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First Hefeweizen

PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:16 pm
by GuitarLord5000
I brewed my first Hefeweizen a couple days ago. This was probably my most technically challenging beer yet, except for maybe the lambic, and it was wonderful fun!

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 6.00 gal
Boil Size: 6.97 gal
Estimated OG: 1.049 SG
Estimated Color: 7.4 SRM
Estimated IBU: 10.0 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 84.00 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amount Item Type % or IBU
3.00 lb Wheat Malt (2.0 SRM) Grain 31.58 %
2.50 lb Munich Malt (11.0 SRM) Grain 26.32 %
2.00 lb Raw Wheat (1.0 SRM) Grain 21.05 %
1.00 lb Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 10.53 %
1.00 lb Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 10.53 %
1.25 oz Styrian Goldings [2.60 %] (85 min) Hops 10.0 IBU
1 Pkgs Kellerweiss Bottling Strain (Myeast #KBS-0Yeast-Ale

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 9.50 lb
Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
10 min Mash In Add 8.00 qt of water at 149.0 F 130.0 F
30 min Step Add 4.40 qt of water at 210.4 F 153.0 F
30 min Step Decoct 2.27 qt of mash and boil it 161.0 F

Pre-Gelatinize the raw wheat by boiling 7 qts water in pot and adding ground wheat. Add to mash tun and add 1 qt cold water. Allow temperature to cool to 140 degrees. Add remaining grist into mash tun. (Next time, gelatinize raw wheat in 4 qts water. Add 4 qts cold water to the tun afterward to bring temperature down to Ferulic Acid rest range. No FA rest on this one.)
11:07 - Mash in at 130 degrees.
11:19 - Adding water to bring up to 153 degrees.
11:28 - Mash at 153 degrees. Remove +/- 3 quarts of mash from tun and decoct.
12:05 - Adding mash to tun.
12:08 - Mash at 161 degrees.
12:45 - Sparge with 4.5 gallons of water. Wort exceeding clear. Sparge stuck about 1/2 way through. Had to score top of mash with spoon to get flow to return.
2:55 - Wort boiling.
4:20 - Cooling wort.
5:20 - Rack to open bucket. Pitch yeast and cover with open-air gizmo.
Skim billowing yeast off top of bucket twice.
Skim yeast off top of bucket once. Boil down remaining .35 gallon of wort until syrup. Add 1 gallon of water and bring back to boil. Chill and add to secondary fermenter. Rack beer on top.


I used bottle cultured Kellerweis yeast. Two days of open fermentation at about 72 degrees. Today I'm reducing a half gallon of the original wort to syrup and adding it to a closed secondary. I would have left the beer in open primary longer than 2 days, but I have to go offshore tomorrow and don't think it'd be wise to leave the beer in an open fermenter for two more weeks. Besides, the Kellerweis yeast is a BEAST, and the beer appears to be nearing FG already. In 2 days' time, I skimmed the beer three times and pulled at least a gallon and a half of thick, foamy yeast slurry off the top of the beer. Insane!
Now, hopefully the beer will taste good! When I get home from work, I'll be kegging it up and drinking it while still very fresh. Wish me luck!

PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:32 am
by yeastmeister
Looks like a good recipe. Never tried open fermentation myself (at least not on purpose). Can't wait to try the result.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:08 pm
by GuitarLord5000
Yeah, up till now I haven't tried open fermentation either. I don't think I would have, either, if it wasn't for 'Brewing With Wheat'. After seeing that a good many of the German weizen breweries still use open fermentation, as well as Sierra Nevada for their Kellerweis, I figured I'd give it a try. Of course, I don't have a basis for comparison, as I've never made a Hefe before. Still, it was definitely interesting.
It's a shame that I'm offshore right now. The Kellerweis yeast really blew through that fermentation! I'm pretty sure that the beer is at it's FG right now, and I'd be kegging it up if I were home. I've never experienced that fast a pace during fermentation. And I thought I had underpitched!
This is the first time I've ever skimmed krausen yeast for any reason other than repitching. And I skimmed far more from this hefe than any other beer. It was chock full of harshly bitter hops resins up until the final skimming. I wonder if allowing the yeast to fall back into the beer after high krausen releases those bittering components back into the beer?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:13 am
by aleguy
I believe it does, somewhat. Some of them will be deposited in a ring around the top of the fermenter, though.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:25 am
by jimmiec
I have a flask of cultured SN Kellerweizen yeast too. I'll take a look at your recipe (I think I have the same grains and hops) and see if we can do some kind of comparison of open and closed fermentation of the same yeast and recipe. I will try to have a hefe ready for the August brew day, if you will have any left and can make it.

You did you Serra Nevada's Kellerweizen yeast right?

"Brew with Wheat" amazing book.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:23 pm
by GuitarLord5000
Yeah, I used the Sierra Nevada hefe yeast strain. I'll remake the recipe as soon as my fermenting fridge is available again. As is, I fermented this one at too high a temperature, and I'm afraid that any variations in flavor would be caused by that rather than open versus closed fermentation.
If you're going to use the SN yeast, put a blowoff tube on your carboy right from the start! Lol, seriously, I've never been more impressed with a yeast before. It's a monster strain, and seemed to really like the higher ferm temps. I just don't know how good of a beer it made at those temps. I'll be kegging in a day or two, so I'll let you know.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:44 pm
by jimmiec
Other forums are showing they have been fermenting in the low to mid 60F with this yeast. I was thinking of starting in the low 60F. Also everyone is mentioning the high fermentation activity. 72F probably got the yeast really going. Definitely good to know that may be 72 is too high for this yeast.

Did you get to much banana? I would like more clove like SN. SN keller is really good.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:58 am
by lhardin02
Keith and I has keep outs around 68, but we go for the banana. In the past we started it at 65-64 and got the clove.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:48 am
by aleguy
Ummm, Decoction? Wheat beers like, umm decoction? :shock:

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:28 pm
by GuitarLord5000
What I was looking for out of this beer was banana. That's why I wasn't really too worried about the higher ferm temps. I've got it carbonating now, and I've tasted a few samples. The higher temps seems to have subdued the 'clove' flavors, as there's quite a bit less in my beer than in SN Kellerweis. Unfortunately, the yeast didn't produce much in the way of banana for me. It's a fine beer, though, and one that I'll be happy to drink during the next month or so.
Jimmie, if you're looking for the clove flavors, I would say to keep your temps lower. Higher temps might scrub out more of the clove flavors than what you're wanting.
lhardin, have you and Keith produced banana flavors with this yeast? I'm just not really getting them in this beer yet. I'll let it fully carbonate and taste it again.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:18 am
by aleguy
You want banana? Safale T-58 will give you lots and lots of banana!!!! Doesn't seem to matter what temperature I ferment at. The banana does appear to fall out over time, though, so you need to drink it fairly fresh.