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Old 07-28-2011, 01:55 AM   #1
greatschmaltez
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Default 3068 Sourness

I'm on my second round of trying to use 3068 successfully for a hefeweizen. I'm 9 days into fermentation and there is this sourness/tartness that is present when I sample it that is very unpleasant. I made a liter starter and have temp control on 67. Had a great initial fermentation with massive foaming into the blow off tube, everything I expected. But at this point I'm puzzled and wondering if this sourness will either go away in a few days before I bottle/bottle condition or is this just an inherent characteristic of this yeast and I will never achieve a "Paulaner" like flavor with this strain. Any help would be great.

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Old 07-28-2011, 02:00 AM   #2
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I've noticed a similar flavor in some of my Hefes when they're young. It goes away after a while, unless it's an infection. IMO 9 days is a bit early to start worrying...

You said it's your second attempt? Did the last one have the same problem?

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Old 07-28-2011, 02:21 AM   #3
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Yeah, but I didn't have temperature control and didn't make a starter so I chalked that one up to inexperience. This time i dotted all my i's. The off flavor on this is similar but not as pronounced so I'm wondering if it will go away. Can it go away in the bottle or should I let it sit in the fermentor for a few more weeks? I thought with hef, 2 weeks in the fermentor was sufficient, but I'll do whatever it takes to get rid of this flavor.

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Old 07-29-2011, 02:26 PM   #4
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In my experiences, Hefe's are best brewed at lower temps ie. <65*F. It seems to help keep the esters in line. I also find that a nice, healthy 2L starter helps too. Although it doesn't sound like you're having an ester problem.
I'm not exactly sure what the sourness is you're experiencing but, depending on the cause, it might not condition out.

Hefe's can definitely be tricky at times. It's a simple brew, but relies so heavily on yeast character you don't have much wiggle room concerning fermentation temps.

A word about drinking hefe's "young..."
I find a lot of people say they're best young, but in my experience sometimes a little age helps them condition rather nicely. After a few weeks in the bottle (and a couple weeks from pitch before that) I think they're quite enjoyable. While still drinking them considerably "younger" than other beers, it's certainly not the 2 weeks I sometimes hear. The 2 weeks applies to kegging, not bottle conditioning.

Again, IMO 9 days is a little early for worrying. I'd let it sit a little longer to see if it clears up.

Would you say the flavor you're experiencing is getting worse?

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Old 07-29-2011, 10:55 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply, I think it may be getting slightly better, just sampled today, 13 days in. I think it'll definitely be drinkable and I just may not be getting the ideal balance I wanted, hence more trials needed. I'm gonna let it sit in the secondary for another week or so to make it about 3 weeks total in a fermentor, then bottle.

I'm gonna take your advice though. I'm thinking my temp needs to be around 64 or 63 for the next try, and after the primary fermentation maybe walk it up to 66 or 67 to condition. I made a liter starter this time, I guess your thinking a 2 liter starter will produce less total esters? Also I think I'm gonna use WLP300 for this next go around. Seems to be a lot of positive reviews on that one, including some from commercial producers.

This is definitely a tough style to get right on the money... But also my most favorite style do to heritage and personal preference. I'll be very happy to finally get it right.

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Old 08-11-2011, 10:32 PM   #6
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Just to followup, I guess you were right about needing more time. I went to bottle yesterday (3.5 weeks fermentation time) and the hefe tasted delicious. Good call in giving it a little more time to condition before bottling. Can't wait to taste it carbed.

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