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Jayjay1976
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Interesting, the copper chiller I use is basically a miniaturized version of that cascade chiller. Does the beer flow through the pipes or down over them? Mine has only 4 tiers so it isn't very efficient and I have to recirculate the hot wort for about 45 minutes to get it down to pitching temps. The extended recirculating is what makes me suspect aeration and copper exposure as a potential source of the issues I'm having.

On a side note, in my setup the hot wort flows from top to bottom while the cooling water flows the opposite direction to maximize the temperature differential at the point of exit.

20191227_203249.jpg
 

Gruel

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Supposedly the wort drips down on the outside! It's not exactly low oxygen brewing...
At least that is what these guys say: Brauerei im Technikmuseum - Die Müggelland-Brauerei . It's an article about the old Schultheiss small batch pilot brewery that has been moved to a technical museum in Berlin; here is a page in english: Historical Brewery .

Your's looks like a counter flow chiller. Why is it so inefficient? Lack of turbulence?
But I think this is another red herring. When did you brew the last Weissbier that still had some banana flavor?
 
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Your's looks like a counter flow chiller. Why is it so inefficient? Lack of turbulence?
Not nearly enough length to effectively cool 6 gallons. The other issue with this cooling method is that as the chilled beer spills back into the kettle, the temperature differential between the wort and the cooling water becomes less and less, reducing the effectiveness of the chiller. Ideally it would pass through the chiller just one time on its way to the fermenter, like a plate chiller but easier to clean out.

But I think this is another red herring. When did you brew the last Weissbier that still had some banana flavor?
I've been using this brewing setup and chiller since my first batch when I started brewing, and I have never been able to get banana esters, not in my hefeweizen nor in any of my Belgian ales, and I've tried lots of yeast strains. As stated earlier in this thread, I started out with AG BIAB and I have never brewed an extract batch. Some have suggested I brew an extract Hefeweizen kit, and I will definitely try that out soon.
 

kpsalerno

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Interesting, the copper chiller I use is basically a miniaturized version of that cascade chiller. Does the beer flow through the pipes or down over them? Mine has only 4 tiers so it isn't very efficient and I have to recirculate the hot wort for about 45 minutes to get it down to pitching temps. The extended recirculating is what makes me suspect aeration and copper exposure as a potential source of the issues I'm having.

On a side note, in my setup the hot wort flows from top to bottom while the cooling water flows the opposite direction to maximize the temperature differential at the point of exit.

View attachment 690346
Question, if you are recirculating in a closed system essentially, where would the aeration take place? I can't see clearly from the picture where the output hose extends to, but I assume it is not just splashing back down into the pot, correct? Probably submerged or running down the side.

I would examine how you rack into the fermenter, pitching temp, what you ferment in, material wise, do you leave the co2 blanket undisturbed during fermentation, how are you controlling your fermentation temperature, have you tried leaving in the primary an extra week, how you rack into your keg, are you exposing your beer to sunlight at any point, purging the headspace in the keg before burst carbonating, etc.

The wort chilling at some point crosses over to a temperature where you want to aerate the wort before pitching anyway, so I guess I am still skeptical it is your chiller oxidizing the wort right out of the gate when it might be the yeast aren't happy enough in their ideal temp range or initial cell count (too high perhaps). I also have to say the character of my beers have improved when I started saving and repitching yeast, compared to first gen out of the package. The Hefeweizen batch I posted above was a fifth generation repitch of s-04 that had previously gone through making different styles (english bitter, stout). Seems to make better beer in subsequent batches, but you need to measure the slurry and not overpitch or you'll be stuck with the lack of fermentation character.

One more thought, I think a lot of emphasis is placed on the yeast alone in a Hefeweizen for developing characteristic aroma and flavor when I believe it also has a lot to do with a quality pale wheat malt, properly crushed. I got a very good results with s-04 after all, but I used a german malster for both my pale wheat and pils malt. I have found domestic malsters lack roundness of flavors so I just prefer imported malts. Maybe the reason 62F worked well for me was it allowed the wheat malt aroma and flavor to be prominent, aided by low IBU (10) and high chlorides in the mash water.

It would be easier to examine these things than change your brewing equipment, and you could always borrow an immersion chiller just to rule out your suspicion.
 

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Just tapped my latest in a long string of failed attempts to produce a weissbier with noticeable banana character.

