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Old 04-15-2009, 02:54 PM   #1
kingoslo
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Default Fermation temps for Wyeast #3944 Belgian Wit

Hello my friends,

I am wondering what the difference in flavour of the final brew will be if i vary the fermation temperature for this strain.

I am making a Hoegaarden clone.

Thanks,
Marius

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Old 04-15-2009, 03:21 PM   #2
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This is an excellent yeast that produces wonderful phenols and esters if fermented at the right temperature. I start in the 66-68 range and raise the temp to 72 as fermentation dies down. If you get much higher than that, you can end up with solvent-like notes, as well as smoky/burned plastic notes, which distract from the character of witbier.

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Old 04-15-2009, 03:23 PM   #3
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the hoegaarden clone might be better with the 3942 strain. the 44 strain concentrates on the maltiness of your grain bill, whereas the 42 strain will bring out the citrus flavor from the orange peel a little better. if you were cloning a blue moon, youd go with the 44 strain. the varying of temperature in this strain wont impact the final flavoring much more differantly than it would any other strain. i would let it rest at a higher temp once fermentation is complete because the begian wit variety, like most, does not have diacetyl. but for the most part, when i use the 3944 strain, i like it to ferment at between 66-70.

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Old 04-15-2009, 03:31 PM   #4
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The key is to get it over 72*F or you won't get enough character out of the yeast.

From a smack pack I make a 1L oxygenated starter at the very start of the brew day which is shaken regularly throughout the brew (or you can use a stir plate). Once it starts visibly fermenting, 6-8 hours, I pitch that into 65*F wort and ferment at room temp in a water bath which varies between 74*F and 76*F.

Foam control drops are recommended, if you don't use them be sure to use a blowoff or you'll likely end up using a mop on the ceiling the next day.

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Old 04-15-2009, 03:36 PM   #5
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I am a bit conused. I am told 66-68 by ArcaneXor, and much higher than 72 gives me solvent like tones. On the other hand Saccharomyces says i have to get it over 72 to get enough character.

Waiting for some more opinions.

Thanks,
Marius

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Old 04-15-2009, 03:48 PM   #6
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Solventy or burnt flavors sounds like underpitching/not enough O2? This yeast produces H2S when stressed, and probably fusels. A healthy fermentation is more important with the Belgian strains than the cleaner ale yeasts in my experience.

As I mentioned I pitch a 1L active starter and I also aerate the wort with an O2 stone.

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Old 04-15-2009, 04:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saccharomyces View Post
Solventy or burnt flavors sounds like underpitching/not enough O2? This yeast produces H2S when stressed, and probably fusels. A healthy fermentation is more important with the Belgian strains than the cleaner ale yeasts in my experience.

As I mentioned I pitch a 1L active starter and I also aerate the wort with an O2 stone.
That's probably the difference - I like to stress this yeast a little bit top get more esters out of it, so I underpitch slightly and compensate for that by keeping the temps a little on the cool side to keep the phenols in check. I do aerate normally and give it a small amount of nutrients. The results are generally excellent. For what its worth, Jamil Zainasheff uses the same temp range as I do, although his recipe is somewhat different from mine.

Ultimately, as with all things beer, there are many ways to achieve your goals, and what works best on your system can only be determined by repeated trials and revisions.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:04 AM   #8
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Anyone else have any other thoughts on temp preferences? My first batch fermented in the low 60s. Very good beer but not as much yeast character as I was hoping for. My current batch started around 68 and is currently up to about 72... at 48 hours. Should I hold it here or let it rise into the mid 70s?

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Old 06-13-2012, 01:00 AM   #9
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Bump.

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Old 06-13-2012, 02:05 AM   #10
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Incidentally, I have another Wit fermenting right now, at 70 degrees. I will report on how it turns out.

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