Author Topic: Helles smells like Play-Doh  (Read 2422 times)

Offline James Lorden

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Helles smells like Play-Doh
« on: December 20, 2011, 08:50:44 PM »
I have an unusual aroma in a helles that I recently made  I would describe it as Play-Doh or possibly wet flour (like bread dough before the yeast begin to rise.  I have never come across this smell before and I have made this recipe 3 other times.  In this case there were some strange things that happened on brew day because I was fiddling with my process a bit but fermentation went as expected.

Details:
10 gallon batch
95% Pilsner, 5% Munich, 19.5 IBU's from pearle at 60 min , .5oz hallertau at 15min

Shooting for 1.048 OG but ended up with 1.054 (efficiency of 82% due to process changes was higher then expected)

Yeast - repitch of wlp 830 from a 6% oktoberfest, pitched at 46 raised temp 1 degree per day to 50 and fermented for a total of 4 weeks.

final gravity is 1.008 (6.03%ABV) - in previous batches with old process FG was 1.011 for 4.85% ABV.  Fermented in Morebeer cooled conical.

The slightest bit (maybe a few ounces) of star san might have been sucked through the blowoff into the beer (10 gallon batch)


Anythoughts on the play-doh / wet flour aroma?  Thanks guys.

James Lorden
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Helles smells like Play-Doh
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2011, 08:54:05 PM »
Wow, never heard of that. Trying to think back to childhood play-doh eating binges...

salt and, like you said wet flour. I don't think it was the star san.

Is it clear? my very first thought was uncoverted starches but your OG-FG doesn't seem to hold that out.

No real idea.

**EDIT** doesn't seem likely but is it possible you are smelling autalysis? brothy, meaty mushroomy smells? umami
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Offline Kit B

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Re: Helles smells like Play-Doh
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2011, 08:54:24 PM »
My first thoughts would be unconverted starches.
But, you appear to have attained proper conversion...So, Hmmm...
Maybe the presence of some fatty acids?
Strange...Very strange.
Why would anyone want to drink stale beer?

Offline James Lorden

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Re: Helles smells like Play-Doh
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2011, 08:59:17 PM »
The beer is crystal clear and even though I got efficiency in the 80's I still did an iodine test out of force of habit.  I am wondering if it has to do with the maltster.  The pilsner is Best Malz (first time I've used it - usually use weyerman) and the munich (only 5%) is a light belgian variety.  Both were sacks that I purchased so I know they were fresh.
James Lorden
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Helles smells like Play-Doh
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2011, 09:16:48 PM »
I prefer Best to Wyermann. I don't think it is the malt. Sounds like a yeast smell to me if you think of it as "bready".

Someone mentioned autolysis. That is a possibility.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Helles smells like Play-Doh
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2011, 09:27:20 PM »
I was thinking "yeasty" as well. What did you not from the flavor? Is there any diacetyl?
Ron Price

Offline James Lorden

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Re: Helles smells like Play-Doh
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2011, 09:47:02 PM »
Diacetyl is a week spot for me, but I don't detect it.  Based on the pitching rate, the temperature control, and the length of time in contact with with yeast after fermentation had completed - if there is diacetly...there shouldn't be ;).  I would also point out that this beer is not a failure, it's still pretty good.

Autolysis is an interesting idea (although this doesn't remind my of the "classic" descriptions).  This was only my second generation with this pitch.  It did sit in a 36 degree refridgerator for about a week before being repitched - but I've gone longer then that with this yeast before.
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Offline EHall

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Re: Helles smells like Play-Doh
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2011, 10:05:19 PM »
Is it still in the fermenter? is it in secondary? I guess depending on where you're at in the process, could not be 'finished' yet... maybe a D-rest?
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Offline tubercle

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Re: Helles smells like Play-Doh
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2011, 07:44:34 AM »
Wow, never heard of that. Trying to think back to childhood play-doh eating binges...

 I don't have answer but would like to say I was always partial to glue.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Helles smells like Play-Doh
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2011, 02:30:41 PM »
Wow, never heard of that. Trying to think back to childhood play-doh eating binges...

 I don't have answer but would like to say I was always partial to glue.
Eating or sniffing?
Lennie
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Offline Mark G

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Re: Helles smells like Play-Doh
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2011, 02:44:31 PM »
Wow, never heard of that. Trying to think back to childhood play-doh eating binges...

 I don't have answer but would like to say I was always partial to glue.
Eating or sniffing?
And glue sticks, or liquid?
Mark Gres