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Old 10-02-2006, 09:18 PM   #1
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Default What happens during bottle ageing? Hefe

I have brewed my first batch in many years, a nice simple Wheat beer.

2 weeks in the primary, and a week in the bottles.

I cracked one open last night to sample, and had a few questions...

It had a good head, decent carbonation, and a yummy flavor, though a bit sweeter than I expected. Almost a honey flavor at the end, though there was no honey in the recipe.

6.6# Wheat extract (liquid)
1oz Perle (bittering) - 60 minute boil.
1/2oz @ 50 min hallertaur (flavor/bitter)
1/2oz @ 59 min hallertaur (aroma)
Safbrew T-58 yeast pitched @ 78F into a 6gal glass carboy.

OG 1.044
FG 1.011

Primed w/ 5oz corn sugar in 16oz H2O.

What can I expect from further aging in the bottles? Will it carbonate more? Will the sweetness mellow out? What's the normal "changes" as it sits in the bottles?

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Old 10-03-2006, 12:14 AM   #2
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From my understanding, certain flavors will "mellow" out during bottle conditioning while others may begin to become more prevalent. I'm fairly certain that the sweetness of your brew should mellow out and blend together with the other flavors over time. I think the carbonation should be complete after 1-2 weeks.

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Old 10-03-2006, 12:25 AM   #3
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Hefe's tend to lose their "Hefe-ness" (the phenolics associated with a Hefeweizen yeast) with time and most people drink them relatively "young", probably not much past 6 months optimally speaking. OTOH, I've got some that I just found (I hid them from myself) which are older than that and taste fine to me.

I think the sweetness you're tasting may be attributed to the very low hop levels of Hefeweizens (typically ~10-16 IBU) as compared to most American craft brews.

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Old 10-03-2006, 02:24 AM   #4
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I agree that you underhopped somehow.

Unfortunately, the sweetness will NOT subside, but bitterness does...

Making a Hefe Weizen requires use of a German "Hefe" (yeast). IMO, if you use anything other than a German Hefe Weizen or Belgium Wit yeast then you just made wheat beer. The flavors are totally different.

Your last 2 additions of hops did absolutely nothing for the bitterness and were totally unnecessary.

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Old 10-03-2006, 02:39 AM   #5
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It's also still pretty green as well. My cherry wheat really peaked at about 2 months.

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Old 10-03-2006, 04:57 AM   #6
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Then give it time and hope for the best...I'm certain we'll all be in line with a glass in hand...

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Old 10-03-2006, 01:22 PM   #7
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It's certainly drinkable. I've Relaxed, not worried, and had a home brew! As this is my first batch in a VERY long while (10+ years), It was more curiosity than anything else.

I'll give it another week and try some more, but either way, it's already tastey!

I see the point on it being a "wheat beer" rather than a hefe, but either way, it's a good first batch.

homebrewer_99 - Why do you say the last two hop additions were unnecessary? Did they really add nothing? I understand the boil time wasn't enough to get lots of bittering out of the hops, but are you saying they added no flavor/aroma?

Should I have left them in the wort when transfered to the carboy? I strained the wort through a sanitized wire strainer, would I have gotten more aroma/flavor/bitter by leaving them in, and allowing them to sink with the rest of the trub?

Thanks all,

-Butler

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Old 10-03-2006, 01:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
I agree that you underhopped somehow.

Unfortunately, the sweetness will NOT subside, but bitterness does...

Making a Hefe Weizen requires use of a German "Hefe" (yeast). IMO, if you use anything other than a German Hefe Weizen or Belgium Wit yeast then you just made wheat beer. The flavors are totally different.

Your last 2 additions of hops did absolutely nothing for the bitterness and were totally unnecessary.

Uhhhh.....Sweetness can subside. I do not know if his will, but I have had brews that were a little sweet when they were green and the sweetness faded as they aged. Maybe the sweetness really did not fade...it just got covered up by other flavors. But the perceived sweetness can fade.
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Old 10-03-2006, 04:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butler1850
...I see the point on it being a "wheat beer" rather than a hefe, but either way, it's a good first batch.

homebrewer_99 - Why do you say the last two hop additions were unnecessary? Did they really add nothing? I understand the boil time wasn't enough to get lots of bittering out of the hops, but are you saying they added no flavor/aroma?...
Sorry I was obtuse, and thanks for allowing me to clear up my comments. What I was saying is that if you were brewing a German-style Hefe Weizen...they don't use flavoring/aroma hops, just bittering hops. Any addition would have been a waste of hops. I like to stay in the style.

If you were making an American Wheat then by all means hop away... It is YOUR brew afterall.
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Old 10-03-2006, 04:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougjones31
Uhhhh.....Sweetness can subside. I do not know if his will, but I have had brews that were a little sweet when they were green and the sweetness faded as they aged. Maybe the sweetness really did not fade...it just got covered up by other flavors. But the perceived sweetness can fade.
I've always experienced that any overly sweetness turns cidery...
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