Where did my beautiful taste go?

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elmondo

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Ok. I'm starting to think that I can taste residual yeast that has been carried over from the primary to the lager keg.
My procedure so far:
Ferment in keg under pressure . Usually 12 to 14 days. Start at 8 degrees and then raise temp to 14 degrees under 20 PSI until primary complete.
Then cool beer to 7 degrees and transfer to lagering corny keg with counter pressure. Primary keg has shortened "out" conduit. Initial cloudy sediment is discarded from primary.
Beer in lager keg is then lagered for 4 -6 weeks or longer at 1 degree.

I will try and transfer the beer to another keg after about 2 weeks to avoid having it on that fine yeast sediment. That may retain some of those flavours and prevent their breakdown.
Any thoughts?
 

hoppy2B

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I just think that you need to find the right yeast. Just keep trying different lager yeasts if you want to use a lager yeast.

One of the things I noticed when using Nottingham ale yeast was that the beer it produced had a huge caramel aroma when I used only 30 grams of Caraaroma. Hops are subdued a bit by Notto though. Try Notto if you dare, it could be what you are looking for.
 

Rocker1986

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No dramas mate. I'd done a bit of research into Pilsner Urquell when I started coming up with a recipe for a Bo Pils. I stumbled upon that site in a Google search at some stage and it was a very interesting read.

I'm not trying to clone Urquell but I thought I could take a few ideas from that and use them as a baseline to work from, and sort of adapt parts to suit my own system. I've used a version of their hopping schedule, which I'm playing with at the moment, I'll keep their times but adjust the amounts of each addition to see what it brings. I can't do decoction mashes on my system with any simplicity so I've decided on a Hochkurz schedule instead.

Anyway that's all a bit off topic, but yeah... your experience is quite mysterious and I can't really offer any help or ideas as to why it's happening. :( I can't say it's anything I've experienced in my lagers. They always taste better once they are carbonated and served, than they do in the primary. Maybe it's something to do with fermenting and lagering under pressure; being in a (relative to commercial situations) microscopic home brew scale it may have different effects than it does in large scale commercial brewing. I'm not saying it is that, but just a thought.
 

manticle

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What do you mean you can't do decoctions? All you need is a stove, a pot and a spoon.
 

siiren

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I have just done a side by side with a double decocted Oktoberfest, one bottle conditioned and one bottle filled from keg, not cpbf'ed but slow poured.
Taste wise, the bottle conditioned has about double the flavour of the comparison.
I thought it could be either oxidation or a sub prime bottle filling method, not sure how fast this occurs, or the rousing of yeast during force carbonation (yesterday)
However… The second pour from the conditioned bottle had less flavour than the first pour, probably due to the roused yeast, as with the forced carbed.
I'm thinking that yeast suspension could be a lack of flavour issue too.
With lagers anyway.
I will need to do a side by side once the keg has settled too.
 

Rocker1986

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manticle said:
What do you mean you can't do decoctions? All you need is a stove, a pot and a spoon.
Which I have, but I really can't be bothered scooping grains out of the bottom of a 40 litre urn into a pot then walking up and down stairs with a pot full of hot or boiling mixture etc. Yes, I could do it, but it's too much faffing about that I can't be arsed with when I'm more than satisfied with the results from a more "normal" mash schedule. B)
 

manticle

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So you can but choose not to?
Fair enough but long way from being limited by your system.
Decoctions are pretty easy by the way - fun to do and makeca distinct difference to final flavour.
Totally unnecessary but worthwhile in my experience.
 

Rocker1986

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Yeah, it's not really limited in that sense, I could do it if I really wanted to. I actually had to do something similar on a batch recently when I attempted a full step mash but the amount of shit released by the grains at the low temperature first step caused the urn's element to keep cutting out, so I ended up draining wort into a stock pot and taking it upstairs to the stove to boil and return to the urn to bring the temp up. Not something I'm in a hurry to repeat, to be honest. :lol:

The process itself though, yes I don't think is difficult, but yeah makes for a much more enjoyable brew day not to do it at the moment at least.
 

