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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: passlaku on April 01, 2011, 07:33:42 PM

Title: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: passlaku on April 01, 2011, 07:33:42 PM
I have noticed that when I use an all MO base malt in my English ales I get a buttery, less than cooked dough taste in my beers.  I thought this was due to unfinished fermentations so I had been doing pretty warm diacetyl rests to give the yeast a chance to work through the compounds.  I was thinking that this was a process problem on my end, but then I heard the interview on CYBI with the MeanTime brewer and he commented that he had a similar problem with MO and now he uses blends of MO with other base malts.  Further, I heard the Jennifer Talley interview (Squaters in Utah) and she commented that she blended MO all the time. 

I have since blended MO with 2 row in a brown (eg 6# MO/3# 2 row) and MO with a couple of pounds of pilsner malt and have not encountered that diacetyl problem again.  I think from here on out, I am going to only blend MO with other base malts and not use it as the sole base malt in my English ales, or whenever I use MO.

Link to CYBI show:
http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/721
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: majorvices on April 01, 2011, 09:11:53 PM
I have found something very similar to your findings. In fact I used to use MO for 50% of my basemalt for my IPA and I backed it down to about 30%.

That said, I still brew all MO beers from time to time.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 01, 2011, 09:45:39 PM
Do you get this for all MO, or just a particular maltser?  What ones do you use?
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: dmtaylor on April 01, 2011, 11:04:41 PM
I've been using Maris Otter for the past ~10 batches and haven't had any problems with diacetyl at all.  Could be your yeast.  English yeasts are more prone to it.  And once bottled or kegged, give it a few weeks to let the yeast eat up some, if not all, of the diacetyl.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: denny on April 01, 2011, 11:37:42 PM
Try as I might, I can't think of any quality of malt that would cause diacetyl.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 02, 2011, 12:00:51 AM
Try as I might, I can't think of any quality of malt that would cause diacetyl.
Wort low in valine according to the late G. Fix.  Would recent MO crops have low valine?
http://www.brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue1.2/fix.html
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: gordonstrong on April 02, 2011, 01:05:06 AM
I've never gotten dactyl from Crisp MO and I've used it for 100% of the grist. That said, I often do blend MO with other base malts like Durst Vienna or a US two-row.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: denny on April 02, 2011, 01:16:16 AM
Try as I might, I can't think of any quality of malt that would cause diacetyl.
Wort low in valine according to the late G. Fix.  Would recent MO crops have low valine?
http://www.brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue1.2/fix.html

Live and learn...thanks, Jeff.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 02, 2011, 01:30:21 AM
Try as I might, I can't think of any quality of malt that would cause diacetyl.
Wort low in valine according to the late G. Fix.  Would recent MO crops have low valine?
http://www.brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue1.2/fix.html
Live and learn...thanks, Jeff.
Jeff Renner had posted the Fix article recently on the club e-mail list.  He was helping out another brewer, and that sort of stuck in the memory banks, old as they are.  Credit Mr. Renner.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: tschmidlin on April 02, 2011, 04:00:22 AM
If a lack of valine is the problem, it should be easily fixed by using yeast nutrients in your wort.  Try it with your next MO batch and let us know how it goes.  I never have problems with diacetyl, but 2 caveats:

1.  I always use yeast nutrients
2.  I might not be able to taste diacetyl :)
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: majorvices on April 02, 2011, 12:04:59 PM
Maybe I am the one missing the boat here but what I thought the OP said was he got flavors that somewhat remind him of diacetyl. I have found I can get this in beers with MO. Often times it is very pleasant but that it can sometimes conflict with other floavors in the beer.

For me, I found that the MO in conjunction with the other malts and hops I was using in my IPA had a "sharp" character that reminded me of diacetyl. It was in the back ground, not in your face. Still made a very drinkable beer. Cutting back on the MO made a beer that had a better balance of flavors. Cutting it out completely left a more one dimensional malt character.

In addition to all that, I am toying around with a "single hop, single malt" IPA (All Columbus, All MO with the hops changing from batch to batch) and I found that cutting back on the "single malt" to about 80% made a better tasting beer (to me)..

I guess the thing I should point out is I am making American IPAs, not English. For English those types of biscuity and buttery flavors are essential but they can conflict with American styles.

I also think that back on all the times I thought that English yeasts threw so much diacetyl (and a lot of strains do) but now I believe mroe of that character may have come from the malt.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: gordonstrong on April 02, 2011, 02:26:08 PM
Caramel and diacetyl can sometimes be confused.  I wonder if that's part of it?  (Not that I get caramel from MO either).

Interestingly, when I was in a sensory lab and tasted the spiked diacetyl sample, it tasted very much like sour cream to me, not butter.  Never tasted that in a beer.

