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US-05 Problems

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murpho

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Hi there,

I've got some issues with US-05 recently. I've have just started doing some biab partial brews (using DME as only about 15% of the fermentables) after starting with extract brewing about 18 months ago.

The first partial I did about a month ago has the worst off flavour I've ever tasted. I cant quite put my finger on what the taste is but to me it comes across kind of like scotch and over powers every other flavour, its un-drinkable and I'll pour it down the sink.

I then did a another partial last weekend which is currently in the fv now. I took a hydrometer sample last night and it has the same off flavour, not as bad but still there. On both of these brews I used US-05 which I've used in about 13 batches with no problems what so ever. The lag time for both seemed quite excessive; the first batch took about 48 hours to show any signs of fermentation and the one currently in the fv took over 36 hours. I cant recall any of my other batches taking this long to begin fermenting (or at least show signs). I'm thinking that the off flavours have been introduced during the initial lag phase, whether its diacetyl, an infection or something else I'm not sure. I've brewed a couple of other batches beside these with no problems at all, one using a mix of US-05 and little of the coopers kit yeast. This leads me to think its not a brewery infection.

Obviously its quite frustrating going to considerably more effort with these batches only to find them fail. Has anyone else here experienced similar issues with this yeast and does the lag period described above seem overly long?

Cheers,
Tom
 

fishingbrad

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More info required mate. We will all be just guessing. Needed; your exacted brewing process. More typing on your part saves a thousand questions/posts. But hey, I can tell ya it's not a problem with your yeast ( if it was straight out of the packet). Cheers
 

droid

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hi mate - if the yeast is handled properly it isn't the yeast per se

How much yeast did you pitch?
into what volume of wort?
abv?
exactly what temperature wort when pitched?
what is the ferment temp? - temperature controlled ferment?

If no infection then unlikely that lag time itself is a problem otherwise no-one would do no-chill

the yeast may have suffered some sort of significant trauma due to pitching and lag time temps is my guess
 

murpho

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Sorry Brad, I'll go into more detail.

I'm basically following this process to do a 19 batch but also adding a bit of dme to get the gravity up: http://aussiehomebrewer.com/topic/55617-step-by-step-biab-lcba-clone/

At a high level I'm using a 19 litre pot to mash 3kg of grain in 15 litres at 66c for 60 minutes. After that I sparge with 4 litres of 77c water to bring the pre boil volume up to 17 litres. I'm then proceeding with a 60 minute boil as usual, cooling in the sink with the pot surrounded by running water and transferring to the fv with a silicon hose leaving about 2 litres of hops and crap left in the pot. I get about 12 litres of wort into the fv and top up with 7 litres of tap water to get to 19 litres. I also add 500g dme at this stage. Whilst cooling the wort I rehydrate the yeast as per fermentis instructions (boiled and cooled water 10 times the weight of yeast at about 27c for 20 minutes) and add this once the wort is cooled, transferred and aerated. Ferment at 18c in a freezer with temp control. I use sodium perc for cleaning and starsan for sanitizing.

If you need any other info let me know
Cheers
 

huez

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Is it a hot alcohol flavour/aroma that you are interpreting as a scotch flavour? How are you measuring the temperature of the wort, you may have pitched the yeast to warm and its thrown out some fussel alcohols
 

murpho

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huez said:
Is it a hot alcohol flavour/aroma that you are interpreting as a scotch flavour? How are you measuring the temperature of the wort, you may have pitched the yeast to warm and its thrown out some fussel alcohols
Hi huez, I use a cooking thermometer to measure it through the mash process and strap the probe to the fv when fermenting. I always pitch the yeast at or below 20c and then set the temp to 18c. The off flavour isn't like alcohol, I've experienced that before from high fermentation temps and its not like that.
Cheers
 

fishingbrad

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Murpho, your process sounds fine,however as per above yeast pitch rate and temp are important. what else can you tell us. what was the final gravity ?

