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Open Fermentation

Discussion in 'All Grain Brewing' started by Ghostie, 1/12/19.

 

  1. chthon

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    Posted 16/12/19
    How do you prime your beer before bottling?
     
  2. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 16/12/19
    I think I would wait the time for conditioning to take place, maybe it was the choice of yeast, not the method of fermentation.
     
  3. Ghostie

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    Posted 17/12/19
    I use 500ml swing tops and put a measured amount of dextrose worthy of a 750 ml bottle (Hefe's need a bit more carbs than normal beer). I'm not really worried because it was only 2 days conditioning in the bottle.....but after a week (which should be in two days time) if it is not carbed then ........well.....
     
  4. Ghostie

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    Posted 17/12/19
    Fingers crossed on this one. I'll know by this weekend I think. If it turns out better than my other two Hefe attempts then I'll make sure you get a bottle to try...well.....my other 2 Hefe's were just ok so it should not be hard to beat them hehehe
     
  5. chthon

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    Posted 17/12/19
    I use mostly swing tops and dextrose too, but I always bulk prime. However, if you have your process for measuring your dextrose and putting into your bottles in your fingers, doesn't seem that anything can go wrong.

    W.r.t. swing top bottles, however, I noticed a difference in the force needed to close them, and giving the spring a bit of adjustment to make them close better. I have a whole lot of bottles from a German brewery (Bolten), which seem to close less well, the rubber on them is not as thick. The beer was still good, but flat and darker. So loss of carbonation is possible with them, especially if you can open and close them without much force.
     
    zoigl likes this.
  6. Ghostie

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    Posted 23/12/19

    You could buy new rubber rings and replace the thin rings, that would make the bottles close better.
     
  7. hefevice

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    Posted 23/12/19
    Late to this thread, but I can’t see anywhere which strain of yeast you are using?

    I would expect that yeast strain, pitching rate and temperature schedule would have a much larger impact on ester production than the difference in pressure between “closed” (with airlock) and open.

    In my experience I get a good banana/clove balance using WY3068 pitched at the lower end (but not under pitched - say ~500K cells/ml/degree plato) starting cool (~13C) and allowed to rise to a controlled temp of ~17C (my understanding is that this is based on a classical German Hefeweizen fermentation schedule) . Other strains may behave differently with respect to pitching rate and temperature. I also find that it it best not to oxygenate the wort if I am aiming for a classic German Hefeweizen with this strain.

    I realise that you we unable to control temperature for this one, but temperature is probably the variable with biggest influence so it needs to be controlled if you want useful results from your experiments.
     
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  8. Ghostie

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    Posted 27/12/19
    Thanks for this. I used an American Hefeweizen yeast and after two and a bit weeks of bottle conditioning I am finding this version of Hefe to be the least interesting out of my three attempts thus far. Temperature control was non-existent with this brew and it did hover around the 18 degs mark for most of the fermentation.

    I think I will have another go in colder weather and use your suggested yeast.

    Open fermentation was worth a try however I think I need to cover off all parts of the process, like temp control, to have a successful brew.
     
  9. bigmunchez

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    Posted 27/12/19
    So, specifically which strain are you using - wyeast 1010?
     
  10. Ghostie

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    Posted 31/12/19
    I used White labs American Hefeweizen Ale Yeast - WLP 320
     
  11. bigmunchez

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    Posted 31/12/19
    Yeah, ok. I suspect your problem is yeast selection. If you just picked a true German hefeweizen strain, (say Wyeast 3068) you'd have all the banana you could wish for.
    Currently you're trying to coax banana esters out of a yeast that doesn't really want to do that.

    From the white labs site:
    "This strain ferments much cleaner than it’s hefeweizen strain counterparts. It produces very slight banana and clove notes and has low flocculation, leaving resulting beers with characteristic cloudiness."

    Have you tried any of the others? I think the 320 (and Wyeast 1010) are specifically selected for American wheat beers which tend not to have the same banana/clove character as a German Hefeweizen, hence those strains are a lot cleaner, although still low flocculators.
     
