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Cider taste

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My Pilsner has fermented 3 weeks and I tasted a sample of it, has a cider taste. I'm thinking I should let it sit another day or two? Or should I go ahead and bottle it?

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What temperature did you pitch your yeast at? Sometimes pitching warm can promote acetaldehyde, which is what the cider flavor is from. Also, fermenting at the warm end of the temp scale will promote acetaldehyde. Fermenting cool (65-68) for 3 weeks should prevent this assuming you used cold, refrigerated water in your fermenter.

 

At this point, leaving it for an extra day might not do much, but it won't hurt. You can leave leave it up to an extra week, but I would avoid going beyond that. Any remaining acetaldehyde should dissipate with an extended conditioning time. Bottle, carbonate, then condition for at least 3-4 weeks. It should improve by then.

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I believe it was on the warm side when I pitched the yeast 70 I think.  I did use refrigerated water. I ferment in my basement and it stays between 64 and 67. I have stick on thermometers on my LBK's and they read 66 the whole time.  

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It may have been the yeast pitch that did it since your temps seem ok. Though 70 should be fine to pitch at. Let it condition for awhile and the cider taste should dissipate.

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If it tastes like apple, it could be 6 to 8 weeks in the bottle before it's really free from that flavor. Your ferm temp was fine. Sitting on the yeast cake in the fermenter (at 68 degrees or so ambient) may be the best place for the beer to try to rid itself of the acetaldehyde. If it was me, I'd let it sit. As long as you don't jostle the LBK, it'll keep it's CO2 blanket intact and won't oxidize. Bulk aging will help it and I'm willing to bet that a week on the yeast cake will do as much good as several weeks of extra bottle conditioning.

And don't be disheartened. Eventually, it'll go away and turn into very good beer. Try a bottle every now and then, but be sure to age some for an extended time. It's very instructive to taste the difference that aging makes in a beer that's less than perfect. In the meantime, brew more beer. :) 

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If is not fixed by the time you have finished all the bottles sampling - it is too late - but you drank it anyway - lol.

 

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I am having the same beer with my last couple batches... e.g. did a clementine wheat beer.. just looked at my notes and the highest ambient temperature was 67.. so the range was 62-67 for the 3 weeks... 12 oz bottles with 3/4 tsp sugar per bottle and condition for 8 weeks on the counter... and the house never gets above 74. 

 

where is my possible cause?

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5 hours ago, ytownmetalhead said:

I am having the same beer with my last couple batches... e.g. did a clementine wheat beer.. just looked at my notes and the highest ambient temperature was 67.. so the range was 62-67 for the 3 weeks... 12 oz bottles with 3/4 tsp sugar per bottle and condition for 8 weeks on the counter... and the house never gets above 74. 

 

where is my possible cause?

 

Now how do you know the highest ambient temp was 67? And not say 72? And how accurate is your measuring device? Maybe you are off two to 3 degrees?

 

And like Rick said, ambient temp and wort temp are different.  There can be a significant difference between ambient and wort....

 

What was in your Clementine Wheat Beer?

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The wort can be as much as 8-10 degrees, Fahrenheit, higher than the ambient temperature during the active phase of fermentation.

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16 hours ago, MrWhy said:

 

Now how do you know the highest ambient temp was 67? And not say 72? And how accurate is your measuring device? Maybe you are off two to 3 degrees?

 

And like Rick said, ambient temp and wort temp are different.  There can be a significant difference between ambient and wort....

 

What was in your Clementine Wheat Beer?

i have a food grade laser thermometer that i rest against the side of the keg halfway up the liquid... i use a cooler with ice bottles. I take temp checks about 3 or 4 times a day.. when it gets to 66 i change the bottles out. 

 

i used the belgian blanc recipe and just used clementine instead or oranges

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15 minutes ago, ytownmetalhead said:

i have a food grade laser thermometer that i rest against the side of the keg halfway up the liquid... i use a cooler with ice bottles. I take temp checks about 3 or 4 times a day.. when it gets to 66 i change the bottles out. 

 

i used the belgian blanc recipe and just used clementine instead or oranges

@ytownmetalhead

Have you found this to be the case with all the bottles?

If you are measuring the wort temp on the side of the cooler, then I am thinking you would have caught it if the temp was spiked those first few days....

Pitching temp?

I tried the cooler thing with ice too, and a lot of people have made it work. But my place is just too hot so I know my beer was fermenting at way too high of temps and causing some off flavors.

