Author Topic: Dunkelweizen fermentation  (Read 1965 times)

Offline -Liam-

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Dunkelweizen fermentation
« on: September 22, 2014, 12:50:15 PM »
I brewed up a Dunkelweizen yesterday and feel that my starter was possibly too small (Wyeast 3068). I woke this morning and fermentation had definitely started, but with a whimper instead of a roar! Should I pitch more yeast on top or will it just do its thing?

Offline erockrph

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Re: Dunkelweizen fermentation
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2014, 01:13:24 PM »
Personally, I prefer a bit of an underpitch on my Dunkelweizens. At this point I don't think you can "make up" for the underpitch - the majority of the fermentation flavor profile has been generated already. Just let it ride - I bet you'll like the results.
Eric B.

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Offline -Liam-

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Re: Dunkelweizen fermentation
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2014, 01:24:27 PM »
Great. Is there a great chance of it stalling before hitting its FG, though?

Offline erockrph

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Re: Dunkelweizen fermentation
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2014, 01:28:14 PM »
Great. Is there a great chance of it stalling before hitting its FG, though?
Just how small was your starter? Unless you're pitching an 8-month old pack directly into 15 gallons, I doubt you've underpitched to the point that you'll have to worry about attenuation. The lag phase may be a bit longer than you're accustomed to, but I wouldn't be too worried. It can't hurt to rouse and bump the temp after the initial krausen drops just to give it the best chance of finishing out, though.
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Offline -Liam-

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Re: Dunkelweizen fermentation
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2014, 01:39:26 PM »
Thanks for the advice. It was about 800-850ml, so I'm guessing I should be ok.
Thanks again.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Dunkelweizen fermentation
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2014, 02:47:22 PM »
I find wheat beer strains are aggressive fermenters and I can't ever recal one of them stalling.

Offline dixonmike20

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Re: Dunkelweizen fermentation
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2014, 04:35:24 PM »

I find wheat beer strains are aggressive fermenters and I can't ever recal one of them stalling.

+1

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Dunkelweizen fermentation
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2014, 05:17:57 PM »
Thanks for the advice. It was about 800-850ml, so I'm guessing I should be ok.
Thanks again.

The yeast whisperers say to not start in less that 1L

Offline Werks21

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Re: Dunkelweizen fermentation
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2014, 04:10:00 PM »
Thanks for the advice. It was about 800-850ml, so I'm guessing I should be ok.
Thanks again.

The yeast whisperers say to not start in less that 1L

Is that to say that no starter should ever be started with less than one liter of wort, or that final volume should be no less than one liter?
One liter seems like a big starting starter to start with.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Dunkelweizen fermentation
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2014, 04:51:26 PM »
According to palmer, a starter less than 1 liter may actually cause more harm than good. At least one starting from a conmercial liquid culture. If growing from small amounts, like a slant or commercial bottle, small weak starters would be beneficial. I'm sure there is more scientific info out there, maybe S Cerv, can chime in. 

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Dunkelweizen fermentation
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2014, 06:26:06 PM »
I was always under the assumption (and read some where, can't remember where...) that a 1 liter starter simply woke up the yeast (providing its from a commercial pack/vial) and a 2 L starter allowed a basic doubling of the yeast on a stir plate.  Give or take based on production dates and yeast vitality/age. 

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Dunkelweizen fermentation
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2014, 07:30:36 PM »
Thanks for the advice. It was about 800-850ml, so I'm guessing I should be ok.
Thanks again.

The yeast whisperers say to not start in less that 1L

Is that to say that no starter should ever be started with less than one liter of wort, or that final volume should be no less than one liter?
One liter seems like a big starting starter to start with.

the concern is that the yeast will stop reproducing if the cell density gets too high. If you pitch say 200 billion cells into 1 liter of wort (I am not 100% on the numbers so don't quote me on specifics) the cell density will be too high to gain anything. the cells will settle in, look around and just start eating rather than reproducing.

If you pitch a reasonably fresh vial of liquid yeast into 1 liter of wort you are somewhere < 100 billion cells. So assuming my numbers are correct you could still realize a doubling of cell count. If the vial is a few months old you're talking more like 50 billion cells so then 1 liter is sufficient for two doublings.

but overall you cannot grow more than 200 billion cells in 1 liter of 1.040 wort.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Dunkelweizen fermentation
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2014, 03:24:44 PM »
According to palmer, a starter less than 1 liter may actually cause more harm than good. At least one starting from a conmercial liquid culture. If growing from small amounts, like a slant or commercial bottle, small weak starters would be beneficial. I'm sure there is more scientific info out there, maybe S Cerv, can chime in. 
I think it'd be fine if you're trying to build cell count from an old vile or smack pack. I have a vile of WLP830 that expired in May that I think I'll have to build up from maybe half liter, to liter, to 2 liters.
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Offline Wrynn

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Re: Dunkelweizen fermentation
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2014, 07:07:32 AM »
I always have starters of 1,5l and thankfully didn't screw anything up yet :)

Offline erockrph

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Re: Dunkelweizen fermentation
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2014, 11:55:24 AM »
According to palmer, a starter less than 1 liter may actually cause more harm than good. At least one starting from a conmercial liquid culture. If growing from small amounts, like a slant or commercial bottle, small weak starters would be beneficial. I'm sure there is more scientific info out there, maybe S Cerv, can chime in. 
I think it'd be fine if you're trying to build cell count from an old vile or smack pack. I have a vile of WLP830 that expired in May that I think I'll have to build up from maybe half liter, to liter, to 2 liters.
I don't think the middle step is going to do much for you there. I don't necessarily consider it exact science, but the rule of thumb I've always heard is a tenfold increase between steps of starters. I don't really think you need a step for each doubling of cell count.

If I think yeast health is iffy (old pack, culturing bottle dregs, etc.), then I'll use a lower gravity starter in the 1.020 range for my first step. After that I assume I have a reasonably healthy culture and step up as normal.
Eric B.

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