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Old 09-14-2009, 03:43 PM   #1
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Default Hefeweizen clean-up?

I got the bug to try a Paulaner clone, so I did so this weekend. I'm trying to work something out in my head and I'm having trouble, so here goes:

Here are a few facts I'm trying to reconcile:

1. Fermentation is complete when SG is stable for 3+ days and a desired FG is reached.
2. Leaving a beer alone longer promotes clarity because stuff keeps falling out of suspension.
3. Leaving a beer alone (on the yeast cake) after fermentation ceases improves flavor as the yeast cleans up after itself.

I've got a hefeweizen in primary right now. My plan is to rack straight from primary to keg. Since this is a beer that is best when it's young, it seems to me that there's a fine balance one needs to achieve; i.e., you don't want to rush it, but waiting too long is not a good thing for this style.

So, would a week after fermentation ceases be a good compromise to allow for a better-tasting beer without too much clearing?

Thanks!

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Old 09-14-2009, 03:52 PM   #2
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for a simple hefe, i usually do 2.5 weeks in the fermenter, 2.5 weeks in the keg. tap and drink

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Old 09-14-2009, 04:10 PM   #3
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2.5 weeks is usually good for a clean up period.

I usually do a secondary to allow more of the yeast to fall out then I just rack some of the yeast back in. For me this makes a cleaner beer, but still cloudy.

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Old 09-14-2009, 04:25 PM   #4
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Yeah, I was expecting about 2 weeks. I mean, fermentation will be complete REALLY soon. Like I said, active ferment within 4 hours, probably 6 to 8 inches of kraeusen yesterday, which had already started falling last night, and bubbling is going really quickly.

Plus, my beer volume on tap is dwindling, so I may hurry this one up just a bit.

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Old 09-14-2009, 04:26 PM   #5
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But not too much.

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Old 09-14-2009, 07:29 PM   #6
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yeah I think you are doing it right. You don't need a secondary on 99% of beer. The beer cleans up just as well in the primary and if you pitched the right amount of clean healthy yeast you shouldn't have any issues with the yeast autolysis. I only secondary if I am making a fruit beer, sour beer or something that needs to have extended aging.

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Old 09-14-2009, 07:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99 View Post
2.5 weeks is usually good for a clean up period.

I usually do a secondary to allow more of the yeast to fall out then I just rack some of the yeast back in. For me this makes a cleaner beer, but still cloudy.
I don't understand why people think that more yeast will fall out if it is in a secondary. Do you think that the yeast look down and decide it's a bad idea or something? What specifically about racking beer into another fermenter makes you think more yeast will settle out? In my experience yeast falls out when fermentation is over regardless of whether it is in a secondary fermenter or not.
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