Jack of all biers

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elmondo said:
Hi guys.
I have a problem, that when I taste my beer as I'm transferring it to my kegs, it tastes great. Full aroma, deep flavour and a lovely yeast flavour.
After a month in the kegs at 1 degree that flavour is gone. Disappeared! I'm left with a blander tasting beer. Lagering for up to 3 months hasn't brought that taste back.

I have experimented with different yeasts, including Wyeast Danish lager, Bohemian lager and Bavarian lager. Always taste great at the end of primary fermentation. Then taste gets lost....
I make pilsners, full grain mash, pitch large amounts of yeast at 8 degrees and ramp up temp slowly for a diacetyl rest at 15 degrees over two weeks usually.
My yeast starters are stepped, usually 2liters, then 4 litres and lately a 10 litre batch under Oxygen pressure. I get a huge amount of slurry from that!
Anyone else able to help with the taste dissipation problem?
Firstly, if your above fermenting schedule is correct, you won't need a diacetyl rest when pitching your yeast at 8C (as long as your yeast starter is also at the same temp as the fermentor and has had time to adjust to this temp. ie 24hrs). Otherwise your other methods are first rate in my opinion. If its the yeast flavour that is missing after a month at 1C then I'm not surprissed as it has all but settled out. If it is the flavour/aroma you describe below then...

elmondo said:
What I love about German beers is the initial smell when you crack the top off it. A mixture of aroma hops, malt and a Brewer's yeast smell. That smell is what you taste initially. I'm talking about something like Radeberger, or Bitburger pils or Flensburger.

My beer is good in the aftertaste. However, the initial smell and taste are far from what Im after.
Hard to describe that taste unfortunately. But frustrating to have had it at the end of primary and then to loose it.
Maybe, I think I know what aroma you are refering to and it is hard to put into words. I'll go out on a limb and say a combo of malt, DMS and the way the yeast deal with it (ie produce that faint rotten egg smell which is sometimes just dissernable in the above commercial beers when just opened. Do you filter out the yeast? I'm wondering if your lagering is done without yeast in the keg? If so, and you are pressurising it all with bottled CO2 then are you possibly purging, or if you don't filter, diluting the CO2 that the yeast create which would have the DMS aroma effect?

I know that the commercial beers you refer to above are also filtered, but because they are super efficient germans, who knows if they don't recycle the CO2 that they create to repressurise the kegs/bottled end product (and save the world's problem of global warming one brew at a time :D ). Because I don't keg, I could be way off and ignore me if so.
 

Yob

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Jack of all biers said:
you won't need a diacetyl rest when pitching your yeast at 8C (as long as your yeast starter is also at the same temp as the fermentor and has had time to adjust to this temp. ie 24hrs). .
pardon?
 

Jack of all biers

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Yob said:
I'll quote from Palmer rather than waffle on about my limited experience other than to say his two described methods work for me every time.

"The best way to ensure a strong, healthy lager fermentation is to pitch a much larger yeast starter than you would for an ale."... Elmondo does seem to be doing this stage of both methods which I think all will agree is best for Lagers.

"In addition, the pitching temperature should be the same as the fermentation temperature to prevent thermally shocking the yeast. In other words, you will need to chill the wort down to 45 - 55 °F (7-13C) before pitching the yeast. The yeast starter should also have been brought down to this temperature range while it was fermenting."... Elmondo seems to be doing this method. And correctly too by what he has written.

"Some brewers pitch their yeast when the wort is warmer and slowly lower the temperature of the whole fermenter gradually over the course of several days until they have reached the optimum temperature for their yeast strain. This method works, and works well, but tends to produce more diacetyl (a buttery-flavored ketone) than the previous method."... Elmondo isn't doing this method, although I do this one more often than not.

