Hefeweizen IV brew day

Nope.  I’m still not naming my wheat beers…at least until I get one that has the following traits:

  • Stable foamy head
  • Good balance of clove and banana phenols
  • Obscene drinkability

There’s not much to say about this one, I’m afraid:  It was the by-now-familiar grist make-up:

2.5Kg Wheat Malt and 2.5Kg of Pilsener Malt (oh, and 200g of soaked rice husks)

Hops were a measly 6g of ancient Magnums from the freezer.  That should contribute 11 IBUs of bitterness, maybe less; I’m not much bothered, I don’t want much bitterness in it at all really.

I used the following mash rests:

38c Dough-in
42c (15mins) Ferulic Acid rest (for clove-like phenol precursors)
66c (50mins) Sacchrification rest
78c (10mins) Mash-out

One small deviation: I didn’t skim the foam prior to adding the hops, normally I’m an avid skimmer – but not this time…  I also boiled it for exactly one hour…with the lid only partially on the Braumeister – I’ve discovered that this makes for a much more healthy boil, just don’t let the condensation run back into the boiling wort…you’re boiling wort to get rid of DMS and other rubbish…

All went well and I ended up with 22L of 1055 OG wort, into which I put some Mangrove Jack’s Bavarian Wheat Beer yeast.

I didn’t oxygenate, as I read somewhere that a lack of oxygen makes Weizen yeast more expressive.

It’s all now tucked up happily in the brew fridge at somewhere between 19c and 20c.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

BTW: Did you like the video?  It shows a very pretty-looking cold-break.  It’s way more than I usually get, so maybe that’s due to not skimming pre-boil?  It’s certainly not as a result of Irish moss or other protein coagulant, it scarcely seemed worth adding kettle-finings – this being a wheat beer…  Thinking about it, it was quite a vigorous boil…maybe that did it?

No-name HefeWeizen III – Tasting Notes

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Here’s a review of another Hefeweizen, brewed as part of my eternal quest to brew the perfect representation.

You might remember the brewday from here:

https://yeastismybitch.com/2015/11/05/no-name-hefeweizen-iii/

Well, I’ve been drinking this steadily since a bit before Christmas and can’t make my mind up whether it’s smack on the money or whether I’m just a hopelessly picky bugger.

(My money is on the latter)

So, looks-wise: it’s not as luminous as I’d like it to be. Maybe luminous is a bad word. Hold on, *consults thesaurus* It’s not as effulgent as I’d like. I’m not sure whether that helps or not?

Let’s just say it’s not as prettily glowy, when back­lit, as I’d like it to be…

The colour isn’t as glowily orange as I’d like it to be, either. It’s nice enough ­ but I’d like it to be more pretty.

The head, however, is much better than the last effort, but still doesn’t hang around like it should. Mind you, it’s meringue-­white, so that’s something to be happy with.

In the nose I got a sweetly ­clean malt-breadiness with some spicy clove and banana notes. It’s not at all “banana bomb” like the last one…but it’s certainly fruit forward and I like that in a Weizen.

The carbonation is much better this time around and it stays sparkly-­prickly right to the end of the glass.

As with all my wheats so far; it’s mouth-­filling, immensely drinkable with enjoyable spice and clove/banana flavours.

This particular beer feels way more complex and in balance than the other Hefeweizens that I’ve made…there’s even some excellent creaminess that floods in at the end…

BUT! There’s a faintly annoying bitterness that creeps in at the end of the creaminess and ever so slightly mars the whole thing.

My trusty tasting panel are split 50/50: some love it because they usually drink bitters, so a twang on the end is what they want to keep the consumption going. The other half think any bitterness in a Hefeweizen is out of place and slightly jarring.

I quite like it, but in my heart of hearts I know that it’s not to style and not what I intended…and that annoys the piss out of me.  15 IBUs of bitterness does seem a touch too much…

Next time it’ll be the same recipe with 11 IBUs of bittering hops…and maybe swap some pils malt out to make it into a dunkleweizen.

Maybe the next one will get a name.?

More Please! Allgauer Brauhaus – Altenmunster HefeWeizen

20150929_191109Along with Adnams, Aldi are another bunch of characters that get far more exposure on yeastismybitch.com than a lot of their peers…and that’s because they keep surprising me with unusual and surprising beers whenever I go there.  Oh, and they stock Bratwurst…

God, you haven’t lived if you haven’t had Bratwurst with a big old glass of wheat beer. (my mouth is now awash…)

This time around at Aldi I found some of this Altenmunster Wheat Beer…and it’s in a swing-top bottle WITH A LABEL THAT COMES OFF EASILY: you brewers just don’t realise how much that means to us home-brewers.

