How To ferment hefeweizen in warmer temps?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

aaron4osu

Active Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2009
Messages
37
Reaction score
0
Location
Columbus, Ohio
I was looking to brew a hefeweizen but I'm Florida and my house is about 80 degrees during the day and 74 degrees at night. I was thinking about something this this True Brew BAVARIAN HEFEWEIZEN EXTRACT KIT . It comes with Fermentis SafBrew WB-06 which states the ideal temp is between 64-75°. Eventually I plan to add some temp control to my setup but this is the situation for now. So my questions are...

1) how much of a difference will it make fermenting at 80 degrees?

2) would a different yeast be better?

3) any similar wheat beers ferment well in my higher temps?

thanks
 

VikeMan

It ain't all burritos and strippers, my friend.
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
3,488
Reaction score
2,477
You could ferment your wheat beer with a Kveik strain or a Saison strain at the kind of temps you're talking about, but the result wouldn't be much like a hefeweizen.

But that's what I'd do, rather than subjecting a hefe strain to 80F (plus the heat generated by fermentation). I would predict a fusel alcohol mess with hefe strains.

You say you have no temperature control, but most people can at least manage a swamp cooler. There are probably lots of threads about them on this very forum if you do a search.
 

nwhall3

Active Member
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
27
Reaction score
27
You could try some Belgian strains, which often ferment a bit warmer. Wyeast 1214 comes to mind, though there may be others that work well, too. I doubt you'll get much banana from them, but you'd probably get some crossover of the spice character, even if not quite as predominantly clove.

I know this wasn't your question, but you can also do cheap temperature control with a large bucket, some water, and some water bottles (a swamp cooler): put the fermenter in the larger bucket, fill the large bucket with water, and add frozen water bottles to the water to reduce temperature as needed. You'd really only have to be vigilant the first 3 or 4 days, as this is when the yeast is most active and undesirable fermentation byproducts would be produced at higher temps during that period.

Best of luck!
 

nwhall3

Active Member
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
27
Reaction score
27
I thought at warmer temps you'd get more banana in the hefe. Is this not correct?
If using the proper yeast strain, you're right; Bavarian weissbier strains are know for their production of isoamyl acetate--the ester responsible for that banana flavor.

Other strains produce isoamyl acetate at much lower levels, so if using a different strain (e.g., a Belgian strain that in other ways often performs better at higher temps) you'd likely see far less banana flavor.
 

DuncB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2019
Messages
1,080
Reaction score
478
Location
Paremata New Zealand
Large cooler, dustbin some water and ice blocks changed over will probably keep you close enough. If you pressure ferment you'll get away with higher temps but will lose some of those esters and fusels you really want for the style. That said made a hefeweizen and accidentally fermented first 4 days at 35 psi. Came out okay but probably lost some character.
Insulate your cooler dustbin if you going that way then the cool is towards the beer rather than room as well.
 

NSMikeD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2017
Messages
677
Reaction score
482
Location
Huntington
Fwiw a second hand mini fridge can be gotten off Craigslist for under $100 and either an inkbird or less expensive willhi temperature controller can eliminate the challenges summer temps bring to home brewing.
I pondered the summer challenge for years before getting motivated to search for a mini fridge. A week later i had it set up and in retrospect for the life of me can’t understand why I didn’t do so earlier. Best I can conclude it was the lack of understanding how important temperature control is for fermenting very good beer.
Worrying about the temp of fermentation is not fun. Neither is tending to ice packs and wet towels. Nope. A mini fridge and temp controller is an inexpensive way of making the hobby more enjoyable and better beer.

I had a Belgian Witbier in the mini fridge for the first week, then headed to Tampa for my son’s graduation. Never thought about the beer while fully enjoying the time with my son including a round of golf before getting back on a plane. I transferred it to the keg yesterday and back into the fridge to condition and cold crash. I’m visiting my sister and mom right now and know today’s run into the 80’s would have no impact on my beer. Before the mini fridge I would have had to postpone the brew until after the trip and today would have been far more stressful wondering if the ice packs would hold up and then rushing back home.

