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Old 08-01-2013, 10:58 AM   #1
CarnieBrew
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Default 3068 low temp ferment finishing high

I've done a number of extract hefe and dunkelweizen brews with Wyeast 3068 over the last few months, since discovering that fermenting my brews at 17C (62.6F) gave me the exact flavour profile I was chasing (similar to a Weihenstephan hefe/dunkel).

The beers have come out great, particularly the dunkel, terrific mouthfeel, great aroma, and that bready/malty caramel almost chocolate flavour you get from a commercial version.

Interestingly though, I'm getting a final gravity of around 1019, with a starting gravity around 1052. That's an attenuation of less than 65%. When I've fermented higher with this yeast, I've had lower finishes, around 1015. But I much prefer the result from the lower ferment temp.

I'm not all that worried about it, I've done forced ferment tests and the beers are always fully fermented, and they carb up perfectly when bulk primed. I'm just curious if anyone's had a similar result with low temp ferments on 3068?

I've always used yeastcalc.com to determine my starter volumes, with a view to under-pitching at around 80% of optimal (e.g. 150 billion in 5 gallons). Not that pitch rate has a lot to do with FG as I understand it.

My fermentation is normally complete within 5 or 6 days, at which point I raise the temp up to 68F, and I've even given the fermenter a swirl (which doesn't really seem necessary given 3068 is such a low floccer). Then I leave it another week, at which point it's still at around 1019...I bulk prime, bottle, and am drinking it 5 or 6 days later.

My recipe is similar to that in "Brewing Classic Styles", but that recipe suggests an FG of around 1013, as do the BJCP guidelines. 3.5kg (7.7lb) of CBW Bavarian Wheat LME, 350gm (12oz) of crystal grain.

Any other hefe/dunkel extract brewers out there using 3068 at ~62F? What final gravity do you get?

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Old 08-01-2013, 12:03 PM   #2
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I've run 3068 at 62 degrees a bunch, with hefeweizens and a weizenbock. Every time I used it, after a week or so of fermenting at 62 I cranked the temperature up to 70 for another week or two and it's finished with no problems.

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Old 08-01-2013, 12:13 PM   #3
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I have always brewed my hefes at 74F with wyeast 3068. The recipe I used said to use the top end of ferm temps and it finishes in 5 or 6 days with a nice clove/banana hint to it.

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Old 08-01-2013, 12:58 PM   #4
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My last Hefe was using a Northern Brewer kit with WY3068. I started the ferment at 62° and held it at that temp for 5 days. I then let it rise and finish at 64°. I overpitched the yeast to get a more spice forward flavor rather than banana. Bottled after 26 days in the primary with a FG of 1.012. Very tasty. Will use this same method again.

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Old 08-02-2013, 09:13 AM   #5
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Hmmm, seems I might be alone here. I have also fermented with 3068 at 74F, and while the hefe was good, I much prefer the result with the 62F ferment.

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Old 08-02-2013, 12:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnieBrew View Post
Hmmm, seems I might be alone here. I have also fermented with 3068 at 74F, and while the hefe was good, I much prefer the result with the 62F ferment.
2 out of the 3 people that replied said they ferment at 62, not sure why you think you're alone with that?

The 62 degree ferment is definitely the way to go. But after active fermentation is over (and the flavor profile is locked in), bumping the temperature up a bit is a good way to ensure attenuation. I do this with most beers where I'm worried about attenuation, and I don't think I'm alone.
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zachattack View Post
2 out of the 3 people that replied said they ferment at 62, not sure why you think you're alone with that?

The 62 degree ferment is definitely the way to go. But after active fermentation is over (and the flavor profile is locked in), bumping the temperature up a bit is a good way to ensure attenuation. I do this with most beers where I'm worried about attenuation, and I don't think I'm alone.
No, sorry, what I mean is I'm alone in having a 62F ferment and a 1019 finish. I too have upped the ferment temps into the low 70's, for as long as 10 days, and it hasn't budged the gravity at all.
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zachattack View Post
2 out of the 3 people that replied said they ferment at 62, not sure why you think you're alone with that?

The 62 degree ferment is definitely the way to go. But after active fermentation is over (and the flavor profile is locked in), bumping the temperature up a bit is a good way to ensure attenuation. I do this with most beers where I'm worried about attenuation, and I don't think I'm alone.
The OP is alone because of the lower attenuation. Not the fermentation temperature.

I am not sure what would cause the lower attenuation. The only thing from what you mentioned is the underpitching. I know you said it does not really affect attenuation, but perhaps try to do 200 billion for the batch and see what happens.
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:34 PM   #9
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I've always operated the 68 strain (from either Wyeast or White Labs) at about 62 and found the results excellent. I don't have my logs with me (away for the summer) but don't think I ever got an ADF as low as the 63% as indicated by 1.052 ---> 1.019. I believe I'd remember that. Nor have I ever raised the fermentation temperature as terminal gravity is approached. Now I've never done this with extract so perhaps that's where the explanation lies. Extracts are infamous for low levels of FAN. Not saying that is the cause but rather suggesting it as a possibility. Did you oxygenate? Again, just a suggested possibility.

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Old 08-02-2013, 12:35 PM   #10
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Gotcha, my bad. Try warming it up a bit at the end next time! Even with a strong weizenbock (I think ~1.080 OG) I had no problem with attenuation. 1 week at 62, 2 weeks at 68 or 70.

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