I've screwed up my Hefeweizen

Belgian Beers, Saisons, Wheat beers, Bierre de garde, Sour beers, Fruit Beers etc

I've screwed up my Hefeweizen

Postby Berty » Wed Apr 12, 2017 19:15

Hi Guys,

First proper post (apart from my intro) & I am hoping you may be able to offer some advice on what I've done wrong with my Hefeweizen. This was my first all grain version, I've done quite a few extract versions in the past that all came out really nicely.

It's now sitting in the keg and is extremely tart and a bit sulphurous. I'll list up the recipe and then describe a couple of things I think I may have done wrong.

Recipe is basically following the "Harold is Weizen" all grain recipe from Brewing Classic styles and is follows:-

Batch size 21L.
2.54Kg Weyermann Pilsner malt
2.54Kg Weyermann Wheat pale wheat malt
25g Halertau Mitelfruh (3.00%AA) giving 9.1IBU's
Wyeast 3068
Wyeast yeast nutrient 1/2tsp
Mash single infusion at 67 degrees C.
Mash water 13.5L
Batch Sparge Vol 21L
Fermented at 17 Deg C, ramped to 19.5 to finish.

My water profile was close to the Weihenstephan Brewing school profile from Braukaiser's website. Adding a little Calcium chloride and a little Gypsum to get close to the profile. My base water was Ashbeck from Tesco.

Here's what I think may have affected the beer adversely, I don't think it's infected, it's just too tart with a sulphurous wiff and no banana or clove.

This was the first time I used a yeast starter in a Hefe, I've started doing yeast starters and overbuilding so I can have a batch in the fridge for the next brew, basically to save on the cost & the risk of delivery of the liquid smack packs. I made a 2 litre starter, retained 500ml and pitched the remaining 1.5litres. In the past, I just pitched one pack straight in and had good results. I've also had good results from the fermentis WB-06, but for the last few brews I've used 3068 successfully. Another thing that may be of note, the smack pack didn't swell this time and did smell pretty sulphurous when I opened it although it was in date and the starter took off ok. I think I've definitely overpitched and thus lost the clove & banana phenolics & esters, but can overpitching also cause this extra tartness?

The second thing I suspect is I might have over acidified my water. I use bru'n water for calculating my additions and it never seems to predict the mash acid requirements correctly. I've recently taken to measuring the mash ph (Voltcraft meter) and adjusting to suit. The predicted addition was 3.0ml acid (80% Lactic) into the mash to achieve 5.30ph, actual reading after 15 minutes was 5.52ph. Using beersmith to calculate, I then added another 4ml of lactic which got me down to 5.3ph. I also acidified the sparge water (again ashbeck) which using beersmith suggested 1.4ml. In total I added 8.4ml of Lactic. What I'm thinking after doing some reading, is that with a low alkanlinity water, plus the use of that quantity of acid, plus the wheat in the grain bill has acidified the final beer too much? I haven't taken a finished beer ph. I'll do that and post back the result.

Apologies for the long post, any suggestions and your advice will be very gratefully received!

Cheers,
Brett :cheers1:
User avatar
Berty
Brewer
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 09:42

Re: I've screwed up my Hefeweizen

Postby robwalker » Wed Apr 12, 2017 22:18

Was the ferment very active and did the vessel have good ventilation? Sulphur is usually blasted off by the yeast activity but I've no experience with that yeast.
Over Acidifying would definitely explain a lot and it would stifle the yeast too. Other place I would probably look is sparge temp/over sparging.
User avatar
robwalker
Brewer
 
Posts: 3302
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2014 18:55
Location: Longbridge, Birmingham

Re: I've screwed up my Hefeweizen

Postby Berty » Wed Apr 12, 2017 22:45

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the reply. The ferment was initially pretty typical for a wheat, loads of krausen that blew out of the airlock the first couple of days. It's a brewpaks fermenter with a big volume airlock, but after that the krausen didn't drop. I got to 9 days and it still wasn't going anywhere but I had no airlock activity and when I took a sample it had reached FG. I gave the fermenter a gentle swirl and ramped the temperature up. Later that night the krausen had dropped. By the next day a very small krausen was starting to reform.

