Hefe Weissbier, Bavarian Style

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by TheBeerery, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. TheBeerery

    TheBeerery Initiate (76) May 2, 2016 Minnesota

    First you need to pick your Benchmark. For me and traditional weiss, it is Weihenstephaner hefe weissbier.
    I know current brewers. I know past brewers, and I know present and past students at Weihenstephaner. I have the recipe and I make it quite frequently. It’s spot on.

    However, I have been entrusted with the recipe, so I can't share but what I can tell you is that W loves carahell (who doesn't!) and its in this beer. The problem with clone recipes is that often they don't produce the same beer on our scale due to all the differences, so even if I gave you the recipe, it matters little. It's all in how WE as homebrewers adapt it on our scale and process.

    What everyone fails to realize is that weiss production is as precise as lager production. It's yeast dominated so people think they are easy to do because of all the phenolics of the yeast, but it's couldn't be more wrong. There are so many nuances to these beers.. Yeasty, phenolic, clove, banana, dough, lingering malt, sauergut, etc. It's these same reasons why I feel American versions usually fall short and pales in comparison. You can't go off bottles either cause, because they are oxidized, and some of the flavors that come though are oxidized flavors, namely honey.


    So what would I do if I was trying to reproduce W hefeweiss bier here at home??

    60% Weyermann Wheat malz
    35% Weyermann Barke Pils
    5% Weyermann carahell

    Step mash (though decoction is tradional and still used, be wary of color pick up though).
    30 minute rest at 114 (to enhance esters and clove)
    then step up though beta
    147 for 30-40
    163 for 30
    170-10

    Do not adjust pH at all let it ride.

    Soft water, I like 40ish ppm ca, 70cl, 20na.

    OG1.051
    FG 1.010

    Pristine wort preboil, soft boil 60minutes
    A 60min addition of hallertau mittlefruh, to about 12-14ibu
    hot and cold break separation
    5ppm 02, 1 smack pack per 5g of 3068
    Ferment at 68F (to enhance banana)
    Spund or Krausen to 4 vols.

    That will do you good. At least thats how I would (do) do it. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Other kinds of Weiss:
    Krystall-
    BASICALLY, filtered hefe weiss bier. I use my standard hefe recipe and lager it for an extended time. (I don't filter or fine).
    [​IMG]


    Ur-Weisse-
    More traditional, older variant, usually darker but not into dunkelweiss territory. Usually munich heavy with no caramalts. My benchmark for this is Ayinger Ur-Weisse.

    60% Weyermann Wheat malz
    40% Wyermann Barke Munich (11L)

    Step mash (though decoction is tradional and still used, be wary of color pick up though).
    30 minute rest at 114 (to enhance esters and clove)
    then step up though beta
    147 for 30-40
    163 for 30
    170-10

    Do not adjust pH at all let it ride.

    Soft water, I like 40ish ppm ca, 70cl, 20na.

    OG1.051
    FG 1.011ish

    Pristine wort preboil, soft boil 60minutes
    A 60min addition of hallertau mittlefruh, to about 12-14ibu
    hot and cold break separation
    5ppm 02, 1 smack pack per 5g of 3068
    Ferment at 68F (to enhance banana)
    Spund or Krausen to 4 vols.

    [​IMG]


    DunkelWeiss: Kind of like Ur-wiess but usually with a caramalt added, and usually its darker in the Caramunich Variant.

    60% Weyermann Wheat malz
    30-35% Wyermann Barke Munich (11L)
    5-10% Weyermann Caramunich (I-III on preference)

    Step mash (though decoction is tradional and still used, be wary of color pick up though).
    30 minute rest at 114 (to enhance esters and clove)
    then step up though beta
    147 for 30-40
    163 for 30
    170-10

    Do not adjust pH at all let it ride.

    Soft water, I like 40ish ppm ca, 70cl, 20na.

