Drop temperature after hefeweizen ferementation begins?

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field

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Hi guys. I'm kind of a newbie, but I've searched a bit and haven't found this topic mentioned a whole lot. First, some background.

I'm brewing a Paulaner Hefeweizen clone using a recipe I got from my local homebrew store. The recipe called for WLP 300 or Wyeast 3068 but I've decided to try WLP 351 instead. I made a starter for it--my very first starter--which I let sit for about 30 hours at 71-73F before pitching. (BTW, the starter just before pitching did NOT smell as good as when it came out of the vial. To be expected, I suppose.) The White Labs vial that the WLP 351 came in says:

"... Shake yeast well, open cap carefully add to 5 gallons of aerated wort or must at 70-75F. Keep at this temperature until fermentation begins. ... Keys to a quick start are good aeration and temperature over 70F. ..."

This seems to imply that we can drop the temperature after fermentation starts. Though, the vial does not mention the recommended fermentation temperature that one would drop it to. To find that, you have to go to the White Labs website, where it states that optimum fermentation temperature for WLP 351 is 66-70F.

There seems to be a pretty ingrained conventional wisdom that, for hefeweizen yeast, higher temperatures bring out more banana esters while lower temperatures result in more clove phenols. I don't smell ANY banana in a store-bought bottle of Paulaner Hefe, and I absolutely love the clove/spice taste and smell, so the clove is what I am aiming for.

Somewhere between five and nine hours after I pitched my starter, the krausen began to form, so when I noticed it at nine hours I figured fermentation had gotten off to a good start. At that point, I began to slowly (over the course of five hours) drop the surface temperature of my primary/bucket from 73F to 66F, which was my target in hopes of getting healthy amount of clove out of the yeast.

So my question: is it standard/unspoken operating procedure to start fermentation a little warm, just to get it going (as the vial instructed), and then gradually cool the primary down to your target temperature? I read somewhere that yeast prefer stable temperatures. Would a temperature shift of this magnitude, done slowly, stress or harm my yeast in any way? Do you think the warmer startup temperature was unnecessary since I had done a starter?

Thanks!
 

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The temperature shift was not very big or quick, so it'll be fine.

I know that the yeast packages always say to start warm and bring down- and I never followed those directions. I guess we need someone like Chris White or another yeast expert to really answer that.
 

Stevorino

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The temperature shift was not very big or quick, so it'll be fine.

I know that the yeast packages always say to start warm and bring down- and I never followed those directions. I guess we need someone like Chris White or another yeast expert to really answer that.
Jamil Zainasheff-- The Pope of Homebrewing, claims that you start cold and ramp up slowly after initial take off. 9 times out of 10 he suggests starting around 65 and ramping up to 67 (where you stay for the bulk of fermentation).

For bigger beers, he goes a little higher (68 or a low 69) to help the yeast fully attenuate. Anything over 70 is usually a no no (Saison = Exception).
 
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field

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Thanks guys. Next time I'll pitch my yeast into wort that's been cooled to fermentation temperature.

For those who are curious, I'm using the Paulaner Hefeweizen mini-mash recipe given to me by the Austin Homebrew store. I'm following the instructions pretty faithfully. The only big change I made was to use WLP 351 instead of WLP 300. The instructions also recommend to leave it in the primary 5-7 days, but I may just leave it in there longer than that.

Also of interest: the homebrew store substituted Vanguard hops in place of Hallertau. The guy that helped me at AHS said that the recent Hallertau crop ended up with very low AA levels (~1.5%) and so they gave me some Vanguard hops instead, which have a more normalish level of 4.4%. Anyone care to comment on this substitution?

I will post again later and let you know how it's going. Thanks again!
 
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field

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For the record, here's how it turned out.

I fermented in the primary for 17 days and then bottled. After two weeks of bottle conditioning, I tasted it, and I must say I was not impressed. I think the Vanguard hops were a poor substitution. Not only is it too bitter, but the flavor associated with the bitterness is all wrong. I don't detect any traditional hefeweizen tastes or smells. No clove or spiciness (or banana, though didn't want much banana anyway). There is a subtle taste in there that is hard to put my finger on. Almost a bad/foul taste, but not quite. All I can say is it was what was left over once the beer stopped smelling like sulfur. When you factor out the hops issue, the only other thing I can think of is that I screwed up my starter by keeping it too warm (71-73F).

I have another batch brewing right now, using the Paulaner recipe in Clone Brews, this time using DME, Hallertau hops, which with the lower AA will give about 30% lower IBU, and WLP300, fermenting between 62-64F (with a starter kept at 66-68F). Hopefully this one turns out better.
 

