Author Topic: Diacetyl Issues  (Read 3375 times)

Offline cheshirecat

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 235
    • View Profile
Diacetyl Issues
« on: January 19, 2012, 01:34:00 PM »
Hi All...

I have had some problems with diacetyl in both my lagers and a couple ales. I have a fridge with temp control which I use every time. For lagers I usually ferment at 50 degrees for 4 weeks (no diacetyl rest). In my ales I usually use WL002 and ferment at 65 or 66 then up to 68 after three days. If I am using a pilsner malt I do a 90 minute boil. I never leave my lid on or anything (until I am cooling).

Since getting my fridge it has been better but a couple beers since have still had the problem. Specifically, a Firestone DBA clone (from The Brewing Network CYBI), a Cali Common (from Brewing Classic Styles, fermented at 60 degrees w/ WL Cali Common yeast), and a Dopplebock (from Brewing Classic Styles).  The first may have been fermentation temp swings (had problems with the controller), the other two were kept at ferm temps for about two weeks then moved into my "cellar" which is generally at 65 degrees.

Could it be under pitching yeast? I always make a starter (with a stir plate) based on Mr. Malty. Should I think about doing a diacetyl rest with my lagers?

Any help pointing me in places I could do better or think about would be great!
« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 01:48:13 PM by cheshirecat »

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6313
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Diacetyl Issues
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2012, 02:14:59 PM »
WLP002 throws a lot of diacetyl which is common in some english style ales. I have found that large amounts of some types of Maris otter can often times accentuate this.

What temp are you pitching your lagers? How steady do you think the fermentation temp is? I'd recommend trying a d-rest, just makes life easier.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline dak0415

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 489
  • Winston-Salem, NC
    • View Profile
Re: Diacetyl Issues
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2012, 02:38:56 PM »
How long do you keep your ales at 68?

I do WLP002 at 62 for 3 days, then 68 for a week, crash to 31 for a week then into secondary with dry hops (or not) at 50 for a week.  No diacetyl problems for me, but then I get lots of yeast to pitch from my local brewpub,
Dave Koenig
Anything worth doing - is worth overdoing!

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6313
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Diacetyl Issues
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2012, 03:07:05 PM »
How long do you keep your ales at 68?

I do WLP002 at 62 for 3 days, then 68 for a week, crash to 31 for a week then into secondary with dry hops (or not) at 50 for a week.  No diacetyl problems for me, but then I get lots of yeast to pitch from my local brewpub,

diacetyl isn't necessarily a "problem" in English style ales.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline mrbowenz

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Re: Diacetyl Issues
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2012, 03:17:57 PM »

Quote

diacetyl isn't necessarily a "problem" in English style ales.

Thank you MS !

OP, Really, sounds like your doing everything right, an "all MO" and and some of the British strains like 1968 or 1099 will throw off plenty of diacetyl  unless they are rested or aged for some time, but this statement "
diacetyl isn't necessarily a "problem" in English style ales " is brilliant , because if you drink enough English ales, you start to ignore the diacetyl as a flaw, yet others ( like judges) will catch it every time.
Brewing up history

Offline cheshirecat

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 235
    • View Profile
Re: Diacetyl Issues
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2012, 03:35:05 PM »
Hi All thanks! Good thought on the MO, something to keep in mind, may cut it with a little Pale Malt. I am a little more worried about my non english beers that where I don't use MO. I just starting using Great Western Pale Malt but this is very recent so can't speak to how that will work out.

I use 002 a lot even in non-english styles. Think I may ferment a little lower than 65 see how that works out. Since I got my fridge ferm temps should be stable (I use a Johnson Temp Controller). For ales I pitch at 62 then let it raise up to 65 hold it steady for a few days then once it starts slowing down I go to 68 for 3 to 5 days. Then I let it sit at ambient temp for a week or two (need to free up my fridge). I usually dry hop "warm" at ambient temps (which is almost always 65 to 68 during the winter).

For lager diacetyl rest I've read somewhere that you raise the temp 10 to 15 degrees at about 2/3 sugar depletion. Is that correct? Is there a rule of thumb when to start checking? Hate getting into my beer to much before fermentation is over. I know it will vary just wondering if there was a general rule.

