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Second try with WB-06

I was getting ready to toss some yeast a couple of weeks ago because of a suspected infection with one That will be a separate topic soon. Got to the harvested WB-06 I had used for a Hefeweizen instead of using my regular WY 3068. Ordered the dry yeast during hot weather. The WB-06 produced a drinkable beer but was a poor excuse for a Hefeweizen. The beer poured crystal clear. The yeast in the bottle was so compacted it was hard to swirl into solution to pour into the glass.

Thought I would give it a second chance instead of completely dismissing it. Brewed the same Hefe yesterday. Over pitched this time with an estimated 382 billion cells for 5.25 gallons in the fermentor. Used distilled water also instead of well water even though WY 3068 produced an excellent Hefe with the well water. Maybe this yeast didn’t like the mineral content. I started this fermentation warmer at 68°F. I was expecting a blow off tube would be needed at this temperature. Unnecessary as you can see in the picture.

Temperature of the beer was at 68.9° this morning. Bumped the temperature of the water bath to 70°. Maybe this will coax some Hefe flavors from the yeast. Will probably bump the temperature to 72° tonight if fermentation activity doesn’t show increased vigor.

Have you had any poor results fermenting with WB-06?

I haven’t used WB-06 yet, but my next batch will be a hefe, split batch with WB-06 and Wyeast something-or-other (I can’t even remember which one) to compare. Both will be purposely underpitched severely, using only 1/4 as much as mrmalty says. If my theory is correct, the underpitch should coax some extra flavors from the yeasts. Both will be fermented cool around 60-62 F to hopefully accentuate the clove – I like mine clovy without much banana. Hoping all this works.

With the overpitch you did, and at a relatively warm temperature, I wonder if the yeast didn’t have to get too excited, didn’t need to multiply – they were already so overcrowded that they just ate the sugar easily and without much fanfare.

Hefe yeasts I think require some stress to give us their best. But I might be wrong; hence, more experiments are needed similar to what I have planned above. I will be doing a lot of side-by-side split batches with all my hefes and Belgians for the next few years. Eventually I’ll be able to share some knowledge. Right now all I know is that in the distant past, when I made hefes back in like 1999 and 2000 before I knew any better, and simply pitched a little White Labs vial with no starter and no temperature control into 5 gallons, those were the best hefes I ever made. Friends who have done the same had the same kind of results. Other friends who pitched a lot of yeast per mrmalty experienced results that were more bland. So I’m willing to bet that the low pitch rate is key and will be doubling down on this bet. My experiment is less about low pitch rate and more about “is WB-06 any good vs. liquid yeast?” My ultimate goal is to try to find a good dry yeast for every style. So far… I’ve not been as impressed by dry yeasts as I’d originally hoped. So this one might be a dud too. I will find out soon enough. But I will indeed be underpitching on purpose no matter what.

I have preferred the clove flavor that could be achieved with WY 3068 by a standard pitch rate, not under pitching to stress the yeast, and fermenting in the low 60°F range.

I had found this chart from Fermentis concerning WB-06. If I read the chart right over pitching and fermenting warm will produce the least banana esters. Maybe the key is their description of the yeast as producing subtle flavors. Interpreted as no over whelming flavors to displease the majority of people.

I only used WB-06 once for a wheat beer. It produced a moderate banana note but no clove. Beer was clear. I didn’t think it was anything special.

I’ve ysed WB-06 a couple times. The last time people thought it was the best hefe they’ve tasted. Pitched a healthy slurry at 65° and allowed it to free rise to 68° where I allowed it to finish. It was a nice balance between banana and clove. No kettle or fermenter finings either.

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Same experience with the WB06 for me. I just sprinkled in one packet per 5 gallons. Turned out to be a decent wheat beer but not a Hefe. Too clear and not enough banana and clove.

3068 and warmer temps does the trick.

hd, that was a definite overpitch as far as I can tell. Just sayin’.

