Author Topic: Ester Development in the Bottle  (Read 2893 times)

Offline patrickswayze

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Ester Development in the Bottle
« on: June 19, 2012, 10:14:25 AM »
I brewed a Pale Ale a couple weeks ago using White Labs American Ale Blend Yeast, which fermented relatively high letting it loose into the mid 70's. At the time of bottling, the beer was great with beautiful crisp full bodied finish. After about a week into bottle conditioning, i cracked one to check on the status and noticed a full flavor change from crisp and clean flavors to the development of light esters changing the beer completely. My question to you gentlemen, is in your experience are esters easily noticed after fermentation is over or do they become more prominate as they are conditioned, say in a bottle or keg?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Ester Development in the Bottle
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2012, 10:29:05 AM »
describe your beer and the 'off' flavours more fully?

My very first impression is that perhaps you are tasting the effects of slight oxidation. That can give a sweet sherry like flavour in low levels and will appear over time.

The character of a beer will certainly change over time and with conditioning. I assume the taste before conditioning was uncarbonated? carbonation will also drastically change the overall flavour profile of the beer, highlighting some flavour aspects while covering up others.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Ester Development in the Bottle
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2012, 10:37:16 AM »
The character of a beer will certainly change over time and with conditioning. I assume the taste before conditioning was uncarbonated? carbonation will also drastically change the overall flavour profile of the beer, highlighting some flavour aspects while covering up others.

+1

This is what I was thinking. I have noticed that esters are more pronounced once the beer is carbonated.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison

Offline patrickswayze

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Re: Ester Development in the Bottle
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2012, 12:20:46 PM »
I would say the flavor is most reminiscent of light pears and maybe bananna. I do remember accidently aerating my wort prior to pitching at about 80'F-82'F, would that be high enough to cause oxidation? Every other part of fermentation and transfer was handled with care
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 12:33:27 PM by patrickswayze »

Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Ester Development in the Bottle
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2012, 12:31:06 PM »
I would say the flavor is most reminiscent of light pears and maybe bananna.

I did a side by side with that yeast and 001 in my IPA. I noticed a very similar fruitiness in 060 develop as well. I think it may very well be the yeast in this case. And to what Mort said, the oxidation impact from bottling may have escalated it.
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Ester Development in the Bottle
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2012, 12:50:57 PM »
I would say the flavor is most reminiscent of light pears and maybe bananna. I do remember accidently aerating my wort prior to pitching at about 80'F-82'F, would that be high enough to cause oxidation? Every other part of fermentation and transfer was handled with care

whether or not there is oxidation splashing at 80f is NOT the cause. even if HSA is a real problem on the homebrew scale (not trying to re-open that can of worms here) it wouldn't be at 80-82 prior to pitching.

but light pear and banana do indeed say esters to me. sounds like, from what jmcamerlengo is saying, it's a yeast characteristic and you just didn't notice it until it was carbed because the co2 makes those kind of flavours 'pop'.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Ester Development in the Bottle
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2012, 01:27:37 PM »
I need to go to church.
I thought this said easter development in the bible.
Don AHA member

Offline skyler

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Re: Ester Development in the Bottle
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2012, 08:44:06 AM »
Pitching that high and fermenting that warm is guaranteed to give a beer a strong ester profile. Pear and banana are two of the most common estery flavors associated with excessively warm fermentations. I suspect you just didn't notice those flavors when you were bottling because either your palate was undermined (a cold, eating spicy food, drinking hoppy beer, smoking...) or your excitement led you just not to notice the estery off flavors. I would be shocked if ANYONE could brew an American Pale Ale, pitch it at 80F, ferment it in the 70's, and not produce an ester-bomb.

Try waiting until the beer is at fermentation temp before pitching. Waiting overnight to pitch the yeast is better than pitching too warm. And try to keep the fermentation temperature under 70F. I think a good rule of thumb for American Ales is to ferment around 64-68F (though I typically ferment cooler than that).