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help making a good german style wheat beer

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thesalmon

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I am quite new to the world of brewing but in the last 2 months i have made three attempts at a weissbeer. all of which were drinkable but in my opinion not great. i am a big fan of schneider weiss and weihenstephaner and if i could get a brew something like those it would be great.

the first beer i tried was the coopers wheat beer that i followed the instructions exactly. the result was a very lite beer that was scraping 4% alc and lacked a bit of body. only 500g of dry malt and 300g dextrose was likely the cause of this.

i tried the same coopers kit again but replaced the 300g dextrose with 1.5kg lme and the 500g dme. the result was very sweet with a hint of cider to it! it was strange but not bad. a couple of people liked it alot but it was not a weiss beer.fg of about 1.013 i found too high.

my latest attempt used coopers again but this time just the 1.5kg lme. i also added a teabag of hallerteuer hops and used a safbrau wheat beer yeast. now this is a bit better but it still needs time to condition to really judge it. my first impression is a strong flavour from the yeast that almost overpowers the hops. this may change in time but either way im not convinced by the safbrau yeast.

is there a trick to getting a proper wheat beer? can any body recommend a recipe or at least a yeast. for my next brew im thinking of trying the muntons wheat connoisseur range instead of coopers as a base but i am unsure what fermentables i will use and what yeast to try.

any help or suggestions are very welcome and highly appreciated
 
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I do German wheat beers often. Here are some suggestions.

1 - skip kits like Coopers what have you add simple sugars.

2 - a quality kit from any of the big online HB supply companies will get you MUCH closer. Northern Brewer, More Beer and Midwest Supply are just three reliable sources.

3 - A great source for recipes is "Brewing Classic Styles" by Jamil Zainasheff & John J. Palmer if you want to skip the kits altogether.

4 - Yeast is key to this - and most - styles. "The brewer makes the wort. The yeast make the beer." A German wheat beer REQUIRES a German wheat beer yeast. There are no dry versions of these yeasts (that I know of.) My go to yeast is Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen / White Labs WLP 300 Hefeweizen (It is the same yeast). You'll want to learn how to make a starter - which is NOT complicated at all.

5 - Fermentation temperatures are always important, but particular so for this yeast. Try to hold the fermentation at around 64F for the clove / banana balance you are looking for in Schnieder and Weihenstephan. I've judged German wheat in competition and the most frequent flaw is too hot a fermentation. (Lots of home brewers are into extremes. Classic examples of this style are subtle.)

Hope this helps you to get started!
 
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thesalmon

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thanks alot, very helpful.

i was thinking of the muntons range instead of the coopers or else the brupaks world of beer kits. i think these are the only ones they sell in my local shop, they may also sell finlandia. do you know anything about these brands.
 
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The main concern with can kits is freshness. Try to figure out the packaging date which should be somewhere on the can. If those were my choices it probably lean into whichever is freshest. The kits from the big online shops are much more likely to be fresh because their turnover is so fast.

If you use a kit that tells you to add dextrose or another simple sugar - DON'T! Do this instead. Use an equivalent amount by weight of dry malt extract. Your LHBS should have that. (There are some styles where simple sugars are appropriate or even necessary. German Wheats are not among them.) You will also need DME to make a yeast starter. It is something that most home brewers just keep on hand.

Do that, use the appropriate yeast, and you will be good.
 
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thesalmon

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so i have been to the shop and have my self a vial of wlp351 bavarian weizen yeast along with muntons connoisseur wheat beer tin and 1.5kg liquid malt extract, and a saaz/hallerteuer hop tea bag....

fingers crossed
 
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Wlp351 is a great yeast, tends to emphasize clove over banana. Do try to keep the temp in the mid 60's F.

If you sub the lme for sugar you'll want to use ~ 10% more by weight of the lme.

Good luck
 
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