Anyhow, I tend to be a little lenient on diacetyl if it could reasonably be caramel.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: majorvices on April 02, 2011, 02:34:27 PM
The taste I am thinking of is more butterscotch. I always associated this with diacetyl but have seemed to pick this sort of flavor up from MO (using Thomas Fawcett MO). I should point out I don;t use much in caramel malt in my beers. Like I said, very much a background flavor. Maybe I am getting my wires crossed though and what I am tasting is more biscuit like and I am picking back memories al English style ales. All I know is thats what I seemed to taste and when I played around the percentages I got closer to what I wanted. I could also be crazy.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: blatz on April 02, 2011, 02:55:15 PM
I use both TF and Crisp MO all the time as the base malt for my America (left of the 'n' just for you Keith ;)) ales and I think you guys are nuts - no diacetyl cept the rare occasion when I use 1968 Fullers.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: majorvices on April 02, 2011, 03:25:47 PM
Without a doubt I am nutz.  ;) Still swear I get a biscuity-butterscotch flavor from using MO as a basemalt though. Like I said, its not diacetyl. It just kinda reminds me of diacetyl.

For instance, I brewed an all MO single hopped beer 4 weeks ago. Then, same recipe but used regular 2 row and subbed in some Victory (was out of MO). Beer is very similar and still get some of the biscuit but not the sharp (though subtle) butterscotch type taste.

And I have ruled out infection (if any of you are thinking I am overlooking something) because I am pitching the same strain into an Alt (with obviously no MO) and am not getting any butterscotch-type flavors at all.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: maxieboy on April 02, 2011, 04:24:55 PM
Without a doubt I am nutz.  ;) Still swear I get a biscuity-butterscotch flavor from using MO as a basemalt though. Like I said, its not diacetyl. It just kinda reminds me of diacetyl.

For instance, I brewed an all MO single hopped beer 4 weeks ago. Then, same recipe but used regular 2 row and subbed in some Victory (was out of MO). Beer is very similar and still get some of the biscuit but not the sharp (though subtle) butterscotch type taste.

And I have ruled out infection (if any of you are thinking I am overlooking something) because I am pitching the same strain into an Alt (with obviously no MO) and am not getting any butterscotch-type flavors at all.
,
A little OT here but this brings up something I was going to start a thread on. Being che...err, pragmatic, I am looking to get a reasonable facsimile of Maris Otter using US 2 row pale ale malt and I deduced, Victory malt. What percentage Victory did you use?
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: majorvices on April 02, 2011, 04:31:34 PM
Not quite 5%. Seemed to be enough, though a little more may get you closer, depending on what you are going for. It was a one time shot and I have not attempted to dial it in. But IME that would be a good starting point.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: maxieboy on April 02, 2011, 04:42:27 PM
Cool, thanks. Just got hops for a SSOS batch and don't feel like springing for a sack of diacetyl ridden MO.  :D  Back on topic: I used to use Munton's MO as base malt for most of my beers(mainly America IPAs) and never noticed diacetyl.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: gordonstrong on April 02, 2011, 04:50:23 PM
Ah, SSOS.  Brings back memories.  Good beer.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: denny on April 02, 2011, 04:51:16 PM
Ah, SSOS.  Brings back memories.  Good beer.

I was just thinking the same, Gordon.  It's been along time since I made a batch and it's about time for another.  Any idea what became of Dave Brockington?
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 02, 2011, 05:10:29 PM
I have SSoS on tap right now.  Great beer, and we brew if maybe every other year.  Used Munton's MO and don't get any diacetyl or diacetyl like flavors, but then again my threshold is medium to medium high. 

Dave Brockington went to Belgium on a Post-Doc, and then his where abouts became unknown.  Maybe all that Belgian beer?

Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: denny on April 02, 2011, 05:18:42 PM
Dave Brockington went to Belgium on a Post-Doc, and then his where abouts became unknown.  Maybe all that Belgian beer?



I could believe that!
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: Bret on April 05, 2011, 06:00:23 PM
ssos ???
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 05, 2011, 06:08:04 PM
ssos ???

Sister Star of the Sun.  Some recipes are just good as is.  Brew it as it is written to see what people are talking about.

http://www.realbeer.com/hops/sister.html
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: denny on April 05, 2011, 06:10:59 PM
ssos ???

Sister Star of the Sun.  Some recipes are just good as is.  Brew it as it is written to see what people are talking about.

http://www.realbeer.com/hops/sister.html

I bolded an important thing.  Many people look at that recipe and freak out about the Chinooks.  If it wasn't great as it is, it wouldn't have become legendary.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: Bret on April 05, 2011, 06:14:30 PM
ssos ???

