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Jabo

First Try at Bavarian Weissbier - Notes

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I'm new to this, and my first 2 batches have been not so good, and downright bad. The first batch I brewed was the Oktoberfest. It came out tolerable and drinkable, but not good. It starts okay but finishes weak, like water, with a strong acetaldehyde component. The second batch was the American Light. After fermenting it 3 weeks, I opened the lid off the LBK and poured it down the drain about 5 minutes later. The acetaldehyde was so strong that sniffing the LBK was like sniffing apple cider vinegar. I did taste it, hoping that maybe bottle conditioning would take some of the cider flavor out of it, but it did not taste good enough that I would drink it, even with a reduction in acetaldehyde. In hindsight, when brewing these, I did not understand the importance of wort temperature when pitching, I let the temperatures during high krausen get too high, and I did not aerate the wort nearly enough before pitching.

 

Between those brews and now I've read Palmer's How to Brew and spent some time on these forums, so I hope the Weissbier turns out to be my first good brew. I also bought an infrared thermometer so that I could measure wort temperature without having to sanitize a thermometer, and I can take an instant temperature on the outside of the LBK during high krausen in order to keep the wort from getting too hot. With all that in mind, here are my notes from the Weissbier deluxe refill.

 

Notes:

 

Used almost frozen distilled water. After pouring in the wort and the cold water, wort temperature in the LBK was 59 degrees.

Used a whisk to aerate the wort in the LBK. I aerated for about 5 minutes. The wort foamed up, which it has never done before.

I pitched the dry yeast, and immediately took a temp reading. The dry yeast in the LBK was 70 degrees. I screwed the lid on.

At 6:00 pm, about 10 minutes after pitching, the temp reading on the outside of the LBK was 59 degrees.

At 7:00 pm, at the time of writing this, the temp on the outside of the LBK was 62 degrees. I'm taking the reading in the middle of the LBK. If I take a reading at the bottom of the LBK or right at the top of the wort, the temperature differential is as much as 5 degrees.

 

I've got a frozen gallon jug and a cooler ready. The LBK will go in the cooler, and I'm hoping to regulate the temperature with the frozen gallon. I'll update the post with more temp readings later.

Creeps McLane likes this

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Good luck with your beer. Sounds like you are following the right guidelines so far. Prop your keg in the cooler and you should be steps ahead from where you were before. 

Jabo likes this

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Kind of all makes sense. If you fermented too hot, it would be more apparent in the lighter beer since theres not a strong malt flavor to cover the flaw. Controlling temps should help this immensely.

 

my only worry is that maybe you developed an infection at some point and after three weeks of the american light in there you made a nice batch of beer vinegar. 

 

Discussed here many a time but aeration when doing partial boils is not necessary. Its just another chance to introduce bacteria in your beer. When you top off with water youre splashing the water around enough to get plenty of O2 in there. 

 

Controling temps and sanitation. Master these and youll do just fine. 

Cato likes this

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10 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

Discussed here many a time but aeration when doing partial boils is not necessary. Its just another chance to introduce bacteria in your beer. When you top off with water youre splashing the water around enough to get plenty of O2 in there.

Interesting. I did not consider that partial boils would not boil out the O2. Thanks! I did thoroughly sanitize the whisk, so hopefully I didn't introduce anything.

Creeps McLane likes this

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24 Hour Update

 

Temperature in the LBK slowly rose overnight. At 6 pm, temp is 69.5. Fermentation looks good with about a half inch layer of krausen at the top. I'm not going to let it get any higher than 70 tonight.

hotrod3539 likes this

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