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Hi Brewers,

I've recently had the weirdest experience brewing a wheat beer. It's a pretty standard beer, 50/50 wheat/pils malts and brewed with WLP300 hefeweizen ale yeast. I had no problems with this brew, pitched a 1 litre yeast starter and did an open fermentation at pretty standard temperatures. Here's where it got strange:

  • The fermentation gave off no clove/banana aromas, like NONE
  • There was very little krausen in the fermenter, almost like a bottom fermenter which is totally at odds with this yeast
  • The ferment went well and was mostly complete within 3 days at which point it completely settled and formed a dense, rocky yeast cake and completely clearing the beer, again totally at odds with this yeast
  • The beer has no hefeweizen characteristics whatsoever, not even subdued ones like an American wheat. It tastes pleasant enough, but with the malt bill and at 12 IBUs it's about as exciting as DB export
  • When washing the yeast it flew to the bottom of each vessel like a super-flocculator, completely unlike a wheat yeast

So the question is, could the yeast have been mislabelled? Has that happened to anyone else?? Normally I roll my eyes when people claim packaged yeast "has an infection" or doesn't behave properly but this behaviour is so at odds with WLP300 that I can't believe it's the same yeast. My hunch is it's WLP005, it certainly behaved like this yeast.

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That does sound strange. Maybe shoot an email off to Whitelabs for input? Do you still have the vial/pure pitch sache for batch reference?

Unfortunately no. The good news is my wife likes the somewhat bland beer I've made.

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