I’ve never been a huge fan of wheat beers – the heavy, bready feel is slightly too much for me as an ale drinker, but since I had a couple of kgs of crushed wheat, I decided to dive into the world of wheat beers a bit and see what I could learn. After some exploration into the various wheat beers (there are many) I found a nice idea: a slightly sour, light wheat beer from south Germany: Hefeweizen. I have yet to buy a beer of that style (probably should by now!), but I had all the relevant ingredients to give it a go, so here it is:
755g Wheat Malt
380g Vienna Malt
365g Biscuit Malt
5 litres of boiled Brita filtered London tap water, start temp before grains: 74°c, after grains addition: 67°c
Grains taken out and drained (+ squeezed) after 90 minutes total at 60°c.
Roughly 4l mash was left with 1062 gravity at 42°c.
6g Brewferm Blanche dissolved in 500ml Brita filtered London water (23°c) and 5g dextrose
Left to activate from mid boil, about an hour.
4l mash water brought to an immediate boil on a very high flame and another 1L boiled Brita water added
60 minutes: 100g dextrose, 20g Saaz hops (3.1%)
0 minutes: Ice bath
Took 21 minutes to bring to 24°c, sieved. Gravity is 1082.
3L of the cooled wort was added to 1.5L Brita filtered London tap water and the yeast mix
Total of 5L with OG=1050 at 23°c.
Drinking while making
Bottling (2 weeks after brewing)
FG=1010 at 20°c, making it a 5.36% ABV beer.
Total of 5L
50g dextrose added for priming to achieve a CO2 volume of 3.2 (wheat beers use high carbonation).
Note: Looks murky with a brown straw colour.
Dirty straw colour, murky (but not cloudy!). Lots of carbonation floating about in the glass, holding a very foamy and persistent head.
Sweet yeasty aroma with a caramel finish. Earthy notes and slightly green tasting, could be fresh hay – very refreshing.
Light and slightly sour taste, as you expect from a Hefeweizen, but lacking some body. Very smooth to drink and clean, I wonder if it is too clean for a wheat beer. I think for the next try on this beer I will be adding some oat flakes to increase the body profile and maybe add some banana notes that I’m missing here.
All and all a great beer (even if a bit thin) that has the general profile of a light oatmeal and raisin cookie: yeasty, light, a bit of hay and sourness from the raisins – not too bad!