    OG1.051
    FG 1.013ish

    Pristine wort preboil, soft boil 60minutes
    A 60min addition of hallertau mittlefruh, to about 12-14ibu
    hot and cold break separation
    5ppm 02, 1 smack pack per 5g of 3068
    Ferment at 68F (to enhance banana)
    Spund or Krausen to 4 vols.

    [​IMG]


    That should give a good enough jump off point for discussion!
     
    #1 TheBeerery, Feb 27, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
  2. Naugled

    Naugled Zealot (586) Sep 25, 2007 New York

    Nice write up. Could you add some commentary on yeast pitch rates? I like to sometimes stress the yeast (by under pitching) to bring out different flavors. Do you ever adjust that?

    Cheers
     
    EvenMoreJesus likes this.
  3. brchapman

    brchapman Initiate (61) Nov 18, 2014 Georgia

    Thanks for taking the time to post. I was planning on brewing a W hefeweiss and will try your recipe above.
     
    TheBeerery likes this.
  4. TheBeerery

    TheBeerery Initiate (76) May 2, 2016 Minnesota


    My pitch rate is always 1 smack pack per 5 gallons (of finished beer) with is really 1 pack per 5.5gal for me. So that is in effect underpitching, but I always keep this a constant.
     
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  5. invertalon

    invertalon Devotee (401) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio

    Excited to do another Weiss soon here. I have done (2) prior, but the first was like my second batch of beer ever and the second I used some weird yeast available that made for a nice summer wheat, but was not traditional. Third times a charm, though. Excited to do it right this time around. Good info, thanks!
     
  6. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (467) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    I've posted in the past that I notice a marked improvement on my step mashed hefes over single infusion. I have always adjusted ph before, and will take your advise next time and not. Thanks for the thread!
     
  7. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (101) Dec 25, 2015 New York

    Can you explain this since your using Weyermann malts. They did a write up on how important PH was.
     
  8. TheBeerery

    TheBeerery Initiate (76) May 2, 2016 Minnesota

    PH in the brewery is quite important don't get me wrong. However pH in weiss production in different.

    For one, the Ferulic acid rest needs to be a higher pH, to really work. Second the Weiss yeast are really stong performers and will drop pH quite fast. Third a little higer pH is desired in weiss production to aid in haziness.
     
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  9. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (101) Dec 25, 2015 New York

    Great info, tks. Is there a target PH that works the best.
     
  10. TheBeerery

    TheBeerery Initiate (76) May 2, 2016 Minnesota

    5.7-5.9.
     
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  11. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (229) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    Great write up. Particulally enjoyed the information of pitch rates and recipes. Seems like this would be easier for me to step mesh Biab since I use two vessel no sparge. Definitely gonna need to give his a college try. Thanks!
     
    EvenMoreJesus likes this.
  12. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Initiate (0) May 29, 2011 Florida

    No open fermentation @TheBeerery ?

    An open ferment Hefe is a beauty to behold!
     
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  13. invertalon

    invertalon Devotee (401) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio

    That likely isn't necessary @hoptualBrew given the far less hydrostatic pressure home brewers see compared to large commercial operations. I don't believe it offers any real benefit (to us).

    But I agree, watching those fermentations are wild!
     
    TheBeerery likes this.
  14. TheBeerery

    TheBeerery Initiate (76) May 2, 2016 Minnesota

    Everything we do on our scale is better than an open ferment. The shallowest of shallow commercial open fermenters are 10x as deep as our 5 gallon fermenters. This is one of the few places homebrewers win.
     
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  15. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (229) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    @TheBeerery
    You never reuse your Weiss beer yeast correct? Any reason when your yeast collecting is pretty pristine?
     
  16. TheBeerery

    TheBeerery Initiate (76) May 2, 2016 Minnesota


    I do, but it matters where you harvest from. From a top crop the yeast will be more true to original, from the bottom, more clove.
     
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  17. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,440) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Nice thread. Question: Many of us know that an acid rest enhances production of the clove phenol. But how does it enhance esters? I don't think I've ever heard that before. What's the theory?
     
