Pilsner issues

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Tokki, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. Tokki

    Tokki New Member

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    I've brewed several pilsners successfully using a Wyeast Bavarian lager Yeast. Decided to go with a Wyeast pilsner. Started at ~ 65 for 36 hours before lagering at 45 for 2 weeks, racking to carboy then 36 degrees. The yeast seemed to struggle but placed at 45 degrees anyways. I'm over 6 weeks in. Pretty much have reached gravity, but the beer has a weird taste. I don't know whether the time at 65 before running to 45 has anything to do with it (it was not what I did with the other pilsners. I immediately pitched and sent to 45). Don't believe it's infected but pulled several bottles off and returned carboy to fridge. It' still fermenting. Thoughts?
     
  2. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Maybe an off flavour produced by yeast with temperature swing ? You make starters for your pils? Starter go ok?
     
  3. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    If it is a buttery or butterscotchy flavor could be diacetyl. Might need to warm it up for a bit to let the yeast clean it up. Research diacetyl rest if this is the off taste, your yeast still might be able to work it out.
     
  4. Tokki

    Tokki New Member

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    I used a Wyeast Pilsner 2007 yeast. Prior to that all my other pilsners used a Bavarian lager 2206. I was concerned about the yeast action before I pitched which is why I left it at 65 degrees before dropping to 45. The fermentation looks to be fully attenuated (at least the SG - 1.017 indicates although it could dry out more - from OG - 1.066) although it is still perking along. Any experience with Pilsner yeast? Do they ferment longer that a Bavarian? I figured give it another month and pull a sample. If the flavor's still there, may just dump and chalk it up to experience.
     
  5. Tokki

    Tokki New Member

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    Thanks. In between the lagering from the original 2 weeks at 45, I brought it to 65 for 24 hours before dropping to 35 degrees which is where it's been at since Dec 4. After I bottled a few bottles Monday, I placed it back to 35 degrees where it's happily perking along. I figure leave it alone for another 4 weeks and check it again, both SG and flavor. Ay experience with how long pilsners lager? The Bavarian (2207) I had used for all my other pilsners was done in 6 - 7 weeks.
     
  6. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    Im not saying this happened but as you may know it takes half a day or so the change temperature from cold to warm so be sure the actual temperature of the wort is indeed as warm as you set it at for at least 2 to 3 days
     
  7. Tokki

    Tokki New Member

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    Yes, good point. Definitely would have dropped the amount of time to reenergize the fermentation to clean up any diacetyl. Much appreciated
     
  8. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Looks like you'll just have to wait and see tokki .
     
  9. Tokki

    Tokki New Member

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    Yep, that's the problem with lagering. You have to wait a while to find out you made a mistake! :)
     
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  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    That extends to all brewing, my friend. And cheesemaking.
     
  11. nzbrew

    nzbrew Active Member

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    Yep, the more I brew the more I learn about faults. Helps that I have had a bit of coaching as well, but it's amazing how many home brewers I know are blind to faults caused by impatience. I have (even recently) fallen into the same traps, taking time shortcuts on fermentation / conditioning times.

    As much as temperature control, sanitation, aeration and all the things that cost you - patience is free and makes a huge difference to your brewing quality.

    Enjoy
     
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  12. Tokki

    Tokki New Member

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    Yes, that has always been a struggle. In the words of a vulture, " Patience hell, I'm going to 'drink' something!" (or something like that.) :)
     
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  13. Tokki

    Tokki New Member

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    I appreciate the forum's comments. Stay tuned. I have a lot a ideas that are going to need a lot of collective thought!
     
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  14. newmanwell

    newmanwell Active Member

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    Can you be more specific when describing the "weird" flavor? At 65 degrees there's always a chance of esters or phenols. Being that it's a lager I'm also wondering if it's sulfur.
     
  15. Tokki

    Tokki New Member

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    I don't believe it's diacetyl (not buttery or butterscotch) at all. For all the other pilsners I brewed, I'd pitch then place at 45 degrees for the first two weeks, bring to ~65 degrees for 24-48 hours, rack, then ferm at 35 degrees for ~6-7 weeks. I had preciously used a Bavarian lager yeast (WyEast 2206 smackpac), but decided this time to do a solid Pilsen grain bill with the Pilsen yeast (Wyeast 2007). The yeast prior to pitching was not as vigorous as the Bavarian, so that's why I left it out at 65 degrees before lagering at 45. In hindsight, I should have just started the lagering process and repitched another Pilsen if activity didn't start. I'd like to provide more of an explanation of the taste, but it's something I haven't experienced before. I think you may be on to something with the sulfur. I pulled 5 bottles off and retunred the carboy to 35 degrees hoping I could ferm my way out of this. Always hopeful!
     
  16. Tokki

    Tokki New Member

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    My wife mentioned a pepper flavor to her. Thoughts?
     
  17. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Pepper is phenolic. Too warm?
     
  18. Tokki

    Tokki New Member

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    Yes, that may have been the problem. I allowed it to remain at 65 degrees (24-36 hours) before placing at 45 degrees.
     
  19. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Unless it was actively krausening at 65 for 36 hours or you saw a lot of airlock activity, it's doubtful that much serious fermentation was taking place, so I wouldn't think that it would cause you any problems. OTOH, lowering right away to 45 (lower than that yeast's ideal range) may cause some peppery phenols or other flavors not normally associated with it. I think you'd likely have been better off at 50 degrees or so for main fermentation.

    Just as an aside and for future reference, lagering is what happens after all fermentation is done. Technically, you were fermenting at 45 degrees and not lagering. Lager is the German word for warehouse or storage (like locker). After a beer is fermented at a low temp with lager yeast - usually in the 50 degree range - and then, typically, brought up to mid-60's for a diacetyl rest, it's stored at a cold temperature - 35 degrees or so. That's the lagering stage and fermentation has ceased. The aging and clearing process is going on for as long as you want to store it and a lot of yeast flavors fade away and leave the clean malt profile that we want.

    Some flavors will dissipate during the late stages of fermentation - acetaldehyde, diacetyl (at higher temps), etc. Phenols may hang in much longer and may not fade completely. Unless you're tasting band-aid/medicinal flavors, I'd let it ride. Also, it's surprising what sort of flavors will be brought out by hops in certain combinations or in the presence of certain yeast-produced flavors. I get a heck of a lot of pepper/spice off or Saaz hops early in the process. That tends to fade and it's often replaced with a dry grass note, but there's still a lot of spice.
     
  20. Tokki

    Tokki New Member

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    Ahh, good to know. I fermented at 45 for 2 weeks then dropped to 35 for the 6-7 weeks. I used Saaz primarily for 30 min then Tett for 20.
     

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