Author Topic: Erdinger "Hefe-Weizen" clone  (Read 9481 times)

Offline Bootie Brew

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Erdinger "Hefe-Weizen" clone
« on: December 08, 2013, 05:55:38 PM »
   Does anyone have a clone for Erdinger  Hefe-Weizen?  It has the banana flavor without the clove flavor.

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Erdinger "Hefe-Weizen" clone
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2013, 06:16:31 PM »
Could that be a fermentation temp and yeast strain issue, primarily?  I'd imagine warmer temps would drive the fruity ester higher. 

I get more clove/banana balance at lower temps, like 62/64F. 

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Erdinger "Hefe-Weizen" clone
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2013, 06:41:13 PM »
It has the banana flavor without the clove flavor.

Those flavors are a result of the yeast. Do some research on wheat ale yeast.  It's a strain that isn't used for much else. It doesn't settle out easily, which is why most wheat brews are cloudy. And it leaves behind those flavors.

I made a hefe last spring with a dry cake of Munich wheat yeast.  When it went into the keg it smelled terrible.  I figured it was a bust and didn't try it until everything else ran out (Too hot to brew in the summer, I "only" brew in fall, winter and spring. Eventually I run out. Heck, I'm out right now. Wheat tapped out yesterday but my Fuggle ale isn't yet carbonated. I digress.).  Wasn't too bad. Had some of those banana and clove notes.  Especially after the keg got bumped, stirring up the yeast.

My point is that those flavors come from using a yeast specific to the task. You can use wheat with a regular ale yeast, and it will taste like any old ale with some wheat in it.  You need the wheat yeast for those banana and clove flavors.
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Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Erdinger "Hefe-Weizen" clone
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2013, 09:57:51 AM »

The classic and most popular German wheat beer strain used worldwide. This yeast strain produces a beautiful and delicate balance of banana esters and clove phenolics. The balance can be manipulated towards ester production through increasing the fermentation temperature, increasing the wort density, and decreasing the pitch rate. Over pitching can result in a near complete loss of banana character. Decreasing the ester level will allow a higher clove character to be perceived. Sulfur is commonly produced, but will dissipate with conditioning. This strain is very powdery and will remain in suspension for an extended amount of time following attenuation. This is true top cropping yeast and requires fermenter headspace of 33%.

Clove flavor comes from 2 factors:

1.  Ferulic acid content.  Ferulic acid is produced by an acid rest at 112F / 44.5C.  10 minutes is a good starting point if you WANT clove flavors, adjust from there.  if you want minimal clove, skip this rest temp.

3.  Fermentation temperature.  The yeast will produce more clove phenols at lower temperatures.  62F/16.5C will produce moderate clove flavors for me.   60F/15.5C produces significant clove.  65F/18C produces slight clove. 67F/19C produces negligible clove.

Banana flavor (amyl acetate) is an ester that is produced during the growth phase.  It is controlled by two primary factors:

1.  Yeast Growth:   Lower pitching rates will force higher growth and increase ester production.  Over-pitching will quickly diminish the amount of banana flavor produced.  Typical pitching rate for banana dominance is on the lower side of the scale at around 0.5-0.6 mil cells / milliliter.  Anything OVER 0.75 mil / ml will produce little or no ester. 

2.  Pitching Temperature:  More correctly, the temperature during the growth phase.  Higher = more esters.  This curve is essentially the opposite of the clove above.  Very little banana flavor is detectable at growth temps below 65F/18C.  Above 70F/21C, the flavor descriptors become more "bubble-gum". 

NOTE: The Weihenstephan strain is a beast.  It produces enough self-heat during fermentation that it will typically be 10F/6C above ambient temperature.  So, If you want to ferment at 62F you will need a space at 50-52F(10-11C).  This gets worse at higher temperatures. 

So, if you want a banana dominant hefe with little or no clove:

1.  Use the right yeast (WLP301/Wyeast 3068), or one of the newer versions of the Hefeweizen strains. 

2.  Skip the ferulic acid rest, altogether.   

3.  Ferment at 66-70F(19-21C).  I'd start with 67-68 (19.5C), and adjust based on results.  I would pitch and hold at this temperature.  Once fermentation starts to slow down, you can raise the temp by 5F (3C) to drive it to completion without any risk to flavor.  I assess this with with gravity measurements.  For a 1050 hefe, once the gravity drops below 1025, I raise the temp by 2F/1C per day for 3 days.  Then I hold this temp until the FG readings are stable for 2 days in a row.  At that point, I remove the heat, and let it fall to ambient (48F) and sit for a week.  Then keg, carb, and serve. 

« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 10:02:25 AM by tom_hampton »
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Offline merfizle

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Re: Erdinger "Hefe-Weizen" clone
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2013, 04:01:58 PM »
1/2 pitch W3068 and cool wort down to 60+ and let it rise to about 70°F and ferment there.


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Offline durrettd

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Re: Erdinger "Hefe-Weizen" clone
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2013, 04:33:51 PM »
If you want a detailed discussion on brewing Bavarian Weizen, try this link:

Or, read Tom's post. It summarizes a 50-page thread beautifully. I've brewed two batches of Weizen following the techniques he described, and both have given me exactly the results predicted; in my case, a good solid clove with minimal banana. Great beer!