Thank you! Glad I'm not the only one who gets the strange tangy/tartness thing from K97. From my experience I never thought it would be suitable for Kolsch or Alt though I never attempted those styles with it. I was very excited when they released and then was soon disappointed.
To be clear, I don't want to say that I hate K-97 or would never use it again or anything like that. I actually enjoy the beer quite a lot... EXCEPT that the lingering yeast flavor is super annoying to me. I'm still hopeful that this will age after maybe another month. I should also put all my bottles in the refrigerator to help with the settling, think I'll do that as well. I wouldn't describe it as any more tart or tangy than any other beer I've ever tasted with entrained yeast, such as a true hefeweizen, or a badly made NEIPA with permanent haze not from hops but from the YEAST. Just tastes like yeast. I find yeast to give its own tartness. If that settles out, it should be a very tasty beer indeed with no real defects. Time will tell.
In followup... I popped another bottle tonight. The yeast character has mellowed significantly. The beer is now easier to enjoy. Still very bready but the aftertaste is no longer annoying. Upon first pour, there was significant haze, but after the beer warmed up for about 10 minutes, the haze disappeared. I don't recall ever having chill haze before, but this is definitely the case with this one. Aftertaste of Wonder Bread, which is probably somewhat yeasty, but pleasant and not annoying. I like Wonder Bread.
And now in followup to my own post once again, I popped the next bottle last night to share with friends, and...... drat... smells like farty sulfur, and there is low sulfur in the taste as well, such that honestly I was not proud to share this beer as I did. Dammit. The K-97 yeast is pissing me off. I don't believe I will use it again. Maybe after another month or two or three of age, the sulfur and yeast will all dissipate. But in the meantime, I'm impatient and I'm crabby about it. Naw, I don't recommend this yeast. That's pretty much where I've landed now.
Any updates on the K-97 sulfur smell/taste?
I ask because I just made a Cream Ale with K-97 on Saturday. Kolsch style yeast...seemed reasonable at the time. But after reading this thread, I'm guessing I might have made a poor decision. Covid operations have limited my yeast choices to dry and I opted for this one because I had never used it before. For pitching, I followed the Fermentis spec sheet - Alternatively, pitch the yeast directly in the fermentation vessel providing the temperature of the wort is above 20°C (68°F) - so I pitched at 76° but I'm wondering if that was a bit too warm. The yeast took off like a shot...I had signs of fermentation in 2 hours and my first ever yeast volcano out the air-lock in 15 hours. All seems quiet now, eerily quiet. I have no idea what to expect at this point but one must see these things through.
Low sulfur is still there, but it has faded significantly. Final aged beer is pretty good. Not great, not bad. Pretty good.
Well K-97 was an interesting ride.
I used it in a Cream Ale, pitched into 76*F wort, kept it between 66-68F for 12 days. Fermentation took off like crazy. The K-97 went after the sugars like George Steele on a turnbuckle. I had my first “yeast through the airlock” volcano, but thankfully I caught it early enough and the villagers got out of town safely. The sample when I kegged the beer tasted a bit yeasty, but clean otherwise. 81% attenuation. Hopes were high.
1 week in the keg and I got a nice heady pour, but a pretty cloudy beer. No cold crash or gelatin was used. Taking a sip and I got an unmistakable sulfur aroma. It wasn’t overwhelming, but it was there. (Is this a lager yeast??) The beer tasted fine, maybe a bit lemony-bitter.
I let it sit for a few more days but the sulfur wasn’t going away. And the beer wasn’t really clearing. But the yeasty thing was fading a bit and the lemony thing was gone. This beer has potential and at this point I’m kicking myself for not using something basic like US-05.
In desperation I started pulling the pin on the keg twice a day in hopes that it would help “purge” the sulfur. The first pull of the pin was like getting punched in the mouth. The sulfur spun me around. But interestingly, the sulfur smell started to fade after a week of this. Whether pulling the pin or just conditioning time was the reason, I have no idea. Maybe both.
I just took a small glass and got just a hint of sulfur and a beer that is starting to clear nicely. The taste is clean and very much the lawnmower beer I was looking for. A little bready maybe? I think another week and the sulfur will be gone, and at this point it’s really no longer a distraction but rather an interesting component in the glass.
I’ll definitely try this yeast again. Though I wonder if there is a better fermentation temp. that would tamp down that sulfur?