I LOVE Hefeweizen and saw this recipe so gave it a try. This is my second time home brewing, my first batch is John Palmer's Cincinnati Pale Ale recipe from his How to Brew beginners page. It's bottle condition right now.
Here's my brew log. Sorry for the long post, I am an English teacher so I am a little wordy.
3:30pm Sun May 3
Paulaner style Hefe Weizen
Pitching temp: 66 degrees F
Capped with a carboy cap and blow off tube and put in closet, steady temp between 65-69 degrees.
I bought 6 gallons of spring water. I didn't pre-boil since I was lazy and didn't want to wait for the cool down so I dumped them right into the sanitized carboy. (Any experience with problems with this step??) I sloshed and aerated the carboy while the wort boiled. I examined the water at one point and to my dismay I saw a teeny tiny arm hair floating in the water. AGH! Thinking quick, I put the screen on my funnel, sanitized, and dumped water from the carboy back into one of the water jugs. The hair appeared on the screen by the first gallon.
Then I had a boil over after I added the remaining 5 lbs. of DME. What a pain! I only have a 1.5 gallon brew pot, and I thought I'd be ok with this recipe considering... but man, once that last DME is added at 15 mins left, the foam is ridiculous even with a good 4-5 inches of space between the water and the top of the brew pot. Any advice on this step?
Finally, I had a thermometer problem. While cooling the wort in an ice water and salt bath, I used my trusty digital probe thermometer to monitor the cool. I was worried right off the bat. It read 200 degrees for the first 2-3 minutes of the cool and didn't drop much during the next 5 minutes. It finally leveled off at around 150 degrees. Something seemed wrong. 25 mins had gone by! I sent my wife to the store to get another bag of ice. While she was gone I pulled the probe and it still read 150! D'oh! Broken thermometer! The side of the brew pot was cool. I added it to the carboy and the strip thermometer held a steady 66 degrees.
When I got home from work at around 3:30pm on Monday, there were small round specks of bright white forming on top of the wort. On my first brew, this long after pitching the fermentation had already started. Due to the lack of any noticeable fermentation I feared the worst. I initially thought this was an infection, that the bubbles were balls of fuzz, but no =) I took a closer look and saw that they were tight clumps of small bubbles. These rapidly covered the surface within 8 hours. Before I went to bed I swapped the cap for a 3 piece airlock since it seemed like such a slow fermentation.
Wrong. VIGOROUS fermentation started earnestly over night. I woke up at 4:00am on Tuesday morning and went and checked on it. The airlock had filled with krausen. I had the cap and blow off tube soaking in the one-step solution in the closet and swapped them. The airlock had clogged and some pressure had built up rather significantly, splattering a bit of gunk on the wall.
Wednesday morning the kreusen receded and I put the airlock back on. As of 7:00pm Wednesday it's still at it, a good roiling fermentation that is really fun to watch.
Considering the snags I had during the brew process (non-boiled spring water, the arm hair, lots of panicky time in the chiller bath and I am thinking a few drops of water from my hand might have made it into the work) I am hoping for the best!