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Wheat Ale

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I recently tried to brew a variation of moshers Garden of Wheat'n Bavarian Weizen.  I am having major fermentation problems now.  I am experiencing one of the most sluggish fermentations I have ever seen.  The recipie went as follows

6 1/4 # Muntons Wheat Liquid Malt
1 1/2# Muntons extr light dry malt
2 oz. hallertaur pellets
Wyeast 3056 British Bavarian

I just wanted to try it with straight extract, so i didn't include any steeping malt.  The punch pouch did not expand much after 3 hours.  After 2 days there were no signs of fermentation.  I repitched some redstar champagne yeast I had hanging around. and now there is a very small layer of foam on the top.  Is there anything else I can do?  Where did I go wrong?  Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Sounds like you just pitched the smack pack without brewing up a starter.  I'd guess that is your primary problem.  Since you already pitched additional yeast I'd give it another day or so to see what happens.

Yep. when using liquid yeast you need to always make a starter or pitch multiple packs. See the pitching calc at to get an idea what size starter you need.

And unless I'm misremembering - you're stuck with what the Champagne yeast gives you now since it's a "killer" strain and pretty much every beer yeast out there will get stopped cold by it.

I missed the champagne yeast part. You would have been better off using a regular ale or lager yeast rather than a champagne yeast. A lot of people are under misimpression that champagne yeast is some sort of "super yeast" and that it will dry our any beer and eat through anything. It does have a higher alcohol tolerance but is actually "engineered" to eat fructose, not maltose. In beer wort it may actually less fermentable.

All that said, have you taken a FG reading yet? Don't trust visual inspection or air lock bubbles. Take a hydrometer reading. And be aware that hefeweizen yeast strain may appear to be fermenting (eg: will have a lid of krausen) for weeks after they are finished.


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