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warra48

I've drunk all my homebrew and I'm still worried.
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I've just bottled my latest batch today. I've also just downed a bottle of one of my Hefeweizens.

The prevailing logic is to get your brew of the yeast before lagering. Well, I didn't.
I brewed an Alt type beer, but with a truckload of lager yeast (4 packets of S 23). I fermented it at 10C for 3 weeks, then dropped the temp to 2.5C for another 5 weeks. all of this was done in primary.
The batch smelled amazing, in spite of sitting on the yeast for 8 weeks. Absolutely no evidence of autolysis, and even the dregs in the fermenter smalled OK. Apart from the fact I've washed it all down the driveway, I'd be happy to have re-used it. However, my schedule for for some US style ales next.

The usual logic of Hefeweizens is to drink them fresh. Well, my last batch was brewed in early July last year. Initially it had way too much clove for my taste and was well out of balance. 6 months in the bottle has done wonders for it. The clove character has moderated to a very significant degree, and the wheat characters are now shining through. Much more to my taste.

Did I just get lucky?
 

stux

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I've just bottled my latest batch today. I've also just downed a bottle of one of my Hefeweizens.

The prevailing logic is to get your brew of the yeast before lagering. Well, I didn't.
I brewed an Alt type beer, but with a truckload of lager yeast (4 packets of S 23). I fermented it at 10C for 3 weeks, then dropped the temp to 2.5C for another 5 weeks. all of this was done in primary.
The batch smelled amazing, in spite of sitting on the yeast for 8 weeks. Absolutely no evidence of autolysis, and even the dregs in the fermenter smalled OK. Apart from the fact I've washed it all down the driveway, I'd be happy to have re-used it. However, my schedule for for some US style ales next.

The usual logic of Hefeweizens is to drink them fresh. Well, my last batch was brewed in early July last year. Initially it had way too much clove for my taste and was well out of balance. 6 months in the bottle has done wonders for it. The clove character has moderated to a very significant degree, and the wheat characters are now shining through. Much more to my taste.

Did I just get lucky?

That's how I do lagers... can't be arsed racking...

And my hef which had too much clove mellowed out beautifully over a few months.

And the next time I fermented hotter and ended up with less clove and more banana... which was more to my liking. Possible wheaty characteristics will come forward in time... but I dont think the keg has time up it sleave... its on blow watch :)
 

jyo

No Chillin' Like a Villain.
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Warra, good stuff. I was thinking about posting this same question a couple of weeks ago when I was draining a hefeweizen keg. I searched for similar threads though found little of relevance.

It started off tasting really good at 2 days. Yet at about 2 months it was tasting amazing. The flavours rounded out and came together really well. It was 60/40 wheat pils with tettnanger and 3068 @ 18' and by the time the keg drained the clarity was quite reasonable. Maybe bottles kept in a 25' degree ambient room (example only) would not fare as well as those kept in the fridge after carbonation or kegging.

It will be interesting to see other's thoughts.
 

pk.sax

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Can't comment first hand but dad had a year old 3638 hef of mine and said it was delicious. And he's a real fan of draught beer, no beer expoert by a long stretch, meaning off the tap. Must've nailed it...

I suppose the middle aged weiss must be the problem ;)
 

felten

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The yeast isn't going to do much autolysis when it's cold, if you tried that at 20c+ the whole time, it might be a different story.
 

Malted

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Never brewed a lager in my life but I had a dunkleweizen that to my palate improved significantly with aging 6 months!
As to your question about US ales, a lot of folks do not bother with secondary fermentation but ales are certainly done and dusted heaps quicker than lagers.
 

kelbygreen

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yep I CC my lagers for 5 weeks on the yeast and they are so clean and clear, As malted say at a higher themp then maybe you might find a different story
 

white.grant

tum te tum
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Did I just get lucky?

A hefe can taste awesome 6 months down the track, much of the imported stuff ( schoffer, franszikaner etc) are testament to that. They're a sea voyage and customs pallets and retail shelves away from our palates - generally speaking, 4 months from the brewery easily! Given the right handling though they are all awesome beers.

Personally I find that my fresh weizens compare favourably to my old ones. In fact, I pulled a sample from the current fermenting batch this evening (1018 - got a few points to go and sittig on the tailings) and compared it to the 4 week old one in the keg and it was touch and go for the keg. Esters were balanced, body was slightly fuller, carb was completely wrong but I loved the crisp wheatiness of the not yet finished version and the rounded mouthfeel. Soft and gentle. Magic. You only get that if you live in Bavaria, or can brew your own :p And I know it will get better :)

And that is one of the reasons why I do brew my own.

cheers

grant
 

mikk

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I'm a big fan of fresh hefe's.

When using WLP300 & kegging, i found i needed to wait a few days after force carbing the keg for a slight sulfurous smell to disperse, then it was spot-on. The flavours start changing within 2 weeks, & although perfectly drinkable after 4-5 weeks it's definately past it's prime.

When using S-33, i need to wait 2-3 weeks after kegging for it to peak, & it keeps a bit longer than when using WLP300.

When bottling, i wait 6 weeks prior to drinking, then put all the bottles in the fridge to keep them fresh, then try to drink it all within a month after that.

Commercial Hefe's generally don't contain hefe yeast after bottling, that's why they last so much longer.

Nothing better than fresh, IMO.
 

mckenry

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There is a limit to time in the bottle with hefe's though.
Back in 2008 I found a batch that had been 'lost' during a house move. 4 year old hefe tasted like Port. erghhh.
 

Muggus

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What i've found with Hefe's is that if they're more "banana" dominant, particularly if you've got that seriously sweet candy banana/bubblegum thing happening, they're best drunk fresh. Those esters are seemingly quite volitile, blowing off in a number of weeks.
Whereas the clove character, particularly if it is very prominant, seems to be more approachable with some conditioning...unless you're a fan of really pungent clove character. :ph34r:
 

MarkBastard

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I've always thought racking was a crock. Most likely it's based on the assumption of no ability to control temp, crash chill, and probably also presumes bottling.
 
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