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-   -   NB Hefeweizen Gravity Experiment (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/nb-hefeweizen-gravity-experiment-335802/)

kizzeith 06-16-2012 09:20 PM

NB Hefeweizen Gravity Experiment
I'm still new to the homebrew world, but for my next batch I am planning on experimenting with raising the gravity (adding more alcohol).

I picked up the Northern Brewer 'Bavarian Hefeweizen' kit today, which includes
-- 6 lbs Wheat malt syrup split addition (60 and 15 min)
-- 1 lb Wheat dry malt extract late addition (15 min)
-- 1 oz Tettnang Hops (60 min)

Under advice from the store associate, I added 1 lb of Belgian Candi Sugar (blonde), an extra 3 lbs of malt syrup and an extra lb of dry malt extract. I also grabbed another oz of hops and an additional packet of WYEAST.

Basically, I am doubling the recipe except for the syrup. The thought is that it would help better balance the sugar, and add more fermentables for my two yeast packets to feast on.

My question, is does this sound like a bad idea? On my way home from NB I started doubting how well this will work. The guy/girl at the store both think it's an 'interesting experiment.'

Am I about to waste $50 in ingredients or should I give it a go?

paithian 06-16-2012 10:09 PM

It's worth the experiment for the learning curve but most of the time when adding that much more to the base your flavor will suffer say it will have to much alchohol burn and not be as enjoyable

ArcLight 06-18-2012 01:53 AM

With that much extra extract and sugar, I suggest making an appropriate starter.
A higher alcohol environment is more stressful for the yeast.

logan3825 06-18-2012 02:20 AM

Definitely a starter. That beer will be way out of style. I am not sure if it will be any good. Let us know how it turns out.

If it was me I would have added a lot more hops, changed the yeast and made an American Wheat beer. Think Gumballhead or Little Sumpin Sumpin.

Oh and I believe the candi sugar to be a waste. Unless you need dark candy sugar you can just substitute corn or table sugar.

Also, you could add some Special B or Caramunich to make more of a dubble.

kizzeith 07-05-2012 12:21 AM

Thanks for all of the suggestions on this.

I went through with it but didn't read this in time to use a starter. However, it did ferment properly and I have it racked in secondary. We'll see what happens in a month or so when I pop the first one.

I absolutely realize this isn't even a Hefe anymore, and I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that it tastes OK!

hecvil 07-05-2012 11:56 PM

I brewed this kit recently (minus all your additions), used a 1 ltr starter. Just bottled last night, and my sample seemed a little sweet. Sat in the bucket for three weeks, and It was at 1.020 for five days before I pulled it out.

In summary, maybe will be a little sweet? Mine is...

kizzeith 07-06-2012 03:01 AM

I'm kinda leaning that way but we'll see what happens. I'll let you know!

kizzeith 08-10-2012 05:49 PM

Just wanted to give you guys my final take on this experiment.

Overall, the brew turned out surprisingly good! It has the sweeter characteristics of a Hefe, with the darker/malty qualities of a Dunkel. I've been calling it Keithaweizen (named after me of course). Its color is about at 13 lovibond units (I think I said that right) and I believe it's sitting at around 7.5% ABV.

As Logan said, I think the one thing I could have done differently to make this a little better is to have added more hops to take away some of its maltyness. Still, I am quite pleased!

I told my wife I want to enter it in a contest and she said "it's good but not that good" lol. I guess I tend to love all of my children, especially the experimental ones.

Thanks everyone, for the tips throughout this brew!

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