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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: James Lorden on December 03, 2010, 04:09:27 PM

Title: In your opinion when do Hefe's start to fade
Post by: James Lorden on December 03, 2010, 04:09:27 PM
Hefe's are notoriously short lived.  I have one that is a little over a month old.  At two weeks it scored a 40 in a local comp and had incredible banana and clove aroma.  Last night, only a month later, I feel like this charechter is already falling off. 

I haven't ruled out changes in carbonation and the pour as a potential reason since I have been tinkering with my draft system, but still, just wondering what others experience.
Title: Re: In your opinion when do Hefe's start to fade
Post by: gordonstrong on December 03, 2010, 04:12:38 PM
Hefes are new car beers.  Drive them off the lot, and they lose half their value.

They fall off quickly.  They can still be good for a few months, but they're never as good as when fermentation finishes.  Drink them as soon as you can.
Title: Re: In your opinion when do Hefe's start to fade
Post by: James Lorden on December 03, 2010, 04:48:03 PM
well then, this is the last time I make a ten gallon batch of hefe - either that or I need to make more local beer friends!
Title: Re: In your opinion when do Hefe's start to fade
Post by: richardt on December 03, 2010, 05:00:55 PM
I did the same thing 10 gallon batch of American Wheat.
Still got some left but it's getting kinda blah, blah, boring.
They're good for end of the season baseball parties.
Title: Re: In your opinion when do Hefe's start to fade
Post by: dmtaylor on December 03, 2010, 05:19:48 PM
Yeah, a couple of months and quality drops off fast.  Drink it up as fast as you can.
Title: Re: In your opinion when do Hefe's start to fade
Post by: abraxas on December 03, 2010, 05:21:56 PM
Has a lot to do with the yeast settling in my opinion.  I bet the warmer you store them the longer they would remain "fresh".
Title: Re: In your opinion when do Hefe's start to fade
Post by: hamiltont on December 03, 2010, 05:25:16 PM
I generally brew ~10 gallon batches but almost never more than 5 for a Weissbier.  In the keg, carb it up & bring it to the party... Cheers!!!
Title: Re: In your opinion when do Hefe's start to fade
Post by: James Lorden on December 03, 2010, 05:51:38 PM
They can still be good for a few months, but they're never as good as when fermentation finishes.  Drink them as soon as you can.

So Gordon - or anyone who takes competition seriously... When brewed for a comp (like nationals) it sounds like you try to time this so that it's done fermenting as you are preparing to ship your entries.  Is that correct.

I know you won this catagory before at nationals - did you re-brew for second round?

(and as an ode to Gordon - this beer that I won with was a blend.  Same batch but fermented in two carboys, one with WLP 300 adn WLP 380,  I then blended the two beers to get the appropriate clove and bannana I was looking for)
Title: Re: In your opinion when do Hefe's start to fade
Post by: hopfenundmalz on December 03, 2010, 08:08:43 PM
Hefes are new car beers.  Drive them off the lot, and they lose half their value.

So are Barleywines the the Pickup trucks of beers?   They just keep going, and are good with some age.   ;)
Title: Re: In your opinion when do Hefe's start to fade
Post by: gordonstrong on December 03, 2010, 08:19:35 PM
They can still be good for a few months, but they're never as good as when fermentation finishes.  Drink them as soon as you can.

So Gordon - or anyone who takes competition seriously... When brewed for a comp (like nationals) it sounds like you try to time this so that it's done fermenting as you are preparing to ship your entries.  Is that correct.

I know you won this catagory before at nationals - did you re-brew for second round?

(and as an ode to Gordon - this beer that I won with was a blend.  Same batch but fermented in two carboys, one with WLP 300 adn WLP 380,  I then blended the two beers to get the appropriate clove and bannana I was looking for)

Yes, I rebrewed my hefe for the second round.  Kept it cold, treated it well, crossed my fingers...  Never blended a hefe, but that sounds like a great way to get the exact banana/clove balance you want.
Title: Re: In your opinion when do Hefe's start to fade
Post by: euge on December 03, 2010, 10:49:43 PM
I've never had one go past a month so I can't say for sure. Does that mean commercial beers like Paulaner Hefe-Weizen really are sub-par? I enjoy them.
Title: Re: In your opinion when do Hefe's start to fade
Post by: kerneldustjacket on December 03, 2010, 11:33:52 PM
Want to brew 10 or more gallons at a time?
Get yourself a southern German wife...worked for me.

I brew 12 gallons of hefe at a time...keg in four 3 gallon kegs...tap one a week for four weeks.

The last keg is different from the first...yet I still find I enjoy experiencing the brew's evolution.
Title: Re: In your opinion when do Hefe's start to fade
Post by: beveragebob on December 03, 2010, 11:42:58 PM
If you bottle, I'd say prime and bottle condition with the yeast. That way you can swirl the dregs for more character. In the same vein after the keg has settled, jostle the keg around before pouring. I usually only make 5 gallons in the summer and it drinks better than water after being out in the 100F heat so, it usually doesn't last that long. SWMBO loves it too especially when we are having some kind of fish for dinner. Wonderful food pairing.
Title: Re: In your opinion when do Hefe's start to fade
Post by: Malticulous on December 04, 2010, 01:21:32 AM
I know Erdinger and probably some other German breweries filter and kraeusen with lager yeast to improve the shelf stability. It's too much hastle for me ever to bother with.