Ever thought of adding fruit to your Innkeeper? Well there’s no need. I went to a fellow homebrewer’s house last night and he had an Innkeeper he brewed up about 2 months ago. I’ve done my share of Innkeepers, close to 10 I’d say and none of them came close to this fruit bomb! I was simply amazed at how different the brews turned out. He used the Nottingham dry yeast and fermented mid 70’s. The temperature is what I’m “blaming” the fruitiness on. A pleasant surprise that just goes to show you that even with the same ingredients, we can make very different beers.
I did one the other year that turned out to have a bit of a fruity edge to it that was actually pretty pleasant. I believe it was last winter and I fermented upstairs and closer to the radiator than I thought because the temp shot up pretty high that first day. I most certainly wouldn’t say it was a fruit bomb, but everyone liked it and when a friend made it again it tasted nothing like mine and some people were slightly disappointed.
Yep I can’t stand the fruitiness of an English ale yeast fermented warm. In fact I’m not even a big fan of the Fullers strain just because its got a little more fruit than I enjoy. Give me the West Yorkshire strain any day. I think its because I brewed so much crappy fruity beer in my early days before I knew better.
What a shame, you should advise him of the advantage of cool ferm temps.
Can you be more specific on the fruits? Is it like a currant/raisin/prune thing, or apples/acetaldehyde?
Have never brewed a bitter (I think Innkeeper is a bitter, right?) of any strength, but my understanding is you typically want some subtle dried fruit notes coming out of the Nottingham/York/S-04 (which I think will happn when fermenting in the mid-60’s)
I ask because I really want to brew a session beer or two in the bitter or mild category.
I get a little peach and a little red berry from the Fullers strain. Not a lot, and its in Fullers ESB so its supposed to be there. I just don’t care for it that much. I let my bitters be malt focused with just enough hops to support. Its low end of style for sure, but I get my hop fix from APA so this kind of ESB makes for a nice contrast.
It wasn’t acetaldahyde. It was definitely esters from the yeast. It’s kind of hard to pinpoint the exact flavor but it was a fruity mix like fruit loops or fruity pebbles. Normally I will turn my nose up at fruity beers but this was pleasant. It really worked well with the recipe. I did encourage him to keep temps down into the 60’s. I think I’m going to play around with that yeast and see what else I can get it to do!
Interesting. I’ve heard people say US-05 throws off a peach flavor when fermented at the LOW end of the temp range (60-62*).
With you on the esters though. I need to have them in very limited quantities.[/quote]
I’ve encountered a little peach in an APA fermented with US-05 before. I think its a hint of sulfur with a slight fruitiness that gives you the sense of peach.
So I decided on this batch of Innkeeper I was going to experiment with temperature for the Nottingham dry yeast. I pitched normal at 64F with some harvested yeast from a previous batch. Got going in an hour. I kept the temp steady for 24 hours and then let it free rise to ambient, 78. I kegged it Monday, and drank it last night and I got the fruity notes I was looking for. A little subdued from my friend’s fruit bomb and drier since it got down to 1.005. I’m still amazed at how different this beer can taste. I swear side-by-side you couldn’t tell they were the same beer.