Three things -

One - condition it out longer. Some of my beers that were still not right at 8 weeks are tasting almost outstanding at 10. 

Two - drink it. There are worse things in this life than green apple. 

Three - Next batch, but a little more aggressive with the temp control. Instead of having 66 as your limit, try 64...maybe 63. 


We don't know exactly why it is happening, but we know it is happening. The most common reasons seem to be temps. So assume your temp is high, lower it, and see what happens.

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21 minutes ago, MrWhy said:

@ytownmetalhead

Have you found this to be the case with all the bottles?

If you are measuring the wort temp on the side of the cooler, then I am thinking you would have caught it if the temp was spiked those first few days....

Pitching temp?

I tried the cooler thing with ice too, and a lot of people have made it work. But my place is just too hot so I know my beer was fermenting at way too high of temps and causing some off flavors.

Three things -

One - condition it out longer. Some of my beers that were still not right at 8 weeks are tasting almost outstanding at 10. 

Two - drink it. There are worse things in this life than green apple. 

Three - Next batch, but a little more aggressive with the temp control. Instead of having 66 as your limit, try 64...maybe 63. 


We don't know exactly why it is happening, but we know it is happening. The most common reasons seem to be temps. So assume your temp is high, lower it, and see what happens.

 

 

yes.. every bottle

pitching temp did cross my mind.. but i used refrigerated water. and according to my temperatures it was at 67 when i put the yeast in, using the same method to take temps

my house never gets over 74 and thats in the summer, in the winter time it never gets over 68

1 - i have found in the past this as well -- my last 2 (a pumpkin and a raspberry stout) that after 12 weeks the flavors really jumped... this current batch was bottled on 3/21/16 so, its around that 12 week mark now

 

2 - im gonna drink it.. no doubt about that. haha

 

3 - i will just use an extra ice bottle to keep it around 60-62 and see

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@ytownmetalhead

When in doubt, cover the basics.

Basic #1. Sanitize better. Completely review and look for areas you might be a bit more loose than others. For me it was/is bottling. So this batch I bottled yesterday I took the extra time and really sanitized well. I could not do better sanitizing.

Basic #2 - temp. When in doubt, lower the temps. Pitch lower. Ferment lower. 

NOW.....that being said........

There is another thing to consider, one that is never a problem for me -

Maybe you are fermenting too cold? Green apple taste is also a natural thing that happens when the beer is too young. It may be you have done nothing wrong, the beer just is not done.

As @J A metioned earlier, more conditioning might be the answer. 

So instead of lowering temps, you might try to keep the temps the same but extend the conditioning by a week to see of that will clear up the green apple taste. Like he said, a week on the cake may be more effective than multiple weeks on the bottle.

If you are sure of your temps (and it sounds like you are and it sounds like they are good) then next time take a sample taste before bottling and if the green apple taste is sharp, give it another week on the cake.

For me, I tend to relate every problem as a problem of "too hot" since that is the reality I live in!

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@MrWhy

 

I have always sampled before bottling.. i dont recognize the cider taste before bottling. just a flat beer.  still kind of fresh here...

but @J A remark about a week on the cake... meaning ferment another week, I already let it go for 3 weeks. 

 

going to order the next with these thoughts in mind

 

as far as sanitizing goes.. i actually sanitize twice... once with a bleach/water mixture and right before bottling i use the no rinse stuff supplied by mr beer

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I'd recommend you stop using the bleach.  There is no reason to.  Follow the Mr. Beer directions.  Wash the equipment with unscented dishsoap, rinse well with warm (never hot water), and sanitize with the One-Step on brewing day.

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2 hours ago, RickBeer said:

Wash the equipment with unscented dishsoap, rinse well with warm (never hot water),

 

I disagree with the dish soap. I don't trust anything could leave a residue.I avoid fat- or oil-based soaps and liquid detergents. For LBKs, just removing all the yeast and hop sludge with water and a paper towel (and maybe some unscented Oxi-clean for anything stubborn) and rinsing with sanitizer is good after fermenting. And just a good rinse and a little exposure to sanitizer is good after use as a bottling vessel. Brew pots and mash pots get a scrub with BarKeeper's Friend. 

Then pre-brew clean up of any fermenters or bottling vessels includes a soak with PBW including disassembling and soaking the spigot and then a good rinse and thorough soak in One-Step sanitizer (same as the Mr. Beer kit sanitizer). Same for bottles.

