help with green apple off flavor?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by TigerDriver91, May 20, 2018.

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  1. TigerDriver91

    TigerDriver91 Initiate (150) Jan 17, 2017 Czech Republic

    Hi, I just cracked open a bottle of my 2nd homebrew attempt (first one was a total disaster). I am doing small batch (2 gallons). The beer looks ok, but is lacking in aroma, and flavor has a green apple/cider off flavor.
    I noticed that it had an almost apple juice like aroma present on bottling day.
    Here is the recipe:
    Yeast: Safale S-04
    64% 2 row
    21% flaked oats
    10% white wheat
    5% carapils
    OG 1.060
    FG 1.015
    0.25 oz Mosaic / 0.25oz Nelson / 0.25oz Chinook at flameout.
    1 oz galaxy dry hop at day 3
    1 oz lemondrop dry hop at day 3
    Bottled on day 7. I used carb drops instead of priming the bottling bucket.
    It has been bottle conditioning for 7 days now, it is still undercarbed it seems to me, but it also has this green apple off flavor. I put one bottle in the fridge over night and cracked it today. Will that green apple off flavor go away with more time? Maybe in another week? My second question, is it normal to have a somewhat ciderish smell on bottling day already? Or is something already wrong at that point in time that I need to catch earlier? It smelled like a combo of hops / apple cider.
    Can pitching too much yeast cause such a flavor? I am doing two gallons, but I pitched 3/4 of the dry yeast packet into the glass carboy.
    Thanks in advance.
    Sorry for the noob questions, just trying to figure out what I can do to improve next time.
    It at least looks good:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Push_the_limits

    Push_the_limits Initiate (60) Feb 8, 2018 Antarctica

    Not at all noob questions! That flavor can indicate that the beer is immature and needs to condition longer.

    From what I know, green apple flavor is normal in some American Lagers. It can taste grassy or cidery too, and can be caused by removing the beer from yeast too soon, premature flocculation, lack of oxygen in the wort to begin with, bacteria, or oxidation.

    The flavor you taste is caused by an intermediate compound in the production of alcohol. Some yeast make more of it than others.
     
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  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,550) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    A green apple flavor is classically associated with perceptible levels of acetaldehyde.
    That is indeed possible. During bottle conditioning a secondary fermentation is occurring and perhaps with more time in the bottle the yeast will 'process' the acetaldehyde.

    For future batches it is a best practice to let the yeast process the acetaldehyde during primary fermentation.

    How long was the batch in the primary before you decided to bottle?

    Cheers!
     
  4. TigerDriver91

    TigerDriver91 Initiate (150) Jan 17, 2017 Czech Republic

    Thanks for the input.
    It was in primary for 7 days, or I bottled it on the 7th day. Brewed it on a Sunday and bottled it on the following Sunday. Didn't transfer to secondary, just dry hopped in primary, transferred to bottling bucket. I thought 7 days in the primary would be long enough, maybe I should wait a little longer next time?
    Thanks again for the help.
     
  5. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,550) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    You can learn more about acetaldehyde here:

    https://beerandbrewing.com/off-flavor-of-the-week-acetaldehyde/

    Permit me to highlight: “Avoid racking beer off the yeast trub before fermentation is complete.” In other words do not package (bottle) your beer until the yeast has ‘cleaned up’ the acetaldehyde that was produced earlier during primary fermentation.

    Cheers!
     
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  6. TigerDriver91

    TigerDriver91 Initiate (150) Jan 17, 2017 Czech Republic

  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,550) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    And for certain (most?) batches that may indeed be the case. The yeast 'rules' the fermentation schedule.
    Considering what seems to have occurred for this batch that may be prudent.

    Do you take gravity samples of your beers? Did you measure the final gravity of this batch? I personally make it a practice to taste my final gravity samples to ensure there are no off flavors - this is part of my ongoing QA/QC process of homebrewing.

    Cheers!
     
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  8. TigerDriver91

    TigerDriver91 Initiate (150) Jan 17, 2017 Czech Republic

    The final gravity sample I tasted had this cidery flavor, so I guess that's a point for me to have waited longer actually.
     