I have a pretty good lager on tap right now. My first. The mini fridge enables me to brew lagers now, opening up many more styles I otherwise did not brew.

I guess I made my point.
 

DuncB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2019
Messages
1,080
Reaction score
478
Location
Paremata New Zealand
A tall fridge takes up same floor space as a small one and that often means you can have more than one fermenter on the go and also use it to cold crash and potentially serve. Ideal if you get a fridge freezer and can work out how to control freezer as ferment chamber and use fridge for the kegs. Often that's quite tricky though.
" I bought" my broken ferment fridge for a dollar ( broken because it only chilled to freezing ), went to pay the guy but only had a 2 dollar coin. He insisted on tossing for it rather than take the 2 dollars. He lost, me free fridge freezer controlled by stc 1000 works like a treat. Does improve your beer. Brewpi the next goal.
 

Nate R

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
1,446
Reaction score
805
Location
Sacramento
If you're cheap (like me) you can also put the carboy in a bathtub, fill it up like 3 to 6 inches with water, and swap out frozen milk/juice/whatever plastic bottles.
Not great, not consistent... but easy & cheap.
I think hefe is a good forgiving style. While it may not match a true German style, it's usually pretty drinkable.
And, since it's 80 degrees there now already... if it tastes bad, add some lemonade to your glass when you pour the beer and voici!! Shandys!!!
 
OP
A

aaron4osu

Active Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2009
Messages
37
Reaction score
0
Location
Columbus, Ohio
thanks for all the tips. The "swamp cooler" seems like a good solution. I usually work from home and it shouldn't be much of an issue to throw some ice bottles in every once in a while. I've been keeping my eye out for used fridges as well.
 

bwible

I drink, and I know things
Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
650
Reaction score
658
Location
Oxford
I thought at warmer temps you'd get more banana in the hefe. Is this not correct?
Yes! I brewed the best wheat beer I ever made in August in a place where I did not have AC. With Wyeast 3068. It had to be over 90 degrees. I would not worry about it.
 
OP
A

aaron4osu

Active Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2009
Messages
37
Reaction score
0
Location
Columbus, Ohio
So I went with the swamp cooler..

Question... since I have a plastic bucket fermenter, and not a glass carboy like a lot of the setups I've seen, how much warmer do you think it is inside the fermenter. In other words... if my target ferment temp is between 64-75° what should I keep the water in the swamp cooler at? I'm prob just over thinking this a bit lol.

Also how high should I go on the water level? I froze a couple of 1 gal plastic gallon water jugs and I'll add 1 of those in at a time in the late mornings when temps so to go up.

swamp-cooler.jpg
 

DuncB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2019
Messages
1,080
Reaction score
478
Location
Paremata New Zealand
Plastic still conducts heat. With time you should get equilibrium so just keep adding or removing the cold bottles as needed.
More volume without your bucket floating will make it less dynamic and more stable for temp which is what you want.
If you put some insulation around the green swamp to leave just the white lid uncovered you will insulate your cooler from the ambient warming that was aggravating your ferment. Otherwise it's a bit like leaving the fridge door open.
As ferment slows less heat will be produced and you will only need cooling for the ambient gain.
 

Tobor_8thMan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
3,284
Reaction score
1,792
Location
Go 97 miles and take a right...
So I went with the swamp cooler..

Question... since I have a plastic bucket fermenter, and not a glass carboy like a lot of the setups I've seen, how much warmer do you think it is inside the fermenter. In other words... if my target ferment temp is between 64-75° what should I keep the water in the swamp cooler at? I'm prob just over thinking this a bit lol.

Also how high should I go on the water level? I froze a couple of 1 gal plastic gallon water jugs and I'll add 1 of those in at a time in the late mornings when temps so to go up.

View attachment 729227
I do wonder about the foam in the bucket. Fermentation overflow? (meaning the lid isn't sealed) or soap bubbles?
 

Latest posts

Top