“Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
A south German style of wheat beer (weissbier) made with a typical ratio of 50:50, or even higher, wheat. A yeast that produces a unique phenolic flavors of banana and cloves with an often dry and tart edge, some spiciness, bubblegum or notes of apples. Little hop bitterness, and a moderate level of alcohol. The “Hefe” prefix means “with yeast”, hence the beers unfiltered and cloudy appearance. Poured into a traditional Weizen glass, the Hefeweizen can be one sexy looking beer.
I bought a hefeweizen kit from Austin Homebrewers that came with the yeast, grain, malt, and hops. I sanitized all of my equipment, set everything on our counter, then heated 2 1/2 gallons of water to approximately 155 degrees Fahrenheit in my stockpot.
Once the water reached that temp, I turned off the burner and placed a muslin bag containing the grains in it, much like a teabag, for 15 minutes.The grain bag, if you are interested contained 1/2 pound of crushed carapils, and 1/2 pound of German pilsner.
Tragedy: right after steeping the grains, I accidentally knocked my hydrometer and thermometer off the counter, shattering both of them! I will be brewing blind for the rest of the morning, now. Too late to stop, too, since I am already soaking the grains.
After steeping for 15 minutes (and sweeping up all of the glass!), I lifted the grain bag, letting the remainder of the water drip back into the pot. I then discarded it (into the worm bin!), covered the pot, and turned the burner on until the water reached its boiling point. Once there was a rolling boil, I placed the stockpot on a cold burner and added 7 pounds of liquid malt.
I stirred the malt in, placed the stockpot back on the hot burner, and continued stirring until the malt had dissolved. Once the water reached a rolling boil once again, I added the bittering hops (3/4 ounces of spalt), and continued boiling and stirring for 55 more minutes. I then added the finishing hops (1/4 ounces spalt), and continued boiling the wort for five more minutes.
At the end of the hour I transferred the stockpot into my sink, which I had just filled with ice and icewater (bottom left). Additionally, I placed two more bags of ice around the stockpot to cool it. Ideally, I would like to get a wort chiller (bottom right) to make this process a bit smoother.
Once it had cooled sufficiently, I poured the wort into the primary fermenter, where it joined 2 3/4 gallons of water already in place.
I stirred the wort into the fresh water, and then added my vial of Wyeast liquid yeast (Weihenstephan Weizen 3068). Last night I took the yeast out of the fridge so that it would be active. Once added, I stirred it in, also.
I then covered the primary fermenter, placed a bung and airlock on it, and put it in the basement, right next to my pumpkin wine.
In about seven days (I will use time instead of measurements, since I broke all of my measuring devices, brewing blind I tell ya!) I will rack this into the secondary fermenter, so stay tuned. Also, I ordered a new thermometer/hydrometer set from Austin Homebrewing, which I will take better care of than my previous set!