Author Topic: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?  (Read 12518 times)

Offline hulkavitch

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2012, 07:41:43 AM »
I swear in the bavarian hefe podcast of the Jamil show he said ferulic acid is the precurser to the banana character not the clove.

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2012, 08:12:49 AM »
I swear in the bavarian hefe podcast of the Jamil show he said ferulic acid is the precurser to the banana character not the clove.

If he did he misspoke. but that's no biggie. it happens.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2012, 08:22:46 AM »
I was planning on making another batch of weizen soon. Over on the HBD board I saw Chris White recommends 5-7m/ml for a weizen. I've never tried pitching one that low, or as high as what Narziss recommends. It sounds like an experiment is in order. It wouldn't be too hard to do a split batch and see which one turns out better.

It would be interesting to further split things out and ferment each of them at different temps. It would be nice to see what makes a bigger difference - temperature or pitching rate, and also whether the two are additive or whether you max out on phenols or esters at a certain point.

FWIW - I typically pitch 1 smackpack of 3638 with no starter for a 5-gallon batch of a 1.050ish weizen, which is right at the lower end of the range Chris White gives. Fermenting at 64-65 gives some real nice phenols (clove with a bit of cinnamon/vanilla) but the banana is still there. I couldn't keep the temp down as well as I wanted on my last batch and it ended up fermenting at 68F. I lost most of the phenols, but didn't get as much banana as I would have liked either. These have all been extract batches, so YMMV.
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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2012, 10:03:08 AM »
I swear in the bavarian hefe podcast of the Jamil show he said ferulic acid is the precurser to the banana character not the clove.

If he did he misspoke. but that's no biggie. it happens.

+1 - the ferulic acid is the precursor to the 4 vinyl guaiacol which is the clove-like phenol predominant in hefeweizens.
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Offline thcipriani

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2012, 11:43:17 PM »
I was planning on making another batch of weizen soon. Over on the HBD board I saw Chris White recommends 5-7m/ml for a weizen. I've never tried pitching one that low, or as high as what Narziss recommends. It sounds like an experiment is in order. It wouldn't be too hard to do a split batch and see which one turns out better.

What I've always thought was weird is that Dan Gordon has said he pitches at 6E6/mL in a hefe AND his original doctoral project was to translate Narziss into English. Why would someone who studied directly under Narziss, who still follows the Rheinhisgibot, go against tradition/teachings like that? I really think the presentation that is quoting Narziss is MISquoting him.

Also, the Eric Warner book quotes many modern German breweries pitching roughly 7E6/mL.

I brewed 2 hefes back-to-back both 1.048—one at 20E6/mL one at 6E6/mL. The idea was that since there would be less Acetyl Co-A used in cell sterol production (in the 20E6/mL) there would be more available for the production of esters (in conjunction with alcohol)—basically, I thought that under pitching was a bad idea and I wanted to prove it to myself.

I ended up proving the exact opposite. The 20E6/mL hef was initially sulfury and then just insipid—boring, some clove, nothing much as far as yeast character really. The 6E6/mL was beautiful—great balance, really nice.

I saw some slides from Neva Parker recently that showed a very wide range of pitching rates that all resulted in the same terminal gravity. Frankly, I think that homebrewers ought to play with pitching rate a bit more. Pitching rate has become a bit too dogmatic recently.
Tyler Cipriani
Longmont, CO

Offline nateo

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2012, 05:50:59 AM »
Also, the Eric Warner book quotes many modern German breweries pitching roughly 7E6/mL.

Which book? In German Wheat Beer he states pitching rate should be 10-15m/ml on page 71, and again on page 97.

FWIW he also says you should experiment with fermentation parameters to dial in the flavor you want, but he only lists stuff like temp, open/closed vessels, and wort gravity. He doesn't suggest the pitching rate is one of the variables you should adjust.

For anyone interested, here's an experiment Kai did on this topic: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Experiment_Pitching_Rate_and_Oxygenation
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 08:16:38 AM by nateo »
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Offline thcipriani

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2012, 10:27:01 AM »
Also, the Eric Warner book quotes many modern German breweries pitching roughly 7E6/mL.

