Thursday, August 13, 2015

YAH (Yet Another Hefe)

I opted to brew another hefe in order to make use of the other half of the Jasper Yeast that I purchased.  I haven't yet tried my previous hefeweizen using this yeast (bottled 11 Aug), but I had the time, fermenter, as well as interest in brewing another hefe to have it available.

Starting to boil
Brew Day: 12 Aug 2015

Partial Mash
11.7 oz Rahr Red Wheat Malt (what I had left)
3 oz German Pale Malt
1 oz CaraPils

Boil - 60 min
1 lb Briess Pilsen DME (@ 60 min)
7 g German Perle (AA: ~ 7%) (@ 60 min)

Yeast: JY074 German Hefeweizen yeast

Used the usual method for cooling wort and pitching yeast.  After cooling the wort to 80 deg F, I transferred wort to the fermenter.  When the fermenter was about half full, I aerated the wort by shaking vigorously.  After adding the rest of the wort, I pitched the remaining yeast (about half of the 5 gal pitch...I'd used the other half on my previous hefe).

I checked in on the beer about 12 hrs later.  The blow-off bottle wasn't as clear as the previous attempt (29 July), but that may have to do with the recipe, the head space in the fermenter (there's less this time than previously), etc.  All in all, things are looking good so far.

Addendum, 16 Aug: I check in on my fermenters pretty regularly, given that they're in the downstairs bathtub.  I will pull back the shower curtain and take a peek when I'm downstairs for some reason, such as cleaning the litter boxes or working out (our gym is in the room next to the bathroom).  I checked in the fermenters this morning and the airlock cap for the YAH hefeweizen was resting on the top of the airlock spout.  This was odd to me, and I'd only seen this once before, when I'd tightened the fermenter cap too tight and cracked the cap, causing me to loose the brew I'd done with Medusa hops.  The other two fermenters (cider, Jarrylo IPA) were doing just fine.  I'd checked on them all yesterday and the caps were all floating above the issues at all.  So, I quickly sanitized another fermenter, cap and airlock assembly, transferred the beer (still smelled like beer...) to the clean fermenter, and added just a little bit of WB-06 to it.  After putting the fermenter back in the tub and cleaning up, I checked in on it and the cap was again floating above the spout; however, it was too soon for the yeast to take effect, so it could've simply been the result of gas pressure from the Star-San (don't fear the foam!).  I'll check in on it again later...I'm hoping that the beer turns out okay.

Addendum, 26 Aug: Bottled today.  I've had some pretty good success with bottling using 1 oz (or just a tad more) of table sugar dissolved in 1/2 cup of boiling water.  I've been much happier with the results of using this method, even at just 2 wks of bottle conditioning, than with the use of the priming tablets (i.e., fizz drops).  This batch had a slightly different malt bill and a bit more hops than the previous hefeweizen, so I'm kind of looking forward to this one, and doing a comparison.

Addendum, 9 Sept: Taste test tonight...and the first bottle I opened didn't pop or fizz.  Fortunately, the second bottle did, and the pour resulted in a hazy, straw-colored beer with a full, white, pillowy head.  Definite aroma of banana in the nose.  The head diminished but didn't completely go away, and there was some minimal, non-persistent lacing in the glass.  The body was good, and the flavor was a bit spicy, most likely as a result of the hops.  Terri said that she liked this one, but wasn't as enthusiastic about it as the previous hefe.

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