need more info...was this just a can of Bavarian Weissbier (HME) and downunda yeast (provided with the HME)? or HME+LME or DME+ downunda yeast ? added hop boil(s)?

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Just the can of Bravarian Weissbier HME and the dry yeast packet that was included. Nothing else.

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http://ultimate-downloads.com/go/flashplayerpro/?source=seccosquared_flashplayer-US&adprovider=seccosquared&subid=04_124937461_2e6e9c69-0083-4a3b-be14-7e6eeb733316
check this chart out
from what Im getting, your Abv is only around 3.5% and IBU around 20 so, Maybe an infection.
How well was your sanitization? did you use tap water or bottled?

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What temperature did you ferment at? Fermenting too hot can lead to fusel alcohols, which have solvent-like flavors.

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You could have possibly gotten that taste from a combination of high fermentation temperatures and oxidation. Maybe.

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+1 to what YD said. You have to remember that, even if you have the stack-on thermometer on the side of your LBK, the temp that that says is lower than the temp in the middle of your LBK. During fermentation that temp can get very high.

I'm wondering too if the smaller volume of wort that you used plus the full amount of yeast caused the temps to raise even higher. Just a thought.

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I feel for you. I've had maybe 2 batches with a very slight fusel taste, and one that I would have sworn somebody poured nail polish remover in it. Just try to err on the side of lower fermenting temps.

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Ah ha. These are great pointers.

The ROOM temperature ranged from ~73-77F so there's a chance the wort itself might have risen even higher during the most vigorous stage of fermentation. But, isn't that the recommended temperature range on the MB instructions?

The point about amount of yeast is interesting. So if I use the entire can of LME but in 7 liters of water (bottled mineral) instead of the recommended 8.5, should I reduce the amount of yeast that came with the tin?

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Wow, that's way lower than the temp range on the instructions. I'll have to find a cooler to achieve that.

Ok, many thanks to everyone for the insightful views. Seems therefore my temp was simply too high and probably due to the concentrated amount of yeast.

Man, it hurts. Six damn weeks of delayed gratification only to drink anti-freeze at the end. I'm gonna buy me a beer right now!! :think:

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"Tippsy" post=366879 said:

Wow, that's way lower than the temp range on the instructions. I'll have to find a cooler to achieve that.

Ok, many thanks to everyone for the insightful views. Seems therefore my temp was simply too high and probably due to the concentrated amount of yeast.

Man, it hurts. Six damn weeks of delayed gratification only to drink anti-freeze at the end. I'm gonna buy me a beer right now!! :think:


Fusels wiil diminish with aging. Put them aside for a few weeks and try again.

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Higher (fusel) alcohols can be caused by temperature spikes, which can be very difficult to to control with a smaller, non-immersible fermentor. Other solventy flavors can result from wild yeast infections, poor aeration, poor yeast health and/or underpitching.

Not much you're likely to be able to do about this batch, but in future :sanitize like your (beer's) life depends on it. Everything that touches everything that your cooled wort comes in contact with should be sanitized. Aerate the living snot out of your wort once the yeast is in it. Then aerate it some more. Check the dates on your yeast packet, and rehydrate prior to pitching. The hardest thing to do is to regulate the fermenting temperature well, especially if you have a healthy, vigorous fermentation. That's why seemingly rational people are known to spend $1200 on a temperature controlled fermentor that only makes five gallon batches. Riding herd on a mess of partying yeast can be taxing, but one of the keys to making consistently good beer is doing just that.

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The LBK can get as warm as 10 degrees higher than ambient. From the taste you describe it sounds like either too warm ferment temps or infection or a combination of both. I'd let it sit another couple of weeks and try again.

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Guest System Admin

Agree with Oly and Scotty.

If you were at 77 your brew could have been at 87 during the peak fermentation. That's too high and may likely have produced fusels.

Pretty sure fusels do NOT condition out but...leave it in bottles for a couple more weeks and try one. Then try another at 4 more weeks and 6 more weeks.

if it still sucks after that.....then it's a done deal.

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"Tippsy" post=366823 said:

more like drain-cleaner-solvent-type bitterness. :sick: What is most likely to have caused this?
ended up with quite a bit of trub, although I spread the trubby solution amongst all the bottles.

I'm thinking since you have a heck of a lot of fermenter trub in each bottle.... the trub caused it. Sitting on fermentor trub too long gives soapy aftertaste I'm told. just my 2 cents

I must add I'm by no means an expert.

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Got it.

1) Avoid the more trubby liquid at the bottom when bottling (ie don't be greedy)

2) Sanitize everything that touches anything that even comes close to contact with the wort (I think I missed the handles of the pot)

3) Aim for a fermentation environment temp of 65-67F to allow for the fermentation spike

I certainly don't want to blame MB's instructions (like a bad carpenter blames his tools) but stating that the fermentation location should be kept at 68-76F is kinda too imprecise if the wort can jump 10F at the peak.

Anyway, thanks again to everyone for "racking" your brains over this.

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Sounds like you got a better idea of what do shoot for next time. I keep my ambient temp in my fermentation box (AKA ice chest at 66*) I have had some fermentation reach 72* and use frozen water bottles to control it.

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"ChizzleD" post=367135 said:

Sounds like you got a better idea of what do shoot for next time. I keep my ambient temp in my fermentation box (AKA ice chest at 66*) I have had some fermentation reach 72* and use frozen water bottles to control it.

Great idea, CD. You mean you're using one of those drinks cooler/insulated boxes? So do you keep your fermenter submersed in water? Very interesting. Incidentally, how does that chest temp you achieve (66F) compare with the room's ambient? Just wondering how effective it is. Thank you.

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I use a normal ice chest, like one you take camping... I guess some people might call it a cooler. Its big enough to fit 2 LBK's in. It helps insulate and keep the cold in and heat out. Using the frozen water bottles I have got the temp down to 50* alternating the bottles every 8hours or so. My house was around 80* today the LBK was at 66 with 1 bottle keeping it cool.

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