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Old 12-28-2012, 11:27 PM   #1
highgravitybacon
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Default Nothing but trouble with hefe

I've tried to get a good hefe for the last four batches. Nothing but hassle. Using the classic hefe yeast, Wyeast 3068, I tried extract batches using Briess DME, all grain batches with 50/50 pils/wheat, 70/30 wheat/pils batches with some torrified wheat, wheat malt, and pils.

In all cases, the results were awful. The last batch, the 70/30 batch, was absolutely amazing for maybe a week. Then it turned heinous. I fight with a horrifying sulfur aroma and flavor that develops after a few weeks in the bottle.

The first batch I bottled too soon. So sulfur came. The subsequent batches I left in the fermenter longer. On the last batch, I ramped temps from 63-75 and let it go for about 10-14 days. Not a single hint of sulfur. I figured the warmer temps would help drive off sulfur as it carried away as CO2 came out of solution.

So finding that the sulfur developed after a few weeks in the bottle was problematic. By the time the sulfur ages out, which takes a few weeks, the beer loses nearly all of its banana character and ends up totally flaccid and lacking in any unique aroma or flavor. It's just "beery" and little more.

If you've made a good hefe with this yeast, what did you do? I'm about to throw in the towel with this yeast and style for a while. It's frustrating. This seems, at face value, to be such a simple style. But its turn out to be anything but.

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Old 12-29-2012, 12:42 AM   #2
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You are getting DMS and possibly the aroma of cooked corn:http://www.kroc.org/Links/TroubleshootingGuide.htm

Check out this link. With a lot of pilsner you want a very vigorous boil and preferably 90 minutes no lid to drive off the DMS

You can also do a step mash to handle the wheat and get better conversions.

With 3068 if you ferment higher you get a more pronounced banana and if you go in the low 60's you get more clove.

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Old 12-29-2012, 04:04 AM   #3
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Perhaps. But how then to explain the same odor from an hour long full volume extract only wort? It surely cannot be DMS since it has already been boiled once prior.

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Old 12-29-2012, 01:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highgravitybacon
Perhaps. But how then to explain the same odor from an hour long full volume extract only wort? It surely cannot be DMS since it has already been boiled once prior.
Did you read the entire DMS section? It can also be caused by issues with sanitation, bacteria, slow cooling of wort, etc.

Since you are experiencing this in all batches from extract to AG I will guess it has something to do then in your process.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duboman View Post
Did you read the entire DMS section? It can also be caused by issues with sanitation, bacteria, slow cooling of wort, etc.

Since you are experiencing this in all batches from extract to AG I will guess it has something to do then in your process.
I don't think I'm getting this across very well. It's not all batches. Just hefe batches. Batches with a higher percentage of pilsen malt have no issues, like a golden strong for instance.

Yes, it is something in the process. But the something is only consistent when this yeast, and that yeast only, is involved.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:51 PM   #6
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Hmm, tough one. I've had great luck with hefes using various yeast from Wyeast and White labs. Do you aerate with O2? I do on every batch. Perhaps Bavarian yeast need a good start to develop the characteristic flavors without the sulfur....

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Old 12-29-2012, 07:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highgravitybacon View Post
I don't think I'm getting this across very well. It's not all batches. Just hefe batches. Batches with a higher percentage of pilsen malt have no issues, like a golden strong for instance.

Yes, it is something in the process. But the something is only consistent when this yeast, and that yeast only, is involved.
Sorry................

Sulfur is definitely a byproduct of most true hefeweizen yeasts during fermentation but it usually clears out and is no longer an issue. At least that is my experience and brew them regularly.

Perhaps you can run us through your process from making a starter, aeration, pitching temps, fermentation times and temps, primary/secondary and bottling process. In addition, how are you cleaning and sanitizing and how long are the bottles conditioning for.

It's unusual that everything is fine and then the sulfur arises. Is there a lot of yeast trub in your bottles?
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highgravitybacon View Post
I've tried to get a good hefe for the last four batches. Nothing but hassle. Using the classic hefe yeast, Wyeast 3068, I tried extract batches using Briess DME, all grain batches with 50/50 pils/wheat, 70/30 wheat/pils batches with some torrified wheat, wheat malt, and pils.

In all cases, the results were awful. The last batch, the 70/30 batch, was absolutely amazing for maybe a week. Then it turned heinous. I fight with a horrifying sulfur aroma and flavor that develops after a few weeks in the bottle.

The first batch I bottled too soon. So sulfur came. The subsequent batches I left in the fermenter longer. On the last batch, I ramped temps from 63-75 and let it go for about 10-14 days. Not a single hint of sulfur. I figured the warmer temps would help drive off sulfur as it carried away as CO2 came out of solution.

So finding that the sulfur developed after a few weeks in the bottle was problematic. By the time the sulfur ages out, which takes a few weeks, the beer loses nearly all of its banana character and ends up totally flaccid and lacking in any unique aroma or flavor. It's just "beery" and little more.

If you've made a good hefe with this yeast, what did you do? I'm about to throw in the towel with this yeast and style for a while. It's frustrating. This seems, at face value, to be such a simple style. But its turn out to be anything but.
Sorry to bring this one back from the dead, but I am having the same exact issues with my hefes. The first hefe I ever did was WONDERFUL. Now, the next 4 hefes have horrible amounts of sulphur. I am completely stumped. Have you been able to figure anything new out since this post??
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:43 PM   #9
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Need more info.

Did you make a starter?
Did you aerate?
Pitching temp?
Ferm temp?
How long in fermentor?

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Old 06-05-2013, 08:27 PM   #10
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Sorry about that...

Yes, I did make a starter using WLP300. I aerated and pitched and fermented at 62. It's been 7 days in the fermenter and the sulfur is once again pretty evident!

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