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Author Topic: Irish Red Ale and Diacetyl  (Read 2402 times)

Offline jeffy

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Re: Irish Red Ale and Diacetyl
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2022, 01:04:53 pm »
The question at hand:

Is it acceptable to have any butter / toffee like flavors in an Irish Red?

According to the BJCP style guidelines, it is not a flaw to have this flavor profile in an Irish Red.

edit: Bought a 6 pack of Smithwicks Irish Red. Did not care for it at all. It was drinkable, but that's it.
I also bought a sixer but they're all still in the fridge.  I *DID*, however find myself at a watering hole on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon (yesterday) and they had it on tap.  It was great and it's the same beer I remember so I have to assume it's just had a bit of rebranding.  Also, I was pronouncing it SMITH-WICKS for a long time until someone told me (years ago) that it's pronounced more like SMIDDICKS.  I ordered it that way and the server squinted and started looking at my menu.  I pointed TO it and he said SMITHWI... uh... SMIDDI... Okay folks, be right back.  :D

I've always heard it pronounced "smithicks"
Me, too.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Re: Irish Red Ale and Diacetyl
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2022, 01:53:42 pm »
I call it "Smiddicks".  Not sure where I picked that up from, I'm guessing from the Irish owner of the Irish pub that I might identify as idyllic.
Dave

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Offline Iliff Ave

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Re: Irish Red Ale and Diacetyl
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2022, 02:08:06 pm »
smiddicks for me
On Tap/Bottled: IPL, Adjunct Vienna, Golden Stout, Honey Lager
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Up Next: mexi lager, Germerican pale ale

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Irish Red Ale and Diacetyl
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2022, 02:14:08 pm »
Smith-icks with a kinda hard "th" is how I heard it, but who knows where that came from.
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Offline ScallyWag

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Re: Irish Red Ale and Diacetyl
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2022, 03:45:58 pm »
It's not pronounced "Smooster"?  or "Smoostershur"?  I feel so stupid.  I've definitely been saying it wrong.

Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Irish Red Ale and Diacetyl
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2022, 08:34:42 am »


Hello!

I am struggling with the "buttery" description of Irish Red Ale (15A) in the 2021 BJCP Guide.

Can someone provide a definitive interpretation of the BJCP 15A on whether we are dealing with diacetyl or a toffee-like complex?

1. in the Overall Impression section: "an initial soft toffee or caramel sweetness."
2. In the Aroma section: "or toffee character. Very light buttery character optional."
3. In the Flavor section: "rarely with a light buttered toast or toffee-like quality."

At this point, there is no direct reference to "diacetyl," and the buttery character seems to be associated with toffee. Of course, toffee does indeed have a buttery component, and a number of crystal malts are known to impart toffee notes. I'm not sure what to make of "buttered toast"; it seems to be a blend of toffee and toast malt flavors. If it is a reference to diacetyl, it is an odd choice of words, given that "buttered popcorn" is the standard descriptor, and buttered toast and buttered popcorn are quite different.

Prior to 15A, diacetyl is used exclusively as the descriptor for buttery off flavors. A "butter"-related word appears only once prior to 15A, and that is in the Czech Lager description of "significant buttery diacetyl is a flaw" (BJCP Guidelines 2022, p. 4). "Buttered toast" does not appear elsewhere in the guidelines. This contributes to my confusion.

4. In the Mouthfeel section: "examples containing low levels of diacetyl may have a slightly slick mouthfeel." This is the first direct reference to diacetyl.

So, I'm not sure what we are dealing with here in terms of a buttery character. Are the above terms really descriptions of diacetyl, or are they descriptions of toffee-rich notes that impart a buttery character?

Thanks for your help.

Fritz Schanz
President, Denton County Homebrewers Guild
Certified Judge

Perhaps a deep dive is called for here...

Toffee is made with butter and sugar. Most are familiar with toffee as it tastes like caramel and butterscotch.

Winning Homebrew states that Diacetyl equals butterscotch.

So it appears that Diacetyl is a butterscotch/toffee like flavor.

And per the BJCP, this is acceptable in an Irish Red. Very light buttery aroma is optional (acceptable). It never states this flavor or aroma is a defect or flaw.

Offline denny

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Re: Irish Red Ale and Diacetyl
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2022, 09:16:52 am »


Hello!

I am struggling with the "buttery" description of Irish Red Ale (15A) in the 2021 BJCP Guide.

Can someone provide a definitive interpretation of the BJCP 15A on whether we are dealing with diacetyl or a toffee-like complex?

1. in the Overall Impression section: "an initial soft toffee or caramel sweetness."
2. In the Aroma section: "or toffee character. Very light buttery character optional."
3. In the Flavor section: "rarely with a light buttered toast or toffee-like quality."

At this point, there is no direct reference to "diacetyl," and the buttery character seems to be associated with toffee. Of course, toffee does indeed have a buttery component, and a number of crystal malts are known to impart toffee notes. I'm not sure what to make of "buttered toast"; it seems to be a blend of toffee and toast malt flavors. If it is a reference to diacetyl, it is an odd choice of words, given that "buttered popcorn" is the standard descriptor, and buttered toast and buttered popcorn are quite different.

Prior to 15A, diacetyl is used exclusively as the descriptor for buttery off flavors. A "butter"-related word appears only once prior to 15A, and that is in the Czech Lager description of "significant buttery diacetyl is a flaw" (BJCP Guidelines 2022, p. 4). "Buttered toast" does not appear elsewhere in the guidelines. This contributes to my confusion.

