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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2009 * Archive through December 01, 2009 * Diacetyl reduction < Previous Next >

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mark taylor
Intermediate Member
Username: Marktaylo

Post Number: 303
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 76.254.66.2
Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 11:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My recent English ale has a huge amount of diacetyl (butterscotch). I know that leaving the beer on the yeast cake will allow time for the yeast to reduce some of it but what if you already racked to the keg and carb'ed? Will it diminish in time? Thanks in advance.
mark
www.backyardbrewer.blogspot.com
www.thebackyardbrewer.com
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10849
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Friday, October 23, 2009 - 12:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm very sensitive to diacetyl. A tiny bit of it adds body and a buttery smoothness to British ales, but it can very quickly become what I call "Orville Redenbeer."

What yeast strain did you use? Some of them are prone to diacetyl formation, especially if underpitched or otherwise mismanaged, such as the wort not being aerated or the beer being racked too early. Another source of diacetyl is a pediococcus infection. If that is the case, things will only get worse and you will have to dump the beer.

If it's already kegged (and uninfected), your options are limited. Some people report good results with kraeusening. You would have to brew another batch of a somewhat similar style, then wait until it was at high kraeusen. Carefully rack your beer from the keg into a sanitized carboy and add about two quarts of the fermenting beer from the other batch. Keep the carboy relatively warm (about 70 F) for 4-5 days, then rack the beer back into the keg and recarbonate. If you're lucky the kraeusen beer you added will have reduced the diacetyl.
 

mark taylor
Intermediate Member
Username: Marktaylo

Post Number: 304
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 99.56.136.251
Posted on Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 12:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill,
I used Whitelabs wlp007 dry English ale yeast which is supposedly very attenuative. However in this case attenuation was 74% which seems low to me. The beer went from 1.054 to 1.014. In any case adding the kraeusen would be a major hassle now so I guess I just drink it as quickly as possible hoping that it isn't infected. Cheers.
mark
www.backyardbrewer.blogspot.com
www.thebackyardbrewer.com
 

Nathan Eddy
Intermediate Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 261
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 74.131.24.147
Posted on Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 03:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is roughly on topic . . . the biggest improvement in my homebrew has been to control fermentation temps. However, I'm still very low-tech about it (wet towel + fan in the summer, move to the basement in the fall/winter/spring). I ferment my ales around 66-68 for 5-7 days (to get a nice clean fermentation), and then I allow the temp to get up to 70-72 for a few more days to clean up any diacetyl. I'm sure you guys already know about this, but just throwing it out there.

Now, for my question. My latest brew ended up having a OG of 1.083 instead of my target 1.068-1.070. (I think my LHBS gave me more pounds of LME than I asked for.) I don't usually brew beers this big. In fact, it's the second highest OG I've ever had. So I'm worried that I didn't give it enough time in the 66F range--about 7 days--before moving it out of the basement and up into the 72F range for my "diacetyl clean-up." Once I did that, the airlock bubbles doubled in rate to around 1 per 10 seconds. However, the gravity had already dropped to 1.023 at this point, so I assumed that most of the fermentation had already taken place, and a little speed up wouldn't hurt anything as I eeked out those last few gravity points.

Am I wrong to assume this? Is it still possible to produce fusels and off flavors at this stage, or is really just doing the "clean up" fermentation that I'm hoping for? I've never seen the fermentation double in speed after warming it up 6 degress.

Yeast was US 05 dry yeast packet. Hydrometer sample was really smooth, not harsh, alcohol already well-hidden for 7.9%.

(Message edited by Nathan Eddy on October 24, 2009)
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10858
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 11:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nathan, gravity readings are a lot more accurate than timing airlock bubbles. It's difficult to say whether your time before racking was sufficient. If there was no change in the gravity after about 48 hours you could have concluded that it was probably finished.

It's unlikely there were any fusels produced after you racked the beer, but I suppose it's possible the diacetyl had not yet been reabsorbed. Do you taste an excessively buttery character in the beer?

(Message edited by BillPierce on October 24, 2009)
 

jim 81147
New Member
Username: Jim81147

Post Number: 2
Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 72.161.120.70
Posted on Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 02:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The bubble increase was more than likely the CO2 coming out of solution as the beer warmed up.
 

