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Style of the Week: German Style Hefeweissen!

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July 5, 2014 by fhsteinbart


This is a typical German style wheat beer glass properly filled ☺

This is a typical German style wheat beer glass properly filled ☺

One of the most enjoyed styles of beer for Summertime consumption are the wheat beers. This week, we’re going to focus on those yeast driven beers of Bavaria: Hefeweissen! Hefeweissens are one of the few beers brewed in Germany that are not lagers, but may be cold aged for a short period of time to smooth out the yeasty flavors which mainly consist of fruity esters, like banana, and phenols that taste spicy, like cloves for example. These beers are made for quick production and consumption, especially by the liter. While there are several subdivisions of this noble style, we’re going to focus on the lighter, more effervescent, and easier drinking kind in this week’s installment. Ingredients are simple: Pilsner malt, Light Wheat malt, German noble hops, and German Wheat beer yeast. What’s important is to keep the fermentation temperatures in check to control the unwanted off flavors like DMS (cooked corn/cabbage like) and Diacetyl (the flavor of butter or butterscotch) which can quickly spoil the flavor and long-term stability of any beer. Below is a simple recipe for making five gallons of delicious wheat beer as prepared for the German style of wheat beers.

All Grain Ingredients:

  • 5 lbs. Pilsner malt

  • 5 lbs. Light or Red Wheat Malt

  • 1 oz. Tettnang hops (Bittering)

  • ¼ oz. Calcium Chloride in the mash, ¼ oz. Calcium Chloride in the boil

  • Wyeast 3068 or Whitelabs WLP300 or Danstar Munich Dry Yeast

  • Mash for 60 minutes at 150°F, boil for 90 minutes to reduce DMS, then chill to 65°F and ferment for one week before packaging

Extract Ingredients:

  • 6 lbs. Wheat DME

  • 1 oz. Tettnang hops (Bittering)

  • ¼ oz. Calcium Chloride in the boil

  • Wyeast 3068 or Whitelabs WLP300 or Danstar Munich Dry Yeast

Instructions:

  • Heat 2-5 gallons of water to 155°F

  • Turn off heat and add malt extract, stirring until fully dissolved.

  • Return to heat, bring to boil for 5 min. then add 1 oz. bittering hops. (Tettnang, 60 min)

  • After boil has finished, turn off heat and cool wort by placing kettle in an ice bath or using a wort chiller. (0 min)

  • Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using non-distilled bottled water or filtered tap water.

  • Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well)

  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 65° F until completed (about a week).
  • Carbonate to between 3 & 4 V/V of CO2 using 1 cup of Dextrose, or force carbonate at 30 to 40 PSIG at 40°F. Allow to come into condition and serve in a tall slender Weiss Bier glass and enjoy!
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