General Category > Extract/Partial Mash Brewing

Wheat Ale

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pokeysbrew:
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. 

tygo:
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.

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

dbeechum:
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.

majorvices:
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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