Author Topic: Steam beer question  (Read 1589 times)

Offline saintpierre

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Steam beer question
« on: August 25, 2010, 08:51:54 AM »
I brewed a Steam beer on 7/18/10 following the recipe and mash schedule in the BCS book.  The only exception is I batch sparged.
On 7/18/10 my OG was 1.056 and fermented at 64degF with WL, SF Larger yeast for 10 days until me FG was 1.012 (for two consecutive days).
On 7/28/10 I transfered to a keg and primed using corn sugar to get ±2.8 vol of CO2.
I left the keg at 64degF for 1 week before I moved in into the kegorator set at 34degF.
I tasted the beer last night and it still has some sharp esters and not the fruity ones I was expecting with the style.

I get the feeling I transferred the beer off the yeast cake too early...  ???

Will this beer mellow with more time? Or did I screw the batch?
Mike St. Pierre, P.E.
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Offline denny

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Re: Steam beer question
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2010, 09:00:22 AM »
I'd say you fermented too warm and kegged too soon.  Can you define "sharp esters" any more?
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Offline skyler

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Re: Steam beer question
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2010, 09:27:03 AM »
I would leave it at 30-36F for a month or so, then try drinking it. You definitely transferred it too soon to a serving device, IMO. I have also noticed that yeast making a sharp, almost astringent-like off flavor when fermented warm and underpitched (my friend's attempt to make a "steam porter" was so bad it kept me from ever trying the yeast). My advice would be to lager it in the keg for a while (CO2 not needed), then try some gelatin/polyclar after a month or so to clean it up.

Offline weithman5

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Re: Steam beer question
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2010, 09:36:06 AM »
i used that yeast in my vienna.  i think i let it get too warm and have the formaldehyde taste. i know you can let the temp creep up on that yeast but I got lazy when we had a warm spring around easter. :'(
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Steam beer question
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2010, 09:46:12 AM »
Can you post your recipe?
Ron Price

Offline saintpierre

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Re: Steam beer question
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2010, 09:50:15 AM »
The esters are slightly astringent.  Although the level isn't so high that I can't enjoy drinking it (my friends think it is good) but to me being over critical, the overall experience isn't perfect.  The thermo-override was set to 62 and taped to the carboy.  So the temperature may have been closer to 62 but it did ferment in the 100deg heat we had in July.

I also did a half gallon started with an OG of 1.040 decanted the beer and pitched the slurry.

I had a feeling that I transferred too soon.  What would you recommend that I do differently next time because I am definately making this again.
Mike St. Pierre, P.E.
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Offline saintpierre

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Re: Steam beer question
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2010, 11:25:03 AM »
California Common Ale
6-C American Pale Ales, California Common Ale

For 6 gallons
Boil Time:  60   Minutes     

9.50 lbs.   Pale Malt (2-row)
0.50 lbs.   Victory Malt
2.00 lbs.   Munich Malt
1.00 lbs.   Crystal 40L
0.13 lbs.   Light Chocolate Malt

1.00 oz.   Northern Brewer  Pellet  AA6.50  60 min 
1.50 oz.   Northern Brewer  Pellet  AA6.50  15 min 
1.50 oz.   Northern Brewer  Pellet  AA6.50  1 min 
 
White Labs SF Lager
Mike St. Pierre, P.E.
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Offline beerocd

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Re: Steam beer question
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2010, 05:30:47 PM »
I'd say you fermented too warm ...

But.... it's steam beer  ???
Time will likely help a lot.
The moral majority, is neither.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Steam beer question
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2010, 09:27:34 PM »
I'd say you fermented too warm ...

But.... it's steam beer  ???
Time will likely help a lot.
Yeah, but at 64F you're still at the high end of the fermentation range.  Next time shoot for 60F or even 58F.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline denny

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Re: Steam beer question
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2010, 08:44:29 AM »
The esters are slightly astringent.

I appreciate extra info, but astringency is a dry mouthfeel, so I'm having a hard time interpreting what you're trying to tell us.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline saintpierre

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Re: Steam beer question
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2010, 11:23:48 AM »
The esters are slightly astringent.

I appreciate extra info, but astringency is a dry mouthfeel, so I'm having a hard time interpreting what you're trying to tell us.

I will taste again tonight, evaluate and try to explain more accurately.
Mike St. Pierre, P.E.
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Offline denny

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Re: Steam beer question
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2010, 11:25:38 AM »
Thanks.  The more accurately you can describe the taste, the better the advice we can give you.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline saintpierre

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Re: Steam beer question
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2010, 06:12:35 PM »
Aroma is slightly caramel with a solvent/yeasty presence that tends to dominate.
Flavor is toasty with a light caramel flavor, low hop flavor, slightly phenolic, light fruit

Overall it is a drinkable medium bodied, toasty amber with a dry, crisp and slightly fruity finish however the phenols detract from the enjoyment.

Basically, as I critically taste the beer it is pretty clear that I fermented too high and racked off the beer before the yeast had a chance to reabsorb any of the phenols.  :'(
Mike St. Pierre, P.E.
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Steam beer question
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2010, 08:29:15 PM »
Fermenting too high can account for the esters. I'm not used to lager yeast getting all solventy and phenolic on me, though. I wonder if you had some other kind of wild yeast in there.

Racking too soon isn't your problem. Yeast don't typically metabolize phenols; diacetyl and acetaldehyde, mostly, is what you'd get if you racked too soon.

I would look at sanitation, yeast health, and fermentation temperature first.  Did you have a long lag?

Also, I don't want to pick on you about this, but you seem to not understand the terminology of off-flavors too well. Take a look at the beer faults list from the BJCP web site to get a better idea of the terms. Or avoid using the specific brewing off-flavor terms and stick to the describing what you perceive using common terms.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline bluesman

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Re: Steam beer question
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2010, 07:42:14 AM »
This is the yeast profile from WL

WLP810 San Francisco Lager Yeast
This yeast is used to produce the "California Common" style beer. A unique lager strain which has the ability to ferment up to 65 degrees while retaining lager characteristics. Can also be fermented down to 50 degrees for production of marzens, pilsners and other style lagers.
Attenuation: 65-70%
Flocculation: High
Optimum Fermentation Temperature: 58-65°F
Alcohol Tolerance: Medium-High

You indicated fermenting at 64F.  What temp did you pitch the yeast?
Ron Price