I have homebrewed with family many times and never had problems, nor did I with my first batch on my own. The last couple, however, have had a yeasty/cidery/apple odor. Very strong. I doubt it is contamination; I am very careful about that. I must have introduced some systematic error in my brewing. The beers:
Strong Ale something like an Arrogant Bastard. I can post a link to the recipe on brewersfriend.com if needed. It hit the FG exactly, but smelled extremely strong. 4 weeks in primary, well temp controlled. 68 for first two weeks, 70 for second two, and due to a loss of power (apartment flooded) high 70's for the last two weeks. I decided to bottle the stuff and age it anyway. In hindsight I probably should have left it on the yeast? After aging 3 weeks, the smell is not as strong and the taste is correct.
Hazelnut Brown ale. 68 for first week, 70 for a few days, 72 for a few days. All activity in blow-off stopped after 11 days, at 14 opened to see if ready for bottling, but it has a fair amount of yeast/apple/cider smell. I threw the lid back on and have it aging in the mid 70's. The FG is still a little high, but only be a few thousandths. I assume this one is just not done?
Other notes, I used starters for both and made sure to pitch a lot of yeast. Wyeast 1056 for the first, and a mixture of White Labs English and European Ale yeast (WLP002 and WLP011 I think) for the latter. The fermentation was extremely vigorous on the second day of each, to the point where I have to use a quick disconnect tube fitting to keep the blow-off tube on. Blew tons of krausen and beer out the top.
Should I continue to age the two? And what do you think is causing this so that I can avoid it?
Thanks! Sorry for the wall-o-text.
Edit: The smell has a slight cider smell to it, but it smells mostly like a fresh vial of liquid yeast. But very, very strong in the AB clone. Maybe a bit of apple. My best idea is that I stressed the yeast and it did not finish the conversion of the acetylaldehyde into ethanol. As far as sanitation, I have a second primary bucket, which I fill with water and iodine solution. Usually I put in a bit more than is needed. All utensils stay in that unless in use. I apply the solution to the primary and the pot I use (I have to do extract for the next couple months until I move into a house). I usually leave a bit on there. I also have a squirt bottle I fill with the stuff to make sure things are sanitized. Some items which are hard to get water into such as a bottling spicket, I will soak, then pout throught he dishwasher's sanitize cycle, then soak again. I am thinking from now on to use StarSan and sanitize all surfaces in my kitchen as well, including outside of all vessels. I am brewing today and that is my plan so far.