Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Split Batch: Traditional Hefeweizen

Surprisingly I didn’t actually take a picture of this beer prior to racking into a keg, but honestly, all fermenting beer looks the same in a carboy other than color and if it has a pellicle or not. This is the main portion of the beer that I recently brewed. I wanted to attempt to brew a traditional Hefeweizen, since it’s one of the few styles that I don’t think needs any improvement. In Texas it will still be pretty hot for at least another month so a Hefeweizen felt like a good choice. It was also a good excuse for me to attempt to brew a Berliner, since the grain bill is pretty much the same and it wouldn’t require much extra work, besides cooling and checking acidity. I addressed the risk in my previous post. 

I’ve brewed a few Hefeweizens in the past but I’ve never actually brewed a traditional Hefeweizen in the past that was for me to drink. I’ve brewed a few with my father, without temperature control so they end up being banana bombs, I’ve brewed one and added Citra hops, and I’ve brewed a traditional one for my cousin’s wedding reception using temperature control, but I only had one glass of it. Now it’s time for me to have my own keg. 

I used the same grain bill as I did for my cousin’s beer and the same fermentation schedule. I really liked how that beer turned out so I was attempting to replicate it. The temperature control should keep the banana in check and allow the yeast to produce some more clove aroma to balance it out. 

After brewing this beer I’m really starting to think buying a grain mill would be a good idea. Since I rely on my LHBS to crush my grain my efficiency swings wildly from batch to batch so I don’t have a good way of nailing down a recipe. This beer was no different. I way undershot my gravity. My initial plan was to brew a standard gravity Hefeweizen, rack off three gallons, and top up with water to bring the gravity down to Berliner gravity. However, since I was so far under my efficiency target, I didn’t need to top up at all and had to boil down to reach my target for the Berliner. I was also way under my target starting gravity for the Hefeweizen, but I honestly didn’t care because it was so far under. I sense a grain mill in my fear future. 

Beer Stats
Batch size: 8.5 gallons
Boil time: 135 minutes
Estimated OG: 1.048
Measured OG: 1.046
Measured FG: 1.008
ABV: 4.1%
IBU: 15

Grain Bill
7.75 lbs – Wheat Malt
6 lbs – Pilsner Malt
1 lb – Acid Malt
0.75 lb – Melanoidin Malt

45 min – Hallertauer – 1.75 oz
20 min – Hallertauer – 0.25 oz

Mash Schedule
149oF – Saccrification Rest – 90 minutes added 3 grams each of CaCl and Gypsum


8/24/14 – Brewed by myself along with Berlinerweisse. No starter made to encourage phenol production. Fermentation set at 64oF

8/27/14 - Temperature raised to 67 oF

8/30/14 - Temperature raised to 71 oF

9/3/14 – Beer racked to keg and placed under 14psi at 38oF

9/24/14 - When the beer warms up it becomes a diacetyl bomb so I'm assuming fermentation didn't clean things up before I kegged it and cooled it. I've removed the keg from the keezer and have placed it in the laundry room.

10/6/14 - Keg placed back in keezer.

10/9/14 - It seems like the diacetyl has gone away. I'll find out when I let the beer warm up more.

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