Author Topic: Cold Crash and Decant a Hefeweizen Yeast Starter?  (Read 1035 times)

Offline Multifaceted

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Cold Crash and Decant a Hefeweizen Yeast Starter?
« on: March 28, 2014, 06:10:22 PM »
Howdy, folks:

I searched through these forums, as well as other forums for the same topic. I did find one thread here asking the same question, but only had one reply suggesting that it's okay to decant. Anyways, this is my first time doing a Hefe and using Hefe yeast, so no prior experience...

I did a 1.36L starter last night and pitched one tube of WLP320 American Hefeweizen yeast. It's been on a stir plate for almost 24 hrs. No noticeable krausen, but I'm not concerned about that at all as it is looking nice and milky:



My concern is whether or not I should cold crash and decant, which is my standard practice. Since Hefe yeast tend to stay in suspension and do not floccuate well, I'm concerned that a cold crash won't cause all of the yeast to drop, and if I decant, that I could potentially pour out a substantial amount of yeast and result in under-pitching. What does everyone else do with their Hefe starters?

My original (typical) plan was to put in the fridge around Midnight, and let it rest for 12 hours, then pull it out at noon tomorrow around when I start to mash in. Now, I am thinking I might just let it keep spinning and pitch the whole dang thing. I always like to crash and decant my starters since I'd rather not pour the funky oxidized "beer" into my fresh wort.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 06:13:17 PM by Multifaceted »

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Cold Crash and Decant a Hefeweizen Yeast Starter?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2014, 06:20:22 PM »
I will cold crash for 3 days or so with pour floc yeasts. Adding the full volume to 5 gallons won't be the end of the world. Or you could crash, brew, and wait an extra day to pitch.

Offline Multifaceted

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Re: Cold Crash and Decant a Hefeweizen Yeast Starter?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2014, 06:31:29 PM »
I thought about waiting an extra day also, but I've never delayed a pitch... out of fear... fear of never having done it before.

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Cold Crash and Decant a Hefeweizen Yeast Starter?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2014, 06:35:48 PM »

I thought about waiting an extra day also, but I've never delayed a pitch... out of fear... fear of never having done it before.

I do it a few times a year. Sometimes I am just too tired to wait for the beer to chill down or I brew too late in the day and the freezer hasn't taken it down to the temp. I know people that pitch next day exclusively.

Keep your process clean and sanitary and you will be fine.

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Re: Cold Crash and Decant a Hefeweizen Yeast Starter?
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2014, 06:53:56 PM »
I have to say - i don't do a lot of Hefe's due to a clove perception issue on my part, but I hold off pitching all the time on beers until getting the wort below fermentation temperature.  Definitely overnight when necessary.
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Offline Multifaceted

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Re: Cold Crash and Decant a Hefeweizen Yeast Starter?
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2014, 07:58:50 PM »
I have to say - i don't do a lot of Hefe's due to a clove perception issue on my part, but I hold off pitching all the time on beers until getting the wort below fermentation temperature.  Definitely overnight when necessary.

You pitch below the fermentation temperature? Is the purpose to act as a temp buffer in anticipation of the ensuing exothermic activity?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Cold Crash and Decant a Hefeweizen Yeast Starter?
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2014, 08:41:23 PM »
I have to say - i don't do a lot of Hefe's due to a clove perception issue on my part, but I hold off pitching all the time on beers until getting the wort below fermentation temperature.  Definitely overnight when necessary.

You pitch below the fermentation temperature? Is the purpose to act as a temp buffer in anticipation of the ensuing exothermic activity?

that's the idea. not way below ferm temp. say you are aiming for a 64 ferment, pitch at ~60-62 for a lager pitch around 48 for a 50-55 ferment.

I just can't get the wort to the temp I want with chiller alone so I pop it in the fridge and let it chill out in there. sometimes, if I start brewing early enough that's later that same night but if I brew later on a sunday it's often not till I get home so 12-18 hours is the norm for me.

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Offline Multifaceted

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Re: Cold Crash and Decant a Hefeweizen Yeast Starter?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2014, 09:40:59 PM »
I have to say - i don't do a lot of Hefe's due to a clove perception issue on my part, but I hold off pitching all the time on beers until getting the wort below fermentation temperature.  Definitely overnight when necessary.

