Author Topic: Ultimate Traditional Weizen Recipe - I finally figured it out  (Read 2968 times)

Offline hackrsackr

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Re: Ultimate Traditional Weizen Recipe - I finally figured it out
« Reply #135 on: February 14, 2018, 10:19:50 PM »
Rob, that's a typical recipe, but I see that you do interesting enhancements in brewing. Reviewing Zymurgy, I see that your recollection was good. Only the acid malt addition was omitted. That provides a dose of lactate that I feel is an enhancement in that style. Lactate is metabolized by yeast and I'm guessing that it has a hand in the overall gold-medal effects.

One question: Did you rebrew for the second round? I didn't and my beer was nothing like it was in the first round. Freshness seems to be a needed hallmark of this style.

Lactate can also be synthesized by the yeast into the ester, ethyl lactate. Phosphoric acid always makes wonder if I’m creating more calcium phosphate precipitate than anything.

Rebrew: absolutely. I doubt you (anyone not you personally) can medal with a hefe from the first round. For a hefe I usually brew it 2 weeks before the last day of drop off. That usually puts the beer on the judges table in pretty good condition. I rebrewed all 4 that advanced last year.

You had stated previously that you thought the open fermentation was a contributor (i.e. shallow geometry, exposure to oxygen, etc.). Most of the scientific literature states otherwise, i.e. increase in oxygen leads to ester reduction.

Granted, my main area of interest is in Trappist yeasts. Your discussion of technique with Hefe presents a different set of circumstances. It isn't terribly difficult to grasp once you think about it: Use a yeast which is a known sulfur producer and see how banana develops after packaging with dissipation of the sulfur. That, IMHO, is the smoking gun in your case.

It could be that my assumptions and interpretations on the oxygen content driving yeast growth and reducing esters is true and pertinent for the types of beers I brew. I don't want to generalize your experiences and points  and say they are wrong outright, but it could be that the pathway to banana for you exists outside of these generally accepted ester synthesis pathways, and that your theory that open fermentation is a contributor is overshadowed by the transformation at the packaging stage.

Whatever the reality is, it doesn't change that you made an award winning beer. It is just interesting to me to try and understand why you did.
Hefe yeast produce sulfur, a lot of it. Not sure what you’re getting at there.

In the nih piece you posted it showed semi aerobic producing more isoA than aerobic or anaerobic.

As I do advocate open fermentation (it is how Weissbier was traditionally made, Germans, I didn’t make this up...,) I’ve never mentioned fermenter depth as a factor (I think the bottom of the fermenter’s slope angle is a factor, but haven’t mentioned it.) Open fermentation has nothing to do fermenter height. If I said something about fermenter geometry please quote and repost, so I can qualify what I meant.

I’ve compared actual beers, not just thought experiments. Hypotheses need tested before disqualification. If you try it and get different results then there’s data to analyze and discussions to have. Tea leaves, lucid dreams, or whatever else are never a valid reason for disqualifying a premise.



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Offline hackrsackr

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Re: Ultimate Traditional Weizen Recipe - I finally figured it out
« Reply #136 on: February 14, 2018, 10:21:59 PM »
Rebrew: absolutely. I doubt you (anyone not you personally) can medal with a hefe from the first round. For a hefe I usually brew it 2 weeks before the last day of drop off. That usually puts the beer on the judges table in pretty good condition. I rebrewed all 4 that advanced last year.

Agreed! I found that out the hard way over a decade ago, but it bears repeating to all competitive brewers and beer afficionados. Unless your entering a style that requires significant lagering or maturation time, a fresh beer is more likely to do better in the drinker's glass.

Absolutely.


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Offline hackrsackr

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Re: Ultimate Traditional Weizen Recipe - I finally figured it out
« Reply #137 on: February 14, 2018, 10:35:06 PM »
You had stated previously that you thought the open fermentation was a contributor (i.e. shallow geometry, exposure to oxygen, etc.). Most of the scientific literature states otherwise, i.e. increase in oxygen leads to ester reduction.

Derek,

I'm sure you've seen photos of the open fermenters in some German Hefe breweries. I've got to believe that the weizen yeast has some sort of affinity to some slight oxygenation. Even under a big krausen, I've got to assume that some oxygen gets into the wort. While I'm not sure how effective the loose foil cover is for Rob, with respect to enabling oxygen ingress to the fermenter, I suppose there is some.

