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Thread: heffe problem?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    33

    heffe problem?

    It is my understanding that Heffewissen cannot be called a lager in Germany because of the Purity Law (contains wheat). Should it still be trated like a lager, though? After fermenting a Bavarian Wheat beer, and shutting it in at 1.5 bars, I noticed a strong sulpher aroma and flavor. I have since crashed the beer for 1 week, and the aroma is still present (though not as strong). Should it be lagered for a minimum of 3 weeks as you would any good pilsner? Will that make a difference?
    If it does, here is what puzzles me....The lagering process requires the beer sit on the yeast for an extended period of time while many off-flavor compounds get absorbed into the yeast. Well, Bavarian Wheat beers are consumed with the yeast still in suspension. Unless it is filtered (kristal), how does this make sense? Will my Heffe improve in a couple of weeks or not? So far, I'm not liking my results.
    Help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    185
    hefeweizen is not a lager because it uses top fermenting ale yeast, not because of the wheat.

    Actually, weizens are brewed with malted wheat, not raw wheat, which follows the purity law (water, yeast, hops, and *malt).

    and in general, wheat beers are not lagered... 1 week fermentation, 1 week conditioning (if even that), 1 week bottle conditioning (for hefeweizen).

    sulfury flavor in wheat beer... what yeast do you use??
    a lot of Bavarian brewers use open fermenters, filter the beer, and then dose in fresh yeast and wort for bottle conditioning. Maybe you got the sulfur smell because you cap the fermenter too early?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    WA, Australia
    Posts
    38

    hefe heaven

    I sometimes get sulfuty notes from my hefeweizen too. It will be from 1-2 kegs per batch and pretty unpredictable. I can pick it, and sometimes the staff/customers can too.
    I'm using wyeast 3068, ferment at 18C, cold condition at 2C for a week or so, then carbonate and serve.

    Allan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Henley-on-Thames, England
    Posts
    204
    Our flagship is a Hefe (okay more of a Krystal) and I am gaining quite a bit of experience with this yeast (WLP300) and I get a sulphur note at two points in the process:

    1) I build this yeast up from tube every time and transfer my 'big' pitch into kegs, then pressurise for a short transport....upon venting these kegs at the brewery I get sulphur...

    2) After it has been crashed in primary I transfer to brite tank, I also pick up a faint sulphur note

    A week or two conditioning at 3-5C seems to take care of it however as I cannot detect it in the finished product.

    Is it not just a sign of stress on the yeast - 1) from the pressure, 2) from the drop in temp?

    Cheers,

    Jeff
    Jeff Rosenmeier (Rosie)
    Chairman of the Beer
    Lovibonds Brewery Ltd
    Henley-on-Thames, Englandshire
    W: www.lovibonds.com
    F: LovibondsBrewery
    T: @Lovibonds

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    32
    Weizen yeast typically has some sulfury notes if bunged off in closed unitank before fermentation subsides, however it can usually be scrubbed out with a carbonation stone in a bright tank.

    Hold the tank at around 10 psi. Turn on the gas to the carb stone and bubble gently. Open the blow off valve slowly keeping the tank at 10 psi. Depending on the size of the tank, and how quickly you vent, it may take several hours. Sample periodically to taste.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    33

    solutions

    Thanks for the input! In response:

    1) I like the idea of scrubbing with a stone, however, I am concerned about stripping out other flavors in the beer. I did produce this beer in a uni-tank, so it's characterisitics are already pretty subtle.

    2) The other option would be filtering the beer and serving it as a Kristal. I have a feeling a good amount of that taste is in the yeast.

    What-cha think?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Ottawa Ontario
    Posts
    25
    I wouldn't be too worried about other flavours beings scrubbed out. Not everything can be adsorbed onto CO2 bubbles. Sulphur is one of those things that will latch on tightly. Taste the beer periodically, use your senses.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    san diego, ca.
    Posts
    182
    i have ad that problem in the last couple batches I have done. I just scrubbed it. Still plenty of banana and clove.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Israel
    Posts
    105
    Will second (or third) the scrubbing solution. We have a witbier that routinely picks up sulphur on day 4-5 of fermentation. We scrub after racking in the conditioning tank and sulphur's gone but clove, coriander, orange, etc. are unaffected.

    David

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    san diego, ca.
    Posts
    182
    the only thing I would be concerned with while scrubbing is hop aroma. Which all of the fore mentioned styles have very little of usually. So, I see and have had no issue with doing it

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