Author Topic: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?  (Read 12523 times)

Offline nateo

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2012, 10:35:45 AM »
Hulk: From what I've read, you can get increased ester formation from over- and under-pitching. If you underpitch, you're more likely to have increased fusel production, decreased head retention and lacing. "Standard" pitching rate is 1m/*Plato/ml. So for a 5 gallon, 1.050 batch, that's 1m/12.5/20k ml. So it'd be about 250b cells total, for a "standard" pitching rate. 3m/ml would be 60b, 6m/ml would be 120b.

I wouldn't recommend pitching that low. The pros that pitch 6-7m/ml are using very fresh, very healthy yeast which you don't have access to.

Assuming your yeast wasn't abused along the way, yeastcalc tells me your pack should have 69b viable cells, though I think their vitality would be quite low.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 11:09:13 AM by nateo »
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Offline hulkavitch

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2012, 11:49:24 AM »
Brew smith calculates 96 bill cells for a smack pack dated 6/12 and the wyeast site states that 1 smack pack is necessary for a beer with an OG less than 1.060. If i understand correctly your are saying the yeast are not as viable as stated by these sources? The thing that confuses me is that both wyeast and brew smith are mostly inteded for homebrew use. Wyeast wouldnt mind if i had to buy 4 packs of yeast to make a good brew so i dont know what they stand to gain from saying i should buy 1 pack for a 1.050 beer.

Confused

Offline erockrph

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2012, 12:11:09 PM »
Mr Malty and Yeastcalc both say 69% viability for a smackpack dated 6/12, recommend 1.75 billion cells, and recommend a 2.2-2.3 liter starter.

FWIW, my SOP for a 5-gallon batch of a ~1.050 weizen is to pitch 1 smackpack of WY3638 with no starter. With a fairly fresh smackpack, this equates to about 4-5 m/mL. When fermented at 65F, this yields a phenol/ester balance that I really enjoy. I've never noticed any fusels with this fermentation regime.

Having said that, just because I found a procedure for a specific yeast that suits my palate well doesn't mean I'd recommend it empirically for everybody and for all weizen yeasts. In fact, with all the conflicting and/or inconclusive information that's out there I will probably play with pitching rates with a weizenbock this winter to really dial in what suits my palate the best.

My recommendation would be to build a starter based on Mr Malty or YeastCalc's recommended pitching rate, then use fermentation temperature to control your desired phenol/ester balance. I think this is most likely to put you in the ballpark of where you want to be. Then, if you want to tweak something like pitching rate you can do it on a future revision.
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Offline dcbc

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2012, 12:17:16 PM »
In my opinion, unless you setup to do step mashing easily, i.e. HERMS or RIMS, it's more trouble than it's worth.  When I brewed my first hefeweizen, I employed a step mash, and it was a sloppy pain in a miss your numbers sort of way.  Since then, I have done single infusion mashes at 152 fermented at 62 and have turned out many batches that have all of the good qualities I look for in a hefeweizen. 

For what it's worth, I tried Jamil's very straightforward recipe and found it to be not the best I have made.  I have made the Great Bavarian Weissbier project recipe from the NB forum on multiple occasions and have found that to be very good, particularly if you drop the carafa ii addition or even sub in about 2% Melanoidin malt for it. 

As with anything, YMMV.
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Offline roguejim

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2012, 12:38:21 PM »
Jess Caudill at Wyeast recommends 6 million cells/ml for WY3068 to obtain optimum ester formation. 

Offline nateo

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #35 on: July 21, 2012, 01:25:44 PM »
Jess Caudill at Wyeast recommends 6 million cells/ml for WY3068 to obtain optimum ester formation.

Who is she recommending that pitching rate for? Is that for the probrewer who buys a pitchable amount of yeast directly from Wyeast with 90%+ viability? Or for the homebrewer who is buying a month-old pack that sat in a fridge at the LHBS at what may or may not be the proper temp, then was shipped again or rode in the car to your house?

My point is the same as the one Dan Carey was making: are you pitching 6 million grannies, or 6 million soldiers?
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #36 on: July 21, 2012, 04:05:20 PM »
Don't know the answer to your question, but just wanted to point out that Jess is a 'he'.
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Offline roguejim

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #37 on: July 21, 2012, 07:30:14 PM »
Jess was responding to my email, and knows I am a homebrewer.

Gordon, what do you think of Jess's recommendation in light of "El Hefe"?  By the way, thank you for your help in this thread.

