Author Topic: Planning my second batch on your suggestion. -- Vanilla Hefeweizen?  (Read 2416 times)

Offline w9zeb

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My very first batch is 38 hours into fermentation, and on the suggestion of folks here I'm starting to plan my second batch.  I like Hefeweizen beers quite a bit, and found our LHBS has a recipe kit for one http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?cPath=178_452_42_163&products_id=318

I'm wondering if anyone here can suggest other options that might be better for a new brewer like myself?  Also I'd really like to experiment with adding vanilla bean to the Hefeweizen (which I guess technically makes it a wheat beer, and no longer a Hefeweizen.) but I'm not sure how much vanilla bean I should add, or at what point in the brewing process.

Any advice is welcome.  I'm pretty sure I'll be brewing this one several times to get it right, but starting off with something other than a hot mess would be great!

Thanks for all the help so far!
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 11:54:49 AM by w9zeb »

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Planning my second batch on your suggestion.
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2013, 11:20:33 AM »
I think that a Vanilla Bean would be a good compliment to a Hefeweizen. The benefit of a vanilla bean (and most flavor additives) is that you can taste the beer once it is done, and determine whether the flavor works how it is, or if you want to add something.

If you choose to add a vanilla bean, I would recommend following Denny's plan that he uses for his Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter. Take 1 bean, scrape out the insides into the fermenter, and then add the bean itself. I am pretty sure Denny does this in primary, but I am sure he will clarify it for me. I would let it go about a week. At day 5 or so, I would start pulling a sample and tasting until the beer tastes where you think it should. Then go ahead and bottle.

You have inspired me for next year to try to do an Oatmeal stout with Weizen yeast, and then add Cinammon and Vanilla (and probably some burbon) for a holiday beer. Liquid Christmas cookies.
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Offline denny

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Re: Planning my second batch on your suggestion.
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2013, 11:22:22 AM »
Marc, I pretty much always rack to a secondary to do that.  Probably no real reason to other than that's the way I've always done it.  You know what they say about old dogs....
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Offline w9zeb

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Re: Planning my second batch on your suggestion.
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2013, 11:24:46 AM »
Thanks guys!  Once my primary is freed up, and batch 1 is in bottles I'm going to get to work.

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Planning my second batch on your suggestion.
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 11:26:10 AM »
Marc, I pretty much always rack to a secondary to do that.  Probably no real reason to other than that's the way I've always done it.  You know what they say about old dogs....

I thought you might have gone to secondary, but then I said to myself, "Denny is too pragmatic, He probably just does it in primary like everything else."  ;D
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Offline In The Sand

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Planning my second batch on your suggestion.
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 11:34:28 AM »
If you like IPA's too, Northern Brewer has a good India Pale Weizen kit. I brewed an all-grain version that was so tasty it was gone in a week.
Trey W.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Planning my second batch on your suggestion. -- Vanilla Hefeweizen?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 12:12:02 PM »
If you're trying for a vanilla hefe, I would highly recommend Wyeast 3638 (Bavarian Wheat) for your yeast. It gives vanilla and other sweet spice notes that will really compliment the vanilla bean addition well. My best results have been with one pack (no starter) in 5 gallons of 1.050ish wort, fermented at 65-66F.
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Offline brewmanator

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Re: Planning my second batch on your suggestion. -- Vanilla Hefeweizen?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 12:38:57 PM »
Funny.  I did a hefeweizen with my second batch as well.  I can remember tasting it and thinking at the time it was one of the worst beers I'd ever had.  It tasted like banana bread with some clove mixed in.  For years I would tell people what failure that beer was, not knowing that it was probably pretty true to style.  I had never had a German Weizen beer at that point, so I thought I was making a Pyramid or Widmer hefeweizen clone.  ;D

Good luck with the second batch, I recommend not going too crazy with the extra ingredients so that you can nail down your process for future brews.
- Mike

Offline rjharper

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Re: Planning my second batch on your suggestion. -- Vanilla Hefeweizen?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 03:04:27 PM »
Funny.  I did a hefeweizen with my second batch as well.  I can remember tasting it and thinking at the time it was one of the worst beers I'd ever had.  It tasted like banana bread with some clove mixed in.  For years I would tell people what failure that beer was, not knowing that it was probably pretty true to style.  I had never had a German Weizen beer at that point, so I thought I was making a Pyramid or Widmer hefeweizen clone.  ;D

Good luck with the second batch, I recommend not going too crazy with the extra ingredients so that you can nail down your process for future brews.

I hear ya! My first batch was an Arrogant Bastard clone, and I remember thinking at the time, this isn't very pale, and man the hops are overpowering.  In hindsight, it probably was spot on... :)

Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Planning my second batch on your suggestion. -- Vanilla Hefeweizen?
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2013, 08:19:55 AM »
If you're trying for a vanilla hefe, I would highly recommend Wyeast 3638 (Bavarian Wheat) for your yeast. It gives vanilla and other sweet spice notes that will really compliment the vanilla bean addition well. My best results have been with one pack (no starter) in 5 gallons of 1.050ish wort, fermented at 65-66F.

well I made elderberry wheat with 3638, and it came out great!  I'm about to make the same beer again, all grain, same yeast, similar parameters.  The first batch was just liquid wheat extract and hallertau (plus the berries, obviously), and I was amazed at how good it came out.