Isn't it possible that those scientific literature are presenting results that are non-weizen related and there could be some truth in the benefit of micro-oxygenation in this case?
Another factor I should highlight about the foil over the mouth thing is that I usually ferment around 4 gallons of hefe in a 6 gallon better bottle, so there is a significant amount of head space. More volume for gas mixing, plus it provides plenty of space for krausen.

I have brew buckets now(what has led to my thoughts on fermenter slope angle having an effect), and I just leave the lid completely off. If that worries folks, you can put the lid on and leave the airlock out, put a piece of foil over the hole.


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Offline Brewtopalonian

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Re: Ultimate Traditional Weizen Recipe - I finally figured it out
« Reply #138 on: February 15, 2018, 06:08:42 PM »
wow, I haven't checked this in a few days (busy with my engineering classes).  If nothing else, I suppose I've started a great conversation.  I hope you guys make this and give feedback.
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Offline thcipriani

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Re: Ultimate Traditional Weizen Recipe - I finally figured it out
« Reply #139 on: March 08, 2018, 04:22:01 AM »
How bout some quotes out of it saying growth and esters are inversely related.
(heavily out of context quote. In my defense: there was soooo much context)

So there are a bunch, I'm mostly quoting myself from another thread on here:

Quote
While many authors tend to agree that increased biomass production (i.e. creation of cell walls) reduces the Acetyl CoA that is available for ester production and leads to reduced ester levels in the beer (Narziss 2005, Cone, Noonan 1996, Fix 1999) authors differ with respect to ester production and yeast growth. Fix (Fix 1999) writes that any, "increased activity on the acetyl CoA branch", whatever that means, will increase ester production while other authors (Narziss 2005, Cone) state that increased yeast growth leads to a decrease in esters since more of the acetyl CoA is used for sterol synthesis.

Sources:
--------
Cone - http://www.danstaryeast.com/library/yeast-growth
Fix - George J. Fix Ph.D, Principles of Brewing Science, Brewers Publications, Boulder CO, 1999
Narziss - Prof. Dr. agr. Ludwig Narziss, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Werner Back, Technische Universitaet Muenchen (Fakultaet fuer Brauwesen, Weihenstephan), Abriss der Bierbrauerei. WILEY-VCH Verlags GmbH Weinheim Germany, 2005
Noonan - Gregory J. Noonan, New Brewing Lager Beer, Brewers Publications, Boulder CO, 1996

HOWEVER, I wrote ^ because I was puzzled about seeing the exact opposite results in practice, that is, esters and growth seem to vary directly to me in *acutal* brewing. I was writing the above to Jess Caudill (who was at Wyeast at the time). My findings definitely jived with his and what you're seeing in practice hackrsackr. (link to thread: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=12789.msg162616#msg162616)

To paraphrase Jess (and maybe Yogi Berra): In theory practice and theory are the same, but in practice they're not.
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Offline hackrsackr

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Ultimate Traditional Weizen Recipe - I finally figured it out
« Reply #140 on: March 08, 2018, 12:25:34 PM »
How bout some quotes out of it saying growth and esters are inversely related.
(heavily out of context quote. In my defense: there was soooo much context)

So there are a bunch, I'm mostly quoting myself from another thread on here:

Quote
While many authors tend to agree that increased biomass production (i.e. creation of cell walls) reduces the Acetyl CoA that is available for ester production and leads to reduced ester levels in the beer (Narziss 2005, Cone, Noonan 1996, Fix 1999) authors differ with respect to ester production and yeast growth. Fix (Fix 1999) writes that any, "increased activity on the acetyl CoA branch", whatever that means, will increase ester production while other authors (Narziss 2005, Cone) state that increased yeast growth leads to a decrease in esters since more of the acetyl CoA is used for sterol synthesis.

Sources:
--------
Cone - http://www.danstaryeast.com/library/yeast-growth
Fix - George J. Fix Ph.D, Principles of Brewing Science, Brewers Publications, Boulder CO, 1999
Narziss - Prof. Dr. agr. Ludwig Narziss, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Werner Back, Technische Universitaet Muenchen (Fakultaet fuer Brauwesen, Weihenstephan), Abriss der Bierbrauerei. WILEY-VCH Verlags GmbH Weinheim Germany, 2005
Noonan - Gregory J. Noonan, New Brewing Lager Beer, Brewers Publications, Boulder CO, 1996

HOWEVER, I wrote ^ because I was puzzled about seeing the exact opposite results in practice, that is, esters and growth seem to vary directly to me in *acutal* brewing. I was writing the above to Jess Caudill (who was at Wyeast at the time). My findings definitely jived with his and what you're seeing in practice hackrsackr. (link to thread: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=12789.msg162616#msg162616)

To paraphrase Jess (and maybe Yogi Berra): In theory practice and theory are the same, but in practice they're not.
Good info, and love that quote.