Thanks for the great info!

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6313
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Diacetyl Issues
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2012, 03:37:59 PM »
The thing about WLP002 is that it floccs out so quickly and completely that it doesn;t stick around to clean up diacetyl. Fermenting colder may help some, but your best bet is to just switch to another year or maybe try rousing the yeast and warming the temp near the end of fermentation to see if you can get it to clean up the diacetyl.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline cheshirecat

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 235
    • View Profile
Re: Diacetyl Issues
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2012, 04:30:35 PM »
Never thought of that, makes a lot of sense. What about switching up to 007? Obviously gets more attenuation but looks like it  flocculates a little less. I've used once or twice with good results. 

Offline tom

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1110
  • Denver, CO
    • View Profile
Re: Diacetyl Issues
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2012, 04:43:03 PM »
Which lager yeast are you using?
Brew on

Offline malzig

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 466
    • View Profile
Re: Diacetyl Issues
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2012, 07:33:14 PM »
Quote
diacetyl isn't necessarily a "problem" in English style ales.
Thank you MS ! 
I never taste much more than background diacetyl in most British ales, but I taste a lot of it in US versions of British ales.

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6313
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Diacetyl Issues
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2012, 08:03:48 PM »
Quote
diacetyl isn't necessarily a "problem" in English style ales.
Thank you MS ! 
I never taste much more than background diacetyl in most British ales, but I taste a lot of it in US versions of British ales.

I am very sensitive to diacetyl. So even a "background" hint is prominent to me. I certainly don't think it should be overwhelming. I'm not a big fan of diacetyl in beers, personally. But some I expect it in.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline malzig

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 466
    • View Profile
Re: Diacetyl Issues
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2012, 09:01:13 AM »
I am very sensitive to diacetyl. So even a "background" hint is prominent to me. I certainly don't think it should be overwhelming. I'm not a big fan of diacetyl in beers, personally. But some I expect it in.
I'm very sensitive to it, as well, and loath it with a passion above more than trace amounts, but it is present in most, if not all, beers at some level.

I just think that it's presence in actual beers in Britain is exaggerated, after having had a couple hundred of them, while it is often overwhelming in US attempts at making "British-style" beers.  Unfortunately, some of the best British-style breweries around here are small breweries in Maine, most of which have their bottled beer made by Shipyard Brewing, which is apparently run by someone who can't taste diacetyl at overwhelming levels.

Offline mainebrewer

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 128
  • Palermo, Maine
    • View Profile
Re: Diacetyl Issues
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2012, 07:16:50 AM »
"Unfortunately, some of the best British-style breweries around here are small breweries in Maine, most of which have their bottled beer made by Shipyard Brewing, which is apparently run by someone who can't taste diacetyl at overwhelming levels."
Shipyard uses the Ringwood yeast (WLP005) for all of their beers and 99% of the contract brewed beer. Ringwood puts out lots of diacetyl! For me, using the same yeast for everything makes all their beers taste the same.
"If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" Will Rogers

Online hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4554
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Diacetyl Issues
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2012, 07:37:25 AM »
Dogfish Head is also said to use the Ringwood yeast.  I am not overly sensitive to Diacetyl, but DFH seems to have the Ringwood yeast tamed.  Don't know what they do.

A local brewpub used Ringwood for over 10 years, as it is pretty stable, and they could go >200 pitches with it.  They had reduced the Diacetyl, but never got rid of it.  The final solution was to switch to WLP-022 Essex for the house yeast, which soved their diacetyl problem for the most part.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline swampale

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 24
    • View Profile
Re: Diacetyl Issues
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2012, 05:13:45 AM »
I made a bitter in December. I used jamil's recipe which included WLP002. It had diacetyl, the most I have ever had in a beer which includes lagers. I made the exact recipe after the New Year and switched to S-04. No diacetyl. My fermentation for WLP002 was two weeks @ 68f. It tasted great right up until day 10. For some reason, that was when diacetyl reared its ugly head. I am a big fan of White Labs yeast, but not this one.