You pitch below the fermentation temperature? Is the purpose to act as a temp buffer in anticipation of the ensuing exothermic activity?

that's the idea. not way below ferm temp. say you are aiming for a 64 ferment, pitch at ~60-62 for a lager pitch around 48 for a 50-55 ferment.

I just can't get the wort to the temp I want with chiller alone so I pop it in the fridge and let it chill out in there. sometimes, if I start brewing early enough that's later that same night but if I brew later on a sunday it's often not till I get home so 12-18 hours is the norm for me.

The thread I found on here about the same question was yours, from three years ago!

Interesting to know, thanks. Since I started getting serious about temperature control and pitching rates, I've always thought of pitching at or around the actual fermentation temperature, never under or considering a buffer zone. It does make sense, though, now that I think on it...

What about aeration? I typically whip up the wort with a degasser tool on my cordless drill just before pitching - would you recommend aerating the wort after racking into primary ahead of a delayed yeast pitch, or just aerate right before the pitch? (say, it was the following day)
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 10:30:50 PM by Multifaceted »

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Re: Cold Crash and Decant a Hefeweizen Yeast Starter?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2014, 04:57:49 AM »
Good question.  I've done it both ways without noticeable differences, but usually I whip it up at the point of transfer to the fermenter from the boil kettle.  It holds the foam for a long time, so I assume the O2 stays in the wort all that time.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Cold Crash and Decant a Hefeweizen Yeast Starter?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2014, 07:18:28 AM »
I aerate right before pitching. Not sure it matters much but colder liquid holds more gas so I figure I can get more in when at pitching temp than st 90 our whatever it is coming out of the kettle
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Offline Multifaceted

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Re: Cold Crash and Decant a Hefeweizen Yeast Starter?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2014, 08:53:53 AM »
Cool, thank you all for the input. I'll give it a shot, will brew the Hefe today and let it chill in the freezer until it drops just below ferm temp then pitch on Sunday evening so to give the starter another day of cold rest.

Offline macbrews

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Re: Cold Crash and Decant a Hefeweizen Yeast Starter?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2014, 09:55:20 AM »


What about aeration? I typically whip up the wort with a degasser tool on my cordless drill just before pitching - would you recommend aerating the wort after racking into primary ahead of a delayed yeast pitch, or just aerate right before the pitch? (say, it was the following day)
[/quote]

I wouldn't aerate/oxygenate until immediately beforehand.  If you do, it would expose your beer to a greater chance of infection from any persistent bugs that made it into the fermenter.  One of the main reasons that most of the time everything works out is the massive amount of yeast pitched relative to all the other organisms takes over and doesn't allow the others to multiply significantly.  If you have used good sanitary technique, you can pitch the next day without any problems.  But don't aerate until right beforehand.

Mac

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Re: Cold Crash and Decant a Hefeweizen Yeast Starter?
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2014, 05:03:22 PM »
I thought about waiting an extra day also, but I've never delayed a pitch... out of fear... fear of never having done it before.

1.3L in 5 gal?  for this beer...i'd pour a touch off that was mostly clear and then pitch the whole darn thing. don't worry about it changing the 5 gal batch. IME these types of beer mask any potential starter flavors.  again my opinion..others will say differently. for my lagers, most other ales i decant completely...just don't worry about it for small starter beers like wits and weizens. give it a shot and taste for yourself :P
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Cold Crash and Decant a Hefeweizen Yeast Starter?
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2014, 09:38:53 PM »
I have to say - i don't do a lot of Hefe's due to a clove perception issue on my part, but I hold off pitching all the time on beers until getting the wort below fermentation temperature.  Definitely overnight when necessary.

You pitch below the fermentation temperature? Is the purpose to act as a temp buffer in anticipation of the ensuing exothermic activity?

I only really do this for lagers (mainly because I ferment most ales at ambient in my basement), but my goal for pitching below fermentation temp is to minimize ester production during the initial growth phase of fermentation.
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Re: Cold Crash and Decant a Hefeweizen Yeast Starter?
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2014, 04:11:33 AM »
Frankly with small starters, I will often avoid the stir plate entirely and just get the starter going at pitch temp the night before...and for bigger starters, I will just make a small batch of very lightly hopped beer, then step up in volume.  I think of it as being pragmatic about DME use and time - (DADD - do as Denny does - pragmatic, that is).
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