Sparge temp was 76 degrees, I batch sparge so don't think I oversparged.

regards,
Brett
User avatar
Berty
Brewer
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 09:42

Re: I've screwed up my Hefeweizen

Postby pittsy » Thu Apr 13, 2017 07:32

It sounds all normal to me , I use wlp380 which doesn't give off suplhur but some weiss yeasts do like the lager yeasts . Don't bottle until the sulphur has gone otherwise it'll stay in the bottle for an age ( by which the weiss has past it's best unlike lager etc ) . 8 ml of lactic acid is a fair bit but not overly massive . I too often have the yeast staying throughout the ferment , I slowly drop the temp to around 5c for a few days to help more drop out .
Yeah you need to measure beer ph but i'd expect it to be normal as weiss yeast is very sturdy and should get the beer in the right ph even if mash was well out ( although taste would be effected ).
If you hadn't of measured ph I'd of thought your mash ph was too high going by what you say it tastes like but that doesn't seem right .
User avatar
pittsy
Brewer
 
Posts: 1398
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 22:43

Re: I've screwed up my Hefeweizen

Postby Berty » Thu Apr 13, 2017 13:57

Hi Pittsy,

Thanks very much for the reply. That's what's so annoying, everything about the brewday went like clockwork. I'm still inclined to think the acid additions plus the low alkalinity water (starting ph is 6.5) has caused this either that or the large starter has somehow dropped the ph? I'll hopefully get a chance to take a ph reading from the finished beer tonight and post it up.

I've never used the wlp380, I'll have to give that a shot, I'm certainly not enjoying the sour egg bomb I've ended up with this time!

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere, think it might have been in Eric Warner's book, that you don't need to acidify the water as the wheat & yeast will pull the ph down to the correct finishing ph anyway? Is this something you've ever tried?

Regards,
Brett
User avatar
Berty
Brewer
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 09:42

Re: I've screwed up my Hefeweizen

Postby pittsy » Thu Apr 13, 2017 19:37

Hi the yeast will bring the beer ph to around 4.0 to 4.2 almost whatever the mash ph . On 2nd thoughts maybe the mash did go too low , lactic should be put into water at normal tap temp and it takes a little time to work ( not too long ) . my water is around 7 ph with alkalinity of around 119 ppm and calcium 70 ppm usually and i think i use around 8 ml ish in 46 litres so you used approx double to me . I also use acid malt my brun water lactate added is 186ppm if that helps . It will mellow but may take 3 months or so .( ive used lactic to sour before , very tart but mellows with time .)
User avatar
pittsy
Brewer
 
Posts: 1398
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 22:43

Re: I've screwed up my Hefeweizen

Postby Berty » Thu Apr 13, 2017 22:42

Hi Pittsy. I measured the ph tonight, mine has finished at 3.9, so lower than it's supposed to be, I measured a Franziskaner as a comparison and that was 4.48ph, which is higher than recommended for the style, and a sign of yeast autolysis according to Eric Warner's book.

My water, prior to acid addition was 6.2ph, alkalinity 25ppm & calcium 15ppm, total liquor was 34 litres. Bru'n water shows approx 8ml of 88% lactic adds 544 ppm of lactate!

I think this has been a good, if expensive, lesson. Next time, I will use a higher mineral profile, definitely not add any acid to the sparge and will also underpitch the yeast and ferment a bit higher. I think I'll give the WLP380 a go as well.

Thanks very much for your advice.
User avatar
Berty
Brewer
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 09:42

Re: I've screwed up my Hefeweizen

Postby pittsy » Fri Apr 14, 2017 07:15

No problem , glad to help a little .The next batch you do try again but try a 3rd batch with step mashing and see the difference between them . I now never brew a weiss in a single step mash ( I don't bother with decoction , not worth the effort ) .
User avatar
pittsy
Brewer
 
Posts: 1398
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 22:43

Re: I've screwed up my Hefeweizen

Postby Berty » Fri Apr 14, 2017 08:33

How do you step mash? Have you got a Herms or Rims setup? I've got a 3V setup, mashtun is a 10 galon cooler. I do have a pump which i haven't really used yet. Ive been looking into a recirculation system but not done anything other than buy a pump, which Ive never used for recirculating.
User avatar
Berty
Brewer
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 09:42

Re: I've screwed up my Hefeweizen

Postby pittsy » Fri Apr 14, 2017 20:03

You should try recirculating it is good for a few things , efficiency , clarity , time saving if you would vorlauf after the mash as it has been done and insuring mash temperature is the same top and bottom of the mash .
I do have herms which makes step mashing very easy but before that I would infusion step mash starting off with as little water as reasonable and adding more per step .
User avatar
pittsy
Brewer
 
Posts: 1398
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 22:43

Re: I've screwed up my Hefeweizen

Postby Berty » Sat Apr 15, 2017 08:54

Thanks very much, really appreciate your advice. I'll have a play with beersmith and see if i can work out a step mash profile just adding water as suggested, but I think I'm going to try building a Herms pot. I've seen a few mentions on here of using an asparagus steamer.
User avatar
Berty
Brewer
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 09:42


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest