Author Topic: Wyeast 3068  (Read 452 times)

Offline qm3k

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 28
    • View Profile
Wyeast 3068
« on: July 12, 2014, 01:07:02 PM »
Hi all,

Just brewed a hefeweizen and it looks like I'm going to get a disastrous result. It's a pretty standard grain bill, 50/50 wheat and pilsener malts. I used Wyeast 3068, which I have used to great success in the past on this recipe. I got a little nervous when my starter smelled like rotten eggs. I am not used to that smell from this yeast, but the manufacturer specs list it as a possible odor, so I figured that I wouldn't worry about it. I probably should have dumped it...

I fermented it at 62 degrees, and after a few days, I opened up my fermenting fridge to check on it. The smell nearly knocked me over, it was so strong. It did finally dissipate, but it is still present, and there is next to no banana/clove aroma. I pulled a taste sample, and the beer is super-watery, barely any banana or clove, and a definite sulfur note.

I have been brewing since 1998, so I am not a beginner, and have made quite a few hefeweizens with these ingredients and this yeast strain. I should stress that I am aware of the importance of sanitation practices and, as I have said, I have brewed great hefeweizens in the past. I am inclined to chalking it up to getting a bad yeast culture, but I hate to blame the ingredients if there is something in my process that may have gotten away from me. Has anyone had these issues with this yeast strain?

Thanks!

P.S. The culture was relatively fresh, only about 2 weeks old when I got it. I did, however, get it through the mail.

Offline Jeff M

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 821
  • Currently upgrading to Brewery 3.0
    • View Profile
Re: Wyeast 3068
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2014, 01:09:14 PM »
Sounds like the Pils malt giving off Sulfer Oder.  IT should dissipate with time.
Granite Coast Brewing Company.
Building a clone of The Electric Brewery to use as a pilot system for new recipes!

Offline Tim Thomssen

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 34
    • View Profile
Re: Wyeast 3068
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2014, 03:47:32 PM »
I never got sulfur with that yeast strain until I switched from a copper to stainless immersion chiller.  Now I always do!  It will dissipate with more time, warming it up will help too.

Did you happen to replace your copper wort chiller with something else since last using that strain?  A little copper in the system is supposed to reduce sulfur.

http://morebeer.com/articles/sulfur_compounds_in_beer

Offline Simon

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Wyeast 3068
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2014, 04:14:30 PM »

That more beer article was a really good read on that. I've never had the rotten eggs smell before or really heard of it so bad in the primary it would nearly "knock me over".

If it was in your starter and the beer is super watery, my guess is that's not a positive sign. Assuming your were sanitary in your process, then think about the yeast. If you under pitch, what is one of the by products? You get a lot more volatile sulfur compounds which come out during yeast growth.

Is there a chance there was a low viable cell count in the pack due to age or poor handling or similar? Since it was present in the starter then maybe you under pitched your starter??

I'd say it would have to be fairly heavily under pitched but just another take on it.

Offline qm3k

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 28
    • View Profile
Re: Wyeast 3068
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2014, 06:06:05 PM »
I never got sulfur with that yeast strain until I switched from a copper to stainless immersion chiller.  Now I always do!  It will dissipate with more time, warming it up will help too.

Did you happen to replace your copper wort chiller with something else since last using that strain?  A little copper in the system is supposed to reduce sulfur.

http://morebeer.com/articles/sulfur_compounds_in_beer

Heh, actually, just the opposite! I'd been using a Therminator counterflow, but this year I haven't been able to get it cleaned out enough to feel comfortable with it (a discussion for another time). I moved back to a copper immersion chiller a few months ago.

Offline qm3k

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 28
    • View Profile
Re: Wyeast 3068
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2014, 06:09:11 PM »

That more beer article was a really good read on that. I've never had the rotten eggs smell before or really heard of it so bad in the primary it would nearly "knock me over".

If it was in your starter and the beer is super watery, my guess is that's not a positive sign. Assuming your were sanitary in your process, then think about the yeast. If you under pitch, what is one of the by products? You get a lot more volatile sulfur compounds which come out during yeast growth.

Is there a chance there was a low viable cell count in the pack due to age or poor handling or similar? Since it was present in the starter then maybe you under pitched your starter??

I'd say it would have to be fairly heavily under pitched but just another take on it.

I made the starter based on the date on the package and calculated the volume based on the Mr. Malty yeast calculator. It has always given me solid results in the past. The one thing I am concerned about is that the yeast was delivered via FedEx and it was in transit during a few rather hot days. I did notice that the slurry in the starter seemed rather sparse compared to previous batches. The fermentation was active, but not what I've become accustomed to. Perhaps the yeast got fried in transit?

Offline AmandaK

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1276
  • Redbird Brewhouse
    • View Profile
Re: Wyeast 3068
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2014, 06:20:20 PM »
Sounds like the Pils malt giving off Sulfer Oder.  IT should dissipate with time.

Pils malt does not give a sulphur odor, but many yeast stains do. WY3068 is a well known rhino farter.
Amanda Burkemper
Kansas City Bier Meister
BJCP Master

Redbird Brewhouse - Finishing Touches on the Basement Bar

Online HoosierBrew

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5614
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Wyeast 3068
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2014, 06:21:05 PM »
I've used 3068 many times and gotten some sulfur at times that dissipates pretty quickly. As for the diminished banana/clove, I would expect that to an extent at 62F. I've always liked it at 63-64F, to get a little more clove than banana. I go more like 65-67F to get more banana than clove. I would be concerned about the hot weather delivery as an issue, especially given the exaggerated sulfur, appearance, and active but not crazy strong fermentation you normally get from 3068. Is it carbed up now? I'll be curious to hear about your final impression. Good luck !
« Last Edit: July 12, 2014, 07:52:51 PM by HoosierBrew »
Jon H.

Offline Simon

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Wyeast 3068
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2014, 04:57:26 AM »

I made the starter based on the date on the package and calculated the volume based on the Mr. Malty yeast calculator. It has always given me solid results in the past. The one thing I am concerned about is that the yeast was delivered via FedEx and it was in transit during a few rather hot days. I did notice that the slurry in the starter seemed rather sparse compared to previous batches. The fermentation was active, but not what I've become accustomed to. Perhaps the yeast got fried in transit?

I suppose that's a possibility. Like I said though, I'm making a guess from afar so I think the best thing is to not give up on your beer. Have you taken another gravity reading to see how its fermenting? You did say watery which could mean its just going slow.

Don't give up on your beer! Stick with it and see how it turns out. Probably the best advice in this case.