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Unusual beer turnaround after ferment temp spike

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I made 10 gallons of a Falconer's Flight Pale Ale at the end of July, and ended up pitching US-05 considerably warmer than usual, at 70F and put the beer in a 66F basement bedroom.  Luckily that temp held for at least a couple days.  However, after that 2 days I left the state for a family reunion at which same time the outdoor temps spiked, making the ambient basement temps also rise.  When I returned five days later the beer room was 68-69F, and the beer was smelling really estery - no surprises there.  And it was due to pure laziness.  I could have sanitized my thermowell and thrown the two primary fermenter buckets into my temp controlled fridge.  Anyway, when I returned I smelled the gawdawful stinkiness, but knowing that it had been at least 48 hrs before the temps spiked, I decided to try to save the beer thinking it was esters rather than fusels that were the problem.  Ten days after pitching the yeast I added dry hops in bags and left the beer on the yeast cake to clean up while dry hopping at the same time for another ten days.  I then removed the dry hops but left it for maybe another week on the yeast cake.  Not exactly sure how long because in my disgust I quit taking notes.

So, after 4 - 5 weeks in primary it was still stinky and I dumped 5 gallons, and the other 5 gallons I put into a keg, purged it, pressurized it, and left it for 4.5 months at (edit) ~65F, i.e. cellar temps at my house.  After another couple weeks at mid 30'sF in the kegerator, the beer is drinking great although it still has just a tad of an estery smell that doesn't affect the taste.  The hop flavors are clean and complex, and it is definitely not headache beer.  Now I wish I had not dumped half of it.  At least I had the sense to know that since the first 48-60 hours were within reasonable fermentation temp range, that logically this beer had a chance, regardless of being stinky at the time.

The moral of the story is 1) trust that initial sensory perception is not the final determining factor when questioning potential for saving a beer after a ferment temp fault, and 2) don't ever stray from your best management practices, in this case using temp control when it is available.   :-*

You dumped it because it spiked to 69F? I call that crazy.
But seriously two things. The bulk of fermentation occured at the correct temp and that was the most critical time. Also, fermentation smells often do not carry through into the final beer.

Yeah I find that strange. I ferment US05 around 70 frequently and have not had any issues. I prefer to keep it in the mid 60s but luckily it is pretty forgiving.

I've brewed several beers with US-05 that have probably gotten as high as the low 70's at the peak of fermentation, and I've never noticed any undesired fermentation character in the finished beer. My basement is about 68F ambient all summer, and I use US-05 for at least half of my brews. Sounds like something else might be going on to me.

in the book 'yeast' by the guy who owns white labs(cant remember his name) he says almost all flavor compounds for beer are created in the first 2 days of fermentation. i think you have a different issue on your hands if it sat at the right temp for the first 48-60 hours.


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