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Old 10-23-2009, 08:22 PM   #1
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Default So I attempted to culture Sierra Nevada Kellerweis yeast... H2S city

I pitched 4 bottles worth of dregs into about 50 ml of 1.020 wort with a tiny pinch of Wyeast yeast nutrient. After about 40 hours on a stirplate @ 75 F it began fermenting. Smelled fine.

I pitched this into 500 ml of 1.025 wort with another pinch of nutrient. Began fermenting in a few hours and went to completion, but let loose MASSIVE amounts of hydrogen sulfide. I mean, the smell was almost enough to make me vomit. Hoping it would clean itself up, I let it sit out for about 24 hours (foil over the flask, of course). No change. I figured it was lost.

Somehow, though, I just mustered the courage to taste it before before dumping it out, and lo and behold it tasted fine -- like a standard yeast starter.

What are your thoughts? Is it possible I cultured the yeast, but got a nasty, H2S-producing infection alongside it? Or perhaps I cultured a wild yeast? Would 40 hours have been enough for a wild yeast to multiply to such concentrations?

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Old 10-23-2009, 08:26 PM   #2
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My experience with most wheat/hefe strains is that they stink like no other. Wyeast 1010 is a regular offender, and that gives off less esters in the fermentation process than the hefe yeasts. Rotten rhino fart is the term that comes to mind....blech! Give them a couple weeks to clean up after themselves and you'll never have that smell in your finished product.

EDIT: let me know what the final product is like, I'd like to take a crack and culturing this myself!

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Old 10-23-2009, 08:41 PM   #3
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I have done starters with Wyeast 3068 and WLP300 and never had anything remotely close to this, so we will see. I'm going to go ahead and pitch the 500mL into a 2L starter and see what happens. Maybe it was just having growing pains.

I'm making a 10 gallon batch of hefeweizen and will pitch 5 gallons with this yeast and 5 gallons of 3068 to do a direct comparison.

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Old 10-23-2009, 08:46 PM   #4
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Does the fact that Kellerweis is made with open-fermentation have something to do with it?

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Old 10-24-2009, 03:01 AM   #5
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Good question that I don't know the answer to. Some yeast don't like working under pressure, but there's no pressure in a starter flask.

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Old 10-24-2009, 01:40 PM   #6
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The 2 liter starter is humming pretty good this morning, and NO sulfur nastiness at all. Granted it's not done fermenting yet, but it smells like a healthy yeast starter. Will keep the thread updated.

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Old 11-19-2009, 06:29 PM   #7
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Okay, well, SUCCESS!

To continue where I left off, the final starter yeast ended up smelling like sulfur as well, and I have concluded that this yeast will produce H2S at higher temps. My starters are done in the 76-79 range, so that would explain it, because the finished beer, which I fermented around 65-68 F, did not exhibit this at all.

My recipe (10 gallons) was:
10.5 lb wheat
6.0 lb pils
2.0 lb munich
Hallertau, 60 mins, to 13 IBUs
OG: 1.048, FG: 1.006

This yeast was a very quick fermenter and was completely done in 5 days. It beat out the Wyeast 3068 batch, which for me tends to take 2+ weeks to finish up.

The taste of this brew was a dead ringer for SN Kellerweis, but the body is thinner, which makes sense since its stated gravities are about 1.051 and 1.013. I mashed around 152-153 F, so I will try cranking it up a bit next time and see what happens. It is, however, delicious, and I actually prefer it to the 3068 batch.

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Old 11-19-2009, 08:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
EDIT: let me know what the final product is like, I'd like to take a crack and culturing this myself!
Me too! I'm up in Canada and have 3 bottles of a 6-pack left and love it!

-J

DOH! Guess I should have read the rest of the thread before posting. Got excited about Kellerweiss!
Good one! Mission accomplished!
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenbirds View Post
Okay, well, SUCCESS!

To continue where I left off, the final starter yeast ended up tasting like sulfur as well, and I have concluded that this yeast will produce H2S at higher temps. My starters are done in the 76-79 range, so that would explain it, because the finished beer, which I fermented around 65-68 F, did not exhibit this at all.

My recipe (10 gallons) was:
10.5 lb wheat
6.0 lb pils
2.0 lb munich
Hallertau, 60 mins, to 13 IBUs
OG: 1.048, FG: 1.006

This yeast was a very quick fermenter and was completely done in 5 days. It beat out the Wyeast 3068 batch, which for me tends to take 2+ weeks to finish up.

The taste of this brew was a dead ringer for SN Kellerweis, but the body is thinner, which makes sense since its stated gravities are about 1.051 and 1.013. I mashed around 152-153 F, so I will try cranking it up a bit next time and see what happens. It is, however, delicious, and I actually prefer it to the 3068 batch.
Nice, thanks for the update! So will you be aiming to hit 154F for the next batch, or higher?
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:37 PM   #10
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I am going to target 156 F. 1.013 is quite a bit higher than what I ended up with, so I think the mash temp increase will need to be pretty substantial. I will also up the OG to 1.051.

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