Help me brew a Hefe!

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Qhrumphf

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It took me a lot of iterations to, in my opinion, perfect my Hefe.

45% German wheat malt
45% German Pils malt
10% Flaked Wheat (if you don't wanna use it because reinheitsgebot nonsense then use 55% German wheat, but it adds a little something to the mouthfeel)