Which book? In German Wheat Beer he states pitching rate should be 10-15m/ml on page 71, and again on page 97.

FWIW he also says you should experiment with fermentation parameters to dial in the flavor you want, but he only lists stuff like temp, open/closed vessels, and wort gravity. He doesn't suggest the pitching rate is one of the variables you should adjust.

For anyone interested, here's an experiment Kai did on this topic: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Experiment_Pitching_Rate_and_Oxygenation

hmm...
Thought it was German Wheat Beer—definitely in Brewing With Wheat—the part where he talks about Franziskaner (also, possibly, in the section on New Glarus—I'll double check all these sources when I get home tonight).

In any event, when I did my 20E6/mL vs 6E6/mL I emailed Wyeast and it jived with some experiments they did. Hopefully, they won't mind me posting the text in the entirety (hopefully no one on this thread mind, too :))Text below:

Quote
-----Original Message-----
From: thcipriani@gmail.com [mailto:thcipriani@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 6:40 PM
To: Customerservice
Subject: Question From Wyeast Labs website for I have general question.


QUESTION:
Hello,

I have a question that pertains to Wyeast 3068 and other of the 'plastic' yeasts that may produce sulfur. I know that these yeast have a propensity to produce sulfur; however, I don't know what makes certain fermentation schemes produce a greater amount of sulfur.

One of my current theories is that older yeast cells have a greater propensity to produce sulfur. I recently pitched a (12°P) hefeweiss beer with 20 million cells/mL and that fermentation was very sulfury. I'm using that information along with a a paper I read from the MBAA recently (it was from 1999, IIRC) that said a beer with a higher pitching rate has a greater amount of older cells in the finished beer since the final cell volume of the finished beer was the same regardless of pitching rate.

Can you provide any info on the 3068 yeast and sulfur  production. Also, can you confirm that these yeast are slightly more elongated than the typical round fat yeast cells when viewed under a microscope. Or is the slightly elongated appearance indicative of something else?

Thanks!

FROM:
Tyler Cipriani thcipriani@gmail.com 80501

-----------------------------------------------
On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 9:40 AM, Labservices <Labservices@wyeastlab.com> wrote:
Hey Tyler,

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you.  We don't have info on sulfur production specifically related to 3068.  One thing we know is  3068 does not store well after fermentation.  It will die off quickly.  This coincides with your info on population dynamics with respect to older populations of yeast when using higher pitch rates.  For this strain, it is advised to use low pitch rates around 6 million cells/ml to promote ester production, specifically isoamyl acetate.  At the pitch rates you mentioned, this ester will be at low levels.  Possibly so low that you will not get the banana or bubblegum aromas desired with this strain.

As for cell morphology, yes, it is very normal for the cells to be elongated.  Also, this strain is a chain-former, so it is common to see large groups of attached cells.

Let me know if this answers your questions.


Jess Caudill
Brewer/Microbiologist
Wyeast Laboratories, Inc.
P.O. Box 146
Odell, OR  97044  USA
Phone:  541-354-1335   Fax:  541-354-3449
jess@wyeastlab.com
www.wyeastlab.com

-----------------------------------------------
From: Tyler Cipriani [mailto:thcipriani@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2012 9:31 AM
To: Labservices
Subject: Re: Question From Wyeast Labs website for I have general question.
 
Hey Jess,
 
Quick followup question about yeast growth and ester formation. You stated that 6 million cells/ml would promote ester production; however, I've read some conflicting information about this.
 
During intra cellular ester formation, from my reading I've surmised, enzymatic reactions create esters using alcohol and an acid - typically, Acetyl CoA. While many authors tend to agree that increased biomass production (i.e. creation of cell walls) reduces the Acetyl CoA that is available for ester production and leads to reduced ester levels in the beer (Narziss 2005, Cone, Noonan 1996, Fix 1999) authors differ with respect to ester production and yeast growth. Fix (Fix 1999) writes that any, "increased activity on the acetyl CoA branch", whatever that means, will increase ester production while other authors (Narziss 2005, Cone) state that increased yeast growth leads to a decrease in esters since more of the acetyl CoA is used for sterol synthesis.
 