I personally think that metabolic ester synthesis is far too complex to say: change this parameter and this result will occur. I also believe that “ester formation” is too broad of a topic. These are specific chemicals created by the combination of an organic acid and an alcohol. I feel that ester discussions should be limited to the specific ester, and the application (beer style and specific yeast strain) that it is to be measured in. In this thread I’ve only been describing isoamyl acetate in Weissbiers.

Furthermore, the ending isoA level has many more factors than pitch rate and the overall level produced is an amalgamation all of those factors. Off the top of my head there is: yeast strain, yeast health,  starting gravity, fermentation temperature, sugar profile, alcohol profile produced, head pressure on fermenter and fermenter size and shape. Too often I think we forget that yeast are governed by their DNA to react to their environment. The environment we provide doesn’t govern their DNA. By that I mean some strains produce more IsoA than others. If you look at a yeast analysis you can clearly see that some strains are isoamyl all-stars, and others aren’t even in the league. So if you’re trying to increase your isoA level, first check your strains isoA production in the lab vs. alternative strains recommended for that style. If you have a strain that is a low producer overall, then increasing the level will be more difficult compared to a high producing strain (check out the crazy amount altbier yeast produce).

Beer is made in kettles and fermenters, not in computer models or spreadsheets. Just like weather is made in the atmosphere and not in the models that fail to predict it (my local forecast for yesterday was 12-18” snow, 12 hours before we got a little drizzling rain... stuff is complex, I’m not mad at em).

Recently the guys from imperial yeast were on the brulosophy podcast, and they stated that with their strain (300/3068 strain I think, it is called stephan...) that they’ve measured isoA production of the yeast at different pitch rates and that their strain produces far more at a modest underpitch than any other pitch rate.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-br%C3%BClosophy-podcast/id1207681531?mt=2&i=1000402116718https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-br%C3%BClosophy-podcast/id1207681531?mt=2&i=1000402116718

Sorry, I don’t have a time stamp for the comment, but start in the second half if you’re looking for it specifically.

And finally, one factor that may muddy the science vs reality is the effect that pitch rate has on the length of the lag and log phases. Under pitching may simply lengthen these periods slightly, keeping the yeast in ester mode longer, thus resulting in more esters.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 01:39:28 PM by hackrsackr »

Offline coolman26

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Re: Ultimate Traditional Weizen Recipe - I finally figured it out
« Reply #141 on: March 08, 2018, 02:16:33 PM »
One of the best reads in a long time. I appreciate a thread that stays, for the most part, civil and informative. This stuff is past my level, but what a learning experience. I’m not sure I’ve ever purchased a Hefe/Weis.



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Offline thcipriani

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Re: Ultimate Traditional Weizen Recipe - I finally figured it out
« Reply #142 on: March 08, 2018, 03:57:35 PM »
Beer is made in kettles and fermenters, not in computer models or spreadsheets. Just like weather is made in the atmosphere and not in the models that fail to predict it (my local forecast for yesterday was 12-18” snow, 12 hours before we got a little drizzling rain... stuff is complex, I’m not mad at em).

So what I'm hearing is: "supercomputer"

And finally, one factor that may muddy the science vs reality is the effect that pitch rate has on the length of the lag and log phases. Under pitching may simply lengthen these periods slightly, keeping the yeast in ester mode longer, thus resulting in more esters.

You also posted earlier about keeping yeast in log phase, but earlier referring to availability of O2:

Hmm... may want to revisit that hypothesis. Esters come from growth. The access to oxygen keeps a small pitch of yeast in the growth phase longer.

This gives me a bunch of questions that I didn't see the answers to in this thread or in Zymurgy:

Do you have a target pitch rate, or some proxy which approximates a target pitch rate (e.g., fresh vial in 1 qt starter at ~1.040)?
Do you add oxygen or air initially? Is there a target initial DO rate? Is there a nominal rate and then you count on availability of oxygen in headspace? Do you feel strongly about these things, or do you only feel strongly that it is the entire process that makes the difference (as seems to be what you're saying in the last post)?

