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Old 08-06-2009, 05:08 PM   #1
Hops-a-Lot
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Default First Weizenbock Recipe for Critique

Hey all, it's been awhile since I've been active on here (still looking for a job) so I thought I would kick things back off with my latest recipe. When my wife and I were out a few weeks ago I had my first Aventinus wheat dopplebock and I loved it (so did the SWMBO). Of course, I immediately wanted to brew my own version. I went first to my JoHB and took a look at Mr. Papazian's weizenbock recipe. I made a few modifications and here's what I came up with. Let me know what you think.

Weeping Wednesday Weizenbock

Finished Vol.: 5-gal

8.0-lbs Muntons Plain Wheat DME
1.0-lb UK Crystal malt (50-60 L)
0.25-lb Briess Chocolate Malt (325-375L)
0.25-lb Belgian De-Bittered Black Malt (500-530L)
1.5-oz German Spalt Hops (3.2% AA) 60 min
1.0-oz American Tettnang (4.2% AA) 10 min
1.0-oz Hallertauer (3.5% AA) 5 min

Steep grains in 150-160F water for about 45 minutes. Bring brew kettle volume to 3-gal and bring to boil. Add half of the DME and first wort hops. At 50-min add flavor hops and remaining DME. At 55-min add aroma hops. cool wort to about 70F and pitch yeast starter.

Wyeast W3086 weizen yeast (2-L starter)

The original JoHB recipe called for 1.5-lbs of amber DME but I replaced it with an all-wheat bill. What will this do to the overall profile of the finished product? I also really want all of the banana flavor and aroma of the Aventinus brew so I plan to ferment in the low-to mid 70s. I will do a 2-week primary with 2-week bottle conditioning.

Is there any need for extended conditioning of this type of beer? I heave read that wheats are best consumed when they are fresh but I have also read that weizenbocks require 8-12 weeks of bottle conditioning to reach their peak. Any comments?

I look forward to your thoughts!

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Last edited by Hops-a-Lot; 08-06-2009 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:24 PM   #2
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I'm doing a WB myself this weekend, and also for the first time. I'm noticing quite a bit more flavor/aroma hopping in your recipe. Not saying that it's 'wrong' by any means. My goal is, hopefully, to put a little emphasis on the "Bock" in Weizenbock. So I'm going with 4.25 AAUs for bittering and staying away from flavor/aroma additions altogether.

I'm also splitting my malted barley and malted wheat 50/50 and going with a good chunk of Munich, as well as some CaraMunich and Carafa II (just a *pinch*) to round it off.

This is for the summer party we throw around Labor Day, so it'll only have 4 weeks to ferment and condition.

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Old 08-13-2009, 04:36 PM   #3
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Default Wow...Not Such a Popular Post I see

Well, I am a bit disappointed. I guess I expected a little more participation from the group. I guess yet another recipe for review isn't really too popular. Anyway, after some additional research I have decided to eliminate the flavor and aroma hops on the original recipe as (at least from what I have read) this style really has neither.

I am off to brew this bad boy up. Thanks for the response Judochop and happy brewing!

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Old 08-14-2009, 03:40 PM   #4
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Hops-a-Lot, I've got a Weizenbock fermenting right now and it's been 2 weeks so far. I think your recipe looks like a good start, with a good call on removing the flavor and aroma hops, at least for the first attempt. I would be careful to ferment that warm. My only temperature control is a swamp cooler and my beer temp got as high as ~70F. I would have wished to keep it mid 60's at worst. I brewed a Hefeweizen with this yeast and fermented cool at 62-64F and enjoyed the result. I wanted a cool ferment because the first time I used this yeast I let it get hot, at least mid 70's, and got some hot alcohols that never really went away. Same with the headaches.

With my current batch, I'm thinking of taking some gravity readings this weekend and decide to bottle and age until October. But from what I've read, weizenbocks can be enjoyed fresh, but I assume that comes with proper fermentation temperatures. Good luck!