I had reread the thread before ordering the dry yeast. At the time still wasn’t sure how to handle the information in the thread, the information from Fermentis, and information on the probrewer site. Perhaps the Fermentis chart is correct but the yeast packs contain a lot of excess yeast. To over pitch may only be one-half pack of dry or less. (Not the time for me to get lab equipment for counting cells. I’m just to old for that investment.) I had previously assumed that one pack of dry yeast was just sufficient for 5 gallons of beer at or less than about 1.065 OG. Might be bad to assume. I may have compounded the problem by rehydrating the yeast before the first fermentation.

Yesterday afternoon I bumped the fermentation temperature to 72°F. This morning there if noticeable aroma coming from the airlock. Not really clove or banana. It is just something but not distinctive. Krausen has nearly dropped so fermentation temperature experimenting is over.

I’ll probably harvest the yeast again and later on decide if it is worth another try.

I’ll bottle the second Hefeweizen on Friday. This one was fermented with the harvested WB-06. The SG sample had a distinctive clove flavor with a hint of banana in the finish. Holding the fermentation much warmer at 72°F along with the over pitch seems to be the way to go to get flavor from WB-06 compared to a cooler ferment that I’ve usually done with WY 3068…

This one I’ll put in the German pint bottles at an estimated 2.9 to 3.0 volumes of CO2.


Thanks for sharing your experience. Perhaps I’ll need to perform further split batches at different temperatures to see what effect that has as well. My 2-gallon batch size might be turning into four half-gallon batches so I can test all the main variables!

I’m doing a starter tonight for a 15 gallon brew day this Saturday… WLP 300 hefewiesen, it’ll be split 3 ways, but 2 will stay here… One cold and one warm just to see what happens then? Sneezles61

Bottled the Hefeweizen this morning. Thirty-one pints and 6 twelve ounce bottles. Ran into a problem yesterday with the bottles. I haven’t used them for about 10 years. My bottle rinsing wasn’t all that good back then.

Only have 24 bottles still soaking in PBW solution to finish tomorrow.

My Wyeast liquid yeast pack is utterly dead, no expansion after 6 days. So I might be running a 4-way experiment with WB-06 alone. If I do, I will try 2 different fermentation temperatures (62 F vs. 69 F) and 2 different pitch rates (standard 100% mrmalty vs. 12-25% mrmalty’s recommendations). Hmm. Still thinking about this and whether I should pick up another yeast. Probably won’t though.

Thats a reason why I don’t even try their yeast anymore… I’ve not had a good one of all I tried… Now, I’m not saying they’re bad, just my experience was not good… I did a starter for Hefe WLP300 last week for Saturdays brew, and since I don’t use an online calc. I really can’t tell you if I under pitched. It did appear to be at the most, an 1/8" of slurry on the bottom of a 2000ml beaker… That was split into 2- 5 gallon fermenters… They were bubbling along nicely Sunday AM… Sneezles61

I did harvest yeast from the second brew. I was getting ready to dump the yeast when cleaning fermentors but it looked so nice and white. Couldn’t resist. I had also read a post on the AHA forum that yeast gets better with the second and succeeding pitches. Have no idea if there is any veracity to this statement but the second brew did have some flavor.

So do I try the yeast again if the second brew is a tolerable Hefeweizen?

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I’ve been sampling the second Bavarian Hefeweizen fermented with harvested WB-06. The Hefe was bottled 12/2/2017. Over pitched this one and fermented at 72°F. Tasting clove and finishing with a little banana in the warm SG sample seems to have been wishful thinking. No dominant clove flavor in the conditioned beer. The beer is more tart. No sourness to it just tart. Not what I was going for but my wife says it is an excellent beer.

Little low on carbonation. Estimate 3.1 volumes of CO2 for the volume bottled and the amount of priming sugar used.

Later this month I’ll get opinions from some of wife’s family that had been in Germany sampling beers for a few years.

I’m not going to use this yeast anymore. The complete lack of clove and the tartness are not what I was looking for at all.

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