HOMEBREW Digest #5578 Mon 20 July 2009

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  Re: Hefeweizen and wit brewing (Robert Tower)
  Re: Bubble Gum (Josh Knarr)
  Breakfast stout (Tom Puskar)
  Refractometers/Wheat ("A.J deLange")
  Refractometers (Alexandre Enkerli)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 01:36:01 -0700 From: Robert Tower <roberttower at sbcglobal.net> Subject: Re: Hefeweizen and wit brewing Fred L. Johnson wants to get more bubblegum character in his hefeweizens and wits. While I can't comment too much about this concerning wits, I may have some helpful information regarding hefeweizens which I've spent a considerable amount of time and effort brewing. In my experience, much of the character comes from the yeast strain and fermentation conditions, largely temperature. I've never gotten the flavor I'm looking for with Wyeast 3068, though I've tried numerous times with all manner of variables. I've gotten results much more to my liking (i.e. muted banana, emphasized clove) with White Labs Hefeweizen IV WLP380 and WLP300 (though you REALLY have to watch the temp on this one as it can produce wildly different results at different temps). I've brewed once with the Danstar Munich strain (dry yeast) and had good results (similar to WLP380) under the conditions I typically brew/ferment under. One idea I had based on what Fred reported was that possibly he is getting plenty of clove/bubblegum, but maybe the banana is covering it up. I've found that the "right" temperature scheme is critical for achieving the flavors you are looking for. For the classic Bavarian hefeweizen character, the "Bavarian Rule of 30" has served me well. Once I switched to this scheme I got much much closer to the character I was looking to achieve. This rule is that the temperatures (in Celsius) that you pitch and ferment at add up to 30. I pitch at 12 C. (54 F.) and ferment at 18 C. (64 F.). Previously, I was pitching at the ferment temperature, typically 64-66 F. I had tried lower and higher temperatures, but the best result up to that point was in this range. Once I started pitching cold and then letting it rise to 64 F. and keeping it there my results got much better, to the point to where I'm quite satisfied now and won't be straying from these pitch/ferment temps. I'd be curious if Fred tried a batch with these temperatures what difference it would make in his beer. To a much lesser extent, I've found that aeration can also have an impact. When I've pumped pure O2 via a stone I've gotten bland (not much banana or clove) results. Now I fill my fermenter from the bottom (no splashing) and do no aeration. Since my mash setup doesn't allow (practically speaking) multi-temperature mashing schedules I haven't had the chance to employ a ferulic acid rest. However, my gut feeling is that the difference this possibly makes would be subtle to not noticeable, especially compared to the extra work this involves. Currently with my single temperature infusion mashing (at 150 F. 70% wheat malt, 30% pale or pils malt or even 6-row) and a rule of 30 fermentation schedule I'm getting results that are as good or better than Bavarian exported commercial examples (Paulaner, Schneider-Weiss, etc.). Of course, nothing can compare to drinking a fresh weissbier at the brewery or one of their outlets in Bavaria. It's something every serious weissbier brewer should do at least once in their lives. It will really "reset" your senses and what you look for in a weissbier. Bob Tower / Los Angeles, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 10:28:57 -0400 From: Josh Knarr <josh.knarr at gmail.com> Subject: Re: Bubble Gum Fred, Bump up the fermentation temperature. Most people consider the bubble-gum flavor to be an "off flavor" though, go easy. :) Safale S-04 is the "bubble-gum yeast". Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 12:05:50 -0400 From: Tom Puskar <tpuskar at optonline.net> Subject: Breakfast stout I was recently given a few bottles of Breakfast Stout which I believe was produced by Founder's Brewery. I'd love to clone it for myself as it had coffee, chocolate and oatmeal listed on the ingredients and tasted great. It may make me change the way I look at Cheerios (the former breakfast of champions!) TIA Tom in Howell, NJ Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 12:13:01 -0400 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Refractometers/Wheat I have very limited experience with refractometers in homebrewing (or anything else, for that matter) but finally bought one based on observing how quickly and easily a fellow brewer got readings during mash, sparge and boil. In my experience, it is as you seem to fear. Everything is fine (good agreement between refractometer and precision, narrowl range hydrometer in mash, lauter and boil) until any form of turbidity appears (out of the chiller, inoculated with yeast). Then all bets are off and the refractometer is useless. But it does make checking the progress of lautering a breeze. * * * * * * * * * * * * If 3068 won't give you a good Hefeweizen I don't know what will. I have always had very good luck with that strain but I must say it isn't the cloviest. I think it produces a very nicely balanced (between guaiacol, fruity esters and amyl acetate) beer when operated at 65 F or a little below. For more spice (guiacol) you might try operating it at a higher temperature. As I've always loved what I get with 3068 (or the similar White Labs equivalents) I have never looked for a clovier yeast (which is, I suppose, one with more availalable ferulic acid decarboxylase) but perhaps another reader will have some experience with such a strain or strains. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 19:41:31 -0400 From: Alexandre Enkerli <enkerli at gmail.com> Subject: Refractometers Matt asks about opinions on refractometers. I'm no instrument-hound but I must admit that I love my refractometer. I don't notice an influence from break material or turbidity, cleaning is very easy (I merely rinse and wipe), calibration isn't too difficult (it's pretty much impossible on a hydrometer), and it's just very convenient. A few things to keep in mind. * It's not as precise as a hydrometer. In a homebrew setup, that shouldn't matter so much, but some people care. * The reading seems to be scaled from a hydrometer reading (a factor of 1.04 seems common). * Using it during fermentation does work, with the converters. Useful as a way to track fermentation, decide on transfer or bottling/kegging, etc. * The temperature of the sample does have some impact but the sample is so small that it gets to temperature very quickly. * It can be used with other things besides wort (I use it with coffee, making interesting observations. * Cheap ones seem to be pretty much as useful as expensive ones. * It's easy to use by taking a few drops from a bucket (with a sanitized spoon) or from a carboy (say, with a sanitized racking cane). But some people prefer floating a hydrometer directly. * Having a refractometer encourages you to take more readings, which can be beneficial in getting to know your setup. * You really get to notice how much sugar you have left, while sparging. Ale-X in Laval, Qc ARC [888km, 62.5] Return to table of contents
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