Author Topic: Weird citrus smell  (Read 1228 times)

Offline euge

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Weird citrus smell
« on: August 04, 2010, 11:34:02 PM »
I'm sure this is an infection.

Got the usual wonderful "yeasty beery" fermentation which then after 48 hours abruptly switched over to a gassy "fresh squeezed lemony citrus". There's faint tang of corruption in there too. Krueusen has dropped but brew is still bubbling. Normally, any infection that I see, which is rarely, it shows up weeks after the attenuative phase and has a totally different smell and a scum layer.

What could it be?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline majorvices

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Re: Weird citrus smell
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2010, 04:05:57 AM »
I highly doubt any infection could have taken hold that quickly to be throwing strange aromas. What hops did you use?

Personally I don't bother much with smells coming out of the fermenter. It isn't necessarily an indication of what to expect from the finished beer - thank God!
Keith Y.
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Offline denny

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Re: Weird citrus smell
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2010, 08:39:05 AM »
There's faint tang of corruption in there too.

I am SO stealing this phrase!   :D
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline euge

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Re: Weird citrus smell
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2010, 09:22:04 AM »
I used whole hops Cascade and Goldings. Windsor for yeast, which takes off like a rocket! I was replicating a previous extract Pale Ale recipe, except this time I omitted a pound of DME and added a pound of cane sugar instead to the boil in an attempt to drive the FG down below 1.020.

These days I don't use cane sugar much. Could the yeast give off those odors by eating plain sucrose?

There's faint tang of corruption in there too.

I am SO stealing this phrase!   :D

Glad ya like it Denny!! ;)
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline bluesman

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Re: Weird citrus smell
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2010, 09:26:49 AM »
I highly doubt any infection could have taken hold that quickly to be throwing strange aromas.

+1

An infection usually takes a couple of weeks at best to develop at typical beer fermentation temps and even longer to develop strange aromas.  Give it some time and re-evaluate the situation.  

Now the faint tang of corruption is another story.   ;D
Ron Price

Offline majorvices

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Re: Weird citrus smell
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2010, 06:16:48 AM »
Is this the first time you have used this yeast?
Keith Y.
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Offline euge

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Re: Weird citrus smell
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2010, 09:53:43 AM »
Is this the first time you have used this yeast?

No, my fourth batch. The Windsor was hydrated and pitched per my usual method. Signs of vigorous fermentation showed up quickly- within 20 hours. Another 24 hours the krueusen dropped and then later that day the funky smell... ???

Plans are to keg & prime Saturday or Sunday. I'll do a PET carb and check for quality first.

Hoping it's just an odd smell and not signs of an affected fermentation. I've had heavy sulfur off of other yeasts but it never gave me the sense that something is wrong. This does.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline euge

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Re: Weird citrus smell
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2010, 11:37:54 PM »
Well, the temps have been low and stable in the chill-box. When the brew is fermenting I have to swap out ice packs more often, at least twice a day. Today this has only risen 2F and it was 100F outside. I take this as a sign it isn't "actively" fermenting and transitioned into the "conditioning" phase.

Smell is a little off. Residual putrescence which I'm hoping will not be in the finished product. :D
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline animaldoc

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Re: Weird citrus smell
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2010, 08:41:15 AM »
Euge -

   Until the last post in which you described the off smell, I would have not been too worried.  It makes perfect sense to me (granted, I have never used this yeast) that the higher level of sugar would have led to a more vigorous fermentation than the previous batches with lower/no sugar, causing more scrubbing of the cascade aroma from the primary and possibly a higher internal temperature generating more estery aromas..

   I'm still not *terribly* worried - as you surely know from previous batches, the aromas generated during fermentation may be nothing like what is going to end up in the finished beer --- like the extreme sulfur generated by some lager yeasts.

   And, since there isn't anything you can do about it now anyway, I suggest you keep paying attention to what's going on, keep good notes at each stage, and see what the end result is.

   Oh, and of course let us know how it turns out.


-- Scott
« Last Edit: August 07, 2010, 08:44:02 AM by animaldoc »

Offline euge

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Re: Weird citrus smell
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2010, 03:33:46 PM »
Just kegged the brew and got 4 liters extra to force-carb. Drinking a pint. I mean gulping it:D This beer turned out great! Slight esters- hints of pear. Body's a tad thinner. I thought with the sugar bringing the gravity down 32 IBU would be too bitter but no... it's just fine.

Smell went away and was replaced by healthy beer smell. Finished at 1.012 so the sugar must have done the trick at bringing the gravity down.

Jeebus I was worried. This needs to go on tap in about two weeks. To think I nearly poured it out but posted a thread instead!  :o

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline majorvices

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Re: Weird citrus smell
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2010, 07:16:49 PM »
RDWHAHB - see??? Its true!  ;)
Keith Y.
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Offline euge

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Re: Weird citrus smell
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2010, 09:36:39 PM »
RDWHAHB - see??? Its true!  ;)

Words to live by!
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline ajk

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Re: Weird citrus smell
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2010, 04:33:12 AM »
Could it have been acetaldehyde (green apple)?  I just racked a cream ale (fermented with Kölsch yeast) that was still very cloudy.  It had a strong aroma and flavor of green apple, but after a couple of weeks of cold conditioning, it has almost completely subsided.  I figure it was either acetaldehyde that the yeast wasn't finished cleaning up or just some off-aroma/flavor caused by the yeast still being in suspension, and now that it has mostly dropped, the aroma/flavor is almost gone.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Weird citrus smell
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2010, 06:41:22 AM »
RDWHAHB - see??? Its true!  ;)

9 out of ten times this is true in my experience. 

Congrats on the great beer euge!  8)
Ron Price

Offline euge

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Re: Weird citrus smell
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2010, 03:13:36 PM »
I brewed the exact same recipe last thurs. Pitched on the yeast cake (rare for me).  Nice vigorous fermentation.

The smell reappeared! This time not afraid... Must be a characteristic of Windsor when coupled with cane sugar. This was a test on my part. Figured it would replicate.

Don't be afraid of this strain, since the brews have tasted great- wonderful in fact.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman