A really solid Hefeweizen

HefeminiI’ve had gripes with Hefeweizens that I’ve made in the past. They’ve usually been sorta thin and lacking in flavor – and also the yeast character hasn’t quite been to my liking. Over the past year I’ve experimented a lot with different mashing regimens and have in general acquired just more recipe building experience, so I’m ready to try and craft up a better Hefe recipe! I also picked up a bunch of tips from Brewing With Wheat by Stan Hieronymus, which is a really great book. Stan interviews many notorious German brewers of wheat beers, and gives tons of valuable insight on their recipes/processes. I highly recommend it.

I’m really hoping to notice some differences by using the WYeast Bavarian Wheat strain; normally I use the Weihenstephaner Hefe yeast. I know people generally love that strain, but my experiences haven’t been the best (it may have to do with my overall recipe and fermentation, too). Another thing I added is a ferulic acid rest at 113F to start, which apparently helps to develop more clove flavor during fermentation. Anticipated 5.5 gallons, OG 1.047, 11 IBU, 5 SRM, 4.5% abv. (all malts are Weyermann)

  • 4 lb Pilsner malt
  • 4 lb Wheat malt
  • 1.5 lb Vienna malt
  • 0.5 lb Caramunich I
  • 0.25 oz Hallertauer  at 60 min, 45 min, 30 min, and 15 min. 4.1% a.a.
  • WYeast Bavarian Wheat (1 qt starter)

// Mash in 2 qt/lb, 113-115 10 min, 146-148F 40 min, 158F 20 min, 168F 10 min. Batch sparge and collect 6.75 gal preboil wort, boil 60 minutes. Collect 5.5 gallons of 1.046 wort. Cool to 75F, pitch decanted yeast. //

UPDATE 10/12/13 : Gravity reached 1.012 after 6 days in primary. Really great aroma to this beer – lots of pear, ripe banana, orange, apple, and some clove too.. much less over-the-top banana than some other hefe yeasts I’ve used. Light, crisp, and refreshing. Fruit aromas carry over into the taste, but not overbearing – very light and clean. There’s a good amount of malt presence, too; the vienna and caramunich comes through nicely! Not super yeasty, but just a little. Tastes great already, so I think it’ll be even better with some medium-high carbonation. Racked directly to keg.

THE VERDICT

This beer tasted incredible when fresh in the keg after 1 week, probably the best hefeweizen I’ve made to date. One weird thing that happened after a few weeks in the keg is that a strange corny flavor developed. At the same time, the yeast dropped out significantly and produced a fairly bright beer. I have to believe that the corny flavor was from using lots of pils malt and not boiling the wort long enough, so that should be an easy fix for next time. It would be nice to retain that cloudyness of the beer longer, which maybe some flaked wheat would help with.

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Filed under All-grain, German, Wheat beers

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