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I will soon be making a hefe and will be using wyeast's 3068. In recent hefes I have made, I have always desired much more intensity in the flavors provided by the yeast strain. The only method i am aware of to manipulate this yeast strain's flavor profile is fermentation temperature.

But not only do I want to manipulate the yeast's flavor profile, I also want to make the flavor given off by the yeast much more intense. Any thoughts on if this is possible and how it could be done?

UPDATE: Open Fermenting was AMAZING.

I brewed a honey-weizen a few weeks back, and went ahead with open fermentation for the first 3 days. I pretty much followed the Brewing TV episode to the 'T'. I must say, that it was quite the experience...I used a 7.5 gallon bucket, no lid or screen, and just pitched the 3068, no starter. My fermentation room (i.e. basement) was indeed saturated in a banana & clove perfume, and as you can imagine, yeast harvesting was a breeze. After 72 hours of fermentation, I transferred into a 5 gal glass carboy and let it finish for another 7 days.

I pretty much knew when tasting after just 3 days in primary that open fermentation indeed gave me the results I was looking for. And now that the beer is bottled and carbonated, I can confirm that the typical hefe yeast flavor/aroma profile is the most intense of any hefe I have made, BY FAR. This is especially notable in the aroma...the aroma is at least twice as intense.

Honestly, I can not wait to make my next hefe. I couldn't recommend this method of fermenting a hefe any more, and you should MOST DEFINITELY give it a try. Doing this myself, has really been a homebrewing life changing experience. A huge thanks to @dazoakley for pointing me in this direction, and Jermey King at Northern Brewer for being such a kung-fu yeast master (KINGED!). I plan to continue experimenting with this method for any future hefe, or other ale using a good top cropping yeast.

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Are you specifically talking about hefe yeast flavors, or any yeast. With Hefe ferulic acid is a key precursor needed in the malt. But of you are talking about other yeasts (Belgians come to mind) that influences the answer some. –  brewchez Jul 14 '12 at 22:10
    
@brewchez this would be for any yeast, but I have the most interest in doing this with a hefe yeast. –  hartski Jul 14 '12 at 22:39
    
I just want to be sure I understand correctly....you WANT to taste the harsh bitterness of the yeast itself, or you want to accentuate the flavor the yeast gives to the beer? –  Denny Conn Jul 15 '12 at 1:20
    
@DennyConn sorry for the lack of clarity, but I am looking to accentuate the flavor the yeast gives to the beer. –  hartski Jul 15 '12 at 1:30
    
Did everything else remain exactly the same from the previous batch? Same recipe, yeast, fermentation temp? I ask because when I've tried open fermentation I didn't really see any differences at all. –  Denny Conn Aug 13 '12 at 21:25

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I made a hefe with this yeast a few months back and it turned out really really well - strong clove and banana flavours, and a nice yeasty zing to it. I'm planning on doing this again very shortly!

With this batch I did two things:

I didn't try to control the temperature, I just let it go to whatever it wanted to - I think at one point I measured it at 28°C (~82°F).

Open fermentation. Once there was a krausen formed (overnight from pitching), I loosened the lid on the fermenter (and left it slightly ajar) so that oxygen could get in and out of the fermenter and left it like that for three days. The smells that were coming out of it were awesome. (See this episode of BrewingTV for where I got the idea: http://www.brewingtv.com/episodes/2010/5/17/brewing-tv-episode-4-open-fermentation.html)

If you want a really intense hefe i'd suggest trying either (or both) of the things above.

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Good info with RE: to the hefe yeast specifically. I viewed the brewing Tv episode and it was VERY informative and looks like open fermentation may be a really good option for my next hefe. Will definitely be trying this and will post the results when done. –  hartski Jul 17 '12 at 1:11

In the case of yeast in general I think you already have the answer and thats ferment warmer. The primary flavor cmpds from most yeasts you'd be concerned with are esters and temperature increases tend to increase that.

In the case of Hefe, a ferulic acid rest in the mash can help create more clove, but I am not aware of any other phenomenon like that which help with say, English Ale yeast.

Some may suggest underpitching, but I think that brings about some other flavors not characteristic of the strain as well.

An email to White Labs or Wyeast would help steer you in the right direction too.

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Ya, I suppose a higher ferment temp might be the most universal method across strains. And good point on the ferulic acid...I never focused (or was aware) on this in past hefes I have made. –  hartski Jul 17 '12 at 1:15

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