Some brewers think that home-brewers are spoiling their sales.  Complete bunkum – where else would we get our inspiration and a vast supply of bottles for us to put our beer into?

The Altenmunster bottles are so good that I’d happily a couple of cases…and it’s also a happy coincidence that it’s a very tasty beer too!

Altenmunster Wheat looks the part, it’s a nice example of the style with a lovely thick, unctuous and foamy head.

The aroma is lovely fresh and bready, with the balance slightly tipped towards the clove than the banana; and it’s quite delightful.

Taste-wise, it’s beautifully refreshing with a very slightly tart edge.  The mouthfeel is solid and creamy with good light wheaty maltiness.  It’s a very fine example of the style.

As mentioned above, I’d buy this regularly…but alas and alack, Aldi only carried Altenmunster briefly for a few weeks before it abruptly stopped.

Gah!  Please Aldi, start stocking this beer again.  I love it and it’s lovely bottles.  I even like the cheerful monk on the label…

http://www.allgaeuer-brauhaus.de/abk/?page_id=832

Hefeweizen Mk II Tasting

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(I’ll put a picture of the finished article in when I remember…)

What is it with me and wheat beers? I like them, but they seem to want to conspire against me when I make them.

Here’s the original recipe here: https://yeastismybitch.com/2015/05/26/hefeweizen-mk-ii-in-a-braumeister/

This time around I got the carbonation pretty much how I wanted it, the mouthful is generous and creamy and the yeast brought forth lashes of banana and bubblegum.

It’s a beautiful luminous pale golden with a nice haze and everything…

So what let’s it down you may ask…

Well it’s a little light on the bitterness…so it’s lovely in taste but doesn’t have that subtle bitter edge that should really set it off and balance the sweetness out a bit.

And the head. Oh good God, the head…It has a really nice head to start off with…and then it collapses, spectacularly, to leave a really odd smattering of very dense foam islands…a bit like broken cloud on a summer’s day…so Christ alone knows what happened there.

I’m happily drinking it and Eve likes it, but it certainly won’t win many awards…

The next one will be great, I’m sure.  I might also do it with WLP300 – not because it’s better than the Mangrove Jack’s yeast, but because it’s just plain mental – and I like that in a yeast!

Hefeweizen mk II in a Braumeister

Bavarian_Wheat_largeNormally I can always think of a great name for the beer that I’ve just brewed, but, with wheat beers I get a mental block and all I can think of is rubbish puns on Hugh Hefner’s name.

So, still without a decent name, this wheat is a re-spin on the first attempt: https://yeastismybitch.com/2015/01/08/im-waiting-on-a-wheat-hefeweizen-mk1-the-first-outing/ and uses exactly the same recipe, but with a couple of differences:

This time around, I added 200g of flaked oats (and to hell with the Reinheitsgebot – I want more creaminess in my wheat!) and 1.5L of oat husks to avoid a sticky mash (and the inevitable regency fountain effect.)

I got my oat husks from Rob The Malt Miller – who advised that, despite what you read on the Internet, these particular husks don’t need washing prior to use.

The mash in the Braumeister did start off a bit “floaty”, so I did have to stir it after about twenty minutes, but then it did behave itself and all went well.

The refractometer showed a post-boil reading of 1056 so I overshot my target gravity by 3 points, but I’m still getting my eye in on wheats; normally for all-barley-malt beers I overshoot by miles!

For the fermentation I’m using a new yeast: it’s a dried Bavarian Wheat yeast from Mangrove Jacks.  I pitched a re-hydrated packet of Mangrove Jacks into the 22C wort and stuck it away in a room that was 19/20C  – aiming to satisfy the old German wheat beer maxim that pitch temperature and environment temperature should add up to 30C, (I was 1C over – so shoot me)

The environmental temperature has now risen to 22C and the carboy is warm to the touch…  This ones going to be fruity, I think.

After 6 hours the airlock was bubbling away nicely, after 24 hours the initial foamy krausen has fallen away and the surface of the wort is fizzing like lemonade…  God, I hope the head retention will be OK…

Update: 48 hours later, it smells strongly of very ripe bananas.  Perfect.  Just what I wanted.  You just have to get fruity sometimes with these things.

I’m waiting on a wheat: Hefeweizen Mk1 – Tasting Notes…

hefeweizenI know the tasting notes for this one have been a long time coming; but the kitchen is in uproar, the heating’s all up the spout and time just isn’t making itself very available these days.

