May 4, 2012

Brewday: Hefeweizen

It happened like this: I had a packet of the WY3068 Weihenstephaner yeast that was pushing its use-by date and I just received my order from a bulk buy organised through the Aussie Home Brew forum. I had to brew and it had to be a hefeweizen. It was out of my hands.

My old German teacher would not approve, he's not a fan of Bavarians

Weihenstephaner's Hefeweizen was an early part of my craft beer education. In a beer scene that can get pretty silly with stuff like 'I bet I can melt your face with my IBUs' (which I love by the way), these beers just quietly do their thing and do it so well that they're still favourites of mine years later.

I now have ALL the grain
Getting a grain mill changed my life for the better
It's a really simple recipe, the magic comes from the yeast and the job of the brewer is to treat it right and get out of the way. It's 50/50 wheat and pils malt. Thanks to the bulk buy I now have some good German pilsner malt which should help. I used 8g of Tasmanian Hallertau, not very authentic but since it's gone in at 60 minutes and is only contributing 13-14 IBUs I don't think it'll be too much of a problem.

Water nearly ready, just put the bag in place
This was my first attempt at a stepped mash. The idea of a stepped mash is to allow the enzymes active at different temperatures to contribute their thing to the mash process. I'm hoping that it will provide better mouthfeel, a good head, good attenuation and maybe even better efficiency. And everything. Make my beer amazing, please, stepped mash.

First step
The plan was for rests at 55/67/72/78'C and it went ok but my first rest was a bit high and the second (the main rest) lost lots more heat over the hour than normal. It's a pretty cold day in Hobart though so I guess I'm just going to have to factor that in during winter. The other two were spot on. It took quite a bit longer than my normal mashes but I had back to back NBA games to watch so that wasn't a problem. Next time I'll be better prepared and I think it'll go really smoothly.

90 minute boil, hops in with 60 minutes remaining.

At the back, living with the Stout and Brown Ale
Nice and easy. I'm planning on using some of the yeast slurry from this batch for a Dunkelweizen next week. Might as well make the most of it.

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