Wyeast XL 3068 Weihenstephan Questions

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Apotter, Nov 6, 2020.

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  1. Apotter

    Apotter New Member

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    First time using the forums. I tried to search for more specific info about my situation with this yeast but couldn't find any so I'll just ask here. Excuse my metric system.

    I usually make 100-litre batches but this is the first time I decided to use liquid yeast for my hefe. Unfortunately, liquid yeast is insanely expensive where I live and I'd have to pay more for yeast than for all the other materials combined, and some more, if I want to skip making a large starter, as is in this case.

    So, I decided to make a small 20-25 litre starter. The fermentation went well, I got a lot of sulfur during that time but google taught me that this is normal for this specific yeast and it should stay in primary for about 3 weeks until all that off-flavor is gone. All good. I brewed my main 80 litre batch and poured the starter in (been fermenting for almost 2 weeks). There was still some sulfur smell in the yeast but that wasn't a problem since I was planning on letting the main batch sit in the primary for as long as necessary.

    So here is what bothers me... The starter produced A LOT of sulfur smell for such a tiny batch that lingered in the house for more than 48 hours. The main batch, however, produced none. It's been fermenting for 8 days now at 22 C and it smells delicious. My question is.... do I really need to let it sit in the primary for 3 weeks? Has anyone been in the situation I am? Any tips are appreciated.
     
  2. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I don't know that specific yeast, but I do have quite a bit of experience with sulfur production in yeast. Lager yeast are famous for it. In fact, that's what often helps set them apart, lending them a crispiness and distinctive aroma.

    Ale yeasts will sometimes produce sulfur, but it's at lower levels than lager yeast. The other thing I noticed about some ale yeast is that they will produce sulfur in the starter but not in the batch. Pitch rates, temperatures and the number of times the yeast has been pitched will all affect the yeast's performance, including sulfur production.

    Since the second fermentation produce less sulfur, it may be ready much sooner. Warmer temperatures, vigorous fermentations and de-gassing will also reduce the sulfur odor, most times it's never at a level high enough to remain permanently and it's reduced with aging. If the fermentation went well, there's is no reason it needs 3 weeks, it's a Hefe, not a Pilsner. Drink up!
     
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  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you have any problem at all. In fact, why didn't you just make a 20-25 liter beer and repitch the yeast? Sulfur is normal in these yeasts, underpitching them is one way to get the good ester profile... Next time, instead of a starter, make a small batch of beer! Hefeweizen is such a low IBU beer the alpha acids won't stress the yeast at all, it's low gravity so no stress from alcohol, win-win! Oh, 22 degrees C is a bit warm for this yeast - I'm thinking you made a bubblegum ale at that temperature. I ferment mine at about 18 C and get a good balance of clove and banana. N=1, use these numbers for comparison... In fact, the temperature may have had something to do with the sulfur production. In my cooler fermentation, my chamber doesn't smell like the gates of Hell.
     
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  4. Apotter

    Apotter New Member

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    I am aiming for more banana/bubble gum, to be honest. Before I poured the starter into the main batch, i bottled 4 bottles, just as a test. Apart from slight sulfur smell (no sulfur when tasting), there is little bubblegum/banana flavors, if any at all. It was very crisp and kinda reminded me of a pilsner but with an off-flavor. Could be the sulfur overwhelming everything else in the beer. As I said, first time using this yeast, and smack packs in general.
     
  5. Medarius

    Medarius Active Member

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    Hope this helps. This is from Wyeast page.

    Profile: The classic and most popular German wheat beer strain used worldwide. This yeast strain produces a beautiful and delicate balance of banana esters and clove phenolics. The balance can be manipulated towards ester production through increasing the 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. Sulfur is commonly produced, but will dissipate with conditioning. This strain is very powdery and will remain in suspension for an extended amount of time following attenuation. This is true top cropping yeast and requires fermentor headspace of 33%.

    Metric Temperature Range: 18-24 °C

    Im not an expert but have used 3068 a few times. I found this yeast prefers the first couple days @ 18-19 C, if youre aiming for the sweet side, banana/bubblegum.
    I brew nothing but weizen beers and always use Wyeast 3056, because it is nicer for bottle conditioning, as a combo wheat/ale yeast.
    My fermentaion schedule is UNDER pitch @ 20 C(68F) and bring down to 18c (65F) for 2 days then let temp rise naturally for next 3-4 days to 21C(69-70F). Normally, I bottle on day 6 , since I want to still have yeast in suspension for bottle conditioning.
     
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  6. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    I am just brewing a Weizenbock. Which I am expecting to be a darker, maltier version.
    I read that over pitching yeast led to more banana, but that is opposite to what I am reading here. Oh well...
    I am using a dry yeast, Mangrove Jack's Bavarian Wheat yeast. I threw two packets at it as one packet was an under pitch according to the pitch calculator.
    It's all about experimentation this brewing business.
    I'll let you know how I get on. You might have a dry alternative.
     
  7. Apotter

    Apotter New Member

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    It's a bit hard to figure out how much yeast to pitch in since I made a starter FOR a larger starter that I pitched into my main batch. Normally for 100 litre batch I could've used 4 smack packs to slightly under pitch, but that's ~$100 just for yeast alone and not always I can buy that many from my store since most of the liquid yeast is imported on demand with often halfway through its expiration date.

    Just an update on the batch: I recirculated 5-10 litres from the bottom of the fermenter very carefully and yep, the sulfur hit me in the face right away. I guess it drops to the bottom and just sits there. No idea how to deal with it but just wait i guess. I opened the lid of the fermenter just enough for gas to escape easier and faster, hopefully this will speed up the process.
     
  8. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Woof that is a lot for yeast. I'd if you're not getting the esters you want to try a smaller amount of starter the next time, stress on the yeast is what develops those aromas and flavours and you may just not be stressing it.
     
  9. Apotter

    Apotter New Member

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    I've brewed many hefes with dry yeast before (often collecting and reusing my yeast because it gives me better results with each generation). I never had any issues with aromas, I always got what I aimed for. No under pitching, either.
    The yeast smack pack warns that it's enough for 18-20 L batch. My starter was 25 L and there were no aromas and flavors in that one, too.
    At this point I've lost all hope in this batch. After 6 years of brewing and over 100 successful beers, It's the first one that I'll probably dump, move on and think again before using liquid yeast.
    I'll give it a bit more time.
     
  10. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I don't like banana so I'd probably consider it a win personally.
     
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  11. Apotter

    Apotter New Member

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    So it's official. This is my first batch as a home brewer that got ruined, and I only have the yeast to blame. Everything else I did as I've always done, to the last detail.
    Next is an Irish Red with a hint of vanilla. My Christmassy ale so-to-speak.
     
  12. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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  13. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear.
     

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