Time to restart from scratch?
Last night I harvested second generation California Ale yeast from an IPA fermentation. As I suspected there is a flavor profile that tells me I fermented at too high a temp. I call it the gameybrew taste. Is there a more scientific reference for what causes this flavor. My real question - can I reuse this yeast for additional batches if I keep the temp in the right range or is it forever compromised to produce this off flavor?
Need more information:
Assumes your flavor profile is due to temperature, sounds like no by your description of "gameybrew". What temp did the ferment get to? You need to identify if the elevated temperature was the cause. If it was something else (and the list is long) then I would not use the yeast. How long has the beer been sitting on the yeast? Find a flavor wheel and identify the flavor defect, this will help figure it out. You need to identify the flavor first. I don't think you will find "gameybrew" is on the wheel but I would interpret "gameybrew" to be an infection or autolysis. Also, post your process/times/data for the batch so that maybe someone can chime in on other possible causes.
Best of luck,
I suspect that the yeast has autolysed and is giving off this flavour as a result of this. If the yeast has autolysed, then it will not be fit for repitching. Autolysis - promoted by insufficient wort aeration, low zinc, yeast strain (some are susceptible to rapid autolysis) but mainly temperatures too high for too long. the temperature during the vigorous earlier stages of fermentation are not normally the problem. It is when the main gravity drop has finished and the yeast starts settling that high temperatures are literally the real killer. Try and remove sufficient yeast for pitching as soon as it has settled at the bottom or on the top if using top crop yeast. The residual yeast will cause less of a problem, but you need to cool as soon as possible once the VDK is OK.
Dick was spot on. That's the answer I ended up with after some onsite consultation. Sorry it took me so long to get back. Tis the season...busy busy busy