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German hefe yeast fast ferment?

Do the German wheat yeasts seem to finish primary fermentation much faster than typical ale yeasts?

Here is why I ask, I made 2 AG beers on Saturday the 29th. The first was Sierra Nevada PA clone with a OG of 1.053 pitched with WY 1056. The second was dunkelweizen @ 1.040 OG with a 70/30 wheat/pils & character grain ratio. I split the batch into 3 gal and pitched one with WY 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen and the other with WY 3056 Bavarian Wheat Blend. All 3 are fermenting side by side at 65 degrees.

Well after 36 hours the air lock activity of the 3068 had completely stopped. I cracked open the bucket and there was a good krausen on the top of the beer so no worries. Then about 12 hours later I noticed that the 3056 beer also had finished and there was no longer any air lock activity. Meanwhile my SNPA with the 1056 is still bubbling away, as usual, after 3 days.

So it seems odd to me that both the hefe yeasts finished primary that fast. I checked the SG’s today one the 3056 is at 1.004 and the 3068 is at 1.005. The ferment time just seems too short. Since I never make wheat beers, I just thought I would ask about your experience with these yeasts. BTW, I’m making this for our “Club Only Competition” entry. I’m not a wheat beer fan but thought I would just “take one for the team.”

Also how long should I let them sit on the yeast cake? I usually let my ales stay with the yeast for 2-3 weeks. Is this a good idea with wheat beers?

Yeah…it’s fast. I just brewed the NB Dunkelweizen kit and it completed fermentation in 2.5 days. I also brewed the Honey Hefe kit using the same yeast and it was done in 3-4 days. I was amazed.

If I’m reading this right the SNPA was a full batch of beer (5 or 6 gallons) that you pitched a smack pack into or a starter of some sort. Your Dunkle was also a 6 gallon batch that you split into two 3 gallon buckets and then pitched a smack pack or starter into each. If that is the case you almost pitched twice the amount of yeast into the smaller batched as you did the SNPA so there would be less lag time and the yeast wouldn’t really have to reproduce as much so they fired into fermenting mode quicker. Also the Dunkle was .010 less SG so there was less to ferment. I would say the fact you pitched so much more yeast into a smaller batch is why it finished so quickly.

You are correct on all points above and I am aware of those differences, however, I was not intending to directly compare the fermentation time for the SNPA to the Dunkle per se. I know the SNPA is underpitched but I am mostly using it as a “starter” for a barley wine I am getting ready to brew. A better question would have been: When I have done split batches with other ale yeasts they didn’t finish that quickly. Just wondering if this was normal for German wheats??

Not to hi-jack my own thread but, I visited your website, really loved that you could keep your recipes and competitions all in one place. Is that something you developed or did you find that format somewhere that I could access??

I’ve heard that 3068 is the Schneider Weisse yeast, and they bottle their wheat beers after 3-4 days. I’ve bottled all of my Hefes after 4 days with that yeast in primary, and they’re always done in that amount of time.

i’ve used 3068 a few times & it’s always a fast yeast.

[quote]
I’ve heard that 3068 is the Schneider Weisse yeast, and they bottle their wheat beers after 3-4 days. I’ve bottled all of my Hefes after 4 days with that yeast in primary, and they’re always done in that amount of time.
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Wow. And I thought kegging the Dunkelweizen I brewed with this yeast after two weeks was fast. Whenever I need to brew something fast, this is going to be my go-to yeast.

A guy at http://www.brewblogger.net/ writes and updates the code for this, and to my knowledge gives it out fro free. I helped a guy in my club do some beta testing on this and the competition software so I’m not sure if it’s free or not. It’s easy to install and use, I’m able to import beer xml files from Beersmith into it. It’s nice that I can walk into Northbrewer Milwaukee and pull up a recipe on my smartphone and get everything that I need. All you need is a webhosting service that has linux PHP 5 and mysql.

The only code I wrote was that little section on the dahoove.com site that shows the status of my brews. That section pulls the beer status from the beer.dahoove.com site and list it there. Someday I’ll work on making it look nice.

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