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Old 09-25-2009, 09:08 PM   #1
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Default Why under pitch a Bavarian Hefeweizen ?

So I've decided to ferment my Bavarian Hefeweizen at 62 degrees. Now I have been reading (somewhere) that it's not a bad thing to underpitch.

Anyone know why it's not a bad thing?

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Old 09-25-2009, 09:17 PM   #2
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My guess is so the yeast have to struggle and get stressed out at their big task which would produce the off flavors that the style is known for.

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Old 09-25-2009, 09:44 PM   #3
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If you like over the top esters, it's good. Underpitching cause the yeast to have to replicate more, which in turn produces more esters.

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Old 09-25-2009, 09:56 PM   #4
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Pitching rate can affect the amount of esters expressed; ester formation is linked to the rate of growth by the yeast. Many Belgian breweries will underpitch relative to American standards to coax a greater amount of esters out of their already characterful yeasts.

This is an interesting read on the subject.

Quote:
Ester and other flavor component production or synthesis is a complex subject because there are so many variables taking place at the same time. You are right, ester production is related to yeast growth but not in the way you might think. The key element to yeast growth and ester production is acyl Co-A. It is necessary for both yeast growth and ester production. When it is busy with yeast growth, during the early part of the fermentation, it is not available for ester production. Ester production is directly related to biomass production. Everything that increases biomass production (intensive aeration, sufficient amount of unsaturated fatty acids, stirring) decreases ester production. The more biomass that is produced the more Co-enzyme A is used and therefore not available for ester production. Anything that inhibits or slows down yeast growth usually causes an increase in ester production: low nutrient, low O2. It has been noted that a drop in available O2 from 8 ppm down to 3 ppm can cause a four fold increase in esters.
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:05 PM   #5
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SO - if I'm brewing at a very cool temperature to decrease the banana aspect would under pitching counteract this?

On the Yeast site "Increasing pitch rates will reduce ester production. "

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Old 09-25-2009, 10:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinder12000 View Post
SO - if I'm brewing at a very cool temperature to decrease the banana aspect would under pitching counteract this?

On the Yeast site "Increasing pitch rates will reduce ester production. "
You're overthinking it - with Weizen yeasts, temperature is about balancing the esters and phenols that the strains are selected for. 62° is a perfect temperature for fermenting a Hefeweizen.

Increasing pitching rates will reduce ester production; this is why I don't recommend pitching directly onto a cake from a previous fermentation if esters are important to the flavor profile - the fermentation will be too clean.

In other words, build a starter according to normal pitching rates since this is your first foray into Hefeweizen to establish a baseline for future experimentation.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:37 PM   #7
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If I want a heavy ester profile, I won't even make a starter (normally, I'm religious when it comes to making starters). Say, a 1.050 Hefeweizen, I'll pitch 2 vials instead of a starter because the exponential growth phase (where the isoamyl acetate ester (banana) is typically formed) will occur completely in the beer and not in a starter. But, I like a heavy ester profile in Hefeweizens and most Belgians.

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Old 09-28-2009, 12:26 AM   #8
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I made Jamil's Hefeweizen a few months ago (from Brewing Classic Styles). I followed his instructions (ferment at 62F) and pitching rate (via starter from the Mr. Malty calculator). Turned out really well.

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Old 09-28-2009, 04:50 PM   #9
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I'm bubbling away at 62 degrees and did not use a starter. Not really by choice but a timing thing. I put in a blow off tube this morning as it looked like it was starting to really ramp up and get active.

I'm surprised I can get to 62 actually - wet towel/fan trick with a 67 degree basement.

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Old 05-26-2010, 03:32 AM   #10
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Hijack for a question,

I pitched at around 80f then put it into a cooler at 65F...am i getting banana beer???

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