My homebrew club is focusing on German wheat beers for its March meeting, so today I brewed up a batch in preparation. Based on past experiences, I knew that German wheat beers are tasty, but maybe not something I wanted five gallons of (especially given the relatively short shelf life for the style). Given my brewing equipment and available time this afternoon, I decided to go for a 2.5 gallon batch of an all-extract beer. My mash tun holds 10 gallons, so I was worried that a half batch (2.5 gallons) wouldn’t hold temperature for a sufficiently long time, and I didn’t feel like simultaneously learning BIAB, so extract seemed the way to go. As I read up on the style, I ended up thinking that a simpler brew would be best.
Because I was using all-extract, I elected to use distilled water to keep the mineral concentrations down. In my reading, it became apparent that extracts already have the minerals from the mash. For a lighter beer like this, using my (already heavily mineralized) tap water to rehydrate might ding the flavor a little bit. We’ll see how it works out!
The recipe itself is named after Christian Erich Hermann von Meyer, a nineteenth century German paleontologist who studied Plateosaurus, perhaps one of the best known dinosaurs of Germany. I was using a Bavarian malt extract, and Plateosaurus are plentiful in Bavaria, so all of the elements add up!
von Meyer Weizen
- 3 lbs. Bavarian wheat dry malt (Briess, 8.0 SRM; 65% malted wheat, 35% malted barley)
- 0.35 oz. Hallertauer hops pellets (4.3% alpha, 5.6% beta)
- 3.5 gallons distilled water
- Hefeweizen Ale Yeast (White Labs WLP300)
- 1.047 o.g., 1.012 f.g., 4.6% abv
- 10.3 IBU
- 6.4 SRM
- I heated 3.25 gallons of distilled water to a boil, turned off the heat, and added the dry malt extract.
- Once the mixture returned to a boil, I added the hops pellets and boiled for 60 minutes.
- After 60 minutes, I cooled the wort down to 70° using my chiller and transferred it into my carboy. The gravity was a little high (1.052), so I diluted the wort slightly by adding another 0.25 gallons of water. This brought my starting gravity exactly where I wanted it to be.
- I pitched the yeast directly from the vial into the wort (no starter needed for this small of a batch), agitated the mixture, and set it in my fermenting chamber. I plan to ferment at 64°. Based on what I read, this temperature can result in a more balanced clove/banana aroma than fermenting at a higher temperature.
- Starting gravity was 1.047, with ~2.67 gallons in the fermenter.
- After 10-14 days, I will bottle the beer.
This project reminded me of one of the great pleasures of extract brews–rapid brewing and short clean-up! I spent maybe 2.5 hours max on this, for everything from pulling out the equipment to washing the brew pot.