Author Topic: Weizen: too low gravity in 9 days  (Read 1433 times)

Offline guerrinha

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Weizen: too low gravity in 9 days
« on: December 03, 2013, 07:28:59 PM »
Hi guys!

This is my second all grain batch (weizen) and i doubled my recipe so i could have some nice beer by the end of the year.

The problem is that i took a gravity reading today (9 days fermenting) and Its extremely low! (1.004) my OG was 1.045.

My yeast was WB-06. I live in Brasil, so my average temperature is around 25.

The taste is weird...but Its my first weizen.

What are your opinions? Contamination? =(

Its my 5th batch (counting extracts) and im even a bit paranoic about sanitazing stuff.

I read in some post here that we should not give up and have patient, so i'm bottling this, even for the sake of experience.

Thanks for your attention! Take care!

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Weizen: too low gravity in 9 days
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2013, 07:38:59 PM »
That sounds quite warm for that beer.  Try 17-18 C, held for as long as a week, letting it go warmer at the end of fermentation
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Offline guerrinha

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Re: Weizen: too low gravity in 9 days
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2013, 07:58:26 PM »
Yes, thats a problem i face here. The temp is probably around 20C in the colder corner where i leave it. What you think about the gravity and taste?

Thanks!

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Weizen: too low gravity in 9 days
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2013, 09:17:00 PM »
describe the taste more.

Also some details on your mashing procedure, recipe and the like.
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Offline bboy9000

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Re: Weizen: too low gravity in 9 days
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2013, 09:52:37 PM »
Yes, more details on the flavor as weizen yeast does contribute specific flavors. 

Also, for temperature control, try doing a swamp cooler and a wet t-shirt around the fermentor.  I set my fermentor in a rope bucket with water in it and a wet t shirt draped around the fermentor. In the summer I put bottles of frozen water in the bucket every 8-10 hours and have a small desk fan pointed at it as well.  I can easily keep the beer around 65 or lower. 

Weizen yeast does give off certain flavors depending on fermentation temperature, the temperature at which you pitched the yeast, how much yeast was pitched and possibly other factors.  The more information you can provide about your process the better.
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Offline guerrinha

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Re: Weizen: too low gravity in 9 days
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2013, 04:11:41 AM »
@morticaixavier, i can't describe the taste exactly...didn't bring up anything familiar and i think i'm not good at that! haha

@bboy9000, never worried about temperature control. I think i will buy one of those big thermal bags. I pitched at around 22C and the quantity was the appropriate for 5 gallons (11.5g).

I used my chiller and it went down to something like 29C then i isolated it with the airlock and pitched only next day (22C).

Probably i will buy one of these big bags and use frozen bottles.

Do yout guys think its all lost? Seriously, i don't believe in contamination...but who knows?

Thanks a lot!

Offline majorvices

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Re: Weizen: too low gravity in 9 days
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2013, 05:20:44 AM »
You are simply not going to make good beer fermenting at 25C. For a weizen you'd really be better off pitching and fermenting at around 15-16C. Most ales you will find do well at 18-19C but too much warmer than 20C and you will start having all kinds of off flavors. Fermentation must be kept cool, and you also must remember that it is the temp of the beer you must control, not ambient. Fermentation is exothermic so it generates its own heat and can be much warmer than the ambient temp.

The swamp cooler method is a good approach but a dedicated freezer or fridge with external temp control is ideal. The other exception to the rule might be saison yeast strains which do better at warmer temps.

Weizen strains are different than cleaner ale strains. It should have a banana and clove character from the yeast. At as warm as you are talking about though it may have a ton of banana character or may just have a bunch of muddied flavors that don't stand out.

Finally, make sure your hydrometer is calibrated. I don't have one hydrometer in my arsenal that reads accurately. I have some off as much as 4 points. Put the hydromter in a flask of distilled or even tap water and take a reading. If it is off either subtract or minus depending.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 08:15:08 AM by majorvices »
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Weizen: too low gravity in 9 days
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2013, 08:40:45 AM »
At those temperatures you will get sort of a bubblegum flavor (banana plus strawberry). Not very pleasant.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Weizen: too low gravity in 9 days
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2013, 01:53:03 PM »
I agree the flavors you are experiencing are probably due to the high fermentation temperatures. Good temp control is important for good beer! A dedicated chamber with temp control is ideal but if it's not in the budget then a swamp cooler set up with ice bottles is the next best thing.