I've been working on my hefe for years and I still fiddle with pitching rate and oxygen more than I fiddle with anything else, really. My experience has been: that's how I make wildly different beers from the same ingredients. I pitch low (~6E6/mL), and I do 90 seconds O2 at 1LPM. I used to do a mix-stir for O2 since some smart folks I respect pointed to low DO driving esters, but that hasn't worked for me.

Also, while I directed this a bit to hacksackr if anyone else has experience playing with any of these variables I'd love to hear about it.

Random aside:

I love this thread! I feel like a lot of dogma leaks into brewing which may help new folks climb the learning-curve faster initially, but I think it does a disservice to our shared community understanding. There's a lot of great brewing literature that amalgamates knowledge from thousands of years of trial and error. And there are so many paths to amazing beer that on paper don't seem like they'll ever work. The more I've tried those weird paths, the more I realize that I have no idea what's going to make a good beer, but I can try it and see if it works for me.

Great thread, thanks for still being passionate about this stuff folks <3
Tyler Cipriani
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Offline hackrsackr

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Re: Ultimate Traditional Weizen Recipe - I finally figured it out
« Reply #143 on: March 08, 2018, 08:59:03 PM »
Beer is made in kettles and fermenters, not in computer models or spreadsheets. Just like weather is made in the atmosphere and not in the models that fail to predict it (my local forecast for yesterday was 12-18” snow, 12 hours before we got a little drizzling rain... stuff is complex, I’m not mad at em).

So what I'm hearing is: "supercomputer"

And finally, one factor that may muddy the science vs reality is the effect that pitch rate has on the length of the lag and log phases. Under pitching may simply lengthen these periods slightly, keeping the yeast in ester mode longer, thus resulting in more esters.

You also posted earlier about keeping yeast in log phase, but earlier referring to availability of O2:

Hmm... may want to revisit that hypothesis. Esters come from growth. The access to oxygen keeps a small pitch of yeast in the growth phase longer.

This gives me a bunch of questions that I didn't see the answers to in this thread or in Zymurgy:

Do you have a target pitch rate, or some proxy which approximates a target pitch rate (e.g., fresh vial in 1 qt starter at ~1.040)?
Do you add oxygen or air initially? Is there a target initial DO rate? Is there a nominal rate and then you count on availability of oxygen in headspace? Do you feel strongly about these things, or do you only feel strongly that it is the entire process that makes the difference (as seems to be what you're saying in the last post)?

I've been working on my hefe for years and I still fiddle with pitching rate and oxygen more than I fiddle with anything else, really. My experience has been: that's how I make wildly different beers from the same ingredients. I pitch low (~6E6/mL), and I do 90 seconds O2 at 1LPM. I used to do a mix-stir for O2 since some smart folks I respect pointed to low DO driving esters, but that hasn't worked for me.

Also, while I directed this a bit to hacksackr if anyone else has experience playing with any of these variables I'd love to hear about it.

Random aside:

I love this thread! I feel like a lot of dogma leaks into brewing which may help new folks climb the learning-curve faster initially, but I think it does a disservice to our shared community understanding. There's a lot of great brewing literature that amalgamates knowledge from thousands of years of trial and error. And there are so many paths to amazing beer that on paper don't seem like they'll ever work. The more I've tried those weird paths, the more I realize that I have no idea what's going to make a good beer, but I can try it and see if it works for me.

Great thread, thanks for still being passionate about this stuff folks <3
I guarantee I’m going to miss one or more of those questions, I’ll do my best though. And I don’t think I caught which yeast you were using 300/3068 is moderate in banana imo, unless you go up to like 13-14 Plato.

My basic hefe yeast review

300/3068: balanced banana clove
380/3333: big banana, moderate clove
351/3???: huge clove, minimal banana

My advice is to use the one more suited your desired profile and tweak from there; not try to get a yeast to do something it’s not the best at, if that makes sense. Or blend yeasts...

