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…