Weihenstephan yeast question

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by illingwd, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. illingwd

    illingwd Member

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    I'm brewing a hefeweizen at the weekend (http://brew.grainfather.com/recipes/106315) and had a question about the White Labs Weihenstephan yeast I'm using.

    The recipe I'm using suggests you underpitch by about 30% compared with what the yeast calculators online might recommend to get a good balance of banana and clove phenols/esthers. However, many people online suggest pitch the usual amount and ferment cooler, say around 17C, to get the same effect. Meanwhile, the White Labs pack recommends pitching the one packet I have without a starter for gravities up to 1.050, which is pretty close to what I'm working with.

    All of which leaves me a bit confused about how much to pitch. Should I make up a 1L starter, or just stick the single pack of yeast in and ferment it out around 17-18C?

    Advice from anyone who's worked with this yeast before would be much appreciated.
     
  2. CRUNK

    CRUNK Well-Known Member

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    Pitch normal amount as recommended, ferment at a slightly lower temperature.

    If your really wanting a kick in the pants, you can order some yeast from the hefebank in germany, which is the actual yeast strain from wiehenstephan. Its expensive to ship, and youll have to build it up in a few starters, in the end if you bank your yeast it should last you quite awhile.

    If i had some of that strain i would send you some myself, however i do not have any in my yeast bank. Tons of 34/70 though.
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I second Crunk's recommendation: Pitch the vial. Fermentation temperature depends on what you want. If you want spicy-clove, ferment cool (around 60 degrees F). For more banana, go with a higher fermentation temp (65 - 68 degrees F).
     
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  4. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    I ferment that at 72°
    Just a hint from my friend, the brew master at our Hofbrauhaus. ;)
    Cheers,
    Brian
     
  5. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I believe in the under pitch - if you want more banana. Whenever I use the calculator for my hefe I get too much clove or at best a balance. I prefer it to have more of a smooth banana flavor. My best hefe was 1.052 pitched with one vial and fermented in the high 60's. Like 68.

    I'm now playing with dry yeast (WB-06) to see what I can get out of that yeast. I tend to prefer the dry yeasts just due to how long they store. However, if it doesn't pan out I'll end up going back to my favorite WLP300.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    Oh, bummer. I just clicked on your link and it appears that I'd have to log in to see that recipe.
     
  7. illingwd

    illingwd Member

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    Sorry I hadn’t realised the Grainfather site is for members only. It’s a standard recipe with 50/50 wheat and lager malt plus some rice hulls to prevent a stuck sparge. Two additions of Hallertauer.
     
  8. N0mad

    N0mad Well-Known Member

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    I brewed a 10 liter batch of this 12 days ago and fermented at 65° I pulled a gravity sample last night and it looks and taste exactly like I had hoped for using the Wyeast 3068 pitching the entire packet... I am going to brew this again and experiment with higher temps I followed this recipe and method from Beer Advocate - Hefe Weissbier, Bavarian Style... I love this style of beer and would buy Paulaner Hefeweizen by the case when Costco had it in stock... I'm sure yours will be great and enjoyable.
     
  9. illingwd

    illingwd Member

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    Thanks for the advice all. Vigorous fermentation now seems to be underway so I'll report back in a couple of weeks once it's ready to drink. In case anyone's interested, I'm blogging about my various brew days, recipes etc at www.arthursbrewhouse.wordpress.com and I've posted details of this recipe up there.
     
  10. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I love the website! Very nice write up. I'll be following! Good luck on the Hefe.

    I just bottled mine on Saturday after using the WB-06 yeast and fermenting at basement temps 62-65 F (16.6 - 18.3 C). I'm hoping for the best but we'll see. I prefer Dunkleweizen so I may be bias as to what I think about it.... However, its for a wedding so we'll see what the guests say.
     
  11. illingwd

    illingwd Member

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    Update. Six days after pitching the yeast I'm at 1.022. Slower fermentation than I expected. It's been at 18C in my brew fridge, so perhaps the slightly cooler temperature has meant fermentation is slower than usual.

    Question now is - do I leave it for longer at 18C, or should I let the temp rise a bit, say to 21C, to encourage full attenuation? Would an increased temp affect the balance of flavour/aroma at this point? The sample I've just tried has a nice but not overpowering banana aroma so I'd be reticent to risk more banana at a higher temperature...
     
  12. illingwd

    illingwd Member

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    Thanks, glad you like it! I'm writing mainly for my own records right now but hoping the site will become a resource for others starting out in brewing as I build up more articles.
     
  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    First, the banana-fruit aroma indicates it's already been at a higher temperature rather early in the fermentation. Increasing the temperature might actually help rid the beer of some of that flavor. I'd recommend it anyway, it's called a diacetyl rest. And 18 is not cool for a lager yeast! I ferment my 34/70 (the trade designation for the Weihenstephan strain in dried form) lagers at 10-12 degrees C. If I had to guess, I'd say the 18 degree fermentation temperature was the cause of the esters, letting it rise as far as you'd like now won't hurt a thing.
     
  14. illingwd

    illingwd Member

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    Good to know, thanks for the advice. I hadn’t realised this yeast was considered a lager yeast given the temp my recipe suggested for fermentation.
     
  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I just realized you were talking about your Dunkelweizen, which wouldn't have been fermented with the Weihenstephan strain I was thinking of, the Helles strain. You would have been using the Weizen strain and the temperature you mentioned is completely correct for it. Sorry for the misinformation. That strain at 18 C should give a good banana nose. I prefer it at around 15.5 degrees, where it produces a nice spicy clove flavor I like in Dunkelweizens.

    Again, sorry for my error!
     
  16. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    The flavor profile should be set by now. If you raise temp it should finish quicker, but it should finish where the temp is if you have the patience. Either way you should be ok.
     
  17. thehaze

    thehaze Active Member

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    I have successfully used Danstar Munich Classic, which is the dry Weihenstephaner strain and got very good results. Each time the Wheat malt was at 50%. It makes good hefeweizens and for my taste, I usually ferment warmer than 68F and get banana, clove and some generic fruit. It's definitely a very crisp, soft yeast strain. It's easy on the palate and I like banana in my hefes, so I pitch wamt and ferment warm.

    I too underpitch - I do it for belgians as well - and helps with the overall ester and phenolic profile of the beer. Next time I'll be brewing a 7.5% Weizenbock with 65% Wheat and 35% Munich I ( Weyermann ) + lactose, vanilla and some apricots/mango/peaches just for kicks. I can barely wait.

    Cheers.
     

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