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Nukey Brown Ale gone bad...Questions!

Hi all. I brewed a Nukey Brown Ale extract kit back in Oct with S-04 dry yeast. Used a fermentation chamber to keep temps, and sanitation (as always) was top notch through the whole ordeal, meaning the pH of the Star-san solution was checked and everything was sanitized twice before touching cooled wort/beer.

The problem is that It never tasted right, always had a slight Phenolic like taste, almost taste like I used wheat beer yeast, not english ale yeast. Now its gotten pretty bad, though some bottles have been drinkable some not (Will be washing bottles before next use).

I know I pitched yeast a bit warm. Maybe 80-85 degrees at most. I also had it start to rain in the middle of chilling, and maybe I need to figure out a way to chill indoors? I have a home-made copper chiller that sat in the boiling wort for 15 mins. Everything else in the process was fine. Fermentation chamber was set to 66 degrees F, the chamber was moved by family about half way through the secondary, but they would have said something if they knocked the airlock off, and it was still filled with the proper amount of liquid, so I know that didnt cause a problem.

I am about to brew a Kolsch this weekend, and just want to make sure something didn’t go wrong. I have 5 other beers prior to the Brown Ale that all turned out good, so I think it was a combo of pitching warm and probably the rain halfway through chilling/long chilling with ice water batch that might have allowed something in. It also only fermented to 1.018 which was a bit high I think, it was fermenting for 5 weeks, with a very active fermentation for the first 3-4 days.

Thank you for any help!

Was that your first time using S-04? I made a couple of batches last fall with that yeast, the big thing I remember was that it blew off a ton, and the blowoff smelled horrible, very butterscotch-y. I let it rest/condition in the carboy for an extra week to give the yeast a chance to clean up. I also read somewhere that S-04 was high flocculating so I roused the yeast about once a day during the secondary phase. Your pitching temp wasn’t great but isn’t out of line either, the primary phase went really fast and furious for me in the mid 60’s similar to what you did. The final beer tastes great.

So i haven’t given you much in the way of solutions, other than to wait and maybe it will age out of it. Did you rack from primary to secondary too quickly and maybe the yeast didn’t have a chance?

Also - if you made your own chiller, why do you have to do it outdoors? First recommendation is to get a sink faucet adapters to convert from the aerator threads on your sink to a hose thread, hook up your home-made chiller (assuming you used a garden hose connector) and you’re good to go. I made my own years ago, one of the best things to do and an EZ way to save a ton of money. Unfortunately we remodeled the kitchen and got one of those faucets with the pull-out handle that won’t take the thread adapter, so I have to fumble the pot of hot wort to the basement and use the laundry sink. Should probably rig up a T connection under the kitchen sink to get access to the cold water line.

I have never had a bad batch with that yeast, nor have I had a bad aroma coming from the fermenter.

You need to pitch that yeast mid 60’s at the highest. I would recommend pitching at 60 and fermenting at 65-68. Pitching in the 80’s is a big no no.

I buy ice to aid in cooling my beer because my tap water cannot chill beer cold enough. I take the wort chiller out of the beer when it reaches 60-70 and use ice from there

I am drinking one of them right now. Not terrible, but not something I would give out, either.

Yes, it was first time using S-04. I let primary sit for 2 weeks, and then racked to a sanitized secondary for 2-3 weeks. I was in a little rush bottling as well, but I was careful to sanitize EVERYTHING.

This doesnt taste like a contamination, I really think it is more of an estery taste. Most bottles are drinkable, just not…good.

Yes, I know pitching it warm was a mistake. I might look into one of those faucet adaptors, my chiller is home made with a garden hose adapter. Maybe one of those rubber slip over faucet things would work like they use on portable washing machines/dish washers? I mean I use a super low pressure to chill with…hmm I might look into that if they make them!

I don’t think this taste will happen again. I won’t be pitching the yeast for the kolsch unless its in the 50’s, and I will likely top off with COLD water for that, like out of the fridge cold. I keep thinking it was just pitching too warm that got me :frowning: Dumb mistake, but we have to learn I suppose. I was gonna toss the rest of the batch (been sitting since Nov) but I keep drinking one here and there. A couple I have just outright tossed.

Found a faucet-to-garden hose adapter. That should eliminate, or at least drastically reduce the possibility of a contamination during cooling, and also allow to cool if it starts to rain out or what ever. Cooling inside I could also toss foil over and just walk away for 10 minutes and not worry. That combined with the bottled water I have high hopes for the Kolsch :slight_smile: I bought a “my heat” personal heater (200W) to heat the fermentation chamber up to hold 60F during fermentation. Now I will be able to brew year round and control my temps to within a few degrees!

Drinking a Murphy’s Irish Stout. So much better than Guinness!

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