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I have made the German Hefeweisen using WLP300 yeast many times and it always comes out great. I propigate in one gallon of wort in a carboy at 70F(controlled temp). For 12 Gallons I used 60% American white wheat and 40% American Pilsner malt and Hallerteur hops 1oz 60, 1oz 30, 1oz 10. Boiled for 75 minutes. I pitched at 66F. I fermented at 66F 2 weeks. Kegged and conditioned 2 weeks and in that last 7 days put CO2 on it. I have done it that way since and never a complaint. OG was 1.048. It has a slight bannana and nice clove and is very refreshing with no off flavors. I am very intensive about being sanitary at all times. I think the WLP300 is a great yeast for this beer. I would not substitute for Hallerteur as this is the charactor that you want in this beer.
 

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I've used both 300 and 351 many times...I never concern myself with lowing the temp since I prefer to ferment above 70, even as high as 75 at times, for that pronounced banana (351) and bubble-gum (300) flavor. The lower temps (64-68) will result in a nice clovy brew if that's what you're after.

Good subs for Hallertau are Spalt and Tettnanger.

At 5-6 lbs of DME I only use 3% AAs.
 

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I've used both 300 and 351 many times...I never concern myself with lowing the temp since I prefer to ferment above 70, even as high as 75 at times, for that pronounced banana (351) and bubble-gum (300) flavor. The lower temps (64-68) will result in a nice clovy brew if that's what you're after.

Good subs for Hallertau are Spalt and Tettnanger.

At 5-6 lbs of DME I only use 3% AAs.
+1 on the Tettnanger. I used that in my first batch. I tend to prefer to get the wort temp to 70ish. I stir arrate with my paddle for a full five minuets the pitch. I ferment all of my brews in a 60* room. So far all the stikey thermometers say 62-63 on them.
 
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field

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Just curious, why didn't you just add more hops to raise the missing IBU's?
Because I was/am an idiot. And a noob. Take your pick. :eek: And because I was an idiot/noob, I wasn't yet confident enough to question the LHBS dude's recommendation. I know better now! :)

I have made the German Hefeweisen using WLP300 yeast many times and it always comes out great. I propigate in one gallon of wort in a carboy at 70F(controlled temp). For 12 Gallons I used 60% American white wheat and 40% American Pilsner malt and Hallerteur hops 1oz 60, 1oz 30, 1oz 10. Boiled for 75 minutes. I pitched at 66F. I fermented at 66F 2 weeks. Kegged and conditioned 2 weeks and in that last 7 days put CO2 on it. I have done it that way since and never a complaint. OG was 1.048. It has a slight bannana and nice clove and is very refreshing with no off flavors. I am very intensive about being sanitary at all times. I think the WLP300 is a great yeast for this beer. I would not substitute for Hallerteur as this is the charactor that you want in this beer.
I understand now the importance of using Hallertau for German hefeweizen.

Sanity check: when we talk about spiciness in hefeweizen, are we only talking about the clove component that comes from the yeast producing phenols, or do late additions of hops contribute to this taste/smell as well? I was always under the impression that classic hefeweizens don't need hops for anything except bittering. Can someone set the record straight for me here?

Thanks everyone for your replies!
 

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I wouldn't qualify hops flavor/armoa as "spicy" usually. Probably the yeast flavors.

My first hefe is interesting. It doesn't taste strongly of wheat (which I miss. BJ's brewery does a good hefe usually that has a nice bold wheat flavor) which is alright, it's got a nice mild clove taste, compared to Paulaner, which I do like a lot, which tastes like clove beer, and is generally kind of a nice, unassuming, middle of the road hefe.

I used a smack pack, but I believe that I too used the Bavarian strain. We fermented at 68 or so to avoid banana/bubble gum flavors, as I love clove.
 

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I want to revive this thread, because it touches on but does not answer my related question. Jamil recommends using the WLP300 yeast pretty much exclusively for all the bavarian wheats in "brewing classic styles". The thing that confuses me a little is that he strongly recommends a ferm temp of 62F. This seems to be lower than any suggested temps on this forum. He seems so adamant that this is the best temp though, and says that he himself didn't believe it until he tried it. Any thoughts, or have any of you taken that advice yourself?
 

WBC

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Oh Yeah, the lower temp is a lot less bananna and I actually prefer a bit less bananna myself. Some like it more bananna though. Having a refrigerator and a Ranco controller is a must if you want reliable results. When I speak of temperature I am talking about the beer itself and not the air temperature where it is being fermented.
 

