I enjoy German hefeweizens, but just don’t brew them that often. So, I decided it was time to do a rebrew of a recipe from last year. Because I was using up some grains, I ended up with a slightly smaller beer. Hence, the name change from Humboldt’s Hefeweizen to Humboldt’s Lesser Hefeweizen. Additionally, I decided to try out a dry wheat beer strain from Lallemand, just to see how it compares with the liquid varieties available.
Humboldt’s Lesser Hefeweizen
- 4 lb. 10 oz. Viking Pilsner Zero malt
- 4 lb. 1 oz. Viking wheat malt
- 2 oz. melanoidin malt (Weyermann)
- 8 oz. rice hulls
- 0.4 oz. Vanguard hop pellets (6.5% alpha), 60 minute boil
- 1 tsp. yeast nutrient (White Labs WLN1000), 5 minute boil
- 1 pkg. Munich Classic Wheat Beer (Lallemand)
- 1.043 o.g., 1.010 f.g., 4.3% abv, 10 IBU, 4 SRM
- Full volume mash at 149° for 60 minutes, with 10 minute mash-out at 168°
- Water built up from RO water, to hit target of 43 ppm Ca, 76 ppm Cl, RA=-30 ppm
- I built up my water starting with RO water and 4 g of calcium chloride, to hit 43 ppm Ca and 76 ppm Cl. I then heated this to 158° before mashing in, to hit a target mash rest of 149°. I added 2 mL of 88% lactic acid, to adjust pH.
- I held the mash (with recirculation) at 149° for 60 minutes, before raising to 168° for 10 minutes. Then, I removed the grain basket and brought the runnings to a boil.
- In total, I collected 6.4 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.036, for 68% mash efficiency.
- I boiled for 30 minutes before adding the hops, to drive down the volume of the beer and increase the gravity a bit.
- I added hops and yeast nutrient per the recipe. After the 30 minutes of initial boil and 60 minutes of boiling with the hops, I turned off the heat and chilled the wort down to 78° before transferring to the fermenter.
- After chilling the wort down to 64° in the fermentation chamber, I pitched the yeast and set it to ferment at 65°.
- I brewed the beer on 25 September 2021. Starting gravity was 1.041.
- Active fermentation was well underway by the next day. I raised the fermentation temperature to 70° by 3 October 2021, and kegged the beer on 8 October 2021.
- Final gravity was 1.012, for 3.9% abv.
- Very hazy, straw colored beer that pours with a creamy and persistent white head.
- Tart aroma, moderately low levels of spicy phenolics; no banana or bubblegum aroma. No hop aroma.
- Bready malt character that is really pleasant. There is a slight tartness to the yeast character, and a bit of fruitiness along with that. There is not much for banana or bubblegum or spice. Bittering level is low, with no real distinct character to speak of.
- High level of carbonation, but not overly so. Medium light body, and a smooth finish.
- Would I brew this again?
- This isn’t a bad beer, but it is missing the yeast character I like in a good German hefeweizen. I fermented this at a somewhat low temperature (~65°). Some recommendations for this yeast strain have suggested that temperature is desirable to avoid a case of the bubblegums, but I feel that in this case much of the yeast character was lost. There was no banana, and little clove, and just a general moderate level of fruitiness. I would definitely ferment this higher next time, at least with the particular dry yeast strain! In fact, I would probably just find a different yeast, and go back to the liquid White Labs (or equivalent).
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