Things I've tried that haven't worked:
Ferment cool
Ferment warm
Mash low
Mash high
Less wheat (<40%)
More wheat (>66%)
Wyeast 3638
Wyeast 3068
Lallemand Munich Classic
Filtered tap water
Straight RO with a bit of CaCl
Full water salts using calcs
Protein rest
No protein rest
Ferulic acid rest
Old-timey multi-step traditional mash schedule
Simple infusions at various temps
Domestic malts
Continental malts
Melanoidin malt
Noble hops
Ignoble hops
In lederhosen
In strumpfhosen
Dressed as a gnome
Dressed as a gnome + cape and elf boots
Dressed as a monk
Disguised as a monk
In possession of monk paraphernalia
In possession of monk genitalia
Wooden mash paddle
Stainless mash paddle
Listening to benedictine monks of santo domingo
Singing along with monks of santo domingo
Conference call with monks of santo domingo
Family intervention (yikes)
While playing donkey kong, both with and without a Carmen Miranda fruitbowl hat

The worst part is that my wife LOVES Hefeweizen and especially the traditional banana character. She tasted this latest one and said "maybe you just aren't cut out to brew Hefeweizen" and "I won't tell if you add banana flavoring".


HALP!

"Relax, Don’t Worry, Have a Homebrew." - Charlie Papazian

A couple of years ago I made "Hank's Hefeweizen" (using Wyeast 3068 Weinhenstephan Wheat Yeast) as a kit from Northern Brewer. To save time I used the extract kit. It had a wonderful banana character - damn close to a good German Hefeweizen - reminded me of Julius Echter Hefe Weissbier. Anywho - here's the link www.northernbrewer.com/products/hanks-hefeweizen-extract-beer-recipe-kit - they have an all grain version too. If you're bent on not using kits, I believe you might just use Wyeast 3068 & let it work 2 weeks only in the fermenter. I think going too much longer will diminish the banana character, but I base that on nothing but an old brewer's intuition.

Good luck!
 

BarcoPerdido

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Hello Buddy, any news?
I'v got the same problem, tryed everything and it didn't work.
All tipes of yeast (including liquid yeasts that smelled banana at the time of pitching), different: aeration, temp, pitching rates, mashing, grist etc. etc.
And the more frustrating is that at the brewery where I was working we brewed banana weissbier without any problem (I have repeated the proccess at home including repitching that yeast from a brewery too - nothing).
Still don't understand what's wrong with my homebrew - it just doesn't make sense
 
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Hello Buddy, any news?
I'v got the same problem, tryed everything and it didn't work.
All tipes of yeast (including liquid yeasts that smelled banana at the time of pitching), different: aeration, temp, pitching rates, mashing, grist etc. etc.
And the more frustrating is that at the brewery where I was working we brewed banana weissbier without any problem (I have repeated the proccess at home including repitching that yeast from a brewery too - nothing).
Still don't understand what's wrong with my homebrew - it just doesn't make sense
Not just yet. Got a new kitten on July 4 and he's been too much of a handful to get any brewing done. I'm going to brew next weekend, might try a hefeweizen extract kit. If that turns out then the problem has to be somewhere in my mashing technique.
 
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bracconiere

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has anyone said to try using plantains in the mash? their like starchy bananas.... not sure what the gel temp is for them....

edit: NVM i see i allready said that here ;)
 

rmchair

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Man, I spent a minute trying to get rid of banana flavors. Years ago, I used a cubicle blue container from walmart that was supposed to be a outdoors water jug but looked like a jeep gas tank. I was doing a fat tire with WY1214 (dang lhbs). I fermented in my south facing dining room which gave me 73 degrees. You could smell that banana from anywhere in the house.

Oh. No starter back then. It took a good 36 hours to get going.
 
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Eureka! My brewer's best extract kit has yielded a gloriously authentic hefeweizen with perfectly balanced clove and banana aromas!! The kit included lallamand munich classic yeast, at room temp it delivered exactly what I've been longing for!

Also, extract brewing was easy and FUN! Williams had a sale on LME, I picked up 32 lbs just to play around with. What a great option for an easy, impromptu brew day.

Thanks everybody, time for someone to throw down a donkey because this thread is OVER!