So let’s not faff about and get straight down to business:

Because the temperature where this beer is being stored is so cold, we have the option to drink it with or without the yeast (it’s that flocculent in these coolish temperatures) – so we can have hefeweizen or kristallweizen.  I prefer my wheats “mit hefe” so a pour and a quick twirl of bottle brings the cloudiness up nice.

First off:  This beer is pitifully under-carbonated.  That’s not to say it’s flat…it’s more like the sort of carbonation that I’d expect in a lively real ale – not a refreshing wheat.  But I now know for next time.  Obviously a lack of carbonation does tend to knock the life out of the head a bit, so again I was a bit disappointed…

Colour-wise, I’m happy: it’s got that lovely wheat beer luminosity that I really enjoy seeing.

The aroma is smack half-way between clovey-spiciness and fruity-banana-ishness.  I would have preferred a tad more fruit, so next time I’ll be fermenting a whole load warmer to really encourage the banana notes.

Taste-wise it’s good.  Not amazing, but good enough.  I’m happy enough with it as my first wheat, it’s complex and tastes about right and has a nice enough alcohol hit, but it hasn’t got that wow factor that I was really after.

Next time I’ll make sure that the mash goes better and ferment it just that little bit warmer!

https://yeastismybitch.com/2015/01/08/im-waiting-on-a-wheat-hefeweizen-mk1-the-first-outing/

I’m waiting on a wheat: Hefeweizen Mk1 – the first outing…

20150107_215040God, I love wheat beers.  I didn’t ever think I would, but I do – so much so, that I decided to have a bash at brewing one up yesterday evening.

In a break with tradition I won’t be putting up a Brew Engine produced recipe but rather a set of guidelines, guidelines that I’ve painstakingly trawled for and researched.  I must confess that I’ve never seen so much controversy caused by a simple beer type – there must be hundreds of recipes and hundreds of bits and pieces of advice…

So here’s my interpretation that I brewed.  Advice will follow later:

Grain Bill:
50/50 Wheat Malt and Pils Malt (2.5Kg of each) (OG: 1052 @ 83% efficiency)
Hops:
11 IBUs of whatever I had hanging around (Chinook from the freezer) in a 60 minute addition
Yeast:
WLP300 Hefeweizen
Mash Schedule [Braumeister (hooray!)]
38C Dough In
43C Ferulic Acid Rest (20 Mins)  – apparently helps the yeast with developing a clovey spiciness in the finished beer
67C Saccarification Rest (60 Mins)
76C Mash Out (10 Mins)

.

That all looks quite simple doesn’t it?  Well it was, sort of…until about two minutes into the mashing I heard the sounds of trickling water from inside the BM.  Lifting the lid revealed wort fountains and serious channeling through the mash!

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Cue Handel’s Water Music

In a panic I phoned Greg at BrewUK for advice, he said that It’s due to the wheat malt being huskless and the pils malt – being crushed quite a bit finer than Maris Otter or Belgian pale – means that the pressure builds up and eventually forces it’s way through the mash into these oh-so beautiful little fountains.

Greg asked if I had any rice hulls to hand to loosen up the mash a bit – which of course I hadn’t.  I said that I figured that the awesome power of the BM would negate the need for mash fillers…apparently not.

To his eternal credit, Greg offered to replace my ingredients should I have to dump everything, but I decided to go for a serious bit of stirring and mash agitation every 10 or so minutes – 30 minutes later and this seemed to have done the trick.

The rest of the mash went off fairly uneventfully apart from a little fountain during the last ten minutes in the mash-out schedule.

After a 4 litre sparge and a little over a 60 minute boil I ended up with 22 litres in the carboy at 1051 – which was pretty much where I wanted to be and not bad considering it’s my first outing with wheat.

UPDATE: Pitched WLP300 at 10.30pm last night and just got called at 10am by Eve claiming “That beer is now stinking the house out“.  At least it’s working!

UPDATE No.1: Eve called at 4pm to say that the beer was now foaming out of the airlock and pouring down the side of the carboy (fortunately I sat it in a big bucket, beforehand)

UPDATE No. 2: Got home at 6pm to find about half a litre of beer and foam in the bucket that the carboy is sat in and a very strong bready/malty aroma pervading the house. Airlock still foaming like mad.

UPDATE No. 3: It’s 10pm and things starting to settle a bit.  Cleaned out the bucket and washed down the outside of the carboy.  Airlock still going every two seconds but no more foam.  Will replace airlock, etc. tonight.  This yeast is crazy!  Ambient air temperature still holding steady at 19c/20c

For all your homebrew needs (including advice in a panic!) http://www.brewuk.co.uk