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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: midtex on January 19, 2010, 11:25:06 pm

Title: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: midtex on January 19, 2010, 11:25:06 pm
I'm a newbie and want to make a hefeweizen. Is there any difference in technique when transferring from the primary to secondary fermenter as far as stirring-up the yeast sediment? How about from the secondary to bottling? I know the suspended yeast is part of this style of beer, but don't know if you have to stir it up to keep it in suspension or just let it settle and avoid transferring it like a typical beer. Would this style benefit from a single-stage fermentationto keep it in contact with the trub longer? Thanks for your help!
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: babalu87 on January 20, 2010, 01:16:26 am
I'm a newbie and want to make a hefeweizen. Is there any difference in technique when transferring from the primary to secondary fermenter as far as stirring-up the yeast sediment? How about from the secondary to bottling? I know the suspended yeast is part of this style of beer, but don't know if you have to stir it up to keep it in suspension or just let it settle and avoid transferring it like a typical beer. Would this style benefit from a single-stage fermentationto keep it in contact with the trub longer? Thanks for your help!

Ferment low to mid 60's
No secondary
Some brewers ( me at least ) underpitch a little on this style too
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: midtex on January 20, 2010, 06:40:28 am
I appreciate the response. I also have a question about carbonation. I prefer this to be highly carbonated and it seems that most of what I read on hefeweizen suggests it should be as well. The standard priming of corn sugar is 3/4 cup for 5 gallons. Should I consider slightly more to ensure high carbonation? I sure don't want exploding bottles. My very first batch of homebrew was a Mr. Beer kit and I decided to use Coopers Carbonation Drops instead of the table sugar they recommended because I have read that table sugar can cause off-tastes to develop - well after almost 2 weeks@72F, it's still flat. I fermented 10 days @ 72F and then bottled and have kept it at 72 the entire time and it's not carbonating. The very last bottle got some trub in it and it is the only bottle that had a reasonable amount of carbonation. I bought the "Complete Joy of Homebrewing" and I'm ready to give it another shot - this time with better equipment and knowledge.
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: Malticulous on January 20, 2010, 02:58:23 pm
I use only table sugar any more. No one could tell the difference.

You really need to use a calculator like this one (http://tastybrew.com/calculators/) and measure by weight. I like 3.5-4 volumes for hefeweizens. 4 might be pushing it for regular bottles. With PET bottles you could go higher.

I've used up to a 1/2 lb. of cane sugar in hefeweizens without off flavors or broken bottles.
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: hankus on January 20, 2010, 03:02:55 pm
Complete Joy of Homebrewing will NOT increase your knowledge azltho' "back in the day" is was the only thing we had..it's easier to learn  correctly rather than have to UNLEARN...try How to brew by Palmer -free on the net or just read advice for newbies on this forum or at Brew Your Own magazine's site
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: midtex on January 20, 2010, 03:23:27 pm
Thank you both - great resources. I hope I don't get something started here, but what's wrong with the Complete Joy of Homebrewing?
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: denny on January 20, 2010, 05:09:03 pm
Thank you both - great resources. I hope I don't get something started here, but what's wrong with the Complete Joy of Homebrewing?

Basically it's very outdated and a lot of the info in there has since been disproven.  It was a great book "in its day" and Charlie's RDWHAHB attitude gave a lot of us our start on homebrewing, but in the years since it was written a lot has changed in terms of ingredients, equipment, techniques, and knowledge.
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: redbeerman on January 20, 2010, 05:19:10 pm
I'm a newbie and want to make a hefeweizen. Is there any difference in technique when transferring from the primary to secondary fermenter as far as stirring-up the yeast sediment? How about from the secondary to bottling? I know the suspended yeast is part of this style of beer, but don't know if you have to stir it up to keep it in suspension or just let it settle and avoid transferring it like a typical beer. Would this style benefit from a single-stage fermentationto keep it in contact with the trub longer? Thanks for your help!

Ferment low to mid 60's
No secondary
Some brewers ( me at least ) underpitch a little on this style too


How much do you underpitch and what does it do for the brew?  I am about to embark on a Hefeweizen adventure as well.
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: babalu87 on January 20, 2010, 06:00:34 pm
 
Quote
How much do you underpitch and what does it do for the brew?  I am about to embark on a Hefeweizen adventure as well.