Sister Star of the Sun.  Some recipes are just good as is.  Brew it as it is written to see what people are talking about.

http://www.realbeer.com/hops/sister.html
Thanks, I may try that as I have a MO ale on 1028 right now that was to try out batch sparging.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 05, 2011, 07:49:21 PM
This one can take some time to mature.  When it does, it will not last long, as it will disappear quickly.

If you lookup the 2009 IPA winner at the NHC, it will look very similar to this.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: alikocho on April 05, 2011, 09:12:03 PM
As I live in a land where Maris Otter is pretty much the standard I use it a lot. Never got diacetyl off it.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: samgamgee on April 15, 2011, 07:33:52 AM
In the CYBI interview, the Meantime brewer was saying that there was a component to maris otter that reminded him of diacetyl, but lab analysis showed that the levels in the beer were under threshold, so it wasn't actually diacetyl, just a similar aroma.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: majorvices on April 15, 2011, 12:02:10 PM
^^^Thanks for posting that, Sam.

I just tapped a keg a couple of days ago: "12 gallon "test batch" (which means I do most of my testing one pint at a time  ;)), all MO and single hop Columbus, US-05 ale yeast straight from brick (about 13 gms) and, as was mentioned above, I get a character that reminds me of diacetyl. I'm pretty confident it is not diacetyl. Just reminds me of it. Perhaps it is an association thing. I am very sensitive to diacetyl.

FWIW: don't get me wrong, I find it is a pleasant characteristic. In this beer it is exactly what I am going for, especially considering there is no crystal malt.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: sharg54 on May 17, 2011, 06:13:17 AM
Just finished off a sack of MO and didn't have a problem with diacetyl at all. Stouts Porters and a few English ales and such and they came out fine but than I have been getting into the habit of using larger starters lately. 2 to 5 hours lag time depending on the starter. Rather than just throwing in a single pack or bottle of yeast I'll throw in at least a 1/4 cup or more to start out. If I can time the last ferment right I just dump in the new wort on the old cake.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: majorvices on May 17, 2011, 12:21:18 PM
Just finished off a sack of MO and didn't have a problem with diacetyl at all. Stouts Porters and a few English ales and such and they came out fine but than I have been getting into the habit of using larger starters lately. 2 to 5 hours lag time depending on the starter. Rather than just throwing in a single pack or bottle of yeast I'll throw in at least a 1/4 cup or more to start out. If I can time the last ferment right I just dump in the new wort on the old cake.

Well, in many English style ales diacetyl is completely acceptable in moderate amounts especially depending on what strain you use. I always get a small amount of diacetyl when I use wlp002, for instance. Diacetyl isn't necessarily a bad thing. It can add mouthfeel and nuance to a beer. Some styles should not have any diacetyl, obviously, but in many English styles it can be very enjoyable in moderate doses. I personally think that MO highlights and compliments the moderate amount of diacetyl created from some strains.

And just to make sure everyone is clear, I am not saying I get diacetyl from using MO and I am not sure the OP was saying that either. I am saying I pick up some faint flavors from MO that remind me of diacetyl. I should also say that I have gone through hundreds of sacks of MO and order it by the pallet now. I have been experimenting with 100% MO American IPAs and they turn out great, I absolutely love them. I am not saying in any way that it is a bad thing, though I have found it can be distracting in some recipes.

Also, I wouldn't really recommend going directly on a yeast cake unless you are going from a low gravity beer to a very high gravity beer. You are better off pitching the "right" amount of yeast rather that overpitching every batch.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: a10t2 on May 17, 2011, 02:20:15 PM
US-05 ale yeast straight from brick (about 13 gms) and, as was mentioned above, I get a character that reminds me of diacetyl. I'm pretty confident it is not diacetyl.

It could be diacetyl. IME US-05 produces some early in fermentation that may or may not clear up, and you under-pitched by a fair amount.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: majorvices on May 17, 2011, 02:25:38 PM
I didn't underpitch at all. 13 grams per 6 gallon fermenter is spot on for a 1.065 beer. Not sure what you are talking about.

Also, the same thing happens on my 3 bbl set up. When I make my IPA with wlp001 and 50% MO I pick up the flavor. But when I make my Alt, with wlp001 and no MO it is clean as a whistle.

Edit: I see now why you thought I underpicthed, sean. It was a 12 gallon batch but I pitched it in separate carboys, 13 gms each. So the total would have been 26 grams. My bad.
Title: Re: Maris Otter and Diacetyl (butter taste)
Post by: a10t2 on May 17, 2011, 02:52:58 PM
Edit: I see now why you thought I underpicthed, sean. It was a 12 gallon batch but I pitched it in separate carboys, 13 gms each. So the total would have been 26 grams. My bad.

Ah, I should have figured you would know better.  ;)

I still haven't figured out why we have such a constant struggle with diacetyl from US-05. At this point, I'm just going to give up though. We have a couple 500 g bricks left and once those are gone I'm going to switch to a liquid culture.