How's your hop storage ? do you think you've introduced something there ?
 

murpho

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fishingbrad said:
Murpho, your process sounds fine,however as per above yeast pitch rate and temp are important. what else can you tell us. what was the final gravity ?

How's your hop storage ? do you think you've introduced something there ?
Yeah I think my process is fine but I'm still new to mashing grains. The final gravity on these batches was 1008 on both. Original gravity was 1042 and 1044 respectively, which from my understanding a packet of US05 should have no trouble with.

I store hops in the freezer in the packet they come in closed off with bulldog clips inside ziplock bags. Yeast is stored in the fridge and grains I get cracked at the lhbs just prior to brewday. I've done everything the same for the past 12 months except introducing mashing grains in the last month. It's got me stumped what the problem is but I keep thinking it's got something to do with the yeast.
 

fishingbrad

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Murpho, we all use US05 because it is so clean and neutral.

You say "undrinkable". that saying infected, however do you think it just need to sit in the naughty corner for a bit ? I've had a few of them.
 

murpho

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Yeah you might be right. the first batch has been in the bottles for over a month now and hasn't improved, it's actually horrendous! So I don't think it will improve but I won't tip em just yet then.
 

murpho

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Yeah ok, well that's good to know. I've done two successful batches in between the two bad ones, and have another batch currently fermenting next to this current bad batch which tastes fine from hydro samples. The ok batches started fermenting fast (within 6-12 hours) while these bad batches took a long time to take off. So to me, it seems an infection is taking hold during the lag. What do you think?
 

fishingbrad

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Murpho, don't know what I can tell ya. better brewers here with far more knowledge than me. Don't give up on US05, try another supplier. cheers.
 

murpho

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Thanks for your help brad. I won't give up on it as it's never failed me in the last year until now. But I might give bry97 or m44 a go on the next one just to see if the same problem persists.
Cheers
 

TwoCrows

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I have had different experiences using US05 , fast krausen and then slow 3 week ferment , slow krausen and then a rapid 4 day ferment. Both fermented in a temp controlled fridge @ 18.5 degrees at different times of the year.

I have done a few mini mashes using around 3 kg of grains similar to your process/ description , I have found using grains from different suppliers beneficial . I found that some grains have given an off taste , I think they may have been over kilned and tasted dirty / heavy mouth feel.


I would stick with this yeast , just purchase from a different outlet and make sure that they have refrigerated it's storage.
 

mstrelan

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Did you boil the tap water before topping up?
 

manticle

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It's odd that 2/15 makes you suspect a factor common to all 15 rather than something else.
 

mccoullough1

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Could also be the grain, did you use the same type of grain from the one supplier for both brews?
Was it cracked in front of you?
 

rockeye84

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Might be worth trying a liquid yeast, I always get a cleaner finish using wyeast 1056 with a starter over US-05, I pitched dry (as the packet instructs) but I don't pay attention to their suggested pitch rate, I go with 1g per/l. I know many say they are identical, but I disagree, to my taste, similar but definitely not identical.

Did a side by side brew with the two strains a couple of weeks ago, did a pale ale similar 150 lashes, both yeasts performed well, the us-05 finished a bit quicker, and as well documented cleared better, I filtered both beers anyway so clarity is no real concern.

Flavour wise the 1056 tastes clean as buggery no standout esters, malt, hops & esters balanced perfectly. The us05 is pretty good but the still has slight twang as the beer hits your taste buds which slightly mutes the other flavours.

Thus I find generally I get better results with liquid + starter, I try and avoid dry yeast whenever I can.

Jus my 2c
 

Vini2ton

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Take one of your bottles down to your friendly homebrew shop retailer and I'm sure they'll be able to steer you right. There's all sorts of stuff it could be and we'd all be guessing. My bet's an infection in your process. US-05 is a fine yeast and millions of US homebrewers root for it.
 

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