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Old 07-23-2012, 05:23 PM   #1
Apr 2012
Salt lake, Ut
Posts: 147
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Recently listened to a Jamil Z podcast on bavarian hefe in preperation for a brew. He recommends a 30 degree C rule for fermentation. Meaning pitching temp and ferm temp add to 30 degree celcius. It is also recomended by JZ to ferment this brew at 62 F.

So i was planning to cool as low as possible with my immersion chiller and the place the wort in a chest freezer to get it to 58 F (with the 3068 smack pack in the fridge or freezer as well) Aerate, pitch and allow it to raise to 62 and hold it there. I brought this up at a home brew meeting and the thought it was a bad idea. 1. Yeast would be shocked and go dormant. 2. Wyeast recomends a higher ferm temp for this strain. 3. If i were to do it i need to pitch more than 1 smack pack.

What are your thoughts?

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Old 07-23-2012, 06:05 PM   #2
Sep 2011
Glendale, CA
Posts: 586
Liked 64 Times on 48 Posts

I did the JZ method on a dunkleweizen and it turned out great (WLP300, 5 gal batch, no starter). Of the concerns brought up at your homebrew meeting, my personal experience tells me to not worry about 1 & 2 (assuming you're not pitching warm yeast into cool wort, which may cause the yeast to floc out). And I suppose I might consider 3 to be a stylistic decision. I watched a Wyeast video on the NB site where the guy said the clove/banana balance can be controlled by pitch rates. Pitch low (e.g., one pack w/o a starter) to emphasize banana, pitch high (e.g., 2L starter) to emphasize clove. I haven't played with pitch rate on a hefe enough to comment on this, just thought I'd pass it along since everything else I read suggests the balance is controlled by ferm temp rather than pitch rate. I do know that Dan Gordon, or Gordon Biersch, pitches about 3 million/ml, which is close to one pack into a 5 gal batch, and his hefe is fantastic. Interested to see what more experienced brewers have to say.

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Old 07-23-2012, 06:15 PM   #3
Nov 2011
Posts: 3,952
Liked 557 Times on 392 Posts

1) It's not the cold that shocks the yeast, it's the rapid change in temp. I.e., don't pitch room-temp yeast into 58 wort...your yeast temp and wort temp should be close, like within 5F of each other. So if you want to pitch at 58, chill your yeast. Or at least temper it with some wort to drop the temp a little slower.

2) 62 works. But so do higher temps. Generally higher temps gives you more esters (banana) which can cover up the phenols (clove). I've not heard the "pitch high for cloves" thing, but it makes sense to reduce esters. I get plenty of clove with underpitch at 64.

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Old 07-23-2012, 07:06 PM   #4
Sep 2011
Robbinsdale, MN
Posts: 796
Liked 77 Times on 64 Posts

I'd pitch cold yeast (cold smack packs or a crashed & decanted starter) into the 56F-58F wort and let it free-rise to 62F. Did this for a Hefe in the Spring and worked great.

A single pack for a 5 gallon batch would be about 4.5 million cells/mL (assuming 85% viability). Probably safe to do 2 packs or a starter but have heard the 4-6 million cells/mL advice too. Jamil recommended a starter to normal pitching rates in that show and let the temperatures produce the flavor profile not underpitching.

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