Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hefe, Again

I tried a hefeweizen recipe in June, and it really didn't turn out the way I had hoped.  It was based on the NB 1 gal Bavarian hefeweizen recipe.  The fermentables for my second attempt consisted of 1.5 lb 1 lb of Bavarian wheat, 0.5 lb of gold) of DME, which is approximately 2.25 lb of grain.

I also think that the type and amount of hops lent itself to a spicier flavor in the beer.

For this one, I'm looking at a total grain weight of just over 2 lb, and I'd like to get a bit better head retention.  I also opted to use a different yeast, in hopes of getting something a bit closer to notes of banana and clove that you usually find in hefeweizens.

Brew Day: 28 July

Partial Mash - 1 lb of grain in muslin bag, strike temp of 156 - 158 deg F for 1 hr (in a cooler)
8 oz German Pale Ale malt
4 oz   Rahr Red Wheat malt
2 oz  carapils

Boil - 60 min
1 lb Bavarian Wheat DME (=~ 1.5 lb grain)
4 g German Perle (@ 60 min)

Jasper Yeast JY074 - 5 gal pitch, pitch ~1/2 of container.

This time, I tried something a little different with respect to aeration of the wort.  I filled the fermenter about 1/3 of the way up, and then removed the transfer hose.  I put a piece of sanitized aluminum foil over the top of the fermenter, and aerated the wort.  This created a bit of foam, but that died down as I added the rest of the wort.  With the yeast, I had removed the container from the fridge and allowed it to come up to about room temperature, and kept it well mixed.  I then pitched around half of the container (maybe a little less).

Hefeweizen, 29 July
This morning (29 July), I checked on the fermenter.  There's a steady flow of bubbles through the blow-off tube, and interestingly enough, there's nothing in the blow-off bottle besides the sanitizer solution I put in last night.  Yep, it's clear.  You can't tell from the picture to the left, but there's a good bit of bubbling activity in the fermenter...little bubbles rising up to the top of the beer.

Addendum, 31 July: The bubbles flowing through the blow-off tube has settled down quite a bit, so I replaced the blow-off tube with an air lock.  In under a minute, the cap was pushed up slightly, and floating after that...a good sign.  ;-)

Addendum, 6 Aug: I ran across this really interesting read today on what goes into a good hefeweizen.  What I like most about it is that it goes through the process of making different award-winning hefes, and then follows up with an option for those of us without the equipment to follow the process.

Addendum, 11 Aug: Bottled today.  Dissolved 1 oz of table sugar in 1/2 cup of boiling water, put that in a fermenter.  After giving it time to cool down, I racked the hefe into the fermenter, and then let it set for about 15 min.  I then bottled normally.  Ended up with 10 bottles.

Tasting Notes, 25 Aug: Foamy, non-persistent head, good good, that after opening the bottle, some of the beer bubbled out of the bottle. Mild, non-persistent lacing. Definite banana aroma, still trying to figure out how it finishes.  I may leave that to the next taste test.  Terri likes it, definitely a keeper.

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