Reusing Wheat Yeast Cake

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ryscott

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I am brewing a wheat beer tonight using Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen. I would like to (if possible) use the yeast cake from this beer for a high gravity ale. I would like to make a saison, stout, or barleywine. I don't have a setup for mashing yet, so I'm stuck with extract recipes.

Any recommendations for what type of high gravity ale would work best with this yeast? Thanks.
 

EdWort

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Bavarian wheat yeasts like 3068 are very specific to that style and don't lend themselves to working well for your other styles. Your best bet would be another wheat beer where banana and cloves are wanted esters as well as a cloudy beer.
 

ohiobrewtus

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Bavarian wheat yeasts like 3068 are very specific to that style and don't lend themselves to working well for your other styles. Your best bet would be another wheat beer where banana and cloves are wanted esters as well as a cloudy beer.
+1. You can certainly reuse this cake, but you'll want to brew up a hefe/weizenbock/roggenbier to pitch on top of it.

All yeasts are not the same. I can't imagine drinking a saison, stout or barleywine witht he banana/clove nose of a hefe.
 
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ryscott

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Hmm that's what I thought. Maybe I'll try a dunkelweizen on the yeast cake instead.
 

BarleyWater

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Hefewiezen, Dunkelwiezen, Roggenbier, Wiezenbock, or possibly an American wheat or rye beer; these are your only choices really.
 

Poobah58

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How 'bout a wheatwine? Make a high gravity beer with 50% wheat and 50% pale and pitch it on the cake. When it dies down, pitch some higher gravity yeast like 1056 or WLP007.
 

jmulligan

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Or do what I did with my 3068 yeast cake - make apfelwein. Turned out great, and then you can move on to whatever beer you want.
 
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ryscott

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How 'bout a wheatwine? Make a high gravity beer with 50% wheat and 50% pale and pitch it on the cake. When it dies down, pitch some higher gravity yeast like 1056 or WLP007.
Wow that sounds very cool. How would that work? Wait for the gravity to stop decreasing then throw on some new yeast?
 
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ryscott

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Or do what I did with my 3068 yeast cake - make apfelwein. Turned out great, and then you can move on to whatever beer you want.
I'm actually making a Blueberry Apfelwein on the same yeast tonight :)
 

Poobah58

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Wow that sounds very cool. How would that work? Wait for the gravity to stop decreasing then throw on some new yeast?
That's the idea. The Hefe yeast won't be able to finish the job but since you have a yeast cake they should be able to get going even at a high gravity (1.090 or higher). Give them a week or so then pitch another yeast to finish the job. You should still get some Hefe characteristics (banana, clove, etc). BTW that second yeast starter will have to be a big one. At least 4L or so...
We plan on doing a wheatwine just like this in the very near future (less the yeast cake). I have some info on wheatwine brewing from New Holland Brewing if interested.
 

Poobah58

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soo Interested. :rockin:
Ben
It's nice when you email a brewmaster for help and he actually responds. From John Haggerty at New Holland Brewing Co.:

Let's see - making wheat wine is a lot like making barley wine. You need to use a helluva lot of malt. The primary difference is that 50% or more is wheat which adds some things to think about.

A couple of things:

1. I wouldn't add any specialty malt but if you do it should be minimal. the reason being that this wort is already going to be very high gravity and will never ferment out like a normal beer. That means that your finishing gravity will already be higher than normal and too much specialty malt can result in a finish that is too sweet. Additionally, the fact that you will have such a high sugar content will accelerate the Maillard reactions that go on in your kettle (protein and sugar reacting in the presence of heat) which will naturally cause the wort to darken a bit.

2. Hops selection is only important in regard to style designation, i.e. American or English? This beer doesn't really exist in England but barley wines do and if you are going for that sort of hop flavor/intensity then you should consider using English hops and be somewhat reserved with them. If you are going for an American style then hop the bejesus out of it and use American style hops. Regardless, you will be using a lot of hops either way comparatively speaking because of the large gravity of the beer.

3. Yeast is important when making this beer. You want a yeast that will be able to handle the big workload facing it without creating a bunch of off flavors. Additionally, you want something that will not quit on you early. There is a lot of work to be done here so get a yeast that attenuates well. We use 1056 but there are certainly other strains out there that will work.

4. Finally, your grain bill is so large that it sometimes behooves you to split the mash in two and do two smaller mashes but only take enough wort to fill the kettle once. Usually what we do with beer like this is mash the first half of the grain and sparge until the kettle is half full. We then take the last runnings from the first mash and use them to mash in the second mash. This helps keep the gravity of the wort elevated as much as possible.
 
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ryscott

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I have some info on wheatwine brewing from New Holland Brewing if interested.
Ben beat me to it, but thanks for that information, very helpful. How many days do you think it would take to make a starter of that size?
 
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