I'm pretty new to homebrewing and just tried coopers Hefe Wheat kit. I've followed the instructions and pitched the yeast into my carboy when the right temperature was reached.

It's been 4 days and yeast is still inactive (gravity is still OG). I've read that hefeweizen gets its banana/clove flavor from the yeast, so I was wondering:

If I pitch some safale-05 into my fermenter now (the only yeast I have around), will I still have the clove/banana flavor (as the Hefe yeast is in the fermenter), or it has to ferment from Hefe yeast in order to produce that flavor? I've tasted the sample I took for the gravity (that contains yeast) and it had clove flavor already.

  • I agree with Romans answer. I would try to get the hefe yeast more active, by going warmer and aeration. Clove would be a sign of yeast growth phase. Mar 15 '18 at 12:02
  • Thanks for the tips @EvilZymurgist. You advise to do this with the wort I currently have? Or after re-pitching yeast? If fermentation hasn't started yet I shouldn't have any oxydation problems if I aerate it right?
    – mVck
    Mar 15 '18 at 13:08
  • 1
    aerate the current wort and pitch. No risk of oxydation until there's significant amount of alcohol. Shake fermenter or add o2 direct if you have o2 tank. I wouldn't expose to new air for risk of infection though. Mar 15 '18 at 13:14

Clove/banana flavours are coming not from yeast per se - they are coming from esters that yeast produce while fermenting beer.

So, either you actually do have yeast activity in the fermenter, or you're tasting something else, not clove flavour. You may want to check your hydrometer.

If you pitch safale-05 it won't be hefeweizen, but will still be a drinkable beer.

Lastly, don't trust kits. They likely have the lowest turnaround in homebrew stores, and chances are that yeast/hops would be overdue. Just buy dry extract and yeast of a major brand that your LHBS carries.

  • Thanks for the answer and advice. I'll get some Hefe yeast on Saturday and pitch it if things didn't improve (keeping the wort "inactive" until then shouldn't be a problem right?)
    – mVck
    Mar 15 '18 at 13:09
  • 2
    With old yeast, making a starter before brewing will show you if the yeast is healthy enough.
    – Philippe
    Mar 15 '18 at 13:16
  • 1
    I would pitch the 05 or other yeast as soon as possible, if you wait until saturday there is a good change other sugar-eating organisms will join the party and ruin the batch.
    – JesseB1234
    Mar 15 '18 at 14:28
  • @mVck as JesseB1234 said, better pitch anythins asap, because wort without fermenting yeast is prone to infection development. Better have a drinkable beer that is not hefe, rather than not have any at all.
    – Roman
    Mar 15 '18 at 22:02
  • All right, will pitch the 05 as soon as I get home. Thanks for the help guys!
    – mVck
    Mar 15 '18 at 22:09

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