Hefe help

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ChadChaney

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I have brewed 2 versions of a hefe so far and have not been able to get that nice banana nose and taste I am looking for. Grist was near 50/50 white wheat and Pilsen, with a pound of Golden Naked oats in one batch and 2 lbs Munich in the second to get more color. Both were mashed at 152F single infusion, batch one was pitched near 65F and batch 2 about 70F and held there for 4 days. Both batches used WLP300. I get a nice earthy clove aroma and a hint of banana in both, almost Wit like, but really desire that strong banana character. Any suggestions?
 

BackAlley

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I use Wyeast 3068 and intentionally do not do a starter and ferment at 68. Has always provided plenty of banana. I use the BeeCave Hefe recipe. I do a 60 min boil even with the pilsner malt. Not sure if any of these make a difference but it seems to work for me. I'm especially interested if you do a starter. That could definitely be a key difference.
 

biodarwin

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Ferment a bit warmer, like 68-70 and pitch less yeast. I have only done 2, but both had great banana flavor.
 

BackAlley

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biodarwin said:
Ferment a bit warmer, like 68-70 and pitch less yeast. I have only done 2, but both had great banana flavor.

The OP said he did ferment one batch at 70
 
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ChadChaney

ChadChaney

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Thanks all. I actually sent off an email to White Labs and was greeted with a GREAT response, I received an email requesting I call them and they could help me with the issue. After discussing the volume and SG of the wort, I was told that in a wort of 1.046 @ abut 5.25 gallons, do not make a starter. The representative I spoke to said this would be a bit of an underpitch and stress the yeast a little and create that nice banana character. he suggested fermenting at right about 68F if possible to avoid the off chance of the bubblegum flavor sneaking in there.

@BackAlley, looks like you were dead on, thanks!
 

BackAlley

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Let us know how the next batch works out.
 
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ChadChaney

ChadChaney

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BackAlley, here is a dilemma; I have a TON (15) vials of WL Hefe that is past due by a year. The yeast was stored in professional cooler at my LHBS and then in my fridge. I want to use some of it, how do I determine the right pitching amount, lol. Every online calculator I visit estimates the viability at zero, but I have had success growing other strains from this same situation just fine. I want to do the under pitch technique, but not sure if it will work in this situation.
 

BackAlley

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That's uncharted territory for me so hopefully someone with more experience will chime in. What I might consider doing is making a starter well in advance, chill it down to settle out the yeast then pitch a desired volume of the settled yeast. What that volume is thought I don't know.
 

BackAlley

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BackAlley said:
That's uncharted territory for me so hopefully someone with more experience will chime in. What I might consider doing is making a starter well in advance, chill it down to settle out the yeast then pitch a desired volume of the settled yeast. What that volume is thought I don't know.

Looking at the repitch section of Mr. Malty has a good discussion of yeast cells in a slurry. A quick read seems to indicate that a starter that's settled for a day might be about 2 billion cells per ml of slurry. Targeting a pitch of 100 billion cells for a 5 gallon batch means pitching 50ml of slurry.

Again this is not something I've needed to do so I'm hoping someone knowledgable will give more accurate info.
 
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