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2 hours ago, RickBeer said:

I'd recommend you stop using the bleach.  There is no reason to.  Follow the Mr. Beer directions.  Wash the equipment with unscented dishsoap, rinse well with warm (never hot water), and sanitize with the One-Step on brewing day.

 

is this where i am getting the off flavors from then @RickBeer

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1 hour ago, ytownmetalhead said:

 

is this where i am getting the off flavors from then @RickBeer

Nope...If you have cider taste (acetaldehyde)  it's just yeast being stressed during fermentation and not being active enough to clean up after itself. It seems to be a very common problem with the kit yeast and I think it's exacerbated by the sometimes slightly harsh HME flavor that takes some extra time to mellow.  I think there's a likelihood that it can develop or re-develop during the bottle carbing stage because of the slightly high priming sugar levels often used.

I'd like to do an experiment with a few refill kits to see if rehydrating the yeast or pitching double or fermenting at substantially lower temp or pitching different yeast would make a difference during fermentation.

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@J A

 

So if the cider taste is not present at bottling, but happens during bottling, then possible causes are yeast being strained during bottling conditioning?

Does this mean that adding a bit of yeast at bottling might help?

 

 

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Unscented liquid dish soap is just fine. It is not a soap, but a detergent and will rinse off without leaving residue like a soap. Oxidizing sanitizers work well, but give them enough contact time. As for the cider like taste, I doubt that it would redevelop in the bottle, there is just so little sugar when compared to primary fermentation. Hydrating the yeast before pitching, or double pitching should not matter much to taste. But, I would aerate the wort well, get the yeast going and reduce lag time. Happy yeast ferment cleanly. Don't add yeast when you bottle! There are lots of live yeast still left.

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20 hours ago, J A said:

Nope...If you have cider taste (acetaldehyde)  it's just yeast being stressed during fermentation and not being active enough to clean up after itself. It seems to be a very common problem with the kit yeast and I think it's exacerbated by the sometimes slightly harsh HME flavor that takes some extra time to mellow.  I think there's a likelihood that it can develop or re-develop during the bottle carbing stage because of the slightly high priming sugar levels often used.

I'd like to do an experiment with a few refill kits to see if rehydrating the yeast or pitching double or fermenting at substantially lower temp or pitching different yeast would make a difference during fermentation.

 

I like this - it would be good if someone did the experiment, then we would not be speculating. I have used the low pitching route to increase stress for wheat beers though and it seemed to work. Certainly using a non Mr B 11g dry yeast pack for 2 gal will also tend to reduce stress I think and get success. That could be why people might think non Mr. B yeasts are "better" - just the effect of overpitching improving the taste.

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21 minutes ago, Nickfixit said:

 

I like this - it would be good if someone did the experiment, then we would not be speculating. I have used the low pitching route to increase stress for wheat beers though and it seemed to work. Certainly using a non Mr B 11g dry yeast pack for 2 gal will also tend to reduce stress I think and get success. That could be why people might think non Mr. B yeasts are "better" - just the effect of overpitching improving the taste.

 

I've used half-packs of S-04 and US-05 yeasts and that's the equivalent pitch rate to the Mr Beer kit packets. Those tend to have their own quirks, but acetaldehyde production doesn't seem to be an issue.

Tell you what I did find out, though...If you pitch 3/4 packet of rehydrated US-05 on 5 gallons on a light-bodied lightly-hopped blonde ale and ferment at about 62 degrees you get a lot of fruity/peach ester flavor from that otherwise clean yeast. That stuff definitely has a preferred range of very close to 67 degrees to stay really clean. I'd rather have really clean flavor for a lighter beer and try to get a little crisp maltiness in it, but that particular flavor is something I want to work with in conjunction with a nice hop combination. ;) 

 

Whatever strain the Mr Beer kit yeast is, I expect it really likes to work below 68 and not above that at all. Most newbie brewers just aren't going to get that temperature as perfect as it needs to be.

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Yeah. I often use the 1/2packs of those too if I am not worried about getting clean beer. For the wheat I used 1/3pack intentionally to stress it.

For the lager I use the full pack. (all this for 2 gal LBKs).

 

This time of year with AC my basement is 63-68 deg so mostly I am OK. I have a tough time getting it to 68 even.

 

I used WLP400 on a Belgian Wit and it has been foaming for 8 days already - I only  put this in it .I don't know where it is getting the energy from unless the bubble are not popping - lol. Compared to an Apple Brown Beery that seemed to be over fermenting in 4-5 days.

