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Old 11-23-2012, 01:14 AM   #1
RachmaelBenApplebaum
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Default Spicing up a simple hefeweizen

So I did a simple hefeweizen a week ago and pulled a gravity reading today, original recipe is as follows.

6lb briess wheat lme
6oz crystal 10
1oz hallertau (60min)
WLP300
O.G. 1.042

It fermented really vigorously for 2 days around68-70 degrees and then settled down to 61 after the majority of two days was over. When I pulled the sample it was either still fermenting or because of off-gassing of trapped CO2 from the ferment and it was at 1.010 which is where it's expected to stop. Am I crazy or will it go further than that? Also I gave it a little taste and while very green it seemed to lack body and much of that hefe flavor I'd expected. While conditioning/ carbonation should make it a good deal more different I'm wondering if it's a bad idea to add 2ozs coriander cracked and made into a strong tea at bottling? I didn't really expect it to be mind-blowing, but making it better would be nice. Thoughts?

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Old 11-24-2012, 09:18 AM   #2
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Is this post in the wrong section? Newb to Homebrewtalk

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Old 11-24-2012, 01:53 PM   #3
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Carbonation and conditioning make a huge difference in the final beer! Out of the fermenter it should taste like flat beer but once it's conditioned and carbed up it should have all the nuances you'd expect.

Check the SG again in a few days and if it's still at 1.010 (it should be), then you can bottle.

I certainly would NOT add 2 ounces of coriander! A hefeweizen doesn't have coriander (while a wit will) but a hefeweizen should have hints of clove and banana. The yeast you used, WLP300, is known for being fermented at 68-72 degrees and not as cold as you've kept it. That will make the banana/clove flavors more subtle.

Here's the info on that yeast strain:

WLP300 Hefeweizen Ale Yeast
This famous German yeast is a strain used in the production of traditional, authentic wheat beers. It produces the banana and clove nose traditionally associated with German wheat beers and leaves the desired cloudy look of traditional German wheat beers.
Attenuation: 72-76%
Flocculation: Low
Optimum Fermentation Temperature: 68-72°F
Alcohol Tolerance: Medium

Plus 2 ounces of coriander is a LOT. Don't do it!

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Old 11-24-2012, 04:18 PM   #4
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I noticed a rather large number of threads lately where people talked about a fermentation that started at a reasonable temp, but then before completion, they let it get cold. This will cause an untold number of problems, namely a stalled fermentation. The yeast will drop out with such a profound change in temperature.

If you want clove, use a different yeast. If you want tart banana, this yeast is perfect. But your temp control is not. Keep it fairly consistent like with a degree or two between 68-72 and you'll end up with more banana.

The banana is influenced largely by two things: original gravity and pitch rate. Per Wyeast, a pitch rate that is appx 60% of normal will yield a profound banana. Some people try to mess with the temp, but I don't think that yields as nice of a flavor. You get more banana, but you get more crap too.

You have a four day old beer, unless I'm missing something. Of course it tastes green. It's not done. You will also find that this strain may produce copious sulfur ass stank. If you don't let it condition, this will be very off putting. It WILL almost disappear with bottle conditioning, but not entirely. I speak from experience. If you don't let the sulfur stink dissappate largely until bottling, your beer will always have a touch of sulfur smell and taste.

The lack of body in the german wheat beers is offset by the very high level of carbonation. Usually in excess of 3.2 volumes of Co2. This accentuates the tartness, crispness, and gives a sensation of body to what would normally be a light feeling beer.

You are free to doctor up the beer as you want, but the beauty of the hefeweizen is its simplicity. Barley, wheat, yeast, water, hops. The lovely sweetness of the pilsen, the crispy breadyness of the wheat, and the lovely tart banana clove of the yeast.

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Old 11-24-2012, 09:40 PM   #5
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Uh, yeah no sulfur smell whatsoever, smells really fresh and wheaty. I don't really have "temperature control" because It's well below freezing at night and my thermostat is pegged at 60 to save money on bills. The initial fermentation temp was doing well but once it apparently tapered off (no airlock activity at all, not that that's a good gauge, but that's how vigorous it was, pooped out after two days) that's when the temp calmed down to the low end, seems like it really shouldn't matter too much. Gonna let it sit in primary another week before bottling, my only concern is that my bottles (mostly old new belgium bottles) won't stand up to pressure volumes greater than 3. Also I've noticed some of the stuff I've bottled in them previously have seemed less carbed because the cap wasn't on very tight? Might have been because my GF was doing the capping and wasn't doing it very hard, but I suspect it's just the bottles not having enough of a skirt on the neck to work with my hand-capper.

Guess my next hefe will have to wait until spring/summer when the temps are up

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Old 11-28-2012, 05:02 AM   #6
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You could check out a FermWrap or a simpler heat belt. Hell, just wrap a big blanket around the fermenter. Fermentation is an exothermic process (puts off heat), so even just a thick blanket may save you 1-2 degrees.

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Old 11-30-2012, 02:19 AM   #7
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Gonna bottle this baby tomorrow, 2 weeks in primary. Haven't touched it at all on ya'lls advice. Now for another question, the style calls for it to be bottled to 4+ atm. I'm assuming since beer bottles can handle about 3 atm that it'll be undercarbed? I'm not paying out the a$$ for bottles that can withstand more. I have 8 16oz swing tops that I guess I could bottle with a little more dosage for extra carbonation, but that's not much out of a 5 gallon batch.

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Old 11-30-2012, 04:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RachmaelBenApplebaum
Gonna bottle this baby tomorrow, 2 weeks in primary. Haven't touched it at all on ya'lls advice. Now for another question, the style calls for it to be bottled to 4+ atm. I'm assuming since beer bottles can handle about 3 atm that it'll be undercarbed? I'm not paying out the a$$ for bottles that can withstand more. I have 8 16oz swing tops that I guess I could bottle with a little more dosage for extra carbonation, but that's not much out of a 5 gallon batch.
I have done up to 3.7 volumes in a myriad of reused bottles. No exploders. Yet? I have heard but never tested that 4 volumes is the max for standard bottles.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:57 PM   #9
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Seems like when I search around the internet there's mixed information about it. we'll see I guess.

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Old 12-11-2012, 06:18 AM   #10
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Robbed the cradle tonight. Chilled one and popped it. Not as carbed as it could be (duh) but sufficient. Has a fantastic spiciness and clove flavor/aroma with just the subtlest hint of banana and tropical fruit. It seems the brew came out great in spite of not keeping it at a constant temperature the whole time. Very smooth, better than I expected, looking forward to the rest of the batch aging. Prost!

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