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Biggest influence on flavour


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#1 Leyther

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:37 AM

I just kegged my first AG brew, a Dr Smurto Golden Ale. Prior to this I had done a fair few extract/part grain brews for LCPA Clones or IPA's with one lager (which we shall discount for this thread).

 

In the Extract/Grain beers I have used Mosaic/Zythos combo a couple of times, a Single Ella IPA and EKG/Columbus/Cascade for the LCPA (IMMSMR).

 

What I am finding is that they are quite nice beers and very drinkable but I am starting to think they all taste almost the same, maybe slight differences in the initial bitterness but the overall flavour is almost the same for all of them.

 

With the DSGA I was expecting something a lot different but again I'm thinking its tasting very samey.

 

The most common denominator in these brews is US-05 yeast (although I used BRY97 in a couple which I think is very similar).

 

Hence I'm interested to know what the general consensus is the most important ingredient for flavour, I would have thought that the Hops and Malt selection would be bigger influences than the yeast but I am now starting to question this.

 

I'm going to try something different for my next brew.

 

Any recommendations for a good ale yeast that will impart some nice fruity esters in a west coast style?



#2 manticle

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:39 AM

Everything you change will change flavour but yeast can have a very (the most) significant effect.

Not just strain but health, numbers and fermentation conditions.

#3 mtb

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:02 AM

Certain off flavours can dominate most others in a batch too. For a while I was unknowingly oxidising every batch I made, and the resulting staleness masked hop and malt flavour. Most of my pale ales / IPAs tasted the same to me, until I fixed the oxidisation issue and allowed the true flavours to shine through.

 

Not saying you necessarily have oxidisation issues, but off flavours in general can do what you're describing.



#4 BKBrews

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:17 AM

Yeast is definitely the most important flavor component. Do a split batch, one with the US-05 and one with something like a saison yeast. keep everything else the same and you'll find that they'll still be entirely different.

 

One of the big things I found for flavor is water and water chemistry.



#5 Matplat

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:13 PM

Given that you've been using the same/similar yeast throughout I'm not entirely surprised they taste similar. You haven't specified your grain bills, but you could generally group most of those hops in the 'fruity/piney' category the exception being EKG which was probably beaten out by the others. Until your palate becomes more refined, you aren't likely to pick the nuances of each different hop.

 

To really demonstrate the effect of yeast, do as BK brews says... alternatively plan a few recipes that aren't hop forward... winter is coming, perfect for an english brown ale or ESB...



#6 fungrel

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:58 PM

I agree on with BK, in that water adjustment has made the biggest difference in my beers when using yeasts such as US-05 as they are generally a class of yeasts that exhibit a more neutral character. 



#7 Danscraftbeer

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:12 PM

Agree with the above too. Something that really surprized me also was yeast count. I'm more inclined to over pitch in yeast count but I made an regular type IPA with slightly under pitched yeast count and found a whole lot more flavour in the end when I really didn't highly hop that beer but it was Mosaic. It was really interesting how much more flavour I got with less hops used. It was Nottingham recycled for that example. 



#8 MHB

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:18 PM

Beers can generally thought of as Malt, Hop or Yeast driven

Malt driven beers are generally in the Mild-Bitter-Best Bitter-Old-Stout-Barley Wine sequence. with bitterness to balance and subdued yeast flavours.

Hop driven, well when ever the Hop flavours dominate all the others, IPA being one of the earliest followed by almost everything made on the US west coast...

Yeast driven beers tend to have fairly low Hop and Malt flavours, good examples being Hefeweizen and Saison.

 

Arguably lots of good beer contain a "synergistic" balance of all three flavour families. You also have to rule out off flavours caused by Infection, poor ingredients, bad processes, fermenting too hot... All of which can make a potentially great beer taste very so so.

 

As observed above you are probably selecting for Hop driven beers, if you choose some good recipes from different styles and resist the temptation to up the hops you might discover a very different range of flavours.

Mark



#9 klangers

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:56 PM

Biggest influence on flavour? Your taste buds and what you eat or drank prior to tasting. You'd be surprised how easily your palate can be fooled.



#10 droid

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 02:30 PM

Yep, we can go to all the trouble of making a good fermentable wort and then proceed to screw things up from there. When all care should be taken throughout the entire process.

#11 foles

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 02:49 PM

In my experience, fermentation temperature, especially during yeast growth, has the greatest impact.

 

Also IMO, US05 is very sensitive to temperature. Needs to be between about 19-21C to ferment without peach esters. Maybe thats where the "samey" flavours are coming from. Also make sure you measuring the temperature of the beer properly (not air space).

 

I accidentally (due to poorly calibrated controller) fermented US05 at 15C. Its was super peachy / stonefruity.


Edited by foles, 21 April 2017 - 02:51 PM.


#12 TowelBoy2013

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 02:54 PM

Interesting thread, some good points and examples have been put forward. I am sitting here trying my new IPA and really enjoying the fact that i did a bit of research on the impact of hops with a high amount of cohumulene oils in them, In the past this has left my IPA's with a astringent taste that i liken to tartaric acid. A little knowledge of what certain hops bring to a beer can also help you in what to expect in your next brew.



#13 Leyther

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 03:17 PM

In my experience, fermentation temperature, especially during yeast growth, has the greatest impact.

 

Also IMO, US05 is very sensitive to temperature. Needs to be between about 19-21C to ferment without peach esters. Maybe thats where the "samey" flavours are coming from. Also make sure you measuring the temperature of the beer properly (not air space).

 

I accidentally (due to poorly calibrated controller) fermented US05 at 15C. Its was super peachy / stonefruity.

 

I use an Inkbird temp controller, fermentor is inside fridge ontop of heat pad (so heats and cools), sensor is placed at the side of the fermentor in a pocket I've made from an old stubby holder so its probably as close as I'll get without it being inside the fermentor.

 

My ales are fermented at 18C for 10 days then I usually raise to 21C for 7 days.

 

Interesting on those low temp, I actually like stone fruit so that's intriguing but I think for my next batch I'm gonna try a totally different yeast, i've got some Nottingham but the last time I used notty I tipped the batch but that was pre temp control, might be worth giving it another try or maybe I'll try something completely new, I've never used liquid yeast so might give that a go.



#14 peteru

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 06:52 PM

Cooper's Sparkling Ale yeast recultured from a few bottles is a good contrast to US-05.



#15 Danscraftbeer

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:20 PM

I use an Inkbird temp controller, fermentor is inside fridge ontop of heat pad (so heats and cools), sensor is placed at the side of the fermentor in a pocket I've made from an old stubby holder so its probably as close as I'll get without it being inside the fermentor.

 

My ales are fermented at 18C for 10 days then I usually raise to 21C for 7 days.

 

Interesting on those low temp, I actually like stone fruit so that's intriguing but I think for my next batch I'm gonna try a totally different yeast, i've got some Nottingham but the last time I used notty I tipped the batch but that was pre temp control, might be worth giving it another try or maybe I'll try something completely new, I've never used liquid yeast so might give that a go.

Good thinking that I relate to. This stuff takes years. Unless you have plenty of friends to help drink it all for you etc.

To re my last comment you can get many variable effects on just the varied yeast count of a same yeast.

Under pitched can seem to exaggerate malt, hop flavour character.

Over pitching can seem to strip flavours and get dryer crisper beer.

Both can be very good and yet different character.

How many different beer experiments can you do in a lifetime is the question. :chug: