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Old 12-04-2011, 09:09 PM   #1
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Default Want to make a more complex hefeweizen - what else to use?

I want to do my second AG hefeweizen (have done many extract ones) and would like to get it a bit more complex in flavors. 98% of the recipes I see out there (in magazines and online) all just say pale wheat and pilsner malt or pale malt. Even many of the clone recipes for completely different tasting beers often have nearly identical ingredients. I know I know, a lot of it comes from the process, the yeast, decoctions, etc but I was just wondering what other grains can be used.

I'm kinda thinking of the nice classic banana/clove tasting wheat (not dunkel) but I would like an additional flavor... perhaps let's say a toasty bread kind of flavor added to it but it doesn't have to be that exactly. I've been looking at grains and so far I'm thinking any one of these grains could be possibly be used but some of course would need to be used in very small quantities:

Belgian Biscuit
Belgian Caravienne
Briess Victory
Maris Otter
German Munich
German Vienna
Weyemann Dark wheat
Weyermann Melanoidin

You get the point. Again, not looking to do a dunkel and using Beersmith I see even some of these darker grains can be used in smaller amounts and still keep to the style. Just looking for an extra dimension outside of the standard pale wheat/pilsner malt. Any suggestions?


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Old 12-04-2011, 09:55 PM   #2
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Rev, one thing I've done has been to pitch less yeast when making Hefes or Wit beers. So if you make a starter just pitch a vile next time around. You can also try to increase your fermentation temps too. How much yeast are you pitching?

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Old 12-04-2011, 09:58 PM   #3
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The Pinkus Hefe uses two-row instead of Pilsner malt and its one of the nicest Hefes around.

I'm a fan of simplicity though--the maltiness and breadiness does not come from specialty malts. I would personally never add anything more than, say 5% Munich. Actually, I would never add Munich to a Hefe, but that's the only suggestion you can get me to utter aloud!

ETA. Actually that's not true. If I were making a more Paulaner-esque Hefe, I would add Munich. You might want to check out this recipe on the NB forum--I think the Carafa II is sacrilege, but the rest of the recipe looks okay. I've used it for inspiration in the past.

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Old 12-04-2011, 10:01 PM   #4
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You know what I really love? It's not for everyone, but... smoked hefeweizen. Just a little rauchmalt (couple pounds, tops), it's just nice and smooth and warm but light. Real nice beer, something a little unusual.

That's a little out of left field. I've only seen a couple commercial examples, and I've only made it the one time.

Using a little of the Munich might somewhat approximate the effect of pulling a decoction. You could go that route, if you wanted a little more of the bready-type character.

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Old 12-04-2011, 11:34 PM   #5
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If you're wanting to make a Hefe to style then stick with Pilsner and Wheat (and pitch less yeast IMO). As others have mentione Iwould stay away from any specialty malts. Those phinolic flavors (clove and banana) are a result of the fermentation. If you are wanting to play around and do some different stuff I would suggest tasting a malt you want to use and making a couple of batches with a single specialty malt incorporated into the recipe don'tadd too much at once.thatway youcan dial things in. Sounds fun posst what you decide on and the results.

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Old 12-04-2011, 11:39 PM   #6
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Sorry, but Complex Hefeweizen is an oxymoron to me.

How bout a complex American Wheat beer? Different hops, higher ibu, different specialty malts, etc...

A Hefeweizen is a Hefeweizen and if it ain't broke, don't fix it IMHO. It's a beautiful thing.

/sniff

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Old 12-05-2011, 12:09 AM   #7
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I like the flavor of Biscuit Malt. That being said, not sure how it'd work in a Hefe.

Probably won't meet any guidelines, but hell, go ahead. I'm a huge fan of "Will it work? Eh. Try it out." I'd say 10% or so would probably be alright.

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Old 12-05-2011, 12:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephonovich
i like the flavor of biscuit malt. That being said, not sure how it'd work in a hefe.

Probably won't meet any guidelines, but hell, go ahead. I'm a huge fan of "will it work? Eh. Try it out." i'd say 10% or so would probably be alright.
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:03 AM   #9
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I typically only use one package of wyeast and ferment only slightly warm - 68 to 70.

As far as hefe's having complexity, they can be very complex even with super simple ingredients. I'm not looking to throw 2-3 other malts in there, just looking to figure out one that may add an additional dimension. Schneider uses more than just pale wheat and pilsner for example, though its kinda between a hefe and dunkel.


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Old 12-05-2011, 03:45 AM   #10
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The key to brewing a good hefeweizen is not the malt bill (or hops) but brewing technique.

You could try a ferulic acid rest or better control of your fermentation temperatures to really nail the spiciness of good weizen yeast.

Or just brew a dunkelweizen! It's a great style too.

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