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Yeast taste from new beer

Around two and half months ago, I brewed a Pale Ale from a recipe that I thought would be a fun experiment. I used Wyeast American Pale II 1272. My numbers were spot on. After bottling, I let it set for two more weeks, and when I opened the first bottle, it had beautiful color and aroma, but did have a hint of yeast to the nose. The head of over two fingers high, and laced the glass beautifully. But while the head was still present, not only was the yeast there in smell, but slightly in taste as well.

My buddy who helped my brew it stopped by, and he let the head dissipate, and he found both the smell and taste of the yeast was hardly there. I did use a spin plate with the yeast starter, and before bottling, I cold crashed it in the frig for two days. What could be causing the yeast characteristics that seem to resemble a Belgian ale? Thanks to all who may reply.

Fermenting too warm can cause yeast to produce unwanted esters. What temp did you ferment at?

When you poured, you decanted the beer off the yeast, right?

Two weeks is pretty early to start drinking. IMO every beer needs to sit 3-4 weeks for bottle conditioning and will continue improving from there for a couple months. Sure, some of the bottles may be carbed after two weeks. But you will probably find inconsistency across multiple bottles, and the beer still needs to mature. The beer should taste cleaner with more age. I’ve even found that kegged beer improves considerably after 3-6 weeks typically.

I fermented at around 68 F in the basement in one of the dark rooms. The basement is unfinished and the floor is concrete, though I did place a board underneath the carboy(s). My first guess was more bottle conditioning, but I’ve been reading some articles and some books which say a couple of weeks it typically enough. Bottling sugar was the typical 5 oz corn sugar, 16 oz of boiled water. The IBU is 56, and the ABV is 6.6.

When you say it was fermented around 68°F, do you mean that was the beer temp or ambient temp? Yeast activity during fermentation raises the beer temp, so actual fermentation temp would be higher than the ambient temp by approx. 2-4 degrees. That would still be within specification for 1272, but you should expect it to produce more esters. Much better to ferment in the low-mid 60s if you want cleaner aroma and flavor.

Regarding bottle conditioning, you got some bad info. Two weeks is rarely enough to properly carb and condition a beer. But I’m just some stranger on the internet. :wink: Let it ride, taste one every week and observe how it cleans up over time. You’ll be amazed how different it tastes over the next couple months.

Wintertime temp in my basement is a steady 60 degrees. During active fermentation, carboy temp would rise to 66-68 for a couple days before dropping back down. If 68 was the OP’s ambient, I’d guess the beer could have easily hit 73-74+ degrees. That could potentially introduce some yeast character.

From my limited experience, unwanted “yeasty” character ended up being a sanitation issue. Particularly, my bottles cleaning regimen needed improvement. At first, I thought it a “Belgian” funk, but it turned out to be a “whatever was in the bottles” funk. Thorough cleaning with PBW and a Star San dunk prior to bottling was my path to clean, tasty beer.

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