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #38 on: July 22, 2012, 05:47:30 AM »
On pitch rate?  Honestly, I really don't worry about it very much.  I normally use one XL smack pack of 3068, and may or may not make a starter.  When I make starters, I'm usually making a 1L one, so I'm more interested in getting the yeast active and ready to go than I am in getting a large cell count increase.  I guess I'd agree that repitched 3068 seems to suck in comparison to fresh.  I thought it was because the yeast was unstable (since the beer does seem to go off faster than other styles) but I'll buy the cell count explanation.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #39 on: July 22, 2012, 06:21:14 AM »
There are a whole lot of variable that affect fermentation byproducts. Here's a nuanced response from Clayton Cone regarding this topic:
http://www.danstaryeast.com/articles/yeast-growth
and
http://www.danstaryeast.com/articles/need-yeast-growth

Also, I stand corrected re: ferulic acid rest. It does seem it has a big effect, compared to mashing in at a higher temperature: http://www.scientificsocieties.org/jib/papers/1996/1996_102_5_327.pdf
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 11:09:44 AM by nateo »
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Offline roguejim

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #40 on: July 22, 2012, 12:16:41 PM »
On pitch rate?  Honestly, I really don't worry about it very much.  I normally use one XL smack pack of 3068, and may or may not make a starter.  When I make starters, I'm usually making a 1L one, so I'm more interested in getting the yeast active and ready to go than I am in getting a large cell count increase.  I guess I'd agree that repitched 3068 seems to suck in comparison to fresh.  I thought it was because the yeast was unstable (since the beer does seem to go off faster than other styles) but I'll buy the cell count explanation.

I think that's the best advice yet, i.e., not to worry about it.  I have a link below to another thread with conflicting info between yeast calculators, and the yeast lab itself over cell viability.  At best, it's mainly guesswork determining the initial viable cell count, which makes the starter size question, also guesswork.  I seem to recall Denny not worrying too much about this either.

  http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=12311.0

Offline roguejim

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #41 on: July 22, 2012, 03:14:15 PM »
In my opinion, unless you setup to do step mashing easily, i.e. HERMS or RIMS, it's more trouble than it's worth.  When I brewed my first hefeweizen, I employed a step mash, and it was a sloppy pain in a miss your numbers sort of way.  Since then, I have done single infusion mashes at 152 fermented at 62 and have turned out many batches that have all of the good qualities I look for in a hefeweizen. 

For what it's worth, I tried Jamil's very straightforward recipe and found it to be not the best I have made.  I have made the Great Bavarian Weissbier project recipe from the NB forum on multiple occasions and have found that to be very good, particularly if you drop the carafa ii addition or even sub in about 2% Melanoidin malt for it. 

As with anything, YMMV.

It seems odd that a straight forward hefe recipe would produce substandard results for you.  What do you attribute that to?  Just for the record, I note that Gordon took an NHC gold for his hefe, which was a straight forward recipe.  Of course, he employed a traditional decoction.  I'm not saying that decoction makes a better hefe, just that you can't blame Jamil's recipe, if that's what you imply. ;)

Offline thcipriani

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #42 on: July 22, 2012, 10:04:46 PM »
At best, it's mainly guesswork determining the initial viable cell count, which makes the starter size question, also guesswork.  I seem to recall Denny not worrying too much about this either.

I do cell counts for every beer and I can tell you that the calculators are right within a range, but sometimes you'll end up with 100E9 cells total in a 2 liter starter.

You can use visual queues to tell you when you are getting starters with a low count—they're the 1 starter out of 100 that leave you questioning whether the yeast is just dead.

If you want to pitch at the rate given by the calculator then mrmalty.com is usually right there give or take 30E9 cells. I actually use a 1.020 starter wort with a shaker at 120RPM, so any variability I get is probably from that difference.


On pitch rate?  Honestly, I really don't worry about it very much.  I normally use one XL smack pack of 3068, and may or may not make a starter.  When I make starters, I'm usually making a 1L one, so I'm more interested in getting the yeast active and ready to go than I am in getting a large cell count increase.  I guess I'd agree that repitched 3068 seems to suck in comparison to fresh.  I thought it was because the yeast was unstable (since the beer does seem to go off faster than other styles) but I'll buy the cell count explanation.

Are you talking specifically about weizens here? I get the impression from your book that you mostly do 1L starters and repitch.
Tyler Cipriani
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Offline nateo

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #43 on: July 23, 2012, 05:18:43 AM »
I do cell counts for every beer and I can tell you that the calculators are right within a range, but sometimes you'll end up with 100E9 cells total in a 2 liter starter.

How are you determining the viability of the cells?
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Offline thcipriani

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #44 on: July 23, 2012, 06:31:58 AM »
I do cell counts for every beer and I can tell you that the calculators are right within a range, but sometimes you'll end up with 100E9 cells total in a 2 liter starter.

How are you determining the viability of the cells?

I don't. I'd like to order methylene violet one of these days…

Excuse: Kai's reply in this thread about why he doesn't stain http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=5484.msg66305#msg66305
Tyler Cipriani
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