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  9. wasatchback

    wasatchback Devotee (412) Jan 12, 2014 Tajikistan
    Trader

    What temp did you ferment the beer at? SO4 can produce some really weird flavors if fermented warm. It’s most likely acetaldehyde but a warm ferment with S04 could be adding to the off flavors.
     
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  10. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,550) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    BINGO!!

    Cheers!
     
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  11. TigerDriver91

    TigerDriver91 Initiate (150) Jan 17, 2017 Czech Republic

    My only format of temp control was putting some ice packs in the milk crate where the glass carboy was, and running the apartment airconditioner. It seemed to stay around 68 F, but I can't be 100% certain, I mainly checked in on it a couple times a day to swap out the icepacks, but it for sure could have been hitting 70 at some points?
     
  12. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (2,027) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Society

    It's better to wait a little longer than to not wait long enough. As you develop and stabilize your process, you'll learn what works. Tasting before packaging is always a good idea, but doesn't always tell the whole story. With acetaldehyde, tasting is generally good enough. But with diacetyl (buttery flavor/aroma) , for example, the beer can taste clean, but diacetyl can still be made (because some amount of its precursor is still in the beer). In that case, longer time can ensure that the precursor can be converted to diacetyl, and then absorbed by the yeast.
     
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  13. wasatchback

    wasatchback Devotee (412) Jan 12, 2014 Tajikistan
    Trader

    If you don’t have temp control I’d suggest maybe a more forgiving strain that is cleaner at higher temps. US-05 or Bry97 would be better if you want to make IPAs with dry yeast. Bry97 will give you a hazier beer than US05 if that’s what you’re going for. So4 at 68-70 can get a little weird.
     
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  14. TigerDriver91

    TigerDriver91 Initiate (150) Jan 17, 2017 Czech Republic

    Awesome, thanks for the info. I think my things for next batch are to let it sit on the yeast a bit longer and try a different yeast, as I'm not sure I'll be able to get it below 68 currently.

    Can you still brew a hazy with US-05? Or does it drop pretty clear?

    I guess I'm not to worried about that currently, and should focus on solving the green apple/cider problem first....

    Thanks again for the feedback and insight everyone.
     
  15. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,560) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Society

    Here's a link to the applicable page from John Palmer's book, How To Brew. http://howtobrew.com/book/section-4/is-my-beer-ruined/common-off-flavors

    If you haven't read the book, it's free to read online (first edition). The 4th edition is available in good bookstores or online sites for around $16-$18 if you want a hard copy to highlight, write notes, etc.
     
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  16. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,964) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Society

    Let your beer condition warm for a couple more weeks. My guess is the green apple will go away.
     
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  17. TigerDriver91

    TigerDriver91 Initiate (150) Jan 17, 2017 Czech Republic

    Thanks to everyone for the feedback, cracked another one last, about two weeks out from bottling, and it has improved a lot, the green apple flavor has dropped out. Thanks again.
     
  18. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,061) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Is s04 related to wlp002? I had a friend who used 002 for everything and his beers always tasted like apples.
     
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  19. Granitebeard

    Granitebeard Initiate (123) Aug 24, 2016 Maine

    Yes most generic British ale strains show/state that they can produce apple flavors. I have had a few in some brews. Sometimes it is nice, others not so much.
     
  20. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Disciple (300) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    Your friend makes you drink young beer. 04 is not related to 02.
     
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  21. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,061) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Nope. Not young beer. Picked it up in a year old barleywine of his.
     
  22. TigerDriver91

    TigerDriver91 Initiate (150) Jan 17, 2017 Czech Republic

    hmm... interesting. I chose s04 because I had read on forums that it was a good dry yeast for NE IPAs? I'm thinking to use US-05 next time.....
     
  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,550) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    I used S-04 to brew a 'NEIPA' and that yeast worked well for that purpose. I brew with US-05 a lot but I would never, ever use that yeast for a 'NEIPA'.

    Cheers!
     
