Author Topic: Newbie - first non-kit homebrew - Hefeweizen  (Read 1291 times)

Offline midtex

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Newbie - first non-kit homebrew - Hefeweizen
« on: February 09, 2010, 10:44:14 AM »
I have my first self-designed brew in the fermenter - been there 7 days tonight. I picked-up a six-pack of Paulaner and Weihenstephaner Hefe's and both are great, so I knew what my first brew had to be. Here's what I used:

Batch size - 2.125 gallons
Boil size - 1 gallon water plus LME
3.3 lbs. Midwest bulk Breiss Wheat LME (65%/35%)
.25 oz. Hallertau pellet 3.8 - 1 hour
Wyeast 3068 (I used 2.1 oz. (weight))

The calculator predicts this to be:
OG 1.053
FG 1.013
IBU 11
ABV 5.2 %
SRM 3

Very basic, but from what I can read on the style, it's supposed to be. It has been fermenting at exactly 67.8 degrees F. I don't have a hydrometer yet, but it's still bubbling the airlock about every 10-15 seconds. I plan to carbonate to 3.5 to be safe since I am bottling it. I also have a tip on a used kegerator and hopefully in the future will be able to move to 5 gallon batches and keg it!

Comments are welcome - I'm here to learn........

Offline tygo

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Re: Newbie - first non-kit homebrew - Hefeweizen
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2010, 10:57:42 AM »
Did you pitch a whole smack pack?  Did you make a starter and weigh that?  I'm not sure what you mean by 2.1 oz of yeast.
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Offline midtex

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Re: Newbie - first non-kit homebrew - Hefeweizen
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010, 11:06:37 AM »
That's about half the smack-pack. I did not do a starter, I just smacked the pack, let it swell, and pitched what looked like about half and weighed as a went so that I can duplicate the batch if I like it. I don't know the weight of the packaging, so I was just guessing on what was about half. I put the open package in a zip-lock bag and put it back in the refrigerator for another day.

Offline a10t2

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Re: Newbie - first non-kit homebrew - Hefeweizen
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2010, 11:35:54 AM »
For future reference, the full smack pack is about the right amount of yeast for 2 gallons of ale. Sounds like you're doing everything else right though!
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Re: Newbie - first non-kit homebrew - Hefeweizen
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2010, 11:40:18 AM »
Looks good so far. I'd personally like to see the fermentation temp a little lower - 62-64 makes the best hefeweizen IMO. If you are really interested in the style pick up Eric Warner's Book "German Wheat Beers". Also, Stan Hieronymus has a book coming out this months called :Brewing with Wheat" - I already have it pre-ordered.
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Offline midtex

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Re: Newbie - first non-kit homebrew - Hefeweizen
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2010, 12:17:46 PM »
For future reference, the full smack pack is about the right amount of yeast for 2 gallons of ale. Sounds like you're doing everything else right though!

I sure didn't realize that - Wyeast Labs website says the smack-packs are the correct amount for 5 gallons, so that's why I was shooting for about half a pack. That might explain why I didn't see the explosive first few days I had been expecting. Thanks!

Offline midtex

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Re: Newbie - first non-kit homebrew - Hefeweizen
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2010, 12:26:56 PM »
Looks good so far. I'd personally like to see the fermentation temp a little lower - 62-64 makes the best hefeweizen IMO. If you are really interested in the style pick up Eric Warner's Book "German Wheat Beers". Also, Stan Hieronymus has a book coming out this months called :Brewing with Wheat" - I already have it pre-ordered.

I appreciate that - I had been told in a previous post of mine that low to mid 60's is ideal, but my basement is 67.8 presently and I really like the banana esters, so I decided to give it a shot. No question, at this point, true German hefe's are my favorite style. I will look for that book! This batch darkened considerably in the boil which I'm told is expected with LME. I am thinking about trying Alexander's next time.

Offline midtex

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Re: Newbie - first non-kit homebrew - Hefeweizen
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2010, 01:49:09 PM »
FYI - I bottled last night after 13 days in the fermenter. The krausen was gone and all bubbling had stopped. I decided to use my heavier bottles and carb to 3.9 on the CO2.  I would say the color is about a SRM 12 - a little dark for the style. On the last bottle which only filled about half way, I stuck it in the freezer to cool it down real quick and drank it. It was quite good! All the expected flavors are there - banana, clove, spice. Nice dry finish which will only improve as the priming sugar is used up. I'm really excited to try one that's carbonated. Will update again in a week or so.