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I've recently made a wit and used Wyeast WLP 3944. I didn't have time to make a starter and only had one package of yeast.

Beersmith estimated the package to be around 66% viable given the date on the package.

I noticed that the yeast took a really long time to get going and the kraüsen lasted for a few weeks.

The beer turned out great, but there's a hint of banana on the nose. I've read that under pitching hefe yeast is a method for achieving a large banana presence on the nose.

I suspect that under pitching the 3944 has resulted in the banana aroma. Does this sound correct?

I do want to remake this beer and adequately pitch the yeast which brings me to my question:

Will pitching the yeast cake from the previous stressed batch result in the same unintended banana aroma? Should I throw out the yeast cake and make a starter using a new package of yeast?

Thanks.

  • I cannot answer, but I would definitely try it. – Philippe Nov 5 at 17:13
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The esters which provide the banana aroma are only formed at the start of the fermentation, when the yeast grows and multiplies. And indeed underpitching is part of this.

However, after your first beer, the yeast has multiplied, and so if you would or had pitched your new beer on this yeast cake, no more (or much less) banana esters would have been formed.

With respect to that, apparently the monks of Westmalle underpitch their yeast to obtain the banana in Dubbel and Tripel. However, they have a microscope to count yeast cells, so that they can dose precisely.

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