A story about a hefeweizen

I brewed a very basic hefeweizen, and it turned out quite well! Like most brew days, it wasn’t perfect…

My grain mill worked poorly, which threw me off from my target original gravity (target mash efficiency of 85%, slumped down to 78%). I accidentally ordered whole hops, which are a bit too large to go through my various brewery fittings and caused a number of clogs in the system (I have a hop filter now, so that won’t happen again…). This lead to quite a bit of wort loss and distraction. While all this was going on my boil rate was not kept on track. And lastly, the night following my brew day my garage was broken into. Amongst other things, the thieves left the fermentation chamber open, throwing the beer off it’s scheduled fermentation schedule at a crucial time by about 5F. The yeast didn’t mind (of course), and worked vigorously for the remainder of their single temperature stage fermentation… which was set at a cool 62F (cool for an ale yeast, anyways). The yeast by the way was Wyeast 3068 – Weihenstephan Weizen.

The mash schedule has actually already been discussed a bit on this blog. It was the subject of some visualization here. There were 3 steps to the mash, at 110F, 151F, and 162F respectively. More details can be found in the aforementioned post. The 110F step may be curious to some. It had two main purposes. The first, to aid in the consistency of the mash with it’s high proportion of high protein pale wheat malt. The second was to produce a chemical precursor to pleasant hefeweizen aromatics during the mashing process. The intention of the rest of the mash was to produce a lighter bodied beer.

The hefeweizen was very lightly bittered, with only 11 IBUs contributed from 2 oz of one of my favourite hops – Hallertauer.

The target OG was 1.051, but I ended up with a much lighter 1.045 due to my various problems. I haven’t missed the mark so much on a gravity since my IIPA where I failed to account for reduced extraction efficiency in large grain bills.

But, following the adage, RDWHAHB, everything was fine. I was left with a light, fresh tasting beer with a slight clove and a heavy banana element (just the way I like ’em). The hefeweizen is a pale, cloudy gold, with a bright white airy head. Highly refreshing, perhaps a touch too light for some, but it’s just the thing in my opinion for the dog days of summer. I will definitely rebrew this one with the same mash schedule and same fermentation schedule next year. And next time I’ll actually hit my numbers. Recipe follows.

 

Shown approximately 24 hours after kegging

Shown approximately 24 hours after kegging

 

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
11 gal 90 min 11.0 IBUs 3.3 SRM 1.051 1.012 5.2 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Rice Hulls 1 lbs 5.26
Wheat Malt, Ger 12 lbs 63.16
Pilsner (2 Row) Ger 6 lbs 31.58

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Hallertauer 1 oz 45 min Boil Pellet 4.8
Hallertauer 1 oz 10 min Boil Pellet 4.8

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Whirlfloc Tablet 2.00 Items 15 min Boil Fining

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Weihenstephan Weizen (3068) Wyeast Labs 75% 64°F - 75°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Protein Rest 110°F 20 min
Saccharification 152°F 45 min
Mash Out 168°F 10 min

  2 comments for “A story about a hefeweizen

  1. Brian
    August 4, 2015 at 1:02 am

    Yikes! Sorry to hear about the break-in. I hope you didn’t lose too much of value. Thanks for posting your recipe and results, it’s always good to hear how and why things can go wrong but also that making good beer is still a pretty forgiving process.

    • Justin
      August 4, 2015 at 9:47 am

      Thanks Brian. Not too much was lost with the break in (tools, some brewing scales, sound system in garage), can’t shake the paranoia though. The property is now covered in cameras… It was interesting that I could tell exactly when they were actively going through the garage because I had temperature logging in my fermentation chamber. So. I saw that the door to the chamber had been opened at exactly 12:45 that night.

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