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everything is green

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I've made about 8-10 batches of beer and every single one has tasted green, kinda tastes like the yeast cake smells...if that makes sense? I know the first few batches I made I fermented too high but since then I've read everyone's advice about the 3-4 method and I keep every batch at 64-66 degrees. I've started out doing just simple refills and recipes that are light in ABV so I figured the 4 week mark they would taste pretty good but not really. I did a refill of CAL and Oktoberfest and I'm currently 6 maybe 7 weeks in the bottle and after 3 days in the fridge they still have that taste. Am I doing something wrong or do they just need more time to condition?

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Are you using tap water? If so, do you know whether or not is is high in chlorine/chloramines?

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I feel your pain.

Make sure you're controlling the temp of the wort and not just the ambient air.

Do you proof your yeast. It's like giving the yeasties 30 cans of redbull before they do their job.

Are you aerating your wort before pitching the yeast? It helps reduce fermentation problems.

Out of my first six batches only one has tasted like a real commercialized beer. Big hopes for batches 9 & 10 though.

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I use a temp control on a mini fridge and tape the probe to the side of the keg and wrap it up with bubble wrap and whatever else I can find.

I def aerate the batch before I pitch the yeast and I usually pitch the yeast around 66 degrees. A couple times when the temp settled down it was at 61 because the temp on my fridge was really low and the spring water was too cold. Once I got it back up it took off and was fine.

What does proof your yeast mean? To rehydrate the yeast? If so I have never tried that before.

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you don't have to rehydrate dry  yeast. dry yeast is very much better than the 'old days' of home brewing.. higher quality.  when you pitch yeast into warm water, the yeast cells wake up. they vomit out their 'stomach' contents.. and begin taking in the water around them into their cell structure.. I think.. im no scientist.

 

water has a lower specific gravity than wort. when it siphons in the water it is gentler on their cell walls than wort.  after about 15 minutes , they should be fully hydrated, hungry and ready to rip through your wort. you end up pitching a higher number of living cells so the lag time (how long before fermentation starts) is less.

 

wort has a higher gravity.. could be 1.04.. 1.08 anything.  when the cells make contact with wort they intake the wort and... suffer osmotic shock.  cell walls can rapture.. and you get about 50% of your cells or more dying off possibly.  if you are using 11grams of fresh dry yeast..  maybe 200 BILLION cells are in the pack. 100 billion die. you still have 100 billion cells.. plenty for your average 2.5 gallon batch... since 11g is good for 5 gallons. the yeast then pig out on their dead friends... which serves to feed the survivors ...

not rehydrating causes some lag time because a) the survivors eat their dead first and  b- then if their numbers are short, they reproduce to a level necessary for the wort's fermentation.  (ive had lag times from 3 hrs to just under 3 days with various yeasts and pitching methods). 

 

proofing the yeast is rehydrating.  after you pitch into a volume of warm (not hot) water and let it sit for 10 mins or so... stir.. let it sit for 10 mins or so ... you should see it turning creamy and foaming a little.. almost like it is growing.  you could say you are proving that the yeast are viable by proofing it.

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"green" beer has a kind of green apple tart offness about it. not sour.. but almost a cider quality. this usually comes from too high a fermentation temp. since your temps seem spot on I think you have a different issue.

 

what you describe as 'tastes like yeast smells'...  ie bready... doughy... comes when you are not careful pouring your glass .. or drinking out of the bottle and ingest yeast or trub.

 

two things I would try:

 

when you get a kit.. order a higher quality yeast like Fermentis US05  - a clean fermenting ( low ester) ale yeast,   or US04  which is an English ale yeast that produces a slight apple like fruitiness if you let it get too hot.. but is mostly clean if kept around 63f.   or try a danstar Nottingham... lots of choices. read the package to see the optimal fermentation temp range for it. also if it says rehydrate or not.

 

take the 'fromunda yeast'... the yeast from under the lid... and either toss it, or use it to make yeast food.  what I do is in a sauce pan with mineral water... bring water to boil. add the fromunda yeast... stir... and boil it for no less than 10 minutes to kill them all. cover, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temp.  pitch this into the wort then add your higher quality yeast.

 

 

and

 

on removing the bottle from the fridge, do a slow and careful pour. try to leave the trub in the bottle and toss the 1/4" of beer left at the end.with the trub.  your beer should be relatively yeast taste free.  chilling the bottle lets the yeast and trub compact and puts the co2 into solution. the slow pour helps keep it out of the glass.

