All my lager kits come out with an apple flavour

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All my lager kits come out with an apple flavour

Postby MrBoy » Thu Dec 07, 2017 14:52

I've noticed this on the 3 lager kits (using ale yeast) I've done. On the Corona-style one it was fine, but on the Pilsner less so. It's not unpleasant just not what I'm expecting.

I run a temperature controlled brew-fridge normally at 20C but on the last one I reduced it to 19C because I know this sort of thing can be esters from over-cooking the yeast... same thing. It's an ale yeast and the kit says 20C. The various thermometer strips on my FVs and so on all agree with each other and the fridge temperature readout so I'm pretty sure it is not miscalibration (and the probe is insulated to the FV not floating in the air).

Could it just be a limitation of these kind of kits? Should I run them even colder like 16C for several weeks against the instructions?
The only other thought I had was whether my initial temperature when pitching the yeast might be too high - but would high temperature just for the first hour or so before the yeast has really even gotten started cause this?
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Re: All my lager kits come out with an apple flavour

Postby robwalker » Thu Dec 07, 2017 14:56

You doing the 1 cans? Anything with a kilo of sugar will throw out acetyldehyde like nobodies business. Fortunately it'll dissipate over a few weeks. Try to aerate as you pitch, feed the yeast with a teaspoon of marmite or nutrient. It may just be you're confusing fruity esters from the ale yeast, but with such an accurate descriptor I'd say it's sugar or stressed yeast.
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Re: All my lager kits come out with an apple flavour

Postby jkp » Thu Dec 07, 2017 15:11

Ethyl Hexanoate is another apple like ester. Some strains of yeast produce more than others, but usually high fermentation temperature leads to increased levels.

Are you sticking to the yeast that comes with the kit? If so, try another yeast. Nottingham or US-05 fermented cool would work ok in a fake lager.

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Re: All my lager kits come out with an apple flavour

Postby MrBoy » Mon Dec 11, 2017 00:40

I think I've had the same with a cheap kit... Fine... And with a deluxe 2 can kit which I expected more from.

I don't recall it with ales... Maybe I should just buy cheap lager and make nice ales!

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Re: All my lager kits come out with an apple flavour

Postby john luc » Mon Dec 11, 2017 13:16

Don't skimp on the yeast especially lager yeast. I note you are using ale yeast but add 2 packets instead of one or else make a starter and grow a larger amount of yeast. Also cut back on plain sugar and replace with some more malt extract.
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