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Old 11-13-2012, 07:30 PM   #1
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Default LP on Weizen?

I'm in the process of making my second batch of beer, a Dunkelweizen, from a kit put together by the local brewing supply store. I've been reading the posts on HBT from the proponents of long primary fermentation. Would this be recommended for a Weizen? Or would I want to leave my beer in the fermenter for a shorter amount of time to keep the beer from becoming too clear?

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Old 11-13-2012, 07:55 PM   #2
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There are a lot of variables to take into consideration when deciding how long you want to leave your beer in the primary.

In most cases, for an average ABV beer, there is no good reason to leave it more than the initial three weeks.

Wheat beers are generally better fresh, as well. Take that into consideration.

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Old 11-13-2012, 10:24 PM   #3
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If you are treating your yeast nicely, there is no reason any beer that isn't huge in gravity should ever need 3 weeks before packaging. If you're controlling your fermentation temperatures, pitching the correct number of healthy yeast cells, and oxygenating to 10ppm DO2 with pure oxygen, you should be making beer that's basically ready to package 3-4 days after you hit FG, which should be a week or less. After that you can leave it in the primary to compact the yeast cake or move it over to a secondary if that's your thing, but really, it will be ready to fine and package.

Now, if you're not doing those things, then your yeast may be stressed our (or too happy) and make some nasty flavors that can take time to mellow or get re-metabolized. That's why many brewers feel the need to tell folks to let it sit for a month after pitching, because most new brewers are abusing their yeast.

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:14 PM   #4
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Hmmm. Don't know if I'm treating my yeast nicely. To my just over 5-gallon batch of wort (I don't have the OG in front of me but it was typical for a Weizen) I added a packet of Danstar Munich Wheat yeast, which I had hydrated with lukewarm water.

I'm definitely not at the point in the hobby where I'm injecting O2 and sticking a DO meter in my beer, but I started getting airlock movement about 24 hours after yeast addition and the airlock kept moving at a respectable pace and slowed to almost a stop at 7 days. I have kept the closet that I have my primary in at 64-65 deg. F. I am on Day 11. I have not taken a hydrometer reading yet, and I want to limit the amount of times I open my fermenter. I assume that I must be at or near FG at this point. So, with this low tech approach, should I bottle after two weeks, assuming constant readings at the expected FG, or should I "go long"?

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:55 PM   #5
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One package of Danstar Munich is enough yeast for a beer of gravity 1.060 or below.

Your beer is probably done fermenting at day 11. At this point, I would just wait the recommended 3 weeks before bottling.

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Old 11-14-2012, 06:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wintermute2 View Post
Hmmm. Don't know if I'm treating my yeast nicely. To my just over 5-gallon batch of wort (I don't have the OG in front of me but it was typical for a Weizen) I added a packet of Danstar Munich Wheat yeast, which I had hydrated with lukewarm water.

I'm definitely not at the point in the hobby where I'm injecting O2 and sticking a DO meter in my beer, but I started getting airlock movement about 24 hours after yeast addition and the airlock kept moving at a respectable pace and slowed to almost a stop at 7 days. I have kept the closet that I have my primary in at 64-65 deg. F. I am on Day 11. I have not taken a hydrometer reading yet, and I want to limit the amount of times I open my fermenter. I assume that I must be at or near FG at this point. So, with this low tech approach, should I bottle after two weeks, assuming constant readings at the expected FG, or should I "go long"?
With rehydrated dry yeast your pitching rate is probably great. Oxygen helps with fast starts and fast clean ferments- it's a great investment if you've got the $50. If your temperature's nailed down you're good to go. I've got to say though, if I ever get to the point where I'm considering a $20,000 DO meter for my home brewery, I'm going to pack it in and take up golf.

With a dunkelweizen you're probably not as concerned about keeping it cloudy as with a hefe, but I think you should still be perfectly fine packaging after a few days of FG readings. Taste is going to be your main indicator, though. Once it tastes good, package it!
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