Mr B Wheat HME + for Belgian Wit , (8oz Oats + 4 oz flaked wheat 30) min steep, ( coriander 5g crushed, with Chamomile, Orange zest also) 3-5 min boil, Munich malt - 2 oz trad dark (50%),  WLP400

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After 8 days, it's done fermenting or nearly so. Sometimes the krausen just doesn't fall. I've had K-97 keep a thick krausen for 2 weeks. 

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8 hours ago, J A said:

After 8 days, it's done fermenting or nearly so. Sometimes the krausen just doesn't fall. I've had K-97 keep a thick krausen for 2 weeks. 

 

I figure it is likely the result of the oatmeal, prolonging the bubbles. I agree it should have been done :-) but it will get to finish up for another 2 weeks.

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JA- I have not tried K-97 - the description says is it good for Belgian Wheat beers.

What is your experience with it?

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I'm not familiar with Belgian yeasts, but by all accounts K-97 doesn't exactly go there. It might at some temperatures. I've used for Kolsch-style beers. I have to get the temperature dialed in, but I've fermented in a dorm fridge with the temp set at it's highest setting and no other temp control. The wort seemed to hold at high 50's or thereabouts. At that range it comes off fairly clean but a little fruity. It's an interesting flavor - maybe like pear or just a hint of tropical fruit.

I'm lagering an all-grain Kolsch and the last time I tried some it was still a little sweeter/fruitier than I'd like. I want to do a batch and work at a higher temp to see if it cleans up more at around 62. Seems to attenuate very well, going to about 80% and it can work pretty fast. I haven't pulled samples at a week, but at the colder temps it seems to work hard and krausen a lot the first few days and then keep chugging for about a week, keeping the thick krausen. I've just let it run 2 weeks and then warmed it up for a few days to let the krausen drop before cold crashing. I think I can ferment cold for a week and then start to warm it up so that it finishes and drops in 2 weeks for cold crash and I can bottle at 3 weeks rather than almost 4.  It cleans up very well and carbs fast in the bottle.

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now yinz got me more confused. lol... so what i am gathering my pitch temp and/or fermenting temp is a touch too high? so looking over my temps again.. the average is around 66. but that is when i take the temperature, not average temp overall. 1 time it got to 68... and i take the temperature with laser butted up against the keg halfway up the wort. 

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First of all, different yeasts call for different things. I dont treat my ale and wheat and lager yeast the same. But if youre using MB ale yeast then i would cool the wort between 62-64 before pitching. Then maintain a WORT temp of that same range for fermenting. Now you can change the temps after primary fermentation to achieve different things if you choose. ie raise to 68 to help the yeast clean up. I just keep 64 all the time. If im using an aggressive yeast then maybe 62. My numbers arent scientific or any kind of law, its just what i do. I pee in the shower, doesnt mean you have to...

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5 hours ago, Creeps McLane said:

First of all, different yeasts call for different things. I dont treat my ale and wheat and lager yeast the same. But if youre using MB ale yeast then i would cool the wort between 62-64 before pitching. Then maintain a WORT temp of that same range for fermenting. Now you can change the temps after primary fermentation to achieve different things if you choose. ie raise to 68 to help the yeast clean up. I just keep 64 all the time. If im using an aggressive yeast then maybe 62. My numbers arent scientific or any kind of law, its just what i do. I pee in the shower, doesnt mean you have to...

 

I like to see a person conserving water by not flushing.

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1 hour ago, Nickfixit said:

 

I like to see a person conserving water by not flushing.

 

I think of it as multi-tasking...I'm almost always washing my hair at the same time. :lol: :lol:

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9 hours ago, Creeps McLane said:

First of all, different yeasts call for different things. I dont treat my ale and wheat and lager yeast the same. But if youre using MB ale yeast then i would cool the wort between 62-64 before pitching. Then maintain a WORT temp of that same range for fermenting. Now you can change the temps after primary fermentation to achieve different things if you choose. ie raise to 68 to help the yeast clean up. I just keep 64 all the time. If im using an aggressive yeast then maybe 62. My numbers arent scientific or any kind of law, its just what i do. I pee in the shower, doesnt mean you have to...

In the FWIW department I keep my wort @ 68f for the whole 3 weeks. Most(not all) ale/wine yeasts are quite happy there.

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On 6/16/2016 at 11:23 PM, Jim Johnson said:

In the FWIW department I keep my wort @ 68f for the whole 3 weeks. Most(not all) ale/wine yeasts are quite happy there.

actual wort temperature?

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