Not by much, 2/3rds or so

I get more balance , at least for my tastes
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: redbeerman on January 20, 2010, 06:06:34 pm
I may give that a shot, just don't tell Keith ;)
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: bluesman on January 20, 2010, 06:12:10 pm
I may give that a shot, just don't tell Keith ;)

You're lucky he hasn't posted on this thread.....yet.  ;D
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: majorvices on January 20, 2010, 06:17:41 pm
Actually, I pitch a 1L unstirred active starter of WLP380 HefeIV for mine - "technically" underpitching.  ;)

As far as "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing" goes, it's a great book, and is still well worth the read IMO. however, it is a bit outdated and you will have to "unlearn" some things - but his techniques and recipes do make very good beer - they worked for me when I first started. And I've unlearned quite well.  ;)

After you finish Charlie's book pick up a copy of Palmer's "How to Brew".
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 20, 2010, 06:26:08 pm

How much do you underpitch and what does it do for the brew?  I am about to embark on a Hefeweizen adventure as well.

0.3 - 0.4 mil cells / Plato
This would translate to about 1000 ml starter per 5 gal of 1048 beer.

or this is what I have found in my notes:
"Wheat beers are pitched at about 0.5 rate of ale beers to produce more esters and aromatic compounds."
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: bluesman on January 20, 2010, 06:50:06 pm
I guess Keith's ears were burning.  :D

According to Mr. Malty one would need 185 billion cells for a 12.3┬░Plato (1.048) beer under normal conditions which equates to about a 1L starter using intermittent shaking and/or stir plate.

So the consensus is to pitch anywhere between .5 - .66 of the prescribed rate. Which would equate to a .5 - .66 Liter starter

Does this seem about right?

Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: babalu87 on January 20, 2010, 08:04:26 pm
Quote
pitch anywhere between .5 - .66 of the prescribed rate

No, I pitch about 2/3  ;D
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: midtex on January 21, 2010, 01:36:48 am
Great information - thank you all!
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: majorvices on January 21, 2010, 12:45:50 pm
Since it was only lightly brushed over I will emphasize fermentation temp. Keep it low. I like to start  mine out around 58-60 degrees and keep it round 62 for a few days then slowly ramp it up to around 64-66 to finish. A lot of misconception is out there that these things are best when fermented warm - even though there are a few breweries in Germany who do ferment in the low 70s I have never had one that turned out with the proper balance brewed at home (maybe we don't have the proper strain - I dunno.)

Mash fairly low, 150-152 and keep the hops low and with a bittering addition only if you want to keep it traditional. Drink it young, no secondary, no aging. Just carb up and drink ASAP.
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: nyakavt on January 21, 2010, 01:19:12 pm
I'll second (or third) the low fermentation temps.  I tried this last month for my first true Hefeweizen and fermented at 62.  This beer turned out most excellent, very drinkable and a subtle hint of spice from the yeast.  When I was still a n00b I tried fermenting a dunkelweizen in the upper 70's.  Yeah, guess how that turned out.
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: bluesman on January 21, 2010, 02:53:59 pm
Fermenting low especially because of the decreased amount of yeast. You don't want to burn those yeaties out. You want them to work hard without getting overheated and producing excessive off-flavors.
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: midtex on January 21, 2010, 05:40:20 pm
About priming.......... I read the online vesion of How to Brew by John Palmer last night and he mentions the need to occasionally add more yeast at priming - typically for lagers that have been fermentng for months at low temps. If I ferment my hefeweizen at low to mid 60's with reduced yeast (Wyeast 3068, btw), does anyone see the need for additional yeast at bottling? I just want to ensure adequate and substantial carbonation. I am reading that 3.3-4.5 units of CO2 is typical for hefeweizen. Doe anyone know the safe limit of carbonation for 12oz glass bottles?  ???
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: redbeerman on January 21, 2010, 05:50:44 pm
You will not need to add yeast and the standard brown beer bottles I've gone above 3.5 without explosions, but I would try to stay below 4.  I've had caps dome, but the bottles did not break and that was above 4 volumes.
Title: Re: Hefeweizen techniques
Post by: majorvices on January 21, 2010, 06:05:32 pm
Fermenting at cool temps is not the same as lagering at cold temps. There will be plenty of yeast in suspension. It's a hefeweizen for cryin' out loud. You should have a hard time ever to get the yeast to drop. ;)

Another interesting tid bit, if you bottle condition in the 70s you can have full carbonation in less than 3 days usually.