4. In the Mouthfeel section: "examples containing low levels of diacetyl may have a slightly slick mouthfeel." This is the first direct reference to diacetyl.

So, I'm not sure what we are dealing with here in terms of a buttery character. Are the above terms really descriptions of diacetyl, or are they descriptions of toffee-rich notes that impart a buttery character?

Thanks for your help.

Fritz Schanz
President, Denton County Homebrewers Guild
Certified Judge

Perhaps a deep dive is called for here...

Toffee is made with butter and sugar. Most are familiar with toffee as it tastes like caramel and butterscotch.

Winning Homebrew states that Diacetyl equals butterscotch.

So it appears that Diacetyl is a butterscotch/toffee like flavor.

And per the BJCP, this is acceptable in an Irish Red. Very light buttery aroma is optional (acceptable). It never states this flavor or aroma is a defect or flaw.

Diacetyl does not necessrily taste like butterscotch. I wouldn't count on it.
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Online dmtaylor

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Re: Irish Red Ale and Diacetyl
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2022, 09:44:29 am »
Diacetyl reminds me most of buttered popcorn, which makes sense because the fake butter on popcorn IS diacetyl.  It doesn't really remind me of butterscotch or toffee as much.  I believe I pick up those flavors (when present) more from malt than from diacetyl.

Some say at very low levels, even though you might not be able to taste it, diacetyl might feel oily on your tongue, a "slickness".
Dave

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Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Irish Red Ale and Diacetyl
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2022, 10:37:48 am »
Diacetyl in Home Brewed Beer – The Butterscotch Flavor

by Brad Smith on April 21, 2012

Diacetyl is the butterscotch or buttery flavor in your home brewed beer.

Summary

    Diacetyl (butterscotch flavor) and pentainedione (honey flavor) are a natural biproduct of fermentation, but both can be broken down by healthy yeast when fermentation completes.

    The primary method for controlling diacetyl (and pentainedione) is to pitch the appropriate quantity of healthy yeast from a yeast starter and ensure that the yeast remains healthy.

    A diacetyl rest for lagers (raising it a few degrees during fermentation) can also help reduce diacetyl in the finished beer by helping the yeast break down VDKs.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2022, 10:39:31 am by Bel Air Brewing »

Offline Megary

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Re: Irish Red Ale and Diacetyl
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2022, 10:50:20 am »
https://beerandbrewing.com/off-flavor-of-the-week-diacetyl/

Commonly described as having an artificial butter flavor (think movie theatre popcorn) that leaves your mouth feeling like an oil slick, diacetyl is actually produced in varying amounts by all yeast strains in all kinds of fermentations.


I'm so confused.

I can't say I've ever tasted it once.  Maybe I'm immune to its charms?

Offline denny

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Re: Irish Red Ale and Diacetyl
« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2022, 02:14:24 pm »
Diacetyl in Home Brewed Beer – The Butterscotch Flavor

by Brad Smith on April 21, 2012

Diacetyl is the butterscotch or buttery flavor in your home brewed beer.

Summary

    Diacetyl (butterscotch flavor) and pentainedione (honey flavor) are a natural biproduct of fermentation, but both can be broken down by healthy yeast when fermentation completes.

    The primary method for controlling diacetyl (and pentainedione) is to pitch the appropriate quantity of healthy yeast from a yeast starter and ensure that the yeast remains healthy.

    A diacetyl rest for lagers (raising it a few degrees during fermentation) can also help reduce diacetyl in the finished beer by helping the yeast break down VDKs.

Brad is incorrect in the first sentence as far as my experience an knowledge go.
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Offline denny

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Re: Irish Red Ale and Diacetyl
« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2022, 02:15:47 pm »
https://beerandbrewing.com/off-flavor-of-the-week-diacetyl/

Commonly described as having an artificial butter flavor (think movie theatre popcorn) that leaves your mouth feeling like an oil slick, diacetyl is actually produced in varying amounts by all yeast strains in all kinds of fermentations.


I'm so confused.

I can't say I've ever tasted it once.  Maybe I'm immune to its charms?

Initially, I found I was much more able to detect it as a slick mouthfeel rather than a flavor. After experience, I can pick up the taste, too.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Irish Red Ale and Diacetyl
« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2022, 03:09:00 pm »
https://beerandbrewing.com/off-flavor-of-the-week-diacetyl/

Commonly described as having an artificial butter flavor (think movie theatre popcorn) that leaves your mouth feeling like an oil slick, diacetyl is actually produced in varying amounts by all yeast strains in all kinds of fermentations.


I'm so confused.

I can't say I've ever tasted it once.  Maybe I'm immune to its charms?
Red Hook's beers are loaded with it, and I get it from Shipyard fairly often as well.
Eric B.

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Online dmtaylor

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Re: Irish Red Ale and Diacetyl
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2022, 04:29:12 pm »
Some people don't notice it.  20 years ago I thought it was a pleasant feature of craft beers.  I still don't mind it but it isn't as common as it once was, except in some (not all) British-style ales, including those on the east coast of the USA, as well as in Pilsner Urquell.
Dave

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Irish Red Ale and Diacetyl
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2022, 09:46:31 pm »
Like Denny said, I work backwards from a mouthfeel to a taste.  Those who are sensitive to the flavor pick it up directly and some are overwhelmed by a relatively low level.  I like it in many British Ales, but not in lagers.
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