Yeast and oxygen: ok this is a bit of a black box. I aim for 7M/ml in around 4.5 gallons (2 quarts of wort reserved for speise)of wort. 120B cells-ish total. I don’t count yeast every time I brew, I’ve kinda fallen in the habit just using one tube (flex pouch or whatever) of WLP380 if it’s within one month of production I just pitch that which closer to 6M/ml. If the yeast is older (or summer shipped) I do a 1l starter and one pack which should be close to 7M/ml. I don’t oxygenate a hefe directly. I pitch the yeast into the fermenter and drop the wort in on top from the top of the fermenter. DO ends up around 7ppm generally. I feel like the pure O2 makes the yeast character muted for some reason. Probably the higher DO level worts produce less higher alcohols isoamyl in particular, just a guess though.

Maybe my opinion on yeast growth and ester production is somewhat simplistic, but yeast have to reach a critical mass of cells in the growth phase. So if you pitch that critical mass directly, then they’ll skip the growth phase, and start making alcohol. If you pitch a normal pitch rate they grow X amount of cells. If you underpitch the number of new cells needed is greater than X. Now higher DO levels seem (to me) to make them reproduce cleaner, probably as a result of increased sterols. Limited DO and an underpitch seems to produce a dirtier growth phase if you will. Like there’s yeast afterbirth laying all over the place. Now the open fermentation O2 thing is somewhat different. I’m not positive what the actual mechanism is. Someone suggested it’s due to the CO2 coming out of solution quicker. I just know that if I put an airlock on my hefe  isoA seems noticeably lower than when I leave it open. That nih article big monk posted had test results showing higher levels of IsoA in semi-aerobic fermentation, but I don’t remember reading a definite cause for it. But to be clear I’m not counting on atmospheric O2 to dissolve into solution at all. Once the foam starts coming up there’s no O2 getting past it into solution, but the yeast in top are exposed to atmospheric oxygen at some level.

All that being said I don’t think isoA production is even that simple. I feel pretty strongly (without any non-anecdotal evidence) that there is more to it than just the intercellular pathway of yeast. I think it there is some creation after the active fermentation. That just comes from tasting the beer. When it’s finished I don’t smell or taste a bunch of banana, but usually taste sulfur, a week later less sulfur, some IsoA, two weeks later no sulfur lots of IsoA. Is that causality, absolutely not, but if you google IsoA synthesis, labs use sulfuric acid to catalyze the reaction from isoamyl acetate and acetic acid. Just a theory of mine, that I’d like to have disproven.


Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Ultimate Traditional Weizen Recipe - I finally figured it out
« Reply #144 on: March 08, 2018, 09:13:59 PM »
This has gotten away from its purpose of brewing a traditional weissbier, imho

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Offline Robert

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Re: Ultimate Traditional Weizen Recipe - I finally figured it out
« Reply #145 on: March 08, 2018, 10:15:01 PM »
Poor OP hasn't even been on the forum in a couple of weeks.
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Offline hackrsackr

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Re: Ultimate Traditional Weizen Recipe - I finally figured it out
« Reply #146 on: March 08, 2018, 11:10:41 PM »
This has gotten away from its purpose of brewing a traditional weissbier, imho

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Maybe so...

We could talk about how traditional weissbier brewers avoid oxygen uptake in the mash to prevent the oxidation of sulfhydryl proteins, and the effect that might have on flavor.

Offline thcipriani

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Re: Ultimate Traditional Weizen Recipe - I finally figured it out
« Reply #147 on: March 08, 2018, 11:29:03 PM »
This has gotten away from its purpose of brewing a traditional weissbier, imho

Mea culpa. Sorry for threadjacking.
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Offline Big Monk

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Re: Ultimate Traditional Weizen Recipe - I finally figured it out
« Reply #148 on: March 09, 2018, 01:21:12 PM »
This has gotten away from its purpose of brewing a traditional weissbier, imho

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Offline Robert

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Re: Ultimate Traditional Weizen Recipe - I finally figured it out
« Reply #149 on: March 09, 2018, 03:11:22 PM »
This has gotten away from its purpose of brewing a traditional weissbier, imho

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Does it matter? I’d say the resulting discussion is infinitely more engaging.
That may be true.  But this started with the OP proudly sharing a simple recipe he'd worked long and hard to develop, and before long it was almost as if he got jumped on and told he was washing his socks wrong if it didn't involve use of the Large Hadron Collider. Not quite but it probably seemed that way to him.  Maybe we should be a little more alert and when a derailment or side topic is far enough removed from the original,  move it to a new thread.
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