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Old 01-07-2009, 03:26 AM   #1
Dec 2008
Kyle, Texas
Posts: 36

Caveat - Very first beer brewed

I have a couple of questions about how this beer turned out.

My beer fermented in the primary for one week, in the secondary for two weeks, and has been bottled for three weeks. The beer tastes good and I am happy but I noticed a difference between my beer and a Paulaner Hefeweizen.

First - My beer is much darker - does anyone know why this is?

Second - My beer has a sweeter taste - does anyone know why this is?

Any thoughts or comments?

Here is the recipe I used
Base grain:
- ½ lb. Carapils
Specialty grain:
- ½ lb. German Pilsner Malt
- 7 lbs. Wheat Liquid Malt Extract
- 1 oz. Spalt Pellet Hops
- White Labs Hefeweizen Ale WLP300

- Starting the Brew -
In a 20 quart or larger stainless stockpot, bring 2.5 gallons of water to 155°F and turn off heat.

Soak the base and specialty grains, occasionally dipping the grain bag like a tea bag, in the hot water for 15 minutes

After 15 minutes remove the bag and let excess water drip out. Once the bag has dripped almost all of the water out, discard the grains and return the heat until boiling.

Add the malt extract
Stir constantly to dissolve the malt extract.
Return heat to the mixture once dissolved, stirring occasionally.
Heat the mixture to boiling

Adding the HOPS
- Add the bittering hops and set your timer for 60 minutes
-- ¾ oz Spalt
- For the last 5 minutes add the aroma hops for the last 5 minutes
-- ¼ oz Spalt

After the boil
Cool the wort to 80°F
Pitch the yeast

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Old 01-07-2009, 03:35 AM   #2
mattmcl's Avatar
Oct 2008
Erie, CO
Posts: 731
Liked 10 Times on 8 Posts

Your beer is darker because extracts tend to be darker than using all grain, all things being equal. The sweetness from malt is generally countered with the bitterness in hops. It's possible you didn't get as much out of your hops as you could have.

The sweetness could also be from fermentation temperatures (I see you pitched your yeast at 80, that seems a bit high...), differences between the extract and what Paulaner uses, etc. Your yeast is also different from Paulaners as well. I've found it's very difficult to exactly match a commercial beer- you can come very close, and even better maybe- but a perfect match is very tough.

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Old 01-07-2009, 03:47 AM   #3
Zymurgrafi's Avatar
Feb 2007
Posts: 2,427
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts

The extract is your answer. The yeast pitching temp did not cause it.

One thing you can do to minimize the darkening is to add some of the extract late in the boil like the last 15 minutes. This will minimize the caramelization of the extract.

The sweetness has to do with the amount of unfermentable sugars in the extract. You have no control over that unfortunately. It all depends on the way the extract was produced. Try a different extract next time. Different products will have different characteristics.

One last thing, you can't steep pilsner malt. It is a base malt and needs to be mashed. Steeping it at best may give you very minimal flavor contributions. More likely it will just leave undesirable starches in your beer which can shorten the shelf life and appearance, not a big deal in a hefe of course.

Bristle Bros. Brewing

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Old 01-07-2009, 06:01 AM   #4
homebrewer_99's Avatar
Feb 2005
Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
Posts: 17,796
Liked 136 Times on 102 Posts

Yep...LME is always darker than advertised. Want a lighter color brew? Switch to DME and read up on Late Addition brewing.

Too sweet? Under hopped or over malted, take your pick.

Spalt hops tend to be light in the AAs. What were the AA% of the hops?

Also, Hefe Weizens are only bittered. Holding some back for a second addition was a no-no.
HB Bill

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Old 01-07-2009, 04:11 PM   #5
Apr 2008
Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 328
Liked 16 Times on 9 Posts

If you're like I was when I started, you're probably going to want to brew something else entirely for your first few batches, just to keep trying new things. When you eventually do want to do another hefeweizen, do the same recipe but make two changes:

1) Use all the hops at the beginning, as h99 said.
2) Only put in a couple pounds of the extract at the beginning of your boil. Then, at the 15 minute mark (45 minutes in), take the pot off the heat, stir in the rest of your extract, bring it back to a boil, then start your timer again for the last 15 minutes.

This will make your beer (somewhat) lighter in color and also up the bitterness you can get out of the hops, making it less sweet.

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Old 01-07-2009, 04:49 PM   #6
Dec 2008
Kyle, Texas
Posts: 36

Thanks for all the feed back - you guys are great.

I will start looking into late addition brewing as I will definately brew this recipe again.... with a few changes.

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Old 01-11-2009, 05:04 PM   #7
Dec 2007
Posts: 440
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

The only other thing would be did you use a starter for your yeast? I would recommend getting a starter going with your next batch so as not to stress out the yeast too much either.

Secondly I would make sure that you're not mistaking sweetness (which could result from hop under-utilization or under-attenuation) for your hefe yeast characteristics. I know when I homebrewed my bavarian hefe it was really dominant in the banana phenols

Congrats though on the brew, it sounds delicious!
Primary: (empty)
Carboy: Apfelwein, aged 11 mo
Mr. Beer: (empty)
Bottled/Conditioning: (empty)

Planning: Belgian Pale Ale, Hop Harvest Ale

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Old 01-11-2009, 05:59 PM   #8
Dogslovebeer's Avatar
Sep 2008
Posts: 39

I brew extract Hefe constantly, my first batch was too sweet I blame high fermenting temps. What I do now is a little different from what you 've got going on. Try Hallertau Hops 1.5 Oz @ boil, 1oz @ 40min. I use Crystal 10L Grain 12 oz, also I split the extract half dry/half liquid. I also pitch my yeast real cold like 60. I've gotten a darker color a couple of times I blame it on over boiling the extract before the hop additions(drinking while brewing). Anyway, my neighborhood and I (8 of us drained a keg that night) love my Hefe, it beat Paulaner in a blind taste test on New Years, for more complex flavoring. But your technique looks perfect
If you want the full recipe Pm me.

Hefe Lovers Unite

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Old 01-11-2009, 11:40 PM   #9
Dogslovebeer's Avatar
Sep 2008
Posts: 39

This thread has some info that may pertain to your question

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Old 01-12-2009, 05:09 PM   #10
count barleywine
Feb 2007
New Jersey
Posts: 157
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Was your FG on point? If for some reason you had a stuck ferm. it could lend to the sweetness. You may also try dropping the German pilsener malt and only using the carapils for a body boost. I would also think higher ferm temps would lead to a drier brew, not sweeter. Unless the temp was so high the yeast stopped fermenting. And you won't get an exact Pauliner with late hops, but I personally love to dry hop half my hef batches with something European, making possibly one of my favorite homebrews. I hope you get your hef where you want it because it is a great homebrew style that can be easily and volumously made. I did a ten gallon batch on thanksgiving, in two carboys. Since then I have re-pitched three batches(5 gal apiece), one being a weizenbock, all of them all-grain. An AG hef recipe costs about 13 dollars at current prices, and one ounce of a higher alpha Euro hop can stretch to three or four brews. I'm rambling, love hef, good luck sir.

PS- There is a great extract Pauliner clone on this site that I used for my first hef, and it turned out very close, only fresher than the real stuff. It's probably in the recipe section but I don't recall the writer unfortunately. Very simple recipe.

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