JK. I'm still going to brew an AG batch and hit it with circus peanuts; ye olde 'Clown Pianist' is too great an idea to let die.
 

ncbrewer

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Eureka! My brewer's best extract kit has yielded a gloriously authentic hefeweizen with perfectly balanced clove and banana aromas!! The kit included lallamand munich classic yeast, at room temp it delivered exactly what I've been longing for!
I've got to know - what was the beer temperature during active fermentation?
 
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I've got to know - what was the beer temperature during active fermentation?
In the spirit of KISS I chilled the wort down to 65f and pitched the dry yeast without rehydrating then let it free rise without temp control in my laundry room at about 72-75f, it finished out in about 5 days and was kegged on day 7.

Even with so little effort the results were really good. I don't perceive any extract 'twang', but this was a pretty fresh kit produced in mid-August. I buy a lot of imported Hefeweizen and I would compare the clove-banana balance to Erdinger or Huber, a bit rounder and maltier with a floral saaz note that remind me of the fresh Weissbiers I've had in Germany.

Now if I could only recreate the aroma of fresh cream like König Ludwig Weissbier Hell...
 
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you want some fresh oat malt? i haven't malted oats in a while....
Um, heck yes I do! Sounds like a great place to start!
To my palate, that's also the magical fresh cream character in Monchshof Kellerbier that so far has eluded my cloninng attempts.
 

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Have you tried increasing the amount of glucose and the OG for your hefeweizens? Mash high, aim for a 1.060-1.065 OG, ferment warm, underpitch 20-25% and try a open/semi-open fermentation. The regular Weihenstephaner is 5.4%. It finishes at 1.010. Their Vitus is a 7.7% weinzenbock, which, besides the increased alcohol, it does feel very drinkable. It's got a subtle sweetness and fruitiness, but the banana is nowhere near as proeminent as in the regular hefe. The carbonation, the body, the colour, the mouthfeel make Vitus a really easy drinking weizenbock. It also finishes at around 1.010-1.009. That's crazy ( based on the original gravity stated on their website ). I also think the must use some sort of natural carbonation / krausening. Based on FG, you would thin these beers would feel drier or better attenuated, but they don't.
 

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I've been watching this thread for a while and I'd like to congratulate @Jayjay1976 on finally achieving his dream!

I've had similar issues with heffes, though I'm not as experienced.

@Jayjay1976 what do you think contributed to this batch's success? Do you think it was the extract? Does that mean you have issues with your mashing process? I can't recall if the yeast was new too, or have you tried it before? What will you do in the future to replicate what you accomplished?
 
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Have you tried increasing the amount of glucose and the OG for your hefeweizens? Mash high, aim for a 1.060-1.065 OG, ferment warm, underpitch 20-25% and try a open/semi-open fermentation. The regular Weihenstephaner is 5.4%. It finishes at 1.010. Their Vitus is a 7.7% weinzenbock, which, besides the increased alcohol, it does feel very drinkable. It's got a subtle sweetness and fruitiness, but the banana is nowhere near as proeminent as in the regular hefe. The carbonation, the body, the colour, the mouthfeel make Vitus a really easy drinking weizenbock. It also finishes at around 1.010-1.009. That's crazy ( based on the original gravity stated on their website ). I also think the must use some sort of natural carbonation / krausening. Based on FG, you would thin these beers would feel drier or better attenuated, but they don't.
I'm a big fan of Vitus, agreed on the great profile and amazing drinkability; I've tried brewing something similar myself and failed to bring the banana at several different wort densities up to about 1.075 in a weizenbock. Not sure about the glucose, does that mean adding gluco-amylase? I have some on hand, just haven't had a chance to try it yet. Can you share more?
 
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I've been watching this thread for a while and I'd like to congratulate @Jayjay1976 on finally achieving his dream!

I've had similar issues with heffes, though I'm not as experienced.

@Jayjay1976 what do you think contributed to this batch's success? Do you think it was the extract? Does that mean you have issues with your mashing process? I can't recall if the yeast was new too, or have you tried it before? What will you do in the future to replicate what you accomplished?
Thanks @Velnerj ! I attribute the success to brewing with extract, so something must be wrong with my mashing technique. I have used this strain in the past, in fact I had a fresher pouch of it in my fridge but I opted to go with the one that came in my kit and wasn't stored refrigerated. Now I can rule out that one variable, along with the 2 oz. of Saaz that came with it, so make that two variables.