  18. Granitebeard

    Granitebeard Initiate (93) Aug 24, 2016 Maine

    I have been playing with my recipe for a bit now. Minor changes really, and only to the dark wheat I use to keep it my own. This run topic is interesting. Hefes have become a favorite of mine. I ferment cold, 65 ish, more out of working with what I got, but I still seem to strike a good banana note. So far, I have been asked to brew a batch for 3 different people after they had one and couldn't find an alternative. Seeing this makes me think of more tweaks, that might get the character i want.

    Next run will be drastically different for me though.... Homebrew club is doing a gig at a coffee shop with the twist being breakfast (Banana nut Hefe anyone?).
     
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  19. TheBeerery

    TheBeerery Initiate (76) May 2, 2016 Minnesota

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. frozyn

    frozyn Zealot (551) May 16, 2015 New York
    Premium

    With my very simple BIAB setup, step mashing would occur either through (1) starting with a thicker mash and adding hot water of X amount to raise to temperature B, repeat a couple times, to reach preboil volume, or (2) full volume mash, heating with the burner between steps and stirring to reach temperature equilibrium. Which would you recommend for this beer?
     
  21. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Crusader (748) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

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  22. csurowiec

    csurowiec Disciple (327) Mar 7, 2010 Maryland

    Can you heat your kettle without scorching the mash or damaging your bag? If you can then starting with full volume and heating in steps is the way to go. If you can’t do that then you will have to go with your option 1.
     
  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,576) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    A number of years ago I brewed a Grodziskie (100% smoked wheat malt) via the method you list here. That beer turned out well but determining the needed amount of hot water to hit each of the temperatures of the step was a bit tricky. Needless to say but it can be done and this method 'works'.

    Cheers!

    P.S. Maybe the below linked information will be helpful to you? I wish I read this prior to brewing my Grodziskie.

    https://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/AdvancedMashing.pdf
     
  24. frozyn

    frozyn Zealot (551) May 16, 2015 New York
    Premium

    Not sure -- I've never attempted to heat up the kettle after starting the mash. The only option I have available to me now is what I said re: firing up the stove burner, but I don't know how much scorching it would lead to.

    Glad to hear it's been used to success. I have avoided this as (1) I haven't brewed enough batches that I've felt a desire to venture into more complicated mashing routines, and (2) math, as you astutely noted. This is where I wait and hope for @VikeMan to tell me BC can do it for me...
     
  25. Applecrew135

    Applecrew135 Initiate (0) Jul 18, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Very nice write-up! I also think a step-mash (if you can manage it) will produce a better product. My two house Weizens (a Hefe similar to Schneider and a Weizenbock) are brewed using a step mash and think they are absolutely lovely (but I may be a bit biased....).

    Cheers!
     
  26. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,440) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Ah, thanks. I read your original post to mean that an Acid Rest will enhance esters. But I see that while an acid rest doesn't increase esters, a short acid rest diminishes them less than a longer one.
     
  27. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,440) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    If you mean step mashes (other than an optional mashout), no, BrewCipher doesn't do them, for a couple of reasons:
    - most people don't do them
    - no robust fermentability data

    However, if you want a step infusion mash calculator that will handle mash-in (acid rest), beta rest, alpha rest, and mashout, while using all of the total water needed (to match your total needed from BrewCipher or other program), and takes the thermal mass of the tun and heat losses into consideration (where most calculators screw the pooch), why yes, I can do that. I actually already have one. It looks like hell, but if you want it, PM me, and I'll pretty it up and email it to you.
     
  28. Curmudgeon

    Curmudgeon Disciple (302) May 29, 2014 Massachusetts
    Premium

    Picked up a pack of 3068 this weekend. The date is December 13, 2017. I’m brewing this Friday and I do want to “underpitch” like you recommend. With it being over 100 days old, I feel like I should make a starter though. Any recommendations? Thanks! Great write up.
     