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Try making something with a bigger flavor profile than CAL and Oktoberfest.  What temperature are you pitching at?  Did you buy a hydrometer yet?  What are the readings.

It took me 3 batches to get something I liked and 15 batches to get something I felt like sharing.  Keep at it.

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I have had this problem but recently seem to have overcome it, although not exactly sure why.

 

I tried really boiling the wort for an extended time, but it didn't help

 

Things I have changed are;

1. I use an electric wisk to aerate. Really churns it up. I get about an inch of foam on top of the wort from it.

2. I pitch at around 70 give or take a bit and use really cold water to get to temp basically immediately after boiling

3. I have a fridge now, but so do you. I don't keep it that cold though. My fridge runs 66-70F, the wort usually about 72-73

4. I use the three-three-three ferment/condition/chill (although the chill part usually runs out of beer before three weeks...)

5. I prime with table sugar and I think I am generally a little on the heavy side of the recommendations. Haven't had any bottles blow up though. 

 

 

I also find that the batches using hops seem to be less prone to this green flavor. Try making the American Gold. Also it is easier for some reason to eliminate this flavor using the DME rather than LME when called for. Again, not sure why other than the DME probably has a better shelf life.

 

I am not sure what good having the hydrometer has done for me, but I use one. Mostly it just gives me the ability to know that this makes a stronger beer than that. If you use the three/three ferment/condition it will work for sure. I was checking  SG every week for a while but not much happens after the first week.

 

One thing about this board is a lot of people are making things that may or may not use Mr. Beer ingredients, and they are not always clear about that. (Except RickBeer, who is pretty good about that.) I know the general thinking on this board is to ferment at cooler temps, but reading the Mr. Beer publications and recipes is confusing on this. The recommendation is to "Put your keg in a location with a consistent temperature between 68° and 76° F (20°-25° C)", but this is not going to keep the wort at the temps you are using. My current thinking is that the warmer temps are better for the Mr. Beer yeast and keep it working rather than slowing it down. Also, a tad more sugar in the bottle  keeps what is left working longer. I am thinking the taste you and I don't like is due to incomplete fermentation.

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Try making something with a bigger flavor profile than CAL and Oktoberfest. What temperature are you pitching at? Did you buy a hydrometer yet? What are the readings.

It took me 3 batches to get something I liked and 15 batches to get something I felt like sharing. Keep at it.

I pitch everything at 66 degrees sometimes a little cooler, I did buy a hydrometer but I didn't use it on those specific batches. I did take readings on others and they were pretty much spot on with the mr beer approx readings.

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I am not sure what good having the hydrometer has done for me, but I use one. Mostly it just gives me the ability to know that this makes a stronger beer than that. If you use the three/three ferment/condition it will work for sure. I was checking  SG every week for a while but not much happens after the first week.

 

One thing about this board is a lot of people are making things that may or may not use Mr. Beer ingredients, and they are not always clear about that. (Except RickBeer, who is pretty good about that.) I know the general thinking on this board is to ferment at cooler temps, but reading the Mr. Beer publications and recipes is confusing on this. The recommendation is to "Put your keg in a location with a consistent temperature between 68° and 76° F (20°-25° C)", but this is not going to keep the wort at the temps you are using. My current thinking is that the warmer temps are better for the Mr. Beer yeast and keep it working rather than slowing it down. Also, a tad more sugar in the bottle  keeps what is left working longer. I am thinking the taste you and I don't like is due to incomplete fermentation.

 

Warmer temps are what causes the "green" flavor (acetaldehyde). It has been the general consensus of this community that cooler temps are best. This is also supported by the science (as well as countless hours of my own experimentation). Warmer temps will ferment faster, but they won't ferment as clean as cool temps. Warm temps stress the yeast causing them to basically "sweat" off-flavors. For some yeasts, however, these off-flavors are a good thing because they contain esters and phenols that contribute to the beer. This is only true in the case of saison, wheat, and Belgian yeast strains (and a few select others).

 

To prevent the green flavor:

1. Pitch cool (under 70)

2. Ferment cool (65-68)

3. Ferment for 3 weeks

4. Cold crash

5. Condition at least 3 weeks

 

The production of acetaldehyde is not reduced or hindered by the addition of hops or the substitution of malts. It is a function of the yeast and usually only happens when the "rules of thumb" above aren't adhered to. Keep in mind that some beers, especially some lagers are allowed some acetaldehyde in the beer as part of the style.

