- Dec 18, 2007
- Reaction score
- north Georgia
I dug this out of an old HBD while researching hefe style for my next brew. Any thoughts? Has anyone played with these variables to maximize clove flavors?
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2001 16:39:18 -0500
From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net>
Subject: re: wheat yeast flavor
Art McGregor asks ...
>Every time I brew a wheat beer (extract based) the wheat flavor from the
>yeast only lasts a few batches, then fades away.
>Is this a common problem?
This is a weird one Art. The clove-like weizen flavor is from 4
vinyl-guaiacol(4VG) and is created by the yeast from a phenolic precursor
from the grain called ferulic acid. Many yeasts can perform this
conversion - probably most wild yeasts.
It's possible your strains have lost their ability to produce 4VG but that's
quite unlikely. It's most likely a problem in the wort level of ferulic
acid or in the fermentation conditions.
If you were a masher rather than an extract brewer I'd suggest you perform a
rest at around 44C to increase the amount of ferulic acid extracted from the
grist. As an extract brewer you are at the mercy of the vendors to include
enough ferulic acid to make a tasty weizen. I'd experiment with the choice
of extracts, Art. Also perform a healthy boil. The boil actually converts
enough ferulic to 4VG to be almost tastable. This leaves less for the yeast
Perhaps George DePiro will comment on it, but he under-pitches weizen yeast
to get optimal flavor and starts his fermentations cool (low 60sF), and
allows them to increase to around 70F after fermentation starts.
4VG is also not temperature stable so the clovey flavor fades over a period
of months. Keeping the beer colder helps preserve it.