TBH, I'm still frustrated that I can't get there with AG and have to resort to a box mix, but all the same, this little victory has restored my confidence and I have 5 gallons of delicious beer to show for it.

This experiment rules out the following variables:
-wort density
-yeast strain
-yeast freshness
-fermentation temp
-fermentation time (kegged it on day 7)
-fermenter type (PET, Fermonster)
-fermenter geometry
-open vs. closed fermentation
-fermenting under pressure
-wardrobe choice and ambient music (monk robes, chants, etc.)
-freshness of hops
-my brewing mojo in general
-my racking/kegging technique

Any additional thoughts?
 

Velnerj

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Thanks @Velnerj ! I attribute the success to brewing with extract, so something must be wrong with my mashing technique. I have used this strain in the past, in fact I had a fresher pouch of it in my fridge but I opted to go with the one that came in my kit and wasn't stored refrigerated. Now I can rule out that one variable, along with the 2 oz. of Saaz that came with it, so make that two variables.

TBH, I'm still frustrated that I can't get there with AG and have to resort to a box mix, but all the same, this little victory has restored my confidence and I have 5 gallons of delicious beer to show for it.

This experiment rules out the following variables:
-wort density
-yeast strain
-yeast freshness
-fermentation temp
-fermentation time (kegged it on day 7)
-fermenter type (PET, Fermonster)
-fermenter geometry
-open vs. closed fermentation
-fermenting under pressure
-wardrobe choice and ambient music (monk robes, chants, etc.)
-freshness of hops
-my brewing mojo in general
-my racking/kegging technique

Any additional thoughts?
Could you also rule out chilling techniques? Did you use your normal chilling process or did you get a hold of an immersion chiller?
 

thehaze

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I'm a big fan of Vitus, agreed on the great profile and amazing drinkability; I've tried brewing something similar myself and failed to bring the banana at several different wort densities up to about 1.075 in a weizenbock. Not sure about the glucose, does that mean adding gluco-amylase? I have some on hand, just haven't had a chance to try it yet. Can you share more?

Glucose is a simple sugar. Gluco-amylase will break down inaccessible sugars for the yeast to chew on, thus increasing attenuation and making your beer drier. You can go through the following links below and see if you can use any of it:

 
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Could you also rule out chilling techniques? Did you use your normal chilling process or did you get a hold of an immersion chiller?
I used my normal chilling routine, recirculating through a DIY copper counterflow chiller. Glad I waited on the immersion chiller, though I still plan to get one so the break material can drop out in still wort.
 

kpsalerno

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Try getting your wheat malt pre-crushed. I'm too lazy to adjust my mill gap smaller for wheat when it's calibrated for barley malt already, so whenever I order wheat I make sure to specify for the supplier to crush for me. I would also recommend a step mash that includes a protein rest at 120F for 15 min, raise to 146F for 30 min and final rest temperature of 158F for 30 min, I have gotten great results.
 

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Late to the party, but anyways: Congratulations on getting your Hefeweizen mojo back, Jayjay! :drunk: :bigmug: :thumbsup:

It's odd though that you had to turn to an LME kit to get the banana flavor back. Hard to believe that it would be something with the mashing, but I guess it must be.

Apropos mashing: For my wheat beer #4 this year I tried to simplify to a single step mash, but unfortunately screwed up the temperature calculations and mashed at 62C, which of course is about 5C too cold. The Hefeweizen does taste great, but it definitely is a light and slightly dry beer, since I got a starting gravity of only 1.038, compared to my normal 1.05. This one fermented at 16C and slightly below, so the banana flavor is a bit suppressed. It's a very good after-workout rehydrating beer. Even better with the second pint.

Coming back to the subject of extract brewing: For wheat beer #5 I used a $25 ebay coupon (100 years of ebay) to buy 6 lbs of Briess Bavarian Wheat LME. Easiest brew ever (didn't boil the LME, just added a bit of hop tea), and the beer turned out great!
Since I pitched it on the yeast from WB #4, the fermentation took off like gangbusters within a few hours! I caught it just in time to replace the air lock with a blow off tube. Then I left it in the fermenter for another ten days, until I finally gave in to the realization that I would not finish either the Pils nor the WB #4 any time soon, so I bought a third keg ($75 + $11.xx shipping, arrived in one day from AIH in Ann Arbor!).
Very round smooth flavor. I might do more extract brewing!