 

Also, if you're using HME cans, don't boil your wort for any period of time.

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Thanks zorak for that info. As far as pouring goes I'm usually pretty careful. I hold it up to the light and when I see the cloudiness from the sediment from the bottom move towards the neck I stop.

I would say it's more of a "green" cider taste than a yeasty/doughy taste. Which I thought would be eliminated by bringing the temps down. When I first got the kit I was fermenting at like 72-74 and the green flavor was intense. Now... It's just not as intense but it's still there and it drives me nuts.

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Warmer temps are what causes the "green" flavor (acetaldehyde). It has been the general consensus of this community that cooler temps are best. This is also supported by the science (as well as countless hours of my own experimentation). Warmer temps will ferment faster, but they won't ferment as clean as cool temps. Warm temps stress the yeast causing them to basically "sweat" off-flavors. For some yeasts, however, these off-flavors are a good thing because they contain esters and phenols that contribute to the beer. This is only true in the case of saison, wheat, and Belgian yeast strains (and a few select others).

To prevent the green flavor:

1. Pitch cool (under 70)

2. Ferment cool (65-68)

3. Ferment for 3 weeks

4. Cold crash

5. Condition at least 3 weeks

The production of acetaldehyde is not reduced or hindered by the addition of hops or the substitution of malts. It is a function of the yeast and usually only happens when the "rules of thumb" above aren't adhered to. Keep in mind that some beers, especially some lagers are allowed some acetaldehyde in the beer as part of the style.

Also, if you're using HME cans, don't boil your wort for any period of time.

I do everything you mention but still get that flavor that's why I don't get it. Is it the type of beer I make that usually has a lower profile so that flavor is easier to detect?

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I do everything you mention but still get that flavor that's why I don't get it. Is it the type of beer I make that usually has a lower profile so that flavor is easier to detect?

 

It could be. While added hops or malts won't reduce acetaldehyde, it can possibly mask the flavor some. What do you make? Also, try to switch it up to a different yeast. If doing a British (or any European) style ale, try using Safale S-04, if doing an American style ale, try using Safale US-05. These are known for producing less acetaldehyde than our Coopers yeast. If you're brewing lighter style beers, some acetaldehyde may be unavoidable, but part of the style. Further conditioning should at least balance it out a bit so it's not so green.

 

By the way, the CAL, American Lager, Aztec, and Canadian Blonde will all have some green characteristics, which is simply part of these styles.

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Well I've done 3 batches of CAL, 1 Oktoberfest, Australian Sparking Ale, Strawberry Basil Wheat, and I'm brewing Imperial Red Ale right now. I also made a batch of Beach Babe Blonde. I saved 2 bottles of the Beach Babe Blonde because I actually forgot I had them and I wanna say they were in the bottle for 4 months and they were really good, just a little too much lime flavor. Didn't really pick up on the "green" taste.

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Well I've done 3 batches of CAL, 1 Oktoberfest, Australian Sparking Ale, Strawberry Basil Wheat, and I'm brewing Imperial Red Ale right now. I also made a batch of Beach Babe Blonde. I saved 2 bottles of the Beach Babe Blonde because I actually forgot I had them and I wanna say they were in the bottle for 4 months and they were really good, just a little too much lime flavor. Didn't really pick up on the "green" taste.

 

Yeah the citric acid from the limes will completely mask any acetaldehyde.

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Although I just tried my first Australian Sparkling Ale after being in the bottle for 2 1/2 months and it actually resembled beer. Didn't expect it to have a bitter taste but it was quite good.

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I just want some clarification on the temp to pitch the yeast at if I could.  Once you pour the wort into the cold water and stir it up, this is when you would get a temperature reading.  I assume if the reading is too cold (I'm sure this isn't likely anyways), you would just let it sit for a few minutes or longer until it hits the mid 60's up to 70F mark before pitching.  Is that about right?  I too will be using ice cold water chilled in the fridge this time around on my next batch.  I used cold tap water and had no idea about temperature the first go around which is just finishing fermenting as we speak...

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If you follow the directions, your wort will not be too cold.  If it was too cold, say in the 50s, you'd have to let it sit for HOURS, not minutes, to raise to the mid 60s.  2.13 gallons changes temp slowly.  

 

If the area where it is located is in the mid 60s, and the wort is in the 50s, I would add the yeast because the room will warm the wort to the right temp and then the yeast will kick in when they awake.

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