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Mattress

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Morning,

I had a go at brewing Tony's Dark Wheat Dunkelweizen last weekend.

I followed the recipe ingredients to the letter, just scaled it down to 23 litre batch with beersmith.

I used a new smack pack of Wyeast 3068 which I split into 4, 3 vials into the fridge, the rest into my starter.
I have been using stepped starters of 2 x 800ml for my last few brews as I only have 2 x 1 litre flasks. Did the same for this brew.

Followed most of my usual brewing practices with my 50 litre keggle BIAB system. The only thing I did different was I raised the mash temp to 67 degrees as I have been told my beers are a little thin and raising the temp will fix that.

I did a single infusion mash, still a newbie as far as brewing goes, so I'm not game to try a decoction step yet. (If this brew had worked out the intention was to try it with the next one)

90 minute mash (with a couple of stirs during) followed by a 90 minute boil. Hop additions as stated in recipe. Chilled with my immersion chiller, Pure O2 added via air stone, then into fermenter. Fermenter into temp controlled fridge set at 18 degrees. Yeast added at 20 degrees. Liberal use of Starsan on equipment post boil.

One thing I did notice was that my 2nd yeast starter had significantly more bubbles and foam than the 1st.

During fermentation I noticed a strong sulphur/ rotten egg smell, but I have heard that this is sometimes normal and this is the 1st time I have used this yeast.

I have been working the last 4 days and haven't had time to pay the brew much attention but it went through the normal process of vigorous bubbling, gradually slowing down.

Today I poured off a sample to test, 7 days in fermenter.
1st thing I noticed that the sulphur smell was really strong and the brew was dark and cloudy. No bubbling or skin has formed in the fermenter.
O/G was a couple of points under what the recipe said but the F/G is 1.024, which is about 10 points too high.

I convinced myself to take a small sip to see what it tasted like. I only just managed to keep my breakfast down. It has to be the worst thing I have tasted in my life, and I'm not exaggerating. It has a strong rancid sour taste, it stinks and its horrible.

So, does anyone have any suggestions as to what I may have done wrong, any tips to what I should be doing.

Luckily I have a few days off now so I am able to brew something else. I would like to give the Dunkelweizen recipe another go in the future as I have only recently discovered this beer on tap at the local german club, and I really enjoyed it.

Any tips would be appreciated.

Thanks.
 

SJW

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Making beer is a funny thing dude. Sounds like an infection that could of come from anywhere or anything.
The only comment I can make, and it may not be the reason for the infection, but I always pitch the entire Wyeast pack into the first brew. I make sure its nice and clean (no trub) and not to high in OG. Then when its finished I swirl the yeast cake in the bottom of the fermenter and sore it in 4 or 5 500ml swing top bottles. That way next time I just pour of the clear beer on top and add a little of the new wort to fire it up and away I go.

Steve
 

manticle

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Sulphur during fermentation doesn't sound abnormal but sour/undrinkable sounds like infection.

I'd still give it time to finish and condition in case you are just not quite sure what you are tasting (fermentation can thorw a lot of really weird flavours and aromas) that condition out but be prepared to discard the lot if conditioning does nowt.

That rhymed unintentionally.
 

Mattress

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Thanks guys but Manticle, I think I'm gonna chuck it.

I wasn't joking when I said it nearly made me throw up. I'm too scared to give it another taste. :icon_vomit:
 

1974Alby

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chuck it for sure...Ive stored a sh!t batch (all bottled) for about 8 months now hoping it might improve...in reality it was just taking up space on my beer shelf and making the mrs think I had heaps of beer stockpiled..bit the bullet this weekend and chucked it, should have done it before I even bottled it!
 

dr K

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Making beer is a funny thing dude. Sounds like an infection that could of come from anywhere or anything.
The only comment I can make, and it may not be the reason for the infection, but I always pitch the entire Wyeast pack into the first brew. I make sure its nice and clean (no trub) and not to high in OG. Then when its finished I swirl the yeast cake in the bottom of the fermenter and sore it in 4 or 5 500ml swing top bottles. That way next time I just pour of the clear beer on top and add a little of the new wort to fire it up and away I go.

Steve
I agree with the italiced bit 100%. a pack of yeast is less than $10 and as Craftbrewer ship for free to Canberra I have to wonder why you would split, OK some of the character of wheat beer comes from yeast stress but really, its worth paying for good yeast....
K
 

Mattress

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Thanks Dr K
I only started splitting the packs as I read an article about it on here and thought I'd give it a go. I tend to enjoy the brewing process as much as drinking the finished product.
But if it's going to cause problems I will give it a miss in the future.

Am starting to read up on White Labs yeast now and will most likely start using them soon :)
 

Thefatdoghead

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I made the same recipe about 4 days in the primary now. It smell's like fart but tastes pretty good so far. I split a 3068 pack and made a 1ltr starter then when it finished I added the slurry to a 4ltr starter so I had quiet a bit of yeast. Such a shame to lose your batch mate I reckon this one is going to be a cracker!
 

manticle

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I agree with the italiced bit 100%. a pack of yeast is less than $10 and as Craftbrewer ship for free to Canberra I have to wonder why you would split, OK some of the character of wheat beer comes from yeast stress but really, its worth paying for good yeast....
K

When you first get into the idea of yeast harvesting, it is very exciting to a brewing nerd. I have a nice test tube rack I made and a bunch of autoclaveable plastic sample jars.

However the pain of throwing away beer due to a badly prepared slant, steeped up starter or dodgy test tube means either:

Know what you are doing and have the means and equipment to reserve/spilit/step up yeast in a sanitary environment

OR

Buy new packs each brew. If, like me, you brew a different beer style each time (and each time is mostly each weekend) and you won't use the same yeast for a long time.

I occasionally reserve PC yeast but for the time and effort, for me, at the moment, an $11 smack pack is piece of mind.

My experience only of course - you have succcess with reculturing or even just wish to have a crack, I'm not the one to try and stop you.

Dr K - without opening up a can of worms, can't you get all the character you want from a wheat/weizen without stressing the yeast? Mash temp rests, fermentation etc?
 

Mattress

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Today I had the intention of chucking this beer and cleaning the fermenter and starting again.

I noticed that the smell was nowhere near as bad so I thought I'd give it one more taste.

The taste and smell have mellowed quite a bit so I'm wondering, is what I'm experiencing normal for wheat beers?
It's been in the primary fermenter 10 days now. (This is my 1st go at a wheat)

Still doesn't taste great, but I didn't want to throw up this time.

I've got no idea what I'm doing.
 

SJW

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Today I had the intention of chucking this beer and cleaning the fermenter and starting again.

I noticed that the smell was nowhere near as bad so I thought I'd give it one more taste.

The taste and smell have mellowed quite a bit so I'm wondering, is what I'm experiencing normal for wheat beers?
It's been in the primary fermenter 10 days now. (This is my 1st go at a wheat)

Still doesn't taste great, but I didn't want to throw up this time.

I've got no idea what I'm doing.
Dont dump it, if its your first wheat beer it might just be a shock to the system, like the first time you fement a Lager and that sulfur smell hits you.
I dont do many wheat beers but from memory they smell and taste a bit funky until they are all done and chilled.
 

stux

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I'd suggest getting a second sensory opinion from another brewer ;)

And I split my wyeasts 4 ways too
 
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