Author Topic: English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?  (Read 2289 times)

Offline Frankenbrew

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English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?
« on: February 12, 2015, 04:20:24 PM »
I recently entered an Irish Red Ale into a competition, and it got dinged for diacetyl.

I used all English malts, hops, and yeast as is called for in the BJCP guidelines. My goal was to create a caramelly beer with hints of toast and toffee. I think I accomplished my goal.

However, when I got the scores back I was surprised to see the notes on diacetyl. Now, I can't taste any diacetyl at all, and the beer doesn't have the hallmark slick mouth feel.

So I went back and had another smell/taste. I can't taste any diacetyl; as a matter of fact, it tastes very clean. However, in the aroma I detect the English crystal, and it does smell sort of like butterscotch. It is actually pleasant--to me, anyway-- and it seems like it's more of a combination of caramel and toffee which is what Irish Reds are supposed to have.

Has anyone else ever experienced this flavor/taste from English crystal or had someone else mistake it for diacetyl?

It could be diacetyl, of course, but I really don't think so.
Frank C.

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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2015, 04:51:34 PM »
I recently entered an Irish Red Ale into a competition, and it got dinged for diacetyl.

I used all English malts, hops, and yeast as is called for in the BJCP guidelines. My goal was to create a caramelly beer with hints of toast and toffee. I think I accomplished my goal.

However, when I got the scores back I was surprised to see the notes on diacetyl. Now, I can't taste any diacetyl at all, and the beer doesn't have the hallmark slick mouth feel.

So I went back and had another smell/taste. I can't taste any diacetyl; as a matter of fact, it tastes very clean. However, in the aroma I detect the English crystal, and it does smell sort of like butterscotch. It is actually pleasant--to me, anyway-- and it seems like it's more of a combination of caramel and toffee which is what Irish Reds are supposed to have.

Has anyone else ever experienced this flavor/taste from English crystal or had someone else mistake it for diacetyl?

It could be diacetyl, of course, but I really don't think so.

english ale yeast can produce noticeable diacetyl. problem is everyones threshold for detection is different.
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Offline Rhoobarb

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Re: English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2015, 05:07:07 PM »
I have a couple of buddies that got dinged for the same reason and their experience was the same as yours.  I tried their beers and found them to be very tasty and to style.  IMO, I think there are many judges who mistake the carmel notes for diacetyl.  The guidelines state that the aroma "may have a light buttery character" and "occasionally with a buttered toast " flavor. 
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Re: English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2015, 05:10:10 PM »
Irish ale, huh?  Did you by any chance use WY1084?
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2015, 05:13:06 PM »
Irish ale, huh?  Did you by any chance use WY1084?

+1.  1084 is a big diacetyl producer.
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Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2015, 05:14:32 PM »
Irish ale, huh?  Did you by any chance use WY1084?


I didn't. I used Safale 04.

I know that 1084 is a notorious producer of diacetyl, and I like it in my Irish Red, but I brewed it at the last moment and didn't have any on hand, so I went with the 04.
Frank C.

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Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2015, 05:19:28 PM »
I have a couple of buddies that got dinged for the same reason and their experience was the same as yours.  I tried their beers and found them to be very tasty and to style.  IMO, I think there are many judges who mistake the carmel notes for diacetyl.  The guidelines state that the aroma "may have a light buttery character" and "occasionally with a buttered toast " flavor.

Thanks!

Yes I noticed that language in the guidelines, too. I can see how they might mistake that for the dreaded D. After all, judges are trained to look for imperfections, and could perhaps be a little hyper vigilant. I can detect diacetyl, and I don't like it, but I'm 99% sure that it is not diacetyl.

Whenever I have and beers from Shipyard, I know that is diacetyl.
Frank C.

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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2015, 05:22:08 PM »
Some judges are idiots.  The style guidelines allow diacetyl in this style.  Enter a different competition and you'll get different results.  I guarantee it.
Dave

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Offline goschman

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Re: English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2015, 05:22:33 PM »
s04 is usually very clean for me however there was one instance where I was like 'so that is what diacetyl is' as it was very noticeable. From what I recall, I transferred off the yeast too soon. I trust this what not your experience. It's a bummer to get dinged for something like that especially if it isn't accurate...
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Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2015, 05:28:27 PM »
s04 is usually very clean for me however there was one instance where I was like 'so that is what diacetyl is' as it was very noticeable. From what I recall, I transferred off the yeast too soon. I trust this what not your experience. It's a bummer to get dinged for something like that especially if it isn't accurate...

I did rush it a bit. It was in primary for three weeks and conditioning in the keg on CO2 for another week.
Frank C.

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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2015, 05:34:04 PM »
If there is any diacetyl, it is likely to age out over time, maybe another couple of weeks.
Dave

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Offline goschman

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Re: English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2015, 05:37:09 PM »
s04 is usually very clean for me however there was one instance where I was like 'so that is what diacetyl is' as it was very noticeable. From what I recall, I transferred off the yeast too soon. I trust this what not your experience. It's a bummer to get dinged for something like that especially if it isn't accurate...

I did rush it a bit. It was in primary for three weeks and conditioning in the keg on CO2 for another week.

Mine was under 2 weeks. It was one of those 'what the hell what I thinking' moments created by impatience.
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Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2015, 05:48:17 PM »
If there is any diacetyl, it is likely to age out over time, maybe another couple of weeks.

Thanks. I didn't know that diacetyl would age out.
Frank C.

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heart, you brew good ale.'

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2015, 06:03:23 PM »
Sure.  Warm temperatures help.  Keep it above 55 or even 60 F to speed things along.
Dave

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Re: English Crystal Malts Mistaken for Diacetyl?
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2015, 06:15:34 PM »
Sure.  Warm temperatures help.  Keep it above 55 or even 60 F to speed things along.

+1
Jon H.