Sorry about rambling in your thread. I guess you should have closed it...🚫
 

bracconiere

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Sorry about rambling in your thread. I guess you should have closed it...

MF'r just got 13lb's of oat malt shipped....have it friday, "never delete, never lock!" lol, i'm still a newbie to malting oats, i'm working with ph, i'll try it myself first....but i'm hoping with a few packages, i'll get it worked out....and every glass will pop bananas in his mouth! (sorry if that's creepy, but it's ON topic! lol)
 

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Thanks @Velnerj ! I attribute the success to brewing with extract, so something must be wrong with my mashing technique. I have used this strain in the past, in fact I had a fresher pouch of it in my fridge but I opted to go with the one that came in my kit and wasn't stored refrigerated. Now I can rule out that one variable, along with the 2 oz. of Saaz that came with it, so make that two variables.

TBH, I'm still frustrated that I can't get there with AG and have to resort to a box mix, but all the same, this little victory has restored my confidence and I have 5 gallons of delicious beer to show for it.

This experiment rules out the following variables:
-wort density
-yeast strain
-yeast freshness
-fermentation temp
-fermentation time (kegged it on day 7)
-fermenter type (PET, Fermonster)
-fermenter geometry
-open vs. closed fermentation
-fermenting under pressure
-wardrobe choice and ambient music (monk robes, chants, etc.)
-freshness of hops
-my brewing mojo in general
-my racking/kegging technique

Any additional thoughts?
Can't recall if you had mentioned techniques described in this thread, but might be worth checking out. Brewing Wheat Beer with Intensive Banana Aroma MAY/JUNE 2010 Zymurgy
 
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Planning another shot at an AG batch with banana character, this time I'm enlisting the help of Omega's OYL-400 Bananza, a POF- strain that produces plenty of esters. I'm working on the grain bill now; since this is not an attempt at a traditional Hefeweizen I'll be amping up the malt flavors with Victory and Munich.

2021-09-19 10_40_10-Omega Yeast OYL-400 Bananza™ Ale Yeast.png
 

kartracer2

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I have been tempted to try that also @Jayjay1976 . Once the weather cools a bit and liquid yeast can travel to the middle of nowhere safely, I'll probably order a pouch. I'm always up for a banana bomb.
I'll just be using extract wheat style recipe but I will be waiting for your valued opinion of the yeast.
Cheers, :mug:
Joel B.
 

Cool_Hand_Luke

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Hey thanks for the link!!
For what it’s worth I did follow this for a Hefeweizen I did in the spring and got a good quantity of banana in the finished beer. Here is the mash schedule I used. Used wyeast 3068 for yeast.

Mash Steps

NameDescriptionStep TemperatureStep Time
Mash InAdd 30.00 qt of water at 89.1 F86.0 F30 min
Mash StepHeat to 104.0 F over 5 min104.0 F30 min
Mash StepHeat to 162.0 F over 15 min162.0 F10 min
Mash OutHeat to 168.0 F over 10 min168.0 F5 min
 

superiorsat

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Planning another shot at an AG batch with banana character, this time I'm enlisting the help of Omega's OYL-400 Bananza, a POF- strain that produces plenty of esters. I'm working on the grain bill now; since this is not an attempt at a traditional Hefeweizen I'll be amping up the malt flavors with Victory and Munich.

View attachment 742905
Meh! I like Omega but was disappointed with what I got from this yeast and also there Sundew.
 

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Planning another shot at an AG batch with banana character, this time I'm enlisting the help of Omega's OYL-400 Bananza, a POF- strain that produces plenty of esters. I'm working on the grain bill now; since this is not an attempt at a traditional Hefeweizen I'll be amping up the malt flavors with Victory and Munich.

View attachment 742905
I saw that yeast a few months back and really want to give it a try. Especially after my last dunkleweizen fail. I'm just looking for the banana flavors and can't seem to find it after getting lucky on my first extract hefeweizen a few years ago.
 

bracconiere

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for some reason i'm drinking beer right now and thought of this thread.....

i'm drinking beer that is overwhelmingly bananna bubble gum....i used premiere classique yeast for it, i think that's what did it. and centenial hops lightly....

this is a two for with the same yeast....the yeast is only $30 for a 500g brick...you might be in bananna heaven! lol

personaly, it's SO banannay, i hate it! give it a try ;) every drink is like bananna deep throat!
 

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