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Timely resurrection! I'm brewing a Hefe today and using WLP300. But there's pretty much no way I could maintain 62 F. At this time of year it's hard to maintain <70 F and I thought I could get away with slightly warmer fermentation temps...that's why I chose a Hefe and a Dunkleweizen to brew. But now reading this I guess that's not the case unless I want total 'nanar puddin'. Does higher OG yield more banana (i.e. is the Dunkle gonna be even more susceptible to this)?
 

snailsongs

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Timely resurrection! I'm brewing a Hefe today and using WLP300. But there's pretty much no way I could maintain 62 F. At this time of year it's hard to maintain <70 F and I thought I could get away with slightly warmer fermentation temps...that's why I chose a Hefe and a Dunkleweizen to brew. But now reading this I guess that's not the case unless I want total 'nanar puddin'. Does higher OG yield more banana (i.e. is the Dunkle gonna be even more susceptible to this)?
Not so, my man. I brewed a dunkel with this yeast a 5-6 weeks ago, and I did my best to hold it at 66-68 the whole time, and I think it came out great, and it was not overly-banana....in fact, I don't really notice much banana flavor at all there.....My thing is, what is the best temp, at least for what I like. I'm trying it at 62 this time (I have a dark Rye swaddled in a wet towel in the basement to achieve ghetto temp control)....I can report back in a couple weeks. I think the temp on this yeast is really a matter of preference.

another thing that might make a difference in how much banana/clove you get is whether or not you use a starter.....if you pitch a single vial (or smack pack) then you will likely get more fruity esters than with a starter, as some (or most) of those esters are created while the yeast reproduce, so if they have to do a lot of reproducing, then....more esters.....at least that's how I understand it. something to consider. I used starters for my dunkel and the current rye brew, just out of habit.

...and no, a higher OG will not increase fruity esters by itself, assuming you pitch a relative amount of yeast...it plays into the whole reproductive phase/ester formation thing noted above.......
 

snailsongs

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When I speak of temperature I am talking about the beer itself and not the air temperature where it is being fermented.
does the temperature strip on my better bottle count as 'temperature of the beer itself', or are you getting a reading internally somehow? this always confuses me when people talk about fermentation temps......
 

SpanishCastleAle

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Not so, my man. I brewed a dunkel with this yeast a 5-6 weeks ago, and I did my best to hold it at 66-68 the whole time, and I think it came out great, and it was not overly-banana....in fact, I don't really notice much banana flavor at all there.....My thing is, what is the best temp, at least for what I like. I'm trying it at 62 this time (I have a dark Rye swaddled in a wet towel in the basement to achieve ghetto temp control)....I can report back in a couple weeks. I think the temp on this yeast is really a matter of preference.

another thing that might make a difference in how much banana/clove you get is whether or not you use a starter.....if you pitch a single vial (or smack pack) then you will likely get more fruity esters than with a starter, as some (or most) of those esters are created while the yeast reproduce, so if they have to do a lot of reproducing, then....more esters.....at least that's how I understand it. something to consider. I used starters for my dunkel and the current rye brew, just out of habit.

...and no, a higher OG will not increase fruity esters by itself, assuming you pitch a relative amount of yeast...it plays into the whole reproductive phase/ester formation thing noted above.......
Good to hear...I'll try to maintain 67-68 this first time around. And yes I made a 3 qt. @ 1.036 starter from 1 White Labs vial which I will decant/pitch. I'm gonna wash this Hefe cake and save some/pitch the rest in the Dunkleweizen.
 

SpanishCastleAle

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snailsongs you were spot on. I fermented at around 67* F and it doesn't have much banana at all. It's a little clovey but nothing like the Enkle I brewed with WY3787. I think I mashed a bit low and dried it out a bit too much (for me, some prob like it that way, it went from 1.050 to 1.008). Slight tartness. The Dunkleweizen made from the cake should be sweeter because I did a decoction on that one.
 

TrojanMan

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I'm brewing a hefe tomorrow and it'll be my second time with this recipe. 60/40 wehat/barley and I use American 6-row for the extra enzymatic power. Protein rest is a must, but that's just extra time.

I tried a decoction mash last time, but that was before I realized that "thickest part of the mash" means that you pull off grain as well as liquid. :cross:Everything still came out great, though. I will remedy my silly ways this time, though.

I've been using the Weihenstephan yeast (WYeast # 3068) and it performs outstanding. Very phenolic and estery, outstanding clove/banana flavors and still very clean, crisp and fully attenuated. I love this yeast!

I just ferment in my basement which right now is about 68*F. It'll swing one or two degrees over the couse of the day, but nothing significant. 66-68 range is where it stays.


I pitch at around 70 and then let it drop to where it wants.

A lagering fridge is in my future, but when it comes to hefeweisen I've never had any problems. It's a very easy style to get right, IMHO.
 

SpanishCastleAle

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Are you using unmalted wheat Trojanman? Malted Wheat (the stuff typ used in Hefeweizens) is loaded with enzymes and shouldn't need any help at all so you shouldn't need to 'help' it by using 6-row. Also, the malted wheat is already very high in proteins and so is the 6-row so it might be a bit much.

WLP300 and Wyeast 3068 are the same strain (Weihenstephan 68; aka S. Delbrueckii single strain).:mug:
 

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I just made (at home) the most stylistically correct beer of my home brewing career. A hefeweizen.

I pitched around 70 and over the next few days dropped it to 63. It is a fantasic beer. It tastes just like paulaner on tap.

I did use the dry german wheat yeast for this one. I am very pleased how it turned out.
 
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