Blue Moon hop identification?

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Postby MIKEW » Sun Nov 04, 2007 10:29 am

Oats add body and head retention. They are common in most belgian witbiers.
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tried your recipe! but having problems....help HarvinStl

Postby lehallas » Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:51 pm

Hello...well, I am finally getting around to trying your recipe...and for the first time in my short brewing career, I think I have a stuck fermentation.

Let me explain:

1. First I should tell you that I'm still an extract brewer, but other than that, I am still using your same ratios.

2. I put the orange and coriander in with minutes left in the boil.

3. I did notice that after cooling and pouring into the fermenter (gravity about 143), that is has a slight rose or orange look to it.

4. I am using the 3944 yeast, and slap packed it 5 hrs earlier - nice and fat pack when I poured it in.

5. Incubating at 66F (basement).

6. After 4 days nothing is happening! What I mean is that there are no bubbles coming out of the trap - nary a one!

I looked in on it after 2 days and noticed heavy foam had lifted nicely off the surface...then just today and the foam is backing off. I checked the gravity (~135) and the pH (~4.5 to 5.0).

I also smelled it (yeasty) and tasted it (good taste, slight orange).

At this rate, it will be weeks before I see any good drop in gravity.

I have only brewed with hefeweizen yeast before and they have always been quite active. Maybe I'm not used to a slower fermenting yeast?

I also put the batch at 72F for the last day thinking that might help.

Anyway, I've checked for leaks in my carboy, but don't think that is an issue; like I said, I've been using the same equipment for all of my brews and am not noticing any leaks.

Any ideas? I'm thinking of letting it go 2 weeks and then going to a glass secondary fermenter - or am I wasting my time?

The only ingredients I have never used before are the orange and coriander - are those tricky to use?

Anyway, very frustrating....and thanks for your help! Larry
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Postby StLBeer » Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:14 pm

The only sure way to find out if the fermentation has completed is to check it with a hydrometer. If you had foam, that was the krausen. My krausen's usually last 3-4 days - after most of the alcohol is made - then I let the yeast clean up after themselves for another 8-10 days. Sounds like you're using a bucket, they don't always seal well.


1.043 - 1.035 = 1.05%ABV

Let it go for several more days then check it again. When it's been the same for 3 days, then it may be done.

If that doesn't work, you may have to add more yeast. If you do make sure you smack the packs at least 1 day before adding. 2 if you can stand it.
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Postby HarvInSTL » Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:48 am

Are you sure of your second gravity reading (1.035) ?

I brewed this same recipe this weekend and i was under 1.15 in 2days.


When you tasted it was it overly sweet? I would try and keep it in the 68deg range as much as you can.

Orange & coriander aren't tricky to use and I don't think they are leading to your fermentation issues.

The krausen rise and fall shows there is/was yeast activity. I would double check the gravity reading and go from there.
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Blue Moon back in action!

Postby lehallas » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:11 am

Thanks for the note Harv. I have an update.

Bottom line, it must have been a leak in the fermenter because I waited the week out and checked it yesterday - gravity had moved to 1.013 with copious amounts of yeast head/bubbles.

I then put it in the 2ndary fermenter (glass) and within a few minutes started seeing bubbles (one every minute or so) coming out the trap. That is why I must have a leak around the edge of my primary (it is a plastic carboy). And with that activity in the 2ndary, my final gravity should be lower.

I did taste it and it is sweet but not horribly so.

I also had another .5 oz of orange peel in some vodka steeping and I added that to the 2ndary.

For the primary fermentation (7 days), it was at 66F for 3 days and 72F for 4 days. The 2ndary will be at 66F.

I see in your original notes that you leave the 2ndary for 2 weeks. Will this help condition the brew more?

Anyway, I'll let you know how things end up.

I'm still surprised that the fermentation took 3-4 days to really get going. Must have been the lower temps?

Or is this yeast a slower acting one then others?

Thanks for your help!
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Harvin StLouis

Postby lehallas » Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:59 am

I wanted to follow up again and thank you for your recipe. If you recall the string above, you will see that a leak must be the issue with the fermentation bubbles. After all bubbles stopped in the 2ndary I let it go another couple of days (~10 days total) and then bottled. The best tasting was 3 weeks or so after bottling. It really is a better tasting beer than my attempts at Hefeweizen. No 'extract-like' after taste heavy phenolic thing that I can't seem to shake.

I attribute this to the coriander and orange peel though I'm sure the yeast/witbier attributes help.

I have started another batch. This time I'm going to do the normal .5 oz of cor/orange during the last 15 min of boil, but also try an extra .5 oz of sweet orange (and perhaps fresh orange zest homemade) in the secondary.

Anyway, your recipe has given me new life in my fermentation travels. I'll just wait on doing Hefeweizen when I have more experience.

Larry
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Postby JE » Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:28 am

Larry,

Don't give up on your "dream" of brewing the perfect Hefe! I don't remember the entire thread, but you are now all grain, right? If you would like, I think I may have (or can create) a Hefe recipe that might help you out...that is if the recipe is the issue. :)

Other wise, I would just dive right back in and give it another whirl! The only way to get good at this hobby (read that habit) is by trial and error...regardless, the end result is beer! It may not always be the best stuff in the world, but 99 times out of 100 it is drinkable! :D
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Hefeweizen

Postby lehallas » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:01 am

Thanks for the input!

I steep grains up front but still use LME (primarily the Wyerman's 70% wheat for Hefeweizen).