As for finishing that low, it's most likely due to mashing lower than you should have so in addition to verifying your hydrometer, do the same with your thermometer. There is a big difference in a few degrees as to the fermentability of the wort you create.
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Offline guerrinha

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Re: Weizen: too low gravity in 9 days
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2013, 02:43:58 PM »
Thank you all for asnwering!

I tasted it today and i think Its a fruity flavor. So Its probably the temperature.

@duboman, you mean my meshing temperature was lower than expected? Could you explain about the relation between it and the low gravity or post a link to some explanation?
Also, should i verify If the hydrometer and thermometer are measuring correctly?

Thanks a lot!

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Weizen: too low gravity in 9 days
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2013, 02:49:00 PM »
Thank you all for asnwering!

I tasted it today and i think Its a fruity flavor. So Its probably the temperature.

@duboman, you mean my meshing temperature was lower than expected? Could you explain about the relation between it and the low gravity or post a link to some explanation?
Also, should i verify If the hydrometer and thermometer are measuring correctly?

Thanks a lot!

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Mash temperatures affect the makeup of sugars in the wort. Lower temps tend to encourage the formation of shorter, more fermentable sugars so a lower final gravity. Higher mash temps tend the other way.

By verifying that your thermometer is correct AT MASH TEMPS you will be better able to accurately control this.

By verifying that your hydrometer is accurate (measure the gravity of the purest water you have access to, it should be very nearly 1.000. Any deviation can be accounted for in future measurments) you can ensure what you are seeing is correct.

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Offline guerrinha

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Re: Weizen: too low gravity in 9 days
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2013, 03:12:45 PM »
Hi morticaixavier.

I using a biab system and i was checking the mashing temperature all the time, so i THINK it was ok. Also, my gravity was near the expected in my recipe. Is there another way to know i did something wrong?

I checked my thermometer temp using the water boiling temp and it was ok for my altitude. I will recheck! I also checked the hydrometer with my water and it was pretty close to 1. So i don't think that's a problem

Thank you very much for the info!

Take care!

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Weizen: too low gravity in 9 days
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2013, 03:26:58 PM »
Hi morticaixavier.

I using a biab system and i was checking the mashing temperature all the time, so i THINK it was ok. Also, my gravity was near the expected in my recipe. Is there another way to know i did something wrong?

I checked my thermometer temp using the water boiling temp and it was ok for my altitude. I will recheck! I also checked the hydrometer with my water and it was pretty close to 1. So i don't think that's a problem

Thank you very much for the info!

Take care!

The trick with checking a thermometer is that they do not always respond linearly. While it may read ~100*c at boiling (adjusted for altitude as you mention) it may not read 0*c in ice water. And if it reads correctly both at boiling and freezing, there is still no surety that it is correct at 68*c. This is a sticky problem, how do you know? if you have access to a Lab grade thermometer you can check yours against that at a given mash temp (68*).

Another option is the empirical approach, if it finishes too low at what your thermometer says is 68*c try mashing next time at 70*c and if that gets you what you want you will know that on your system you need to mash about 2 degrees higher than you think.
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Offline guerrinha

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Re: Weizen: too low gravity in 9 days
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2014, 08:14:52 AM »
Hey guys!

I got a bag like this one made for me: https://www.cool-brewing.com/

I use frozen bottles of water to get the temperature i want. When i have results i will tell you if it's all fine.

Soon i will invest in a freezer with a Thermostat controlling temperature.

Thanks a lot for your insights.

Take care!

Offline euge

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Re: Weizen: too low gravity in 9 days
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2014, 08:22:38 AM »
LOL I remember when those bags came out years ago.

I wouldn't worry so much about the gravity but more in the taste. You'll have to determine whether the "fruity" flavor makes the beer drinkable or not. You should consider packaging this weizen now and move on to the next batch. Those Juicy-Fruit esters can diminish with some conditioning.
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