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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: Illini Rookie on April 11, 2012, 10:39:27 PM

Title: Thought it was stuck, but maybe it was over pitched? Help with whether to dump o
Post by: Illini Rookie on April 11, 2012, 10:39:27 PM
Brewed a Kolsch this weekend. This was only the 2nd or 3rd beer that I used a yeast starter on. I followed Mr. Malty for setting it up. About 150g for 1600 ml starter. Yeast was European Ale from White Labs. Kolsch was an extract kit.

Long story short, some neighbors came over, and so the last bit of the brew day is a little fuzzy. I recorded an OG at 1.051. I pitched the yeast at around 65F.

I woke up the next day (~18 hours after pitching) and saw no signs of fermentation. This went on for about 4 days. I do work during the day, but I didn't see a bubble in the morning or night. I decided to check the gravity today and it is at 1.010! Not sure when it happened but it happened fast. 

It has a little bit of an off smell and kind a hot taste. Will this dissipate with the cold aging i had planned on doing for this style? Should I even bother racking and locking up a secondary for the next 6 weeks?

I know not to always trust the initial flavors and smells. The smell is almost like a sulfur, and the hot taste makes me think I fermented too fast.


Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Thought it was stuck, but maybe it was over pitched? Help with whether to dump o
Post by: davidgzach on April 11, 2012, 11:07:48 PM
Not too fast, but probably too warm.  If it was 65 ambient and you pitched a good starter, the beer could have been as high as 72-73F during high fermentation although that is not overly high for that yeast.  You probably had a leak in your airlock, the seal or the seal on the fermenter if there was no activity at all.

Let it sit at 65F for a week or two to let the yeast clean up and then rack to secondary for a few weeks.  If you keg, that can be your secondary.  It should be fine.  RDWHAHB.... 

If there is a lot of sulphur and you keg, purge it with CO2 every couple of days as that will help clear out the sulphur.  If not, a gentle swirl of the primary will help as well.  Even if it's fermented out, the trapped CO2 will release and push the sulphur out.

Dave
Title: Re: Thought it was stuck, but maybe it was over pitched? Help with whether to dump o
Post by: Illini Rookie on April 12, 2012, 11:21:12 AM
Any off flavors that I should expect? I'm glad I didn't just toss it.

For a Kolsch style, is there anything else I can do to mellow any off flavors that might have developed? I've never heard of a dry hopped Kolsch, but I am willing to try.

Thanks for the info!

Title: Re: Thought it was stuck, but maybe it was over pitched? Help with whether to dump o
Post by: ynotbrusum on April 12, 2012, 09:22:19 PM
The beauty of the Kolsch is the simplicity of the beer - nothing to hide behind.  I would go the route indicated above and hope for the best.  A little fruitiness is expected for the style; harsh tones are not.  But as long as you are brewing for yourself and friends, this will probably be an acceptable quaffer, despite the esters and perhaps some fusels from the temperature.  A buddy of mine had a stout that he fermented too warm and that was one strange one with a headbanger aftershock the next day!  It was tough to get through it, but I didn't want to discourage his brewing, so we shouldered on through it over several sessions.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Thought it was stuck, but maybe it was over pitched? Help with whether to dump o
Post by: euge on April 13, 2012, 06:56:17 AM
It has a little bit of an off smell and kind a hot taste. Will this dissipate with the cold aging i had planned on doing for this style? Should I even bother racking and locking up a secondary for the next 6 weeks?

I know not to always trust the initial flavors and smells. The smell is almost like a sulfur, and the hot taste makes me think I fermented too fast.


Any thoughts?

If it is fusels and not too bad then yeah, you can probably condition it out even if it initially burns your lips. If it is solventy nail polish then no amount of conditioning will remove it.

However, I'm inclined to distrust initial weird off-smells and even flavors. Once you've brewed it you have the choice to decide if it is a dumper or you make a commitment to keg or bottle. A little discretion often saves a seemingly hopeless batch.
Title: Re: Thought it was stuck, but maybe it was over pitched? Help with whether to dump o
Post by: sdavis84 on April 22, 2012, 05:05:30 PM
I would suggest cold conditioning for a few months or so and trying again.  I did a munich dunkel lager recently, and thought it was a bust with off flavors as a young beer.  After a few months of lagering, it is one of my best received beers by friends.  I wish i submitted it to AHA competition.  It turned out great as a malty clean lager.  Sulpur will definitely die back with aging.  You will have to wait and see about the other flavors (hot alcohol etc).  Keep the faith, at least for a little while!