I am avoiding going to all grain because I am trying to make brewing as simple and less time consuming as possible. Otherwise, I will not stick with it. LME/DME makes things so easy but based on my taste tests at the monthly meetings, all grain has a real edge in taste!

If you have a Hefe recipe that you might think would work with me (i.e., grain steeping with extract brewing and now willingness to do a secondary fermentation (glass) and additives (like the Blue Moon Coliander/orange).

I tried for a year on Hefeweizen and just could not duplicate the Franziskaner Hefe that I drink on my twice yearly trips to Bavaria. That may be the problem, I have set the bar too high.

But I have tried both 3056 and 3068 yeasts with my 70% wheat and they always come out phenolic. Drinkable but nothing like that nice estery/banana smell and taste of a good Bavarian Hefeweizen.

That is why I switched to Blue Moon. With the orange/col additions at the end, I seem to get less 'extract like' taste and less phenolic.

ONE THING I AM NOW DOING differently than with my Hefe brews is that I bought a 5 gallon glass carboy with the idea that a 1-2 week resting stage might help. It certainly seems to have with my Blue Moon Clone.

Maybe adding a secondary step to the Hefe recipe would help?

Also, I have been doing the Blue Moon fermentations in the winter so my fermentation temperature is 64-66F. The last few batches of Hefeweizen were done 70-74F (summer/Fall). Maybe that affects phenolic after taste?

Anyway, any advice/recipes you have, I'm all ears!

Thanks, Larry
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Postby HarvInSTL » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:11 am

Home brewers win tons of awards every year with extract beer, so don't let anyone tell you that you can't make good beer with extract.

With that said, stick with DME and full boils and you will be on your way.

Now the other aspect that requires attention is your fermentation temps.

Check the yeasts website to see the fermentation temp range and go from there. if that means a son of fermentation chamber so be it. But fermentation temperature is one of the things that could mean the difference between an awesome beer and a barely palatable beer.
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Re: Hefeweizen

Postby BeerGuy » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:20 am

I tried for a year on Hefeweizen and just could not duplicate the Franziskaner Hefe that I drink on my twice yearly trips to Bavaria. That may be the problem, I have set the bar too high.


If you can brew an extract beer as good as Franziskaner Hefe (or the Dunkel), I will hang up my mash paddle forever! :D

ONE THING I AM NOW DOING differently than with my Hefe brews is that I bought a 5 gallon glass carboy with the idea that a 1-2 week resting stage might help. It certainly seems to have with my Blue Moon Clone.

Maybe adding a secondary step to the Hefe recipe would help?


I can't imagine how a secondary will help with a hefe or wit. These are the very beers that are made to be consumed cloudy and young.

Also, I have been doing the Blue Moon fermentations in the winter so my fermentation temperature is 64-66F. The last few batches of Hefeweizen were done 70-74F (summer/Fall). Maybe that affects phenolic after taste?


Since banana is an ester, and clove is a phenolic, its a bit of a tradeoff to get both. Warmer fermentations favor the banana ester, whereas a cooler ferment favors the phenolic clove.
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Postby JE » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:57 am

Larry,

I can probably dig up my old recipes from my extract days (read that last spring) and see if I still have my Hefe recipe. I think Anthony is on to something, though...don't use LME in a "delicate" beer like a Hefe or Wit. I have always had bad luck with Wheat LME...seems to always be old tasting!

If you have the ability, perhaps you can get rid of some of that phenolic "extract" taste you are not fond of by doing a mini-mash of some raw wheat or torrified wheat. PLEASE, SOMEONE CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG!

Also, since (in my experience at least) the Hefe's have a more banana and less clove-type esters, I would say use the WLP300 (White Labs), 3638 (Wyeast) as they seem to produce dominant banana esters and less of the clove...according to their website descriptions, at least! Also, keep your fermentation temps between 64 - 68 degrees...I would avoid going over 70 at all costs...none of them seem to like those temps!

Hope this helps! :D
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Blue Moon update

Postby lehallas » Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:46 pm

HarvinSTL (and all helpful brewmeisters),

I am continuing the above discussion on my 2nd batch of your BM recipe.

I have been able to control the temperature at 66-68F. After a week it was pretty clear the krausen was active so I decided to let it go 3 more days (10 total) in primary.

After transfer to secondary, the krausen came right back and stayed quite active (10bubbles/min) before backing off to 3-4 b/m today (Sunday) which is day 4 of secondary (day 14 total).

My plan is to hold the secondary for another week (that would be 21 days total - 10 in primary and 10-11 in secondary.

I also plan on adding some vodka-sterilized coriander and orange peel 3 days before end of secondary (I liked the first batch but felt just a bit more flavor might help my taste buds).

The reason I'm writing this is to comment on the extended primary/secondary. I viewed a lot of helpful suggestions and commentary on how long in primary and if secondary is even necessary. The sense I got of things is that it all came down to personal choice. whatever works (in other words).

My total time before bottling is actually right on the 1-2 of 1-2-3 fame, so I'm not too worried.

I also think that the 66F is slowing things down - again an explanation that suggests the yeasts are doing their thing right on time.

I have gone back and forth about just extending the primary to 3 weeks vs the transfer to a glass secondary and finally decided that letting the yeasts have time (away from the bottoms) to clean themselves up (as someone coined the phrase here) could only help - and wanting to add the cor/org made me gravitate as well to a secondary.

Anyway, suggestions/comments always appreciated. I will let you know how it tastes.

My next step is to go back to HEFEWEIZEN with a different yeast WLP300 and perhaps a touch of orange zest at the end. Or maybe that means it is not presentable as a Hefe anymore?

Larry
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