"In other words, you will need to chill the wort down to 45 - 55 °F (7-13C) before pitching the yeast. The yeast starter should also have been brought down to this temperature range while it was fermenting. A good way to do this is to pitch the yeast packet into a pint of wort at 60 °F (16C), let that ferment for a day, cool it 5 degrees to 55°F (13C) and add another pint of aerated, cool wort. Let this also ferment for a day, and cool and pitch a third and even fourth time until you have built up 2 quarts or more of yeast starter that is comfortable at 45 -55 °F (7-13C)"... This is the 24hr adjustment period for the yeast starter I was refering too above (ie his yeast starter should be brought to his starting temp of 8C 24hrs before pitching)

"To remove any diacetyl that may be present after primary fermentation, a diacetyl rest may be used. This rest at the end of primary fermentation consists of raising the temperature of the beer to 55-60 °F (13-16C) for 24 - 48 hours before cooling it down for the lagering period. This makes the yeast more active and allows them to eat up the diacetyl before downshifting into lagering mode. Some yeast strains produce less diacetyl than others; a diacetyl rest is needed only if the pitching or fermentation conditions warrant it." Palmer, John 1999 - Chapter 10.4 (http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter10-4.html)

So if Elmondo ferments at 8C for the entire primary fermentation he should be alright as the fermentation conditions don't really warrant a diacetyl rest. Even if he wants to do one anyway, as his brew may raise in temp during his fermenting period to the 15C he stated (possibly due to no temp control or possibly by design). Then he need only leave it for 24-48hr at 15C and not for 2 weeks (this is where I'm not sure if your total primary plus diacetyl rest is 2 weeks or your diacetyl rest is 2 weeks Elmondo?).
 

Jack of all biers

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Yob said:
Hardly suggesting that you won't need the d rest unless I missed something on the reading
I did put it in bold for you

Jack of all biers said:
a diacetyl rest is needed only if the pitching or fermentation conditions warrant it."
The key words in his sentence are; needed only also meaning only needed or required only. Very much suggesting (stating in fact) that a diacetyl rest is only needed if the "pitching or fermentation conditions warrant it" ergo not needed if the pitching or fermentation conditions don't warrant it.

We may just have to end up agreeing to disagree.

Edit - See the link that Elmondo put in the thread re Pilsner Urquell. http://morebeer.com/....3/urquell.html They don't raise their temp above 9C before lagering apparently so they don't do a diacetyl rest either.
 

Black n Tan

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Pitching cold reduces the amount of diacetyl precursor and may obviate the need for a diacetyl rest. However before you rack it is wise to taste a sample for diacetyl but also perform a forced diacetyl test to check for diacetyl precursor. Most people don't do this so a diacetyl rest is a good insurance policy. I pitch cold but nevertheless perform a diacetyl rest routinely. The rest will clean up other off-flavour and in my opinion make a better lager.
 

Rocker1986

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I do a diacetyl rest on all my lager batches as part of the fermentation schedule. It's routine now, but for exactly the reasons mentioned above. Haven't detected any buttery flavours so far, so it must be working. :)
 

Jack of all biers

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I'm not advocating everyone should ignore a diacetyl rest (hell I do them too when needed), just at 8C constant fermentation it probably isn't necessary if left in primary for 2 weeks.

Tests show that W-34/70 (Weihenstephan yeast) after 9 days at 10C fermentation (with no diacetyl rest) produces diacetyl 0.09 mg/L which is under the taste threshold level (0.1 mg/L) . W-206 at just 0.04 mg/L over taste threshold. Bad news is W-308 was 6.5 times the taste threshold under that test.
Read http://morebeer.com/brewingtechniques/library/backissues/issue1.2/fix.html
 

TheWiggman

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I think the concern Jack is that other factors will have a greater influence on diacetyl than pitching temp alone, namely pitching rate and yeast health. If we could pitch the equivalent of commercial rates (in the order of 60 smack packs of healthy yeast for some breweries) then diacetyl wouldn't be an issue.
 

Black n Tan

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TheWiggman said:
I think the concern Jack is that other factors will have a greater influence on diacetyl than pitching temp alone, namely pitching rate and yeast health. If we could pitch the equivalent of commercial rates (in the order of 60 smack packs of healthy yeast for some breweries) then diacetyl wouldn't be an issue.
Spot on Wiggman. Most home-brewers don't pitch enough healthy yeast and as such diacetyl is more likely so a diacetyl rest makes good sense.
 
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