Switch to cold conditioning?

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nonamekevin

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Hello,

I recently brewed a Dunkelweizen using WY3068 yeast with starter. Started fermentation at 62F per the recipe instructions, let that run for about 3 days or so, and then set the kegerator to 70F for the d-rest. I have left the door to the kegerator wide open for ~4 days now set at 70F, and the compressor hasn't kicked on once (room temp between 72-75F).

Q1: I need to stick an independent thermometer in there to see temp, but it seems like maybe the temp controller of the kegerator isn't as accurate as I'd like? How can I improve my system as described?

The blow-off tube has been continuously bubbling for the past 4 days, but has really slowed down the last 24-36hr. My plan was to d-rest a minimum of 4 days at 70F (its been slowly coming up to room temp over the last 4 days) before switching to pressurized cold conditioning, where I drop temps 2F a day until hitting 45F.

Q2: I'm wondering if I should let it go longer in d-rest until it stops bubbling before cold conditioning starts, or if I should base my decision on a gravity reading. Maybe both? I'm in no rush, if it needs to go longer before cold conditioning, no worries.
 

3 Dawg Night

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A1: I tape my temperature controller probe to the side of my fermenter, with a foam coozie over it to insulate it from the ambient temperature. It's the temperature of the beer that you care about; not the temperature of the air.

A2: Why are you cold-conditioning a dunkelweizen? You don't really want to cold crash for clarity; you want that yeast to stay in suspension. In my experience, weizens tend to be better young. Personally, I raise the temperature of my ales 5-6 degrees during the last 1/3 to 1/4 of fermentation, and I leave it there until fermentation is complete (as evidenced by stable gravity readings).
 
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nonamekevin

nonamekevin

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A1: I tape my temperature controller probe to the side of my fermenter, with a foam coozie over it to insulate it from the ambient temperature. It's the temperature of the beer that you care about; not the temperature of the air.

A2: Why are you cold-conditioning a dunkelweizen? You don't really want to cold crash for clarity; you want that yeast to stay in suspension. In my experience, weizens tend to be better young. Personally, I raise the temperature of my ales 5-6 degrees during the last 1/3 to 1/4 of fermentation, and I leave it there until fermentation is complete (as evidenced by stable gravity readings).

A1 follow - my temp controller is simply the kegerator itself, not an external rainbird or Johnson Control unit. Am I understanding correctly that you're saying I should find the temp sensor of the kegerator and re-route it to the side of my fermenter?

A2 follow up - I'm following Palmers chapter on fermentation, which I understood to be more general for ales. He recommends d-rest for minimum 4 days for ales, and then to cold condition between 7-13 days. He described cold crashing as stressful on yeast, which could lead to unwanted lipid excretion. This is my first time doing temp controlled fermenting, so im following Palmers info as a starting place.

I appreciate the response and support.
 

monkeymath

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I think Hefeweizen is one of very few beer styles where you actually want to have yeast in your glass.

Are you bottling or kegging? If you bottle condition (which is the usual method for Hefeweizen), there's really no need for a diacetyl rest, since it will be cleaned up during conditioning.

As for the cold conditioning, I'd agree with 3DawgNight that Hefeweizen is all about freshness. It's not meant to be bright, clean and smooth, it's supposed to hit your taste buds with banana and clove. And the banana (isoamyl acetate) actually declines rather quickly.


Random side note: the term "Dunkelweizen" seemed a bit funny to me (I've only read it here on HBT), so I googled the term and found only international references to it (as opposed to German ones). The BJCP guidelines list it as a separate style, yet none of the listed commercial examples is actually called "Dunkelweizen".
(If I were to order one at a pub or restaurant in Munich, I'd ask for a "Dunkles Weißbier".)
 

3 Dawg Night

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A1 follow - my temp controller is simply the kegerator itself, not an external rainbird or Johnson Control unit. Am I understanding correctly that you're saying I should find the temp sensor of the kegerator and re-route it to the side of my fermenter?

A2 follow up - I'm following Palmers chapter on fermentation, which I understood to be more general for ales. He recommends d-rest for minimum 4 days for ales, and then to cold condition between 7-13 days. He described cold crashing as stressful on yeast, which could lead to unwanted lipid excretion. This is my first time doing temp controlled fermenting, so im following Palmers info as a starting place.

I appreciate the response and support.
A1a: I didn't catch that you were using ambient temp. The fermenting beer will be a few degrees warmer than the ambient air, so you may want to set the temperature a little lower than the fermentation temperature you're aiming for. Of course, as fermentation slows, the yeast generate less heat, so the temperature of your beer will be closer to ambient. Easier than re-routing your kegerator temp sensor would be buying an external controller (e.g., Inkbird or Johnson) and hooking your kegerator up to that.

A2a: It's been a couple of years since I read HtB, and I didn't remember that. However, if you're kegging, you'll get that cold conditioning while it's carbonating anyway.

As for the cold conditioning, I'd agree with 3DawgNight that Hefeweizen is all about freshness. It's not meant to be bright, clean and smooth, it's supposed to hit your taste buds with banana and clove. And the banana (isoamyl acetate) actually declines rather quickly.

Absolutely this. My last dunkelweizen (or dunkles weißbier, for @monkeymath) was like drinking banana bread when it was fresh, but the banana esters really fell out after 3-5 weeks.
 
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nonamekevin

nonamekevin

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I'm kegging mostly, with maybe a dozen bottles for giving away. I've been 7 days in my fermenting keg currently, 3 days at 62F, 4 days at 70F.

It sounds like I could transfer to my serving keg and just throw it in the kegerator at 36F? I had planned cold conditioning, but now I'm not sure.
 
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nonamekevin

nonamekevin

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Checked FG, and it's right at the high end for this recipe. OG was ~1.058, FG was about 1.015, which puts me in the 5.7% range (recipe says top of ABV is about 5.6%.)

Disconnected the blow off tube, hooked up CO2 tank, and have it pressurized at 10psi @ 68F. Will be dropping 2 degrees a day until I hit 45F, then I'll transfer to my serving keg. The smell from the sample I took for the SG is HEAVY cloves and banana. Looking forward to trying it in two weeks. Thanks for the help all.
 
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