  29. Curmudgeon

    Curmudgeon Disciple (302) May 29, 2014 Massachusetts
    Premium

    @VikeMan BC is saying that I have about 45% viability on my Dec 13, 2017 MFG Wyeast 3068 but Brewer's Friend is saying 27% and Mr. Malty says 23%. Is BC's calculation more optimistic for some reason?

    I think my end goal here is to get to around 100 billion cells based off of @TheBeerery 's method of "underpitching".
     
  30. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,440) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Short answer... Different formula, based on some yeast monger input.
     
    Curmudgeon likes this.
  31. invertalon

    invertalon Devotee (401) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio

    I brewed the recipe posted by @TheBeerery - The Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier variant… Came out AWESOME, and it’s not even completely done yet. From the hydrometer samples alone, it’s downright delicious – No doubt it will finish as good as the real deal. I used WLP300 and simplified it with a single infusion mash (148-150F) as my system doesn’t allow for step mashing well, but I nailed my OG and FG (1.051 and 1.010) just fine with a 60min mash. Let the mash pH remain higher (5.6-5.7) and didn’t acidify my sparge water, either. Only added some calcium chloride to my water to reach ~70ppm chloride. 25ppm dose of SMB to mash and ~5ppm to sparge water.

    Some side notes… Gave the beer a 30 second burst of O2 (vs. my standard 60) and pitched just a single pack of the WLP300 with no starter in 67F wort. Fermented at 68F and raised to 70F the last day before moving to spunding keg only 2.5 days later with extract remaining. It should be done and carbed by tonight or tomorrow at the latest, in the keezer and ready to be tapped by the weekend. Can’t beat that turnaround!

    Only brewed a Hefe twice before, one as my second beer ever (overcarbed in bottle, not that great) and my second attempt was with a weird yeast strain (experimental, I think)… So not exactly what I was after.

    I expect this keg will go at an alarming rate this Spring… I am just glad to have finally made a worthwhile Hefe!
     
  32. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (101) Dec 25, 2015 New York

    Is this a 1/4 gram. I think i used too much.
     
  33. invertalon

    invertalon Devotee (401) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio

    25ppm = 25 mg/L

    I work in US units, so I have to do a little conversion...

    So if my mash water volume was 5 gallon for example... 5gal = 18.9L

    25mg/L x 18.9L = 472.5mg

    Divide that by 1,000 (mg to g) and it results in 0.47g of SMB into the mash.

    Sparge is always something like 0.1g for me (5-ish ppm SMB).

    It's not much at all.
     
  34. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (101) Dec 25, 2015 New York

    Tks that helps. I used 1 gram for 7.5 gals. I'll lower it next time. Also used 1 gram of ascorbic acid which i'll also lower.
     
  35. 911CROFT

    911CROFT Devotee (405) May 18, 2015 United Kingdom (England)
    Trader

    Also brewing this at the weekend, with WLP300 too. Kristal version though throwing in some brewbrite and protafloc to try and get it to clear alongside a lengthy cold conditioning and gelatine. Planning an infusion to get me upto the first step. Then decoction once the MT is full. Mash out I will skip and just sparge with 77*C water
     
  36. TheBeerery

    TheBeerery Initiate (76) May 2, 2016 Minnesota

    Good deal.. I think you know the key. :wink:
     
  37. invertalon

    invertalon Devotee (401) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio

    Tapped today! Tastes incredible... Very happy with it, best Hefe I've done, for sure.

    [​IMG]
     
  38. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (229) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    Looks great, congrats!
     
  39. CarolusP

    CarolusP Initiate (106) Oct 22, 2015 Minnesota

    This makes me want to brew a hefe. I don't know if there is a more perfect summer beer style.
     
    invertalon likes this.
  40. invertalon

    invertalon Devotee (401) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio

    @CarolusP

    I will admit, sitting on the deck enjoying this beer after such a brutal winter in the sunshine and fresh air was just incredible. Perfect for the weather. I am not the biggest Hefe fan to be honest, I debated about even brewing this, but I am happy I did and it came out so well (thanks to the tips posted in this thread). No doubt this keg will kick quickly!

    Go for it and brew it!