Hefeweizen IV Tasting Notes

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Well looky here, if it isn’t a whole month and a tiddle since I brewed up this Wheat beer…bet you’re straining at the leash to find out how this one came out, aren’t you?

All I can say is: this beer puts me at least a couple more steps further up the mountain towards the pinnacle of the perfect wheat beer.

There’s no weird off-flavours in this batch (thank you, brew fridge) and there’s a nice balance of sweet, and a very gentle sour note that helps round it out a bit.  Any bitterness keeps itself to itself – meaning there’s no off-putting bitter twang.

In the phenolics, there’s an array of restrained banana and clovey undercurrents that swirl along merrily in both the nose and the taste.

So: the nose is good, the taste is good and the head retention is passable (not great, but you takes what you can these days…)

It’s very refreshing and – just off chilled – I can drink one down, all nice and right-down into my tum in hardly any time at all.

But…and there’s always a but.

It’s not very exciting.  And the body could do with being a little more full as well.

Maybe next time I’ll chuck in WLP300 instead.  The Mangrove Jack wheat yeast did a perfectly good job – it just doesn’t seem as expressive as the 300.

With all things remaining equal (and with either WLP300 or MJ’s), I reckon I need to rile up the yeast a bit more…you know, really provoke it by dialling the fermentation temperature up beyond 20c, so it can go mad and produce more flavour.

Maybe I’ll even do some more fancy mash rests to try and capitalize on the alpha and beta amylase phases:

Instead of the old 66c trade-off single infusion business, I’ll rest it for a while at 63C (or so) and then move on up to another rest at 70c (or so) which will give me a decent trade-off between wort fermentability (i.e. maltose production) from the 63c rest and a shovel-full of unfermentable dextrins for body from the 70c rest.

God, I almost sound like I know what I’m doing…

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!

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

Call the Weiss Squad!: Benediktiner – Weiss Bier

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That’s a piss-poor title and no mistake…sorry about that….

I’m also sorry about the break in reviews – I know how some of you can’t eat or sleep whilst you wait for me to fart out another exciting review…I’ve been in that London on an Openstack course.  Private cloud.  It’s the future of computing (maybe)

This time it’s another wheat beer, and it’s fair to say that it’s a lot darker than what I’ve experienced so far in a Weiss, but that makes it all the more exciting.

Ah, I just can’t get enough of those lovely foamy wheat beer heads – so light, lacy and sticky.  That is the joy of brewing with wheat, folks…I won’t linger too long on the heartache, though: it can be a pain to mash with – what with it being huskless and quite sticky, unlike barley…

Benediktiner comes with a marvellous, sparkly carbonation.  The aroma is bready malts with lovely wheaty graininess and a little spicy pepperiness.  As with all wheats there’s some banana on the nose too, but this slightly outweighed by a gentle spicy cloveyness…

This is a really excellent mouthful, with good spice and pepper notes all wrapped up in a subtle creaminess that eventually fades to leave excellent prickly spice before a final wave of creaminess washes in at the very end…

This is a very satisfying, very refreshing wheat beer indeed.  A genuine “can’t leave it alone sort of beer”

Excellent.

http://www.benediktiner-weissbier.de/en/home/

(they don’t appear to be on Twitter…oh well)

Wahey, Stephen! Weihenstephaner (@WeihenstephanUK) – Hefe Weissbier

20140918_201431My awful photography just doesn’t do this beer justice…

…at least I’m presuming that’s how the name translates?  Maybe I’ve got that wrong?  :o)

Just as it’s getting on towards Autumn I go and start reviewing beautiful refreshing wheat beers.  Typical…

Anyway:  Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier – what a lovely, lovely, lovely beer.

Arriving a really gorgeous, almost luminous hazy orange colour and sporting the snowiest caps – this beer is a joy to behold.

The aroma is deliciously tempting: being all yeastily-complex with graininess from the wheat, some bubble-gummy notes and a delicate spicy edge.

In the mouth it’s highly carbonated – that, after a short while, dissolves away leaving a soft and creamy cranachan-like mouth-feel, upon which a beautiful spicy sweetness plays out.

Wheat beer in my opinion is all about the mouth-feel – you just can’t get that with barley malt alone – and it serves as a great back-drop for all the other flavours; it’s such a great ingredient for this feeling of sumptuous, velvety indulgence.

After the swallow, spiciness fizzes and pops on the tongue before a blanket of creaminess comes down once again – bringing gentle cloves and banana at the very end.

Refreshing and silky smooth, this in one hell of beer: easy and joyous to drink – but do take the time to appreciate the breadth and depth of its complexity…as you pour literally gallons of it down your neck.

http://weihenstephaner.de/our-beers

Could I even attempt to reproduce something as good as this at home?  We’ll see…