Author Topic: Banana Taste  (Read 1694 times)

Offline rbowers

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Banana Taste
« on: December 09, 2010, 03:12:25 PM »
I brewed up a first attempt at a holiday winter ale and after a few days primary fermentation I made the switch to the secondary fermenter and out of curiosity gave the stuff a taste and there is a fairly distinct banana aroma and taste.  Not exactly what I was shooting for.  The only complication I can recall is during the first day of fermentation, the primary carboy overflowed a bit over the airlock with foam (unexpected 1st in my 6.5G carboy which normally handles 5 G fine without need for a blowout hose).  Can I expect the banana flavors to persist?  Is it worth even continuing to ferment and bottle or just bag it already down the drain?  Help for the newbie is appreciated.

Offline glitterbug

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Re: Banana Taste
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2010, 03:14:40 PM »
What type of yeast did you use and what is the fermentation temp?
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Offline BrewArk

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Re: Banana Taste
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2010, 03:29:57 PM »
First year O-chem lab in college where we made isoamyl acetate (banana ester).  Still trying to forget that one.

How big was your pitch rate, & how well did you oxygenate?

I wouldn't give up on it yet.  I would probably bottle rather than keg it.  Then you could let it sit six months without tying up a keg, and come back to it to see if it gets better w/age.
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Offline rbowers

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Re: Banana Taste
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2010, 03:31:01 PM »
Fermentis Safale S-04 dry ale yeast.  The temp got a little cooler than I wanted- down in the low 60s.  I am at the mercy of the weather to some extent as the basement in the house gets a bit cooler than the rest of the house.  It also seems that fermentation may be stalled because the SG dropped a bit but nowhere near the predicted final SG- currently there is no visible sign of fermentation.

Offline blatz

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Re: Banana Taste
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2010, 03:32:25 PM »
yep - english ale yeast at too cold of temps.

this shows up for a lot of people using WL002/WY1968.

it will fade, but it will not go away, based on the couple of times I had that happen.
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Offline rbowers

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Re: Banana Taste
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2010, 03:36:04 PM »
The oxygenation should have been fine as I agitated the carboy quite a bit prior to pitching.  Unclear what you mean by pitch rate- I threw in 11.5 grams of dry yeast that was primed in 1 cup H2O at around 100 degrees before adding to carboy.

Offline rbowers

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Re: Banana Taste
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2010, 03:37:14 PM »
Thanks- we'll see where it goes.

Offline BrewArk

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Re: Banana Taste
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2010, 03:41:22 PM »
The oxygenation should have been fine as I agitated the carboy quite a bit prior to pitching.  Unclear what you mean by pitch rate- I threw in 11.5 grams of dry yeast that was primed in 1 cup H2O at around 100 degrees before adding to carboy.

I was worried that you might have used a liquid yeast without a starter.  Seems like you have the right procedure for a dry yeast.  Another thing I forgot to ask was what kind of other spices you might have added for a holiday beer?  (next year leave the banana peel out? ;D)
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Offline glitterbug

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Re: Banana Taste
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2010, 03:43:30 PM »
Just tell people you wanted to brew a tropical banana ale to ward off winter  ;D
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Banana Taste
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2010, 04:09:13 PM »
I wouldn't say the banana temps were because of too cold temps. Low 60s is no way too cold for the S-04. Rather, my assumption is that you started the fermentation off too warm, probably even pitched too warm as well (just a guess, but its a normal new brewer mistake). Then, my assumption is the stall happened (if it indeed happened, you may just be done) when the exothermic activity of the yeast slowed down and the thermal mass of the beer began to merge with the temp of the ambient room.

Just a guess. I could be wrong but I have never experienced banana esters at cooler temps with any english strains. One thing you should do is get a sanitized racking cane and rouse the yeast. English strains have a tendency to flocculate and leave a higher finishing gravity. Also move the fermenter to a warmer part of the house. You want the temp of the beer to be around 66-68 to get the beer to finish. Do you have any idea what the gravity of the beer is right now?
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 04:17:34 PM by majorvices »
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Offline rbowers

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Re: Banana Taste
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2010, 04:41:39 PM »
Initial gravity was 1.071 and dropped to about 1.036.  Any use in adding fresh yeast.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Banana Taste
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2010, 04:48:09 PM »
Adding fresh yeast probably wont help much, unless you can get a fresh slurry from your local brew pub. You should have plenty of yeast on the bottom of your fermenter. Rouse the yeast with a sanitized racking cane and warm the fermentation and you should be able to get it moving again.
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: Banana Taste
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2010, 10:13:20 AM »
I agree with Keith's analysis. S-04 will definitely stall under 64F, been there!  Additionally it floculates fast & hard, and the cooling most likely dropped it out of suspension and put it to sleep.  As Keith mentioned, rousing & warming is probably your best option at this point.  Cheers!!!
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Banana Taste
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2010, 11:15:56 PM »
I don't know, it sounds to me like you racked too early.  It might clean up if you warm the beer up and add a big pitch of actively fermenting wort.
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Re: Banana Taste
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2010, 11:30:33 PM »
How many days is "a few"? A lot of yeast strains will produce banana flavor/aroma early in fermentation and clear them up later. By transferring off the yeast too soon you could have prevented that from happening.
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