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-   -   Priming Hefe with lager yeast-ever heard of this? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/priming-hefe-lager-yeast-ever-heard-58893/)

Bad Shark Brew 03-14-2008 12:26 PM

Priming Hefe with lager yeast-ever heard of this?
I was flipping through one of my brewing books this morning and came across something interesting. In Dave Miller's Homebrewing Guide, I found the following note under a general Wiezen recipe:

"Note: For flavor stability in hefeweizen, filter out the weizen yeast, then add lager yeast at bottling along with the primings."

Anyone ever heard of/done this before? I actually have a hefe that is ready for bottling and wondering if this is worth a shot. I typically just siphon into the bottling bucket and prime. Is there a special technique I would need to filter out the yeast?


Evan! 03-14-2008 01:11 PM

I gotta shout out a big ol' WTF!? on that one. First off, I'm curious how you "filter" out the weizen yeast without ending up with a kristalweizen (clear, filtered wheat beer), rather than an unfiltered (hefe) weizen---in other words, "hefe" means unfiltered, so the minute you filter it, it's no longer a hefe. Second, in order to filter the yeast out of a beer, you need a very small-micron plate filter with pumps and a closed system and all that noise---it's what commercial breweries use to get their non-bottle-conditioned beers so clear. I've never read Dave Miller's Homebrewing Guide, but if that doofus actually thinks that there's more than a handful of homebrewers in this country that have a plate filtering system, I'd have to wonder about his judgment on other things as well. Just sayin...

Not to mention the fact that plate filtering can strip a beer of some of its flavor...

PseudoChef 03-14-2008 01:15 PM

Hefe actually means yeast. Miller does run a brewpub in the Nashville area which is ok. It seems some of his information may be geared to the industry rather than the home, despite being a homebrewer's book.

Kaiser 03-14-2008 01:56 PM

Yes, this is common practice. Lager yeast is more stable when it comes to autolysis and that's why many commercial breweries do that. There is still Hefe in the Hefeweizen, just not the orignal one.
I tend to do this as well. Mostly b/c I prime with Kraeusen and have lager yeast around anyway and b/c the first Hefe I bottled with the Hefe yeast seemed to form flocks of foam on top of the beer that I didn't like. I'm not sure if this was related to the yeast, but ever since I cold crash the beer for about 2 wks at 50 *F and then I rack and add lager yeast Kaeusen to bottle. But I don't go all the way and filter the beer. It also has the nice effect that I can carbonate the beer in my basement.

TexLaw 03-14-2008 01:58 PM

Dave Miller is far from a doofus when it comes to brewing knowledge. Read his book, and you would see that. PseudoChef is correct that Miller tends to think more in industry terms than homebrewing, but that is because he has been in the industry for just about . . . ever. I've read that book at least a couple times and still go back to it as a reference. That quote that Bad Shark pointed out is just what is says it is: a note, a suggestion if you want to accomplish something. I agree that it might apply to very few homebrewers, but that does not mean he shouldn't put it in the book. I'll take whatever knowledge I can get.

It doesn't take an expensive plate filtration system to get yeast out of your beer, either. A five micron filter will take care of the yeast without affecting much else. I've seen articles about rigging up a filtration system where you push beer from one corny to another. From what I remember, the filters can still be fairly pricy, although I have not priced them in years.

To answer Bad Shark's question: no, I've never done it and I do not know anyone who has. At least, I do not know if anyone has done it. Filtering yeast on a homebrewing scale rarely is worth the expense and effort. I think I would just prefer to drink my hefeweizen young, if I were concerned about flavor stability.

It makes sense, though. The hefeweizen yeast that creates all that wonderful fermentation character also eliminates it by cleaning up after itself in time. A yeast that does not produce all those phenols probably would nto metabolize them, either, as it usually follows that way. Miller would know better than I would, though.


TexLaw 03-14-2008 02:00 PM


Originally Posted by Kaiser
I tend to do this as well. Mostly b/c I prime with Kraeusen and have lager yeast around anyway and b/c the first Hefe I bottled with the Hefe yeast seemed to form flocks of foam on top of the beer that I didn't like.

Pretty cool. Have you noticed increased stability, Kai?


john from dc 03-14-2008 02:26 PM

that dave miller book was the first book i ever read about homebrewing, and i have to say that i probably should've gone with papazian or mosher first. it goes in depth about a lot of the processes involved in making beer, especially ones other books just gloss over like dms and autolysis.

the problem with reading all that as a total newbie was that i filled my head with worries about a lot of the minutiae that i really didn't need to worry about at that point. i was more informed, absolutely, but what i really needed was practical advice about boiling wort on the stove, getting it in a bucket and giving the yeast a nice comfortable place to eat.

it does a great job of scientifically explaining why we do a lot of the things we do. but a lot of the techniques it recommends are just overkill for someone at my level. read his chapter on propagating yeast and you'd think you need a sterile laboratory just to make a starter.

i definitely recommend reading it, it's full of great information. but i also recommend weighing his recommendations against a lot of the other info out there about what works versus what's ideal.

p.s. i've read about that technique in several places, steven snyder's book, byo etc. every place says that "commercial german hefeweizens" are bottled this way but don't list any specific beers. anybody know for sure of a commercial example?

Bad Shark Brew 03-14-2008 04:29 PM

As john from dc pointd out, the book does go fairly in depth as far as the scientific mechanics of brewing. Needless to say, I've never really 'read' it all the way through (I'm not that smart and some of that stuff makes my head hurt:drunk: )
As I said, I was just kind of scanning through it and saw this little gem. Thought it might be worth a try. After reading through the posts, I think I'll just keg it and force carb, that way I'll be able to enjoy it tomorrow instead of waiting another month or so. Don't think it'd be worth all the hassle considering I'm happy with my Hefe recipe as is. Plus, it's supoosed to get around 80-85 here tomorrow, so a hefe would be just what the beer doctor ordered:D

Kaiser 03-14-2008 05:37 PM


Originally Posted by TexLaw
Pretty cool. Have you noticed increased stability, Kai?

I don't really have a compare and Hefes loose their attractive taste after 2 months anyway, which doesn't make me keep them around for long.


dmorrison 09-28-2011 04:58 PM

Reviving this thread to find some follow-up info about krausening hefeweizen (aka, removing the hefe yeast and secondary fermenting it and/or bottling it with lager yeast).

According to Wyeast's website, W3068 (Weistephaner) is "Sometimes used in conjunction with lager yeast and kraeusened to finish the beer and improve the overall dryness."

Sounds like it may change a hefe's taste, beyond merely extending the shelf life of the usual flavors. Has anybody executed one of these krausenings at home?

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