  24. TigerDriver91

    TigerDriver91 Initiate (150) Jan 17, 2017 Czech Republic

    If you don't mind, can I ask why? Will the beer drop clear and too crisp?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  25. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Disciple (300) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    S04 is fine for a NE ipa. 05 is too clean and offers no character besides a clean fermentation.
     
  26. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Disciple (300) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    Then ur friend makes bad beer. I’ve used 02 a few times and never have I ever had green apple. Maybe he didn’t make a proper starter for such a big beer such as a barley wine?
     
  27. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,061) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Yeah, he did. Any time he used wlp002 he got green apple. Never had an issue with wlp001.
     
  28. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Disciple (300) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    Wierd never had the issue. It’s @VikeMan house yeast and I wonder if he can chime in.
     
  29. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (2,027) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Society

    I haven't noticed any particular propensity for acetaldehyde/green apple with WLP002/Wyeast 1968 (haven't noticed it in a finished beer), and IIRC haven't had it detected by friends, event attendees, or beer judges. Some potentially salient points: I generally use this strain in the mid to high 60s (and keep active temp control all the way through) and oxygenate the wort appropriately for the gravity. I also crash and decant my starters, and use yeast nutrient in both the starters and the beer wort. Also, the strain is a fast flocculator. I would say that just because you start to see a lot of yeast at the bottom doesn't mean that there aren't still a lot of active cells in suspension, doing their thing (including acetaldehyde cleanup). Every beer/yeast strain has acetaldehyde. The important thing is to allow the yeast to reduce it.

    @SFACRKnight: how does your friend's post fermentation process look regarding O2? Alcohol can be oxidized, producing acetaldehyde. Also, you mentioned that all his beers have it. Have you ever had a Fuller's beer? If so, did you taste green apple in that beer?
     
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  30. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,550) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Yup, US-05 will not yield the characteristics of a 'NEIPA' beer.

    Cheers!
     
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  31. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,061) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Never got it from fullers. He fermented in kegs, transferred with co2. He never tasted it.
     
  32. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Initiate (0) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    This
    I think some are confusing acetaldehyde with diacetyl...1968/002 is notorious for the latter
     
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  33. StupidlyBrave

    StupidlyBrave Initiate (74) Jan 2, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I've had a commercial brewer tell me they used chico for their NEIPA. I didn't get the sense that it was used because it was superior - but that it was satisfactory and plentiful. I was surprised.
    That beer got good reviews here.
     
  34. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,550) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    What brewery/brand are you referencing here?

    Did they do something 'extra' to the grain bill for this beer?

    A fellow homebrewer sent me a split batch of a Juicy/Hazy Pale Ale with half being fermented with Wyeast 1318 and the other half with Wyeast 1056 (Chico). The 1318 version was murky/turbid/opaque with soft mouthfeel while the 1056 was much clearer in appearance and it lacked a soft mouthfeel.

    Cheers!
     
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  35. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,061) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Maybe flour is being utilized.
     
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  36. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,550) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Jason, maybe you have the 'answer' here?

    I am philosophically not a fan of brewers adding flour to get the turbid/murky/appearance of the so called 'NEIPA' beers.

    Cheers!
     
  37. StupidlyBrave

    StupidlyBrave Initiate (74) Jan 2, 2009 Pennsylvania

    We're pretty far off-topic already -I'll just send a PM.

    More on topic would be an emphasis on yeast health in future batches to minimize the off-notes described here. Proper oxygenation, nutrition, et cetera.
     
  38. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Initiate (0) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    I'm surprised there aren't more green apple and butterscotch bombs when brewing under-conditioned NEIPAs...might be hard to pick up in something so juicy, and one-dimensional
    :astonished:, imho
     
  39. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,061) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    1056 beer can be hazy-ish when they are young, and I am sure chill haze, protein haze, and hop haze may all contribute to the early haziness of those beers, but they quickly drop clear. It's not a certain answer, but merely speculation. I would love to be included in that PM.
     
  40. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,550) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    @StupidlyBrave

    Cheers!
     
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