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Old 02-02-2012, 04:56 AM   #1
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Default Experts please help! Shrimpy Hefe-Weizen

I hope that someone on here can help. After I post this I will try emailing Wyeast and White Labs to see if the reps there have any help for me. Here is the background info: I Love Hefes, but I can't seem to make one that doesn't have this shrimp-like sulphury off flavor. I have experimented with different ingredients, different water, fermented high, fermented low, switched out equipment, and lastly tried kegging, but I still get the shrimpy flavor. So I've narrowed it down to the yeast. I have tried both White labs 300 and Wyeast 3068. Both direct pitched and made good sized starters. Used fresh and washed yeast and top cropped yeast...and still all of them have this flavor. At this point I am getting so annoyed by this that I feel like giving up on this style.
So what I am asking for is an explanation of the specific circumstances that allow the weihenstephan strain to produce excessive sulphur. And what processes can I follow in future batches to avoid the excessive sulphur.
I should warn you that I am a super taster... have been ever since chemo, and I would really like to get past this aroma and taste, but I can't.
I know that many fantastic hefes are produced every day, I just want to be among that crowd. Help please!



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Old 02-02-2012, 05:23 AM   #2
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Ive found that it happens at low fermentation temps. I couldnt tell you the science behind it though. It discipates in primary with my beers. In fact i use that to tell me when to bottle. I think the sulfur is driven away by co2, so raising the temp to around 70 before cold crashing could make a difference. Thats my method anyway.



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Old 02-02-2012, 12:13 PM   #3
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Try a bottle of a commercially brewed hefe such as Hogaarden. If you are a "super taster" perhaps the beer is fine and you simply don't prefer that style.

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Old 02-02-2012, 12:18 PM   #4
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If you have a favorite commercial hefe drink it then harvest the yeast. I did this with FD in heat wheat and it is the best wheat i have ever done.

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Old 02-02-2012, 01:04 PM   #5
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We actually enjoy MANY commercial examples... That's my issue. I can't seem to pin down why mine taste shrimpy and theirs don't. I know I have a good recipe... The one time it came out well it took 1st place at a local competition. Im usually not trying to rush them & bottle or keg too early. They usually have a few weeks in primary (2-4).

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Old 02-02-2012, 01:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbethenstein View Post
We actually enjoy MANY commercial examples... That's my issue. I can't seem to pin down why mine taste shrimpy and theirs don't. I know I have a good recipe... The one time it came out well it took 1st place at a local competition. Im usually not trying to rush them & bottle or keg too early. They usually have a few weeks in primary (2-4).
What temp?
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:39 PM   #7
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The last one was at 62 deg in a swamp cooler. The one before that was at 65 ambient. Before that 68 ambient.... I even had one I fermented in our pantry at 76-80.... Banana bomb, then came the shrimpy sulphury. I only recently started using the swamp cooler.

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Old 02-02-2012, 01:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
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The last one was at 62 deg in a swamp cooler. The one before that was at 65 ambient. Before that 68 ambient.... I even had one I fermented in our pantry at 76-80.... Banana bomb, then came the shrimpy sulphury. I only recently started using the swamp cooler.
Wow, that's strange. I did my graduate work on olfaction. I think there are a bunch of reports of chemo altering olfaction. It's so weird that the commercial examples don't taste that way too though. Any other beers of your give you that taste? What about the grains you are using for these recipes? Side note, Shrimpy Hefeweizen sounds like the worst idea for a beer ever.
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:58 PM   #9
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Try a bottle of a commercially brewed hefe such as Hogaarden. If you are a "super taster" perhaps the beer is fine and you simply don't prefer that style.
FYI, that is a Wit, not a Hefe.

To the OP, DANSTAR has a dry German Wheat yeast you may want to give a shot.
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:10 PM   #10
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Have you tried ramping the temp? For example, ferment at 64 till activity slows (only a few days), then bump up to 68 or 70? That would be different than fermenting the whole time at 70.

For me it's the change in temp that drives off the sulfur. This is purely anecdotal evidence and nothing remotely scientific. Though I suspect, as seabass said, it's the CO2 coming out of solution that carries away the sulfur.

Also, we know this yeast is a beast and works quickly (My last one went from 1.052 to 1.016 in less than 48 hours, at 64 degrees). So they finish quick and poop out. Raising the temp wakes 'em back up to finish their job. Again, purely speculative, but this has worked for mine. Loads of sulfur before, not even a hint after.

EDIT: I'm no super taster, but am very sensitive to off flavors.



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