Why does my beer smell like bananas?

Why does my beer smell like bananas?

The ester you are experiencing is called Isoamyl acetate . Esters don't contribute to hangovers. I had a banana flavor in my very first batch, an IPA extract. It happened in the bottle as best I could tell. I tried the beer between primary and secondary and before bottling and there was no indication of this taste.

Everything I read suggested that the yeast (Safale US-05 dry) was the culprit. I couldn't find any documentation on what to expect. Was I stuck with this banana flavor or would it wear off over time? Was this just a phase and would the yeast metabolize this by-product again?

I made my way through the batch, telling myself I would do better next time.

Well it turned out to be a phase. The IPA was awarded with increasing age. The banana taste completely disappeared (or became part of the background) and I learned a valuable lesson in patience. To be impatient, I was allowed to drink half a batch of banana special. When the taste wore off, I only had a six-pack left.

If it doesn't taste right, leave it alone. Proceed to your next batch. Open a bottle every week to see if it has changed. By the time you are six months old, you will have drunk half of the batch when tested and can make an informed decision about whether to drain the batch.