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Old 07-06-2012, 04:09 PM   #1
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Default WLP300 hefeweizen, too clean

Veteran weizen brewers, I need your input! This was my first hefeweizen, so I kept it simple - 50% wheat, 50% pils, single infusion mash at 152F, 1.050 OG, 15 IBU. I added Wyeast nutrient to the boil. Chilled the wort to ~58F, oxygenated with 60 sec of O2, pitched WLP300, and set temp control for 62F (per Brewing Classic Styles). My pitching rate might have been low by about 25% according to MrMalty numbers, but I didn't do a cell count.

I followed my normal ale fermentation schedule. I held it at 62F for a week, after which the gravity was ~1.012, then raised it to 68F over 3 days (gravity=1.010) and held it there for 3 more (gravity=1.010). For most beers I'd leave the beer in primary for another week but I needed the fermentation chamber space so I kegged it at this point, which was a mistake because that left a hint of sulfur in the beer.

But the sulfur isn't the main problem. The problem is the beer is really clean, almost like an American wheat - much much cleaner than any hefeweizen I've ever had. It's tasty and refreshing, but I'm disappointed in the total lack of hefe character. I knew the esters would be restrained with the cool fermentation (that's what I was aiming for) but there's almost zero banana or clove flavor. I was actually concerned the banana esters would be higher than I wanted because of the underpitching, but I got the opposite result.

This is my first time using WLP300. Has anyone else experienced this? I feel like I mostly followed what lots of people say they do with good results. But then, there's another set of people that say you want to beat the hell out of the yeast: under-pitch, under-aerate, ferment hot, call the yeast names, etc., and that's how you get a good hefe. Maybe I should try that next.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-06-2012, 04:14 PM   #2
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when brewing heff, if you want more banana character you have to stress the yeast, which means under pitch the yeast. I also ferment at 70f, seems to finish around 1.002-5.

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Old 07-06-2012, 04:15 PM   #3
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I'd just ferment a few degrees warmer next time, like 66. See if you like the outcome and go from there. That small bump in temp should get you the banana/clove esters you are looking for but not have them be too overpowering.

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Old 07-06-2012, 04:16 PM   #4
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I'm not a veteran weizen brewer, but it is my most frequently brewed beer. If you want those flavors you should ferment at a higher temp. I believe from 66-74 or so. The warmer the temp, the more banana. I usually do about 65% wheat/35% pils. That's just me though!

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Old 07-06-2012, 04:23 PM   #5
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This yeast is definitely very temp sensitive, but I still get good flavors at 62.

How about your water? Did you acidify your mash? I use Chicago city water and find 1-2mL of Lactic Acid and 1-2g CaCl really helps.

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Old 07-06-2012, 04:23 PM   #6
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I'm having almost this exact same issue only with Wyeast 3068. I even fermented warm at 72F! Damn you simple hefe!!

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Old 07-06-2012, 06:38 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the responses. Yeah I'll bump up the temp next time to get more fruitiness. But what about cloves? I was under the impression that suppressing the esters with lower fermentation temp lets the phenol/clove flavors shine through more. Is this wrong? Do higher temps promote more clove flavor as well as banana?

One thing I'm wondering about is oxygenation. I remember reading somewhere that too much oxygen can make hefe yeast produce less of certain flavor compounds - does anyone here aerate their hefes differently? I just do 60 seconds of O2 through a stone just because that's what I always do, but I have no idea how much dissolved O2 I end up with in my wort so that variable is kind of hard to control without a DO meter.


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Originally Posted by TyTanium View Post
This yeast is definitely very temp sensitive, but I still get good flavors at 62.

How about your water? Did you acidify your mash? I use Chicago city water and find 1-2mL of Lactic Acid and 1-2g CaCl really helps.
I just used carbon filtered city water, no adjustments, no acid rest. I don't measure my mash pH, even though I know I should. Do you use those amounts just for light beers or for all your beers? Thanks for the info, I'll add that to my process next time.
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:41 PM   #8
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Yup, that's probably my baseline adjustment. 1-2g of CaSO4 for hoppier beers. I use the Bru'n Water spreadsheet.

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Old 07-06-2012, 08:09 PM   #9
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Here's a thread that is trying to figure out how to get more banana and clove flavors from a hefe:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/def...esults-317195/

I've made a number of hefes using 3068 and still have not gotten the level of banana that I want. My most banana batch came when I fermented at 67F, underpitched by ~30%, and aerated just by shaking my bucket. Since then I've tried fermenting at 62F and using an oxygen aeration stone, and my results have have almost no banana or clove. My next hefe I'm going to ferment at 66F, give a very short shot of oxygen and underpitch by ~25%. And pray for banana.
I've read a zymurgy article from 2010 about brewing beer with intense banana flavors, but it mainly highlighted mash procedures. Mashing techniques will probably be the last thing I try, as I'd prefer to stick with single infusion mashes.

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Old 07-06-2012, 08:24 PM   #10
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I tend to avoid O2 with a hefe. I just make a starter on a stir plate. I found that when I use O2 it tends to taste a little bland.

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