Nathan Eddy
Intermediate Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 262
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 74.131.24.147
Posted on Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 10:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for the responses, guys. I just wanted to be clear . . . I didn't rack, I just moved the primary upstairs where it's warmer. I'm probably going to rack to secondary tomorrow. That would give me a total of 9 days in primary. Yesterday it dropped another 2 points to 1.021. That's an apparent attenuation of 75%, so I imagine fermentation is very close to being done. I'll dry hop a couple weeks, which should give it time to finish completely.

Just curious . . . how long do you all typically leave a 1.080s beer in the primary? Do you have a fairly standard regimen, or just watch the hydrometer?
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10860
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Monday, October 26, 2009 - 01:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Let the hydrometer be your guide.
 

Joe Rovito
Intermediate Member
Username: Joez8

Post Number: 261
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 98.247.121.86
Posted on Monday, October 26, 2009 - 09:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mark: I did an imperial IPA that was undrinkable a few years ago because I racked it to soon. After about 18 months I was ready to dump the bottles - but just in case - I tasted it - and the diacetyl was gone ! So it may resolve if you can wait long enough. Of course much of the hop character had bolted as well ... but it became drinkable.
 

mark taylor
Intermediate Member
Username: Marktaylo

Post Number: 305
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 76.254.65.140
Posted on Monday, October 26, 2009 - 03:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joe thanks,
this beer is in kegs in the fridge. Maybe I should take them out and let them get up to room temp. for awhile.
mark
www.backyardbrewer.blogspot.com
www.thebackyardbrewer.com
 

Tony Legge
Intermediate Member
Username: Boo_boo

Post Number: 472
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 174.116.59.12
Posted on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 09:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I find no harm in letting my beers sit a week after primary is done before racking it
to either secondary ( lagers ) or just kegging it ( ales )
 

Nathan Eddy
Intermediate Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 264
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 74.131.24.147
Posted on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 07:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry to keep dragging the thread further off-topic, but I thought I'd keep the current tangent together.

I have no problem with letting the beer sit a week after primary, either. My concern isn't going too long, but in how fast I can get this done before my next homebrew club meeting (Nov 9th). This will be only my second meeting, and I didn't have any beer to share last time, so I wanted to be sure and have some ready a month later. Unfortunately, I messed up and brewed one too big.

Anyway, this is what I ended up doing. I racked to secondary last night (after 10 days in primary and no hydrometer change for 48 hours). But I added a twist: I put half a gallon in a growler, and dry-hopped that portion at 4 times my normal rate, so that I can shorten the time in secondary to 5 days, and have it bottle condition for a week before my meeting (hopefully it will carbonate by then). I know, that's not ideal, but the rest of the batch will have a much longer time to condition, so I'm not going to worry about it. The flat hydrometer samples are already delicious (and frankly, better than some of the homebrew I sampled at the last meeting), so I know it's not going to be bad. Maybe not spectacular, but nothing to be ashamed of, either.

Has anyone else experimented dry hopping in two different containers, with different amount of hops and/or time? At the very least, it should be interesting to compare the hop aroma between the two, and the difference in a longer conditioning time. I figure I'll get about 5 bottles out of the growler, test one before the meeting, share 2 others, and save 2 for comparing to the rest of the batch.

(Message edited by Nathan Eddy on October 27, 2009)
 

Miker
Advanced Member
Username: Miker

Post Number: 702
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 207.200.116.8
Posted on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 02:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think you're going to be disappointed in the carbonation level if you only allow one week in bottles before serving. I know you want the dry hopping, but you might want to eliminate the secondary for the portion in the growler and bottle it now and store those bottles at room temp. or maybe even a little higher to make sure they carbonate up in time.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 5968
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.118.227.254
Posted on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 03:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I like a little diacetyl in my bohemian pilsners, and purposely underpitch to try to get some in them. I have noticed that a keg that has just the right background amount of diacetyl always seems to have none by the time I get to the bottom of the keg.....and this is beer in a 35F fridge.