Is there more consensus on this topic now? Overall I'm confused about it - hence pitching a hefe (that I normally pitch around 7x10^6 cells/ml ) with double that rate - I was trying to get an increase in esters; however, the excess sulfur production made this "experiment" inconclusive.
 
Thanks for all your help! I just re-read my email and realized that customers like me are likely a giant pain in the ass.
 
Thanks Again,
Tyler
 
Sources:
--------
Cone - http://www.danstaryeast.com/library/yeast-growth
Fix - George J. Fix Ph.D, Principles of Brewing Science, Brewers Publications, Boulder CO, 1999
Narziss - Prof. Dr. agr. Ludwig Narziss, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Werner Back, Technische Universitaet Muenchen (Fakultaet fuer Brauwesen, Weihenstephan), Abriss der Bierbrauerei. WILEY-VCH Verlags GmbH Weinheim Germany, 2005
Noonan - Gregory J. Noonan, New Brewing Lager Beer, Brewers Publications, Boulder CO, 1996
------------------------------------------
Tyler,
 
Yes, customers like you are a total pain in the as[sic].  Just kidding.
 
I am definitely aware of the articles and text that describes lower ester production with higher yeast growth.  But, as you know, what actually happens in practice and what books say and experiments show can be completely different things.  We ran trials using 3068 at pitch rates of 3, 6, 12 and 24 million cells per ml.  The 3 and 6 had strong banana aromas, the 12 million had very slight banana aroma and 24 million and no banana, and for a completely non-technical description, tasted like crap.  More specifically, it had a strong styrene aroma along with burnt aromas.
 
Once we conducted these trials, we helped a ton of breweries refine the flavor profile of beers made from this strain.  Basically most of the breweries were pitching the correct amount on the initial pitch from us.  Upon repitching, they were losing the banana aroma completely.  Most were reptiching 2-3 times the pitch rate of the original.  When they reduced the repitch volumes the banana came back.
 
Jess
Tyler Cipriani
Longmont, CO

Offline nateo

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2012, 11:13:21 AM »
Tyler - Interesting Q&A with Wyeast. I need to think about that for a little bit before I can form an opinion.

Re: the pitching rate in Brewing with Wheat here's what I found, emphasis mine:

German Brewing literature suggest pitching 4-7 million cells per ml in brewing a standard Bavarian hefeqeizen. Schneider currently pitches 7m in Weisse Original, a 12.8*P beer, although brewmaster Drezler and lab technicians were exploring a plan in the fall of '09 to boost that rate. "You've got to be careful when talking about pitching rates" Said Dan Carey at New Glarus Brewing. "Are you talking about sending in 5 million little old ladies from a rest home or 5 million soldiers ready for battle? Until you calculate the vitality of the yeast, that number doesn't mean much." Carey pitches 7m/ml in Dancing Man (16*P) and 5m/ml in Crack'd (13.5*P), however he has a yeast propagator and knows he is putting particularly vital yeast to work, as does Schneider.

In fact, very high and very low pitching rates increase ester production. The danger of underpitching is creating higher rates of ethyl acetate, the solventy character best described as nail polish remover and a bad complement for clovy phenols in a weizen.
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Offline roguejim

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2012, 11:42:47 AM »
Very interesting info on pitching rates.  In actuality, this is likely more important than decoction versus step mashes versus single infusion.  In your opinions then, how many healthy yeast cells do I want to pitch into a 5.5gal batch for optimum ester formation?

For kicks, I went to recipe Wiki and looked up the NHC hefe winners since 2004.  Two used decoction; one, single infusion.

