Author Topic: Ugly Baby Cure  (Read 971 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Ugly Baby Cure
« on: July 29, 2014, 06:03:32 AM »
I brewed a train wreck I was calling James' Brown. The darn thing seemed pretty clear when I racked it, and the FG sample tasted good. A bit dry and nutty.

I grabbed a Samuel Smith NBA at the store the other day. I thought I'd try a side by side. Visually they were identical but for the massive turbidity that mine has. Aroma was identical but for the odd yeasty, musty, phenolic funk mine had. Flavor wise, the Samuel Smith was a malt/ester forward party in my mouth, with that wonderful dark fruity jam and almost amaretto like nuttiness, supported by a low earthy floral hop bite at the end. Just a slight touch of oxydized ddark malt soy in the after taste, but the bottle looks like its been rolling around in a Westfalia for a few years. My brew? Tastes.... nothing like that. Its way way infected and heinous. Ugly baby! Bad, ugly baby!

You want even better feedback than a bjcp sheet? Crack a classic comercial example and try it side by side with yours.

So, where is Sam Smith getting that fermented almond thing from? I mean, yeast duh... but what special grain? Special B? Melenoidin? English brown malt as opposed to our peanutty american version?

Offline erockrph

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Re: Ugly Baby Cure
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2014, 06:31:30 AM »
WLP037 - Yorkshire Square strain. I haven't heard confirmation that it is specifically the Sam Smith strain, but it tastes damn close to me. Unfortunately, it's not a year-round strain. It was last available this past Jan/Feb.

It's the most flocculant yeast I've ever seen. It makes 1968 look like a hefe strain - it's super chunky and drops like a brick. I don't know if I would have used the "almond" descriptor for it, but now that you mention it that's a perfect description of some of the fermentation character I get out of this yeast.
Eric B.

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Offline jeffy

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Re: Ugly Baby Cure
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2014, 12:10:02 PM »
When I taste almond in a beer I think oxidation. 
Unless of course they put nuts in the beer.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline markpotts

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Re: Ugly Baby Cure
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2014, 12:12:13 PM »
I live about 6 miles from the Samuel Smiths brewery.
I would agree with erockrph in that 037 is the most likely candidate for the yeast they use.
I think a lot of the flavour character is down to how they ferment in the traditional Yorkshire squares.....wort is continually pumped round the system to stop the yeast falling out.
You could probably culture the yeast from a bottle of their 'Yorkshire Stingo', but getting that in the US I guess would be difficult and expensive - I would have to pay around $11 for a 550ml bottle here.
Yorkshire, England

Offline AmandaK

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Re: Ugly Baby Cure
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2014, 12:26:09 PM »
When I taste almond in a beer I think oxidation. 
Unless of course they put nuts in the beer.

Same here, but then I remember that some yeasts produces aldehydes that seem like almonds (Benzaldeyde in particular). So I guess that depends on the yeast strain.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Ugly Baby Cure
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2014, 01:28:38 PM »
When I taste almond in a beer I think oxidation. 
Unless of course they put nuts in the beer.

Same here, but then I remember that some yeasts produces aldehydes that seem like almonds (Benzaldeyde in particular). So I guess that depends on the yeast strain.
To me its like a dryer, nuttier version of the stone fruit note I get from other English yeast strains.
Eric B.

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Offline yso191

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Re: Ugly Baby Cure
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2014, 02:49:14 PM »
Have you found the source of the infection?
Steve
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Ugly Baby Cure
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2014, 04:17:57 PM »
I am thinking a brown malt and some crystals, rather than Special B, Jim, but hey, if it's infected, who knows what went where, right?  I make a lot of Milds and mash higher than typical for those and that gives bigger body, together with a slightly sweeter, kind of nutty (some have said) flavors using a couple different strains, including that limited Yorkshire strain.  Summer poses the biggest concerns for me with the lighter beers, because there just isn't enough there for the yeasts to consume and beat back the potentially prolific nasties, if they get in there from the ambient air.  It's much harder in the summer to prevent infections IMHO.  Give me late fall through spring brewing for more easily keeping the nasties at bay!
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Ugly Baby Cure
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2014, 04:20:37 PM »
Steve, I think it might be a CO2 line or disconnect. I picked up some iodophor last weekend. Everything is getting a super clean, iodophor soak, rinse, and then starsan soak.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 04:23:19 PM by klickitat jim »

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Ugly Baby Cure
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2014, 04:32:14 PM »
I might have confused some folks. The Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale wasn't infected. My homebrew was. The SS was great but probably a bit old because I picked up a faint soy flavor on the end. The almond I was talking about was in the SS and it wasn't raw almond nut, it was fermented almond like Amareto liqueur. I'm sure some of that is yeast derived but mostly malt.

My train wreck was not an attempt to clone anything or even aimed at a precise style for that matter. It was a wild hair, some of this some of that brew. If I recall it was about half golden promise, the rest was brown, victory, and c40. Yeast was 1728. It seemed to have potential before the infection (probably pedio) took hold.

Anyway,  my point is curing ugly baby syndrome. If you want to confirm that your beer is as good as you think it is, try it side by side with a classic example. In my case, it took me from "Hmmm, I think mine might be infected"  to "Holy sh#%, that's infected! "
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 04:37:52 PM by klickitat jim »

Offline darwin18

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Re: Ugly Baby Cure
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2014, 03:37:55 PM »
A good way for me to cure ugly baby syndrome is to taste the top 3 in a particular category that I want to do well in at a competition.  This usually lets me know how far I need to come in a particular style to do well. 
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