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Old 04-19-2009, 09:04 PM   #1
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Default Weihenstephan yeast low attenuation

Last weekend (11th) I brewed ~46 liters of Weizen that I didvided in two batches to experiment two yeast. Fermentis Safbrew WB-06 and Wyeast Weihenstephan Weizen. WB-06 was sprinkled on the wort surface and Weihenstephan was pitched directly from an activated Activator pouch (it swelled the pouch within an hour). The wort OG was 1.052 and cold to ~20°C. Batches were aerated by the mean of allowing the cold wort to fall down the fermentors then vigorously stirred with spoon at least three times within 6 hours after pitching the yeasts. Three days later the WB-06 was done at 1.012 (estimated FG) but the Weihenstephan was still ~25. Fermentors were at 18-22°C all the time. WB-06 made a ~1-1/2" thick krausen while the Weihenstephan blowed off a lot (on the floor) then calm down ~24 hours later. Today Weihenstephan was at 1.020 (8 days later). It look like it's still fermenting but I find it to be a bit sluggish. I had to rack it off lee as I need the yeast for another recipe. I siphon a bit more yeast on the secondary. Wyeast say it should attenuate ~75% (1.052 X 75% = 1.013).

What could be the possible cause for the slow/sluggish performance?

1)Too much yeast went out in the intense blow off (It's not the first time this happen to me and it never created such a problem for me).

2)Too cold (according to Wyeast it was within the range... on the low end but...).

3)It's known to be slow to attenuate (not mentioned on Wyeast web site).

4)Should have made a starter anyway (wasn't supposed too for this OG and batch volume).

5)Not enough aeration (Then why WB-06 performed so well?!).

6)Else.

Today I brewed a Dunkelweizen that I pictched directly on the Weihenstephan yeast cake. I made some further aeration.

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Old 04-20-2009, 01:07 AM   #2
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My best guess is that its a bit too cold. If you are on the low end of Wyeast's recommended range, I'd try getting the temp to a constant 22*C. I like to ferment this yeast cool (~17-18C) for a few days, then let it warm up to around 21-22C.

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Old 04-20-2009, 01:16 AM   #3
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You pitched several times more of the dry yeast than the liquid.

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Old 04-20-2009, 02:24 AM   #4
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I used the same yeast on a Honey Apple Cyder (that's how I'm spelling it for this one).

The OG was 1.100. I expected a 75% attenuation at 1.025, but it kept getting lower and lower...now it's 1.000.

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Old 04-20-2009, 02:39 AM   #5
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I believe it's the temperature you're fermenting at. My hard apple cider took 2.5 weeks to reach 75% attenuation fermenting in a room at 17*C, which is below the recommended temperatures for this yeast by a tiny margin.

Although I didn't make a starter OR aerate my juice, other than giving it a good shake before pitching the yeast.

I'm brewing a clementine Hefe right now in my 20-22*C apartment that I suspect will be nearly done next time I check on it. If I check tomorrow night it will have been 6 days since I pitched.

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Old 04-20-2009, 05:17 PM   #6
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I had problems with that yeast on my first hefe. Final gravity came out to a way too high 1.018, about .005 high than I would have liked, but I think that I should have upped the temperature at the end to finish it off. Ill have to give the recipe another run and see if the results repeat

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Old 04-20-2009, 05:52 PM   #7
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The Dunkelweizen I did and put on the Weizen yeast cake (Weihenstephan) yesterday is now bowing off (barfing) vigorously. I think the yeast is very healthy. I'll guess it's either the temperature (during the spring months, my basement is not very temperature stable at all) or it's simply the way this strain is. I moved the Weizen secondary to the first floor where it's more stable and around 20-24°C and it's active again. Let's hope for the best.

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Old 04-20-2009, 06:05 PM   #8
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I've used that strain many times and have always gotten ~ 75% attenuation. I would say it under attenuated because you didn't pitch enough yeast. If you would have made a starter it would have been a better comparison.

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Old 04-20-2009, 08:17 PM   #9
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Definitely underpitched. Your temps are fine, though. I had a pack of this yeast that I made a big 4L starter for last week, and used that on 10 gallons. I brewed the hefe on Friday, had activity by Friday night, and I'm currently at 1.013 (down from 1.050).

You also may have lost a good amount of viable yeast in the blowoff.

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Old 05-28-2009, 10:37 PM   #10
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Beer turned out fine (read excellent). I rouse the yest a couple of time and it "waked up" the yeast. Same thing for the Dunkel batch right after. Reached FG, in both case, pretty close.

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