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Old 08-14-2009, 11:59 PM   #5
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Great advice. I just brewed the Dead Guy Ale clone kit and used my upstairs bathtub along with some milk jugs of ice to keep the fermentation temps around 60F. I wrapped the top of the fermenter in wet towels and had a fan constantly blowing on it as well, so I'm sure that helped. Maybe for this batch I will do away with ice so I can keep the temps more around 65F (or maybe just use one jug instead of two). Until I can afford to get myself a freezer to control my temps better this'll have to do!

Do you think I will still get the strong phenols at temperatures under 70F? I really want those banana and clove aromas in there.

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Old 08-25-2009, 05:40 PM   #6
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Well, I got to brewin' yesterday and let me tell you, this one was an adventure. Aside from the 100-degree temps outside, it was a temperamental boil from the beginning. This thing wanted to boil over constantly. I have never had one like this before, and I'm not really sure what happened. Maybe it was the high gravity or maybe it was the fact that it was an all-wheat extract batch, who knows. Bottom line, I had to babysit the boil the entire time. Not fun.

After the boil it took me almost an hour to get the wort down to a pitchable temp and it was still high at almost 78F. It's hard to get your wort chilled when your cold water tap water is coming out at almost 80 degrees. Gotta love Texas in the summertime. Anyway, I also made some changes to the above recipe. I decided to do away with the aroma hops at the end and instead used 2oz of Spalt for the bittering and 1oz of Tettnang for flavor at 10 min. I upped what I thought would be typical hop amounts for this style due to my small boil volume (about 3 gal). I really need to get a larger brewpot.

This was also the first batch for which I made a starter. I normally just pitch two of whatever I am using (Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen in this case) but for some reason I ordered two Propagators instead of Activators so I was stuck. I made a 1.5L starter (using about a cup of light DME in 2L) and after this one was done I decanted and added 1.5L of additional wort to the starter to give them something else to eat. I only have a 2L flask so I am limited on my starter volumes at this point.

It seemed to work out alright, but never having made one before I was pretty sure I was going to contaminate it. Guess we'll find out. It didn't look funny and it didn't smell off in any way, so maybe I got lucky. I didn't feel like making another starter so I just tossed the second Propagator pack into the wort with the starter slurry.

This yeast took off. And when I say it took off, I mean it had the airlock bubbling like mad after only two hours. I went into the bathroom to check it this morning and it had managed to push its way through the airlock all over the top of the fermenter. I use the Coopers 23L plastic fermenters and with a 19L batch there is a good 7-8-in of headspace. This sucker had filled the entire headspace and more. I guess this is a good sign, right? At least it didn't explode or run on the floor.

It's still bubbling nicely with about a big burp every two or three seconds. The smells out of the airlock are fantastic. I'm fermenting at 75F and the bananas/cloves are definitely making themselves known. My OG was 1.072 so I expect I have a way to go with this one. It was also alot darker than I expected, although I'm not sure what I expected, to be honest.

Stay tuned for more info. I'll be checking the gravity in about 10 days to see how things are going.

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Old 08-25-2009, 08:34 PM   #7
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Got to love those unexpected hurdles during brew day eh? I bottled my weizenbock this Sunday and as always, was somewhat puzzled at the taste of a sample (I went from 1.079 to 1.016 in 3 weeks). I do remember the familiar smells of the yeast when I made my lighter hefeweizen but with the weizenbock, those yeast smells/flavors seemed a bit subdued. Not sure if that is an indication of a less than optimal ferment (I rarely see your activity at 2 hours) but I was pleased to find the alcohol warmth subdued as well. Should be interesting in 2 weeks after bottle conditioning what the carbonation will do to this. This was the first time I recultured yeast from a frozen stock, so this might too have an effect.

Best of luck!

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Fermenters: Old Peculier w/ Xmas Pudding, Czech Dark Lager, Dopplebock
Bottled: Old Peculier
Kegs: JW Lees Best Mild
On Deck: Kumquat Kolsch
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