Author Topic: Fruity aroma to a pale ale  (Read 1571 times)

Offline war2112

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Fruity aroma to a pale ale
« on: April 09, 2016, 04:34:22 PM »
I brewed my first batch and bottled it on Thursday night. It was in he primary for 12 days until fermentation ceased and the SG was steady at 1.03.

I noticed when I took a couple of samples for gravity readings that there is a somewhat pronounced fruit aroma. Still there when I bottled as well. It is not there so much in the taste though of course the beer is still quite green. I don't believe I have an infection as I was quite sanitary.

Could this be caused by the yeast? Ingredients were 5 pounds of Pilsner DME, Centennial, Simcoe, Warrior and Cascade hop pellets, grain bag, and the yeast that was provided was the Nottingham dry packet. The yeast was good yeast not old, stale yeast.

Will this perhaps mellow out as the beer ages? Or maybe I did something wrong? I just hate to have my first batch be one of those "well, it's drinkable..."

Thanks

Offline santoch

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Re: Fruity aroma to a pale ale
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2016, 04:42:47 PM »
Lots of folks have worse results on their first batch, trust me.  Enjoy your beer for what it is, your first try at making it yourself.  You don't expect to produce Michelin-star rated food the first time you try to cook something, so don't set those expectations for your first beers.

The fruity esters are typically caused by warm fermentation temps (temp gets up into the 70's or even higher).  Remember, fermentation generates heat, so the beer temp can get quite a bit warmer than ambient.

The esters normally don't dissipate after bottling.  Just start planning how you will control the temp for your next batch(es).
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Offline 69franx

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Re: Fruity aroma to a pale ale
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2016, 04:47:43 PM »
+1
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Offline war2112

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Re: Fruity aroma to a pale ale
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2016, 04:52:30 PM »
Lots of folks have worse results on their first batch, trust me.  Enjoy your beer for what it is, your first try at making it yourself.  You don't expect to produce Michelin-star rated food the first time you try to cook something, so don't set those expectations for your first beers.

The fruity esters are typically caused by warm fermentation temps (temp gets up into the 70's or even higher).  Remember, fermentation generates heat, so the beer temp can get quite a bit warmer than ambient.

The esters normally don't dissipate after bottling.  Just start planning how you will control the temp for your next batch(es).

Thanks, Santoch. Yeah, I noticed the temp climb in the primary from 66 degrees to 74 degrees when it was in a vigorous fermentation state and figured it was the heat given off. Thought it was ok though as the directions call for temp between 65 and 74 degrees for fermentation cycle.

Appreciate the advice. I think it will all and all not be that bad.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Fruity aroma to a pale ale
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2016, 05:18:28 PM »
Thought it was ok though as the directions call for temp between 65 and 74 degrees for fermentation cycle.


 You're right, fermentation is an exothermic reaction - ie., it gives off heat. Unfortunately the range up to 74F is just plain bad advice on the directions - you'll get these fruity yeast esters every time and likely head retention will suffer as well. I cool the wort for most beers (aside from lagers) to 62-64F, then pitch the yeast and hold that temp. You'll have far better results if you pitch at the low end of the temp range or even a tad under. If you don't have temp control ability, try filling a plastic tub with water, add the fermenter, and add a couple frozen water bottles. Change out the bottles twice/day. I brewed beer this way for years and it helps dramatically. Good luck.
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Offline santoch

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Re: Fruity aroma to a pale ale
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2016, 06:57:37 PM »
Another trick is to place your fermenter in a shallow tub/container of cool water.
Drape a t-shirt over the fermenter so that the bottom of the shirt is in the water.
(Get it fully wet to save time, though).  The water will wick up into the t-shirt and the evaporation process will knock about as 5F off the temp.
Pointing a fan at it and dropping some ice cubes in makes it even more effective.

HTH-
Steve

[edit] PS- Right behind sanitation, temperature control and yeast strain selection are the 2nd and 3rd most important determinants on the final taste of the finished product. You can brew a big batch, split the wort and use 2 different yeast strains produces 2 VERY different beers.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 07:07:28 PM by santoch »
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Offline war2112

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Re: Fruity aroma to a pale ale
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2016, 10:05:16 PM »
Thought it was ok though as the directions call for temp between 65 and 74 degrees for fermentation cycle.


