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Bavarian Hefeweizen Fermentation

I brewed the Bavarian Hefeweizen extract kit a couple of Saturday’s ago (June 1) with the liquid yeast option (Wyeast 3068 Weihenstaphen). I’ve brewed many kits before (at least a dozen)…but obviously not this one!

Firstly, fermentation started more quickly than normal - probably within 18 hours. Secondly, it was much more vigorous than I’ve ever seen - bubbled over my 3-piece airlock on a 6.5 Gal Bucket.

We’re now 12 days into fermentation and I’m still seeing a bubble every 30 seconds or so. The kit instructions say to bottle after 2 weeks, but that sounds like trouble to me if there is still active fermentation at ~68 deg F. I’m hesitant to perform a gravity check - seems like added risk of contamination.

For those that have experience with this recipe - is this normal? Should I give it an extra week? Could there be some “undocumented alien species” growing in my beer causing the extended fermentation?

Thanks,

Bill

The only way to know if it’s ready to bottle is to take a gravity reading, bubbling in the air lock could continue for who knows how long. Just sanitize everything and you will be fine.

I actually have an all grain hefeweizen with the same yeast going right now as well bottling Saturday can’t wait and yes every time I have used the Weihenstaphen strain it has been very vigorous.

Mine blew the top off the bucket within 12 hours. I left the top open for a while since I had no way to rig a blow-off. I wasn’t watching every day, but it did seem done based only on bubbling. At 14 days we bottled with a FG of 1.011. You may be close

The Weihenstephan yeast is a fantastic yeast. It’s normal what you’re seeing. Has the krausen dropped? If so, then the bubbling you’re seeing is likely off gassing of co2 coming out of solution. Weihenstephaner Hefe is the benchmark for hefes as far as I’m concerned.

I’m just drinkin’ up the same one which was brewed about 2 months ago. Used the same yeast. Yum! Put a blowoff on automatically after the first time i brewed it & had a small volcano goin’! Left it in primary for 3 weeks to make sure it was done. Ferm temp @ about 66. After 3 weeks in bottles it is very good. :slight_smile:

Guys - appreciate the advice. I haven’t opened the bucket to see if the krausen has dropped - I’ll do that this weekend. I may simply leave it in the fermenter for another week, bottle next weekend, and have something to look forward to when I get back from vacation.

No need to open the bucket.

If you hold a flashlight to the side of the bucket, anywhere above the wort & krausen level, the bucket will light up like a lampshade. It’s not as much visibility as fermenting in a carboy, but it’s pretty good. Dimming the lights in the room helps too. If you see dark spots where it’s lit-up, you’re seeing the residue of falling krausen on the side of the bucket. If there’s no splotches, the krausen is still rising. If it’s lit all the way down to your fill line, then the krausen is gone.

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