Wyeast 3638 vs. WB-06

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csantoni

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My next batch is a Belgian Wit I’ve made a few times before. My LHBS was out of WB-06 which is my usual yeast for this recipe so I got some Wyeast 3836. I want to keep the banana flavors down and accentuate the clove and spicy phenols. Does anyone have any advice for doing that with 3836? Fermentation temp, mash temps, etc.
 
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I really love the 3836. As mentioned on their website, the lower the fermentation temperature, the less banana flavor.

Once I made a starter to overpitched and had a real strong clove flavor. Less than one pack for a 5 gallon would be underpitching and favorise the banana.

Profile: A complex alternative to the standard German wheat strain profile. This strain produces apple, pear, and plum esters in addition to the dominant banana character. The esters are complemented nicely by clove and subtle vanilla phenolics. The balance can be manipulated towards ester production through increasing fermentation temperature, increasing the wort density, and decreasing the pitch rate. Over pitching can result in a near complete loss of banana character. Decreasing the ester level will allow a higher clove character to be perceived
 

ebbelwoi

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Just to clarify, you're talking about Wyeast 3638, right? The hefeweizen strain?

In addition to a lower fermenting temp, you could do a ferulic acid rest for more clove. but I think that might be the only "spicy" phenol you'll get from it.
 
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csantoni

csantoni

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Yeah, I guess I had it backwards, it's 3638. I may go back and get another smack pack so I can overpitch. My last batch was excellent except it turned into a bit of a banana bomb as it aged.

I looked at the ferulic acid rest but my setup isn't very good for step mashes. I'm going to try to overpitch and keep the temp low and see what happens.
 

dmtaylor

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Several thoughts:

I've run an experiment with 3638 vs. WB-06. I preferred the 3638 but found it to be extremely mild on the clove and banana. Which is actually great for a witbier, you don't want much if any of either clove or banana...

Not sure why you would want to use a German hefeweizen yeast to make a Belgian witbier? Fortunately...

If you had used WB-06, this is actually a Belgian yeast and not German. But... personally, I don't like the WB-06 at all. It too is pretty clean with respect to phenols and banana, but instead adds a strong tartness/acidity. I measured a very low pH in the finished beer (I forget the value). I would recommend avoiding WB-06 for ANY beer style.

The 3638 should turn out great for a witbier. My only advice might be to keep fermentation temperature on the cool side, low 60s F. This will accentuate the (very slight) clove, and minimize the banana (also slight anyway). Use a good high pitch rate.
 
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csantoni

csantoni

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I was in a rush at the LHBS and did a quick web search that I thought told me that 3638 was a good alternative to WB-06. They didn’t have any other dry yeasts for wheat beers either. I may have misread the number (sorta like when I first posted this).

Ultimately, what I want is something fairly clean so I think I’ll be OK. My recipe started as an Allagash White Clone so I don’t really need banana or clove from the yeast. I’m not equipped to do a starter as I always use dry yeast so my pitch rate may be a little less than ideal.
 

CascadesBrewer

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If you had used WB-06, this is actually a Belgian yeast and not German. But... personally, I don't like the WB-06 at all. It too is pretty clean with respect to phenols and banana, but instead adds a strong tartness/acidity. I measured a very low pH in the finished beer (I forget the value). I would recommend avoiding WB-06 for ANY beer style.

I just kegged a Belgian Blond recipe that I split with WB-06 and Lallemand Abbaye...mostly motivated by your sheet showing WB-06 was related to some other Belgian Golden Ale type yeasts. The beers were in the fermenter for almost 4 weeks. Partially just due to my schedule, and partially because the WB-06 batch was still pretty yeasty and always had some small bubbles, so I figured I would let it do its thing.
These beers are very different. The WB-06 batch has an odd combo of tart green apple and bubble gum (it finished at 1.004 from 1.064). The Abbaye batch is much closer to what I would look for in a Belgian Blond with some subtle yeast complexity, but it blends with the grain and hop character (it finished at 1.010 from the same 1.064 wort). I am curious how these will be once carbonated with some age.
As I have been digging into using dry yeast more lately, I am starting to learn that it is not that I don't like dry yeast, it is that there is a lot of Fermentis yeast that I dislike...and Fermentis was about the only game in town for a long time.

IMG_3523.JPG
 

couchsending

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If you want to make Allagash white it’s very easy to harvest yeast from their cans or bottles of it or you can buy it from The Yeast Bay.

Neither of those yeasts are great for Wit beer honestly. Use a wit beer yeast or a mild Belgian strain. Allagash uses their yeast for everything but Saison I believe, or did for a while. Ardennes is great (3522). Oyl-029 from Omega is a great option. It’s the same as Wyeast 3942-PC which I believe is from De Dolle.
 

dmtaylor

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I've always gotten excellent results from the standard witbier yeasts WLP400 and Wyeast 3944.

And you *might* be able to get acceptable results from Lalbrew Wit (renamed, used to be called "Munich" until they realized they messed up), or from Mangrove Jack M21 which is undoubtedly almost the same thing.
 
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