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  12. hefevice

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    Posted 31/12/19
    Spot on! White Labs equivalent to WY3068 is WLP300. BIG difference in ester (and phenol) output to the American Wheat strains.
     
  13. hefevice

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    Posted 31/12/19
    In my view open fermentation is not worth the contamination risk in the home brew environment. Suspect you might have been very lucky. You will find that the German strains will throw plenty of banana at higher temperatures (probably too much).
     
  14. MHB

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    Posted 31/12/19
    Nah cant have too much banana...
    A little glucose (dextrose) will up the banana to, the yeast needs it to make isoamyl acetate, other things you can do to add or promote other flavours (quick intro).
    Agree on open fermentation, lots of possible downsides for no real benefits
    Agree on W3068 love that yeast!
    Mark
     
  15. chthon

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    Posted 2/1/20
    Well, many commercial swing tops are glued or melted together with the sealing rings, so the complete cork mechanism must be replaced.
     
  16. Ghostie

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    Posted 11/1/20

    Thanks for your info on the different yeast strains and in particular the difference between the American and German Hefe yeasts.

    From my little experiment I have learn't so much from all of you guys and although my open experiment probably didn't get the result I wanted it has been eclipsed by my other learnings......or at least consolidated knowledge.

    1. Temperature control is vital
    2. Yeast strain is vital

    To you guys this may seem obvious but to get the necessary equipment and ingredients together to make this all work out can be quite challenging.

    Thank you all for helping me with this. My next hefeweizen will be done with alot more insight and hopefully better reults.
     
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  17. eastgummy

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    Posted 14/1/20 at 3:59 AM
    I've only brewed 4 hefe-weizen / wiesse bier / german wheat beers so far (and an awesome dunkel roggenbier!) and the problem for me is exactly the opposite, to get the balance banana/clove. I always get super-banana and very little to no clove. Maybe I don't wait long enough to drink them!

    Indications for more banana https://braumagazin.de/article/brewing-bavarian-weissbier-all-you-ever-wanted-to-know/:
    - >66% wheat
    - higher OG (within parameters)
    - mash in >55ºC (avoid ferulic rest 40-45ºC)
    - recommended mash steps: 55°C protein rest: 5-10 min; 63°C maltose rest: 30-45 min; 72°C saccharification rest: 30 min
    - lower PH (~5.2)
    - fermentation temp: start at 18º and raise to 24ºC

    Optionally they say you can reduce the pitching rate and do not areate. "Stressed" yeast is known to produce more esters, but be careful! It can produce other compounds that can "mask" the esters. Anyway, I haven't tried this myself and I always get a lot of banana.

    Another extra: racking to a secondary fermenter for 3 weeks at 20ºC. I haven't done that either, in my opinion you get more chances of oxidation and getting old-hefe-clove-metallic flavours doing that, but I might be wrong.

    On top of that, I've always used WLP300 (std. german hefe yeast) and a normal fermenter with the airlock on and again... always super-bananany.

    About the open vs closed fermenter, cool experiment, but I beleive it's not worth it for the amount of beer we brew. It would maybe affect big breweries.

    About the good old CO2 blanket... nah... The only things that can prevent oxydation on the surface of an open fermenter are the krausen itself and a pellicle, which you only get in sour beers.

    Another problem of open fermententation is: oxygen + light is the perfect environment for acetic acid. Just a little bit is ok for a flanders red but more than that is good for condimenting your salads, removing rust, healing blisters, cleaning/degreasing or... well, many things, vinegar is awesome!

    EDIT: About the dextrose (corn sugar) trick. I read it before, and I've tried priming with dextrose instead of table sugar. Don't know if the increase in banana is enough with that to be noticeable, but in my experience the only difference I get is faster carbonation.

    EDIT 2: Other thing I've experienced is the younger the beer is the more banana you get. If the beer is already 4 months old you get less banana and more clove. Once I had a 1 year old HB (Hofbräuhaus) and it tasted like metallic clove.
     
    Last edited: 14/1/20 at 4:48 AM
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