So I am planning a roggenbier, partially because I want to try one, but largely to grow up a cake to make 15 gallons of weizenbock.
Hefe's are ok in my mind, but my palette basically just wants more malt character. Voila rye instead of wheat, voila roggenbier.
I am going to keep the roggenbier on the low end of the style guidelines, probably around 1.050. Mr. M. Malty indicates that one vial into 5 gallons is underpitching by about half (need either 2 vials or 1L starter).
I have heard that the hefe yeasts from any lab are the masochists of the beer world. Pitch warm: no problem. Underpitch: no problem either. I actually do want a good bit of banana and a little less clove to come through in this beer to balance the earth/grit of the rye, however I was planning on fermenting relatively low, around 62-63*.
aaaaand now my question: do I need to do a simple starter or would I be better off getting some good phenolics by stressing this yeast a little (a lot?)? The last thing I want in this beer is fusels, but some good esters and weizen phenols would be great...oh and one final requirement: I'm trying to grow enough yeast for the weizenbock, MM says about a liter of slurry with 80% viability.