 You're right, fermentation is an exothermic reaction - ie., it gives off heat. Unfortunately the range up to 74F is just plain bad advice on the directions - you'll get these fruity yeast esters every time and likely head retention will suffer as well. I cool the wort for most beers (aside from lagers) to 62-64F, then pitch the yeast and hold that temp. You'll have far better results if you pitch at the low end of the temp range or even a tad under. If you don't have temp control ability, try filling a plastic tub with water, add the fermenter, and add a couple frozen water bottles. Change out the bottles twice/day. I brewed beer this way for years and it helps dramatically. Good luck.

Thanks, HoosierBrew. I'll try that cool water tub next time for sure. And here I was worried about the temp getting too low. What I was reading is ferment ales between 64 and 74 degrees and of course lagers much colder. I won't be able to do lagers in my apartment but will do the tub on next batch of ale. Yeah, that all makes sense what you say.

It may turn out not half bad. I know I'll have those fruity esters and darn it was trying to avoid that. But I'll drink it unless it's really bad. I don't think it will be but by gosh I am going to drink the fruits (pun intended!) of my labor!

Offline war2112

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Re: Fruity aroma to a pale ale
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2016, 10:06:09 PM »
Another trick is to place your fermenter in a shallow tub/container of cool water.
Drape a t-shirt over the fermenter so that the bottom of the shirt is in the water.
(Get it fully wet to save time, though).  The water will wick up into the t-shirt and the evaporation process will knock about as 5F off the temp.
Pointing a fan at it and dropping some ice cubes in makes it even more effective.

HTH-
Steve

[edit] PS- Right behind sanitation, temperature control and yeast strain selection are the 2nd and 3rd most important determinants on the final taste of the finished product. You can brew a big batch, split the wort and use 2 different yeast strains produces 2 VERY different beers.

More great advice! Thanks a bunch Santoch. I'm definitely going to follow this advice.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Fruity aroma to a pale ale
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2016, 10:42:23 PM »
We start brewing and work really hard to get rid of esters, working for that super clean beer. Then we achieve that and start trying to get some esters in our beers because they are not "English" enough. LOL!

The thing to avoid is fusel alcohols - headache causing solvent bombs.

Offline troybinso

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Re: Fruity aroma to a pale ale
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2016, 12:25:53 AM »
The hops you used are fruity. How much did you put in?

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Re: Fruity aroma to a pale ale
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2016, 04:33:51 AM »
SG was steady at 1.03.

Could that be a typo? An SG of 1.030 would almost certainly be a stalled fermentation.
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Offline cempt1

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Re: Fruity aroma to a pale ale
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2016, 12:04:42 PM »
That's what I was thinking. If it was 1.030, I would be very careful with those bottles.  You may have some bombs in your possession!

That would contribute a significant sweetness to your beer as well.

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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Fruity aroma to a pale ale
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2016, 03:49:19 PM »
SG was steady at 1.03.

Could that be a typo? An SG of 1.030 would almost certainly be a stalled fermentation.

The O P did say 12 days. I think he jumped the gun by at least a week.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Fruity aroma to a pale ale
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2016, 04:09:04 PM »


Will this perhaps mellow out as the beer ages? Or maybe I did something wrong? I just hate to have my first batch be one of those "well, it's drinkable..."

Thanks

I have been brewing for 20+ years, and I can assure you that, while it is possible to brew good beer the first time, it is also unlikely. Brewing is a craft , and like any craft, it takes time to master. Sounds like you are off to a good start, try to keep those fermentation temps down and you will probably notice an improvement. Also, agree with the others about your FG. Hopefully it was a typo because you would probably have bottle bombs otherwise. And they can be pretty dangerous.

Offline war2112

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Re: Fruity aroma to a pale ale
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2016, 08:36:16 PM »


Will this perhaps mellow out as the beer ages? Or maybe I did something wrong? I just hate to have my first batch be one of those "well, it's drinkable..."

Thanks

I have been brewing for 20+ years, and I can assure you that, while it is possible to brew good beer the first time, it is also unlikely. Brewing is a craft , and like any craft, it takes time to master. Sounds like you are off to a good start, try to keep those fermentation temps down and you will probably notice an improvement. Also, agree with the others about your FG. Hopefully it was a typo because you would probably have bottle bombs otherwise. And they can be pretty dangerous.

Yeah, that was a typo. I was reading off my chart for gravity readings and listed the one from 7 days into fermentation. The FG was actually between 1.01 and 1-02 leaning more towards 1.01.