Regarding decoction now, I copied this from the 2009 winner:
"Dough-in at 111° F (44° C) and hold for 15 minutes. Ramp up to 131° F (55° C), and rest 10 minutes. Pull thick decoction and slowly heat to 158° F (70° C), and rest 20 minutes. Boil 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Meanwhile, ramp main mash up to 149° F (65° C) and hold. Recombine, and equalize at 158° F (70° C). Rest for 10 minutes. Mash out at 170° F (77° C). Sparge, collecting 7 gallons (26.5 L). Chill to 58° F (14° C) before oxygenation and pitching."

Since I mash in a 48qt cooler, would I want to dough in with a 1qt/lb water to grain ratio since I will be ramping up the temp to 131F...149F by direct infusion?  How long would I hold the mash at 149F?  Also, what portion of the mash would I pull to decoct?  Thanks in advance.  I can see I'm going to have to do some research before I decoct for the first time.     

   

Offline erockrph

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2012, 12:27:05 PM »
Wow... there is some great information here. If nothing else, it seems clear to me that there is a lot more to pitching rate than the generalization "Ales should be pitched at X and Lagers at Y". And I'm sure yeast health/activity play a huge role as well.

Having said that, I will still be doing what Mr Malty or YeastCalc recommend 90% of the time. I will continue to pitch my weizens at a lower rate than my ales (I won't call it underpitching at this point, because as far as those strains go, I'm not convinced that it is), and I may toy with a little bit of low pitching on certain Belgians as well.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2012, 01:18:08 PM »
I thinks it's safe to assume that any yeast in your house will not be as vital as yeast from a propagator in a pro brewery. That's probably true even if you have an active starter. There's no easy way to test vitality that I know of.
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2012, 02:25:17 PM »
Very interesting info on pitching rates.  In actuality, this is likely more important than decoction versus step mashes versus single infusion.  In your opinions then, how many healthy yeast cells do I want to pitch into a 5.5gal batch for optimum ester formation?

For kicks, I went to recipe Wiki and looked up the NHC hefe winners since 2004.  Two used decoction; one, single infusion.

Regarding decoction now, I copied this from the 2009 winner:
"Dough-in at 111° F (44° C) and hold for 15 minutes. Ramp up to 131° F (55° C), and rest 10 minutes. Pull thick decoction and slowly heat to 158° F (70° C), and rest 20 minutes. Boil 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Meanwhile, ramp main mash up to 149° F (65° C) and hold. Recombine, and equalize at 158° F (70° C). Rest for 10 minutes. Mash out at 170° F (77° C). Sparge, collecting 7 gallons (26.5 L). Chill to 58° F (14° C) before oxygenation and pitching."

Since I mash in a 48qt cooler, would I want to dough in with a 1qt/lb water to grain ratio since I will be ramping up the temp to 131F...149F by direct infusion?  How long would I hold the mash at 149F?  Also, what portion of the mash would I pull to decoct?  Thanks in advance.  I can see I'm going to have to do some research before I decoct for the first time.     

   

sounds familiar
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Offline roguejim

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2012, 04:13:31 PM »
Geez, how'd I miss that, Gordon...

Care to address my decoction questions?  Thanks.

Offline gordonstrong

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Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2012, 04:54:22 PM »
You can dough in thick. I don't measure but you can make it oatmeal-like. As long as all the grain is wet.

When I said "ramp", I meant by direct firing while recirculating. You can infuse. Use brewing software to calculate how much to infuse.

Hold the mash at 149 until the decoction step is done. The decoction is timed but it is variable how long it takes to move between parts of that process. So just leave it at 149 until the decoction is done then remix.

I normally pull about 33-40% or so of the mash. The thick part but I take liquid too. Like getting soup from a big pot where you dig down and drag along the side to get the most good stuff. I usually pull more because it's easier to drop a few degrees than raise.
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Offline hulkavitch

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2012, 10:14:08 AM »
So can someone put pitching rates into a context that a relatively new brewer can understand? I am brewing a bavarian hefe this week and from the sounds of things I want to pitch 3-6 million cells per mil for the flavor i am looking for. I plan to use wyeast 3068 smack pack dated 6/12.

Do i need a starter? I was just going to smack and pitch. It will be approx 5 gal 1.050.

Sorry for the hyjack but you guys got me thinking.