Author Topic: Current thoughts on hefe strains  (Read 2523 times)

Offline zwiller

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Current thoughts on hefe strains
« on: April 21, 2016, 02:28:08 PM »
Gearing up for a hefe right now.  Lost in a bewilderment of varying opinions on a hefe yeast choice.  Like all things, most guys have different opinions as to the perfect hefe...  For the record, I have never been to Germany, but have had various fresh draft german hefe.  I need to calibrate my palette and snag one to confirm, but I recall that I prefer Paulaner.  IIRC it was very balanced, spicy, clove, banana, fruit, malt.  No lead player just a nice group effort.  Obviously, 3068 gets alot of love.  Get any other fruit or malt with it?  I read it's clove/banana, but that's it, and kinda my memory of it.  Good but it was not "the one".  Used WB06 last few, and it's a good yeast, but it's the fruity hefe type (Erdinger?).  I do get some vanilla and malt, but not as much clove or banana as I would have liked.  As I type this, a blend of the 2 sound freaking incredible...  Once I start looking into the other strains I get lost in descriptors and varying opinions...  I have a nice recipe and water dialed in so it's down to just yeast.  Any thoughts? 
Sam
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Offline narvin

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Re: Current thoughts on hefe strains
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2016, 02:34:25 PM »
There are people who love the traditional WLP300/WY3068.  I really prefer WLP380, as I think it gives me more of the clove/banana balance that I want.  Either way, ferment cool, low 60s.
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Offline zwiller

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Re: Current thoughts on hefe strains
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2016, 03:48:14 PM »
Tried WL380 low temps once and I recall it was a bit bland.  You ramp up at all?  Also, I think that one is still reigning champ of worst baby diaper smell to ever come from my beer... If I gotta sleep on the couch, it better be worth it!  ;D 
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Current thoughts on hefe strains
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2016, 07:05:29 PM »
I think WY3333 is a popular strain for those looking for a more complex flavor.

Personally I like WY3068 for its straightforward mix of clove and banana although you must learn to dial in the exact flavor balance you want. I like more banana than many which leads to a slightly warmer fermentation but it has to be restrained or it starts to taste of bubblegum (banana + strawberry). A couple degrees one way or the other can produce a different flavor profile. If you like more clove it's a little more forgiving. 
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Offline narvin

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Re: Current thoughts on hefe strains
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2016, 07:26:56 PM »
Tried WL380 low temps once and I recall it was a bit bland.  You ramp up at all?  Also, I think that one is still reigning champ of worst baby diaper smell to ever come from my beer... If I gotta sleep on the couch, it better be worth it!  ;D

Bland AND baby diaper? That sounds like an oxymoron (or at least a disaster).

I haven't had the baby diaper thing.  I personally liked the result of 380 a lot and didn't think it was bland, but I don't like a lot of banana or tartness.  Weissbier flavors are best when fresh so put it on tap after 2 weeks.

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Current thoughts on hefe strains
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2016, 12:23:09 AM »
I did this and won the club comp for my first hefe:  380 started at like 60-62 for a few days, then let it free rise to room temperature.  That did the trick for me; limited banana, but still there in the background, clove up front.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Current thoughts on hefe strains
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2016, 12:49:35 AM »
I stay away from 3068 only because it reminds me of just about every commercial hefe I've ever tried, and when I brew I want it to taste a bit different from what I can pick up at the store (sort of how I rarely use Centennial or Simcoe in my IPAs). I've settled on WY3638 for my hefe's. I pick up a bit more sweet spice on the phenolics. It's not vanilla, cinnamon or anise, but it's something in the same ballpark. It complements the clove and banana quite well. It's good in a hefeweizen, but even better in a dunkelweizen.
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Offline jackmarshall77

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Re: Current thoughts on hefe strains
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2016, 10:45:22 AM »
Baby diaper is a serious odour, have you changed enough to say that with confidence. If you have achieved it with beer yeast then I would suggest that you have done something frightening.


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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Current thoughts on hefe strains
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2016, 01:10:07 PM »
I prefer the 3068 over the 300, but I'm intrigued by one of those dry yeasts from either Fermentis or Lallemand that reportedly has appropriate clove and banana notes. I haven't tried it, but are there others that have experienced that dry yeast?
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Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: Current thoughts on hefe strains
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2016, 01:34:08 PM »
One of the first beers I brewed (using Coopers liquid yeast extract), was an attempt at a hefeweisen using Safbrew WB06.  Though it wasn't as good as Weihenstephan which I'd been drinking a lot of at the time, I was very pleased with the results.  I might give it another go now I'm doing AG, and am a lot more discerning with my homebrew criticism.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Current thoughts on hefe strains
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2016, 02:02:28 PM »
I have been liking WL Hefeweizen IV strain.  Great for hefe's, weizenbocks, and roggenbier.

Offline zwiller

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Re: Current thoughts on hefe strains
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2016, 02:13:13 PM »
Good stuff guys.  Leaning to towards 380 ramped on this next one.

Some sulfur is a fairly common experience in my hefes and most of the time it is similar to lager strains that throw it slightly but occasionally it is real bad...  I remember freaking out about it (after confirming we had no sewer issues) and found plenty others that ran into it.  The issue with H2S is not really understood even in the professional community other that exposure to copper reduces it.   

If WB06 had more clove I'd stick with it.  I will say it would make a KILLER wit.  I will say, it spits in the eye of anyone who thinks dry yeast doesn't work.  It does.  Lot's of pros running it.

The intriguing part of hefe yeast talk is how much it varies.  Everyone's experience seems slightly different.  Could be a palette thing...  Also, I remember fondly making banana beers but I've since come to appreciate the clove now. 
Sam
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Offline beersk

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Re: Current thoughts on hefe strains
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2016, 02:16:04 PM »
I'm a proponent of 3068, but Weihenstephaner hefe is my favorite so...there you have it. I didn't like 300 at all, it was bland. Maybe I should brew more hefes this year. I usually only brew a couple a year. Personally, I think they're better bottled where you can pour the dregs into the bottle to get that nice mit hefe flava flave. Last year I did one that I bottled with DME for priming and it was full and awesome.
I would like to try some of those other ones though. Just might this year. I'm pretty much focusing on German styles this year, so it's time to start throwing down.
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Offline MJK

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Re: Current thoughts on hefe strains
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2016, 12:18:05 AM »
May be a bit late for this post.
I just made a hefe with WY3638. Just bottled it. Getting the banana, maybe anise and some pear or apple. Very nice. Once it carbonates the extra acidity should brighten up the flavors.

Offline charles1968

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Re: Current thoughts on hefe strains
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2016, 06:48:12 AM »
I'm going to be an annoying pedant and point out that "hefe" means yeast in German - I'd call them "weizens" instead of hefes. I can't comment on choice of yeast for one as I'm not a fan of the style. Last one I had was the classic Erdinger, which is a very bland and hopless beer. I would definitely aim for characterful rather than average to avoid making something insipid.