Hefeweizen jackassedness

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jlpred55

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I want to prempt my question with an apology..sorry, I am pretty new at this AGAIN, after 5 yrs layoff because of a extensive house remodel. I've read like hell on the subject but now in practice my confusion comes from behind and slaps the hell out of me.
Now, I am making a simple extract hefeweizen. I simply love the banana esters, clove is nice in balance as well. Anyway, I am trying to figure out a recipe. I simply cannot see how adding anything other than 6 Lbs wheat LME (or a little less DME), 3%AAU or so hops at 60 mins and slapping some good hefe yeast in there, say 3068, would not make a good hefeweizen. I was thinking some grains to steep but that to me would seem like it wouldn't really add anything (other than color) since most all of the hefe flavor comes from the yeast. Is this pure jackassery? Am I on the right path or should I get drunk on what little homebrew I have and gather my homebrew stuff in the backyard and light it on fire? Any insights or education would be nice...like what grains would do what and why. Thanks!
 

Shawn Hargreaves

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You're exactly right - hefes are a nice simple style that does not require a complex grain bill. Pretty much just a mix of Pilsner malt and wheat malt (or use wheat extract, which is made of exactly that mix).

I've heard of a few people adding a small (0.25 lb or less) amount of aromatic or melanodin malt, in an attempt to replicate the flavors some traditional hefes get from the long boil during a decoction mash. This is a really subtle thing though and by no means standard or necessary.
 

cuinrearview

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To mine I add .5 lbs. each cara-pils for head retention, flaked wheat to add some haze, and two-row just because.

However, you are correct in your assumption that a decent hefe can be made with the basics and a good yeast.
 

uwjester

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To mine I add .5 lbs. each cara-pils for head retention, flaked wheat to add some haze, and two-row just because.

However, you are correct in your assumption that a decent hefe can be made with the basics and a good yeast.
Except for the 2-row, I do the same thing when I do an extract hefe. Definitely not necessary, but it feels like you are doing more than mixing ingredients together.
 

HOOTER

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I'd go with wheat DME with a late addition to keep the color closer to style, with a small flavor/aroma hop addition, but your pretty much correct. All you need for a decent hefe is the wheat extract, German hops and a true German hefe yeast. You could steep a small amount of grains as mentioned above but it's not completely necessary. The bottom line- this is certainly not "pure jackassery". ;)
 
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jlpred55

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I'd go with wheat DME with a late addition to keep the color closer to style, with a small flavor/aroma hop addition, but your pretty much correct. All you need for a decent hefe is the wheat extract, German hops and a true German hefe yeast. You could steep a small amount of grains as mentioned above but it's not completely necessary. The bottom line- this is certainly not "pure jackassery". ;)
Good to know! And yes always late additions so far and my colors have been fine.
 
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jlpred55

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To mine I add .5 lbs. each cara-pils for head retention, flaked wheat to add some haze, and two-row just because.

However, you are correct in your assumption that a decent hefe can be made with the basics and a good yeast.
Ok educate me, how does cara-pils add head retention? Wouldn't the wheat extract do this just fine? Also, isn't the haze supposed to be the yeast? I tend to get confident ( sheesh...like I know what I am doing) and oversimplify things then second guess myself, then my confidence shatters and then jackassness ensues- thats when I become confused. Sorry if the questions above are clueless.:mug:
 

Stratotankard

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As I understand it, the wheat extract should help with head retention, but adding the cara-pils will give it some more. The haze is traditionally from the yeast, but in my one hefeweisen the yeast settled out very compactly (strange since I used a hefe strain) so my "traditional" hefe is nearly clear. Not a big problem, but not really to style. Adding a little flaked wheat makes the beer look to style even if the yeast act up?

Keep on keeping on. Don't worry about the jackassery, nobody makes a "perfect" beer and that's part of the fun.

Terje
 

cuinrearview

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Ok educate me, how does cara-pils add head retention? Wouldn't the wheat extract do this just fine? Also, isn't the haze supposed to be the yeast? I tend to get confident ( sheesh...like I know what I am doing) and oversimplify things then second guess myself, then my confidence shatters and then jackassness ensues- thats when I become confused. Sorry if the questions above are clueless.:mug:
I guess it depends on what you want. If you want a spot-on true to style Bavarian hefe-weizen you are looking for a number of things. You want high carbonation, very pale cloudy color, lots of foam that you can't get rid of and lots of lacing on the glass. You want it to be a nice balance of bananna esters and clove phenols mixed with yeasty bite. It'll exlplode your palate with these and finish before you even knew what you tasted. It'll probably only be at peak freshness for a couple weeks so if you want everything listed above you'd better drink it quickly and have some help:ban:.

I'm not a professional brewer, but the hefes I've brewed have more head when I use cara-pils and have stayed cloudier longer when I've used wheat malt, especially flaked wheat.

I can close my eyes and not be let down with 5 lbs. wheat DME, an oz. of noble for 60 min. and some WLP300. It's simply a matter of what temp. you ferment at at this point. Low temp=clove, high=bananna and bubble gum. What you want is up to you, at least with 300 which is what I use. You can make a great tasting beer with just that. If you want something that you can slap a Paulaner down next to and compare with friends you'll look like a fool.
 
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jlpred55

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Ok- thanks for all the help. So I could steep, say, 8 oz cara-pils and 8oz flaked wheat and life will be dandy?
 

cuinrearview

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That will work but will only add the starches unless you include .5-1lb. of two-row and hold the temperature around 152 degrees to convert them to sugars. But it will work just steeping those two grains for 30 minutes or so.
 
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jlpred55

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Thanks to all who helped me with this. The beer has hit its FG about 4 or 5 days ago. It is not bottled yet but the samples taste fantastic and I am quite pleased with the outcome. Now with some lively carbonation this thing is going to be ready for drinking.
 

Arkador

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My heffe is a very simple recipe from "Beer Captured"
6lb of DME
1oz hops
heffe yeast

It turns out very well every time
 
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