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General Category => Extract/Partial Mash Brewing => Topic started by: pokeysbrew on August 01, 2010, 02:15:45 PM

Title: Wheat Ale
Post by: pokeysbrew on August 01, 2010, 02:15:45 PM
I recently tried to brew a variation of moshers Garden of Wheat'n Bavarian Weizen.  I am having major fermentation problems now.  I am experiencing one of the most sluggish fermentations I have ever seen.  The recipie went as follows

6 1/4 # Muntons Wheat Liquid Malt
1 1/2# Muntons extr light dry malt
2 oz. hallertaur pellets
Wyeast 3056 British Bavarian

I just wanted to try it with straight extract, so i didn't include any steeping malt.  The punch pouch did not expand much after 3 hours.  After 2 days there were no signs of fermentation.  I repitched some redstar champagne yeast I had hanging around. and now there is a very small layer of foam on the top.  Is there anything else I can do?  Where did I go wrong?  Any help would be greatly appreciated. 
Title: Re: Wheat Ale
Post by: tygo on August 01, 2010, 02:32:53 PM
Sounds like you just pitched the smack pack without brewing up a starter.  I'd guess that is your primary problem.  Since you already pitched additional yeast I'd give it another day or so to see what happens.
Title: Re: Wheat Ale
Post by: majorvices on August 01, 2010, 02:50:42 PM
Yep. when using liquid yeast you need to always make a starter or pitch multiple packs. See the pitching calc at www.mrmalty.com to get an idea what size starter you need.
Title: Re: Wheat Ale
Post by: dbeechum on August 02, 2010, 02:43:20 AM
And unless I'm misremembering - you're stuck with what the Champagne yeast gives you now since it's a "killer" strain and pretty much every beer yeast out there will get stopped cold by it.
Title: Re: Wheat Ale
Post by: majorvices on August 02, 2010, 11:25:52 AM
I missed the champagne yeast part. You would have been better off using a regular ale or lager yeast rather than a champagne yeast. A lot of people are under misimpression that champagne yeast is some sort of "super yeast" and that it will dry our any beer and eat through anything. It does have a higher alcohol tolerance but is actually "engineered" to eat fructose, not maltose. In beer wort it may actually less fermentable.

All that said, have you taken a FG reading yet? Don't trust visual inspection or air lock bubbles. Take a hydrometer reading. And be aware that hefeweizen yeast strain may appear to be fermenting (eg: will have a lid of krausen) for weeks after they are finished.
Title: Re: Wheat Ale
Post by: pokeysbrew on August 08, 2010, 05:58:02 PM
The wheat ale did ferment down to about 1.020.  It had a sulfur smell to it, but tasted like a normal wheat ale.  However, now there is some skin on the top.  If this is bacteria or mold, is there still hope?  It is presently in a fermenting bucket.  When I transfer to secondary or bottling bucket, if I draw off all the wort being careful not to disturb the skin, will it be ok?  I brewed 2 batches at the same time, and the other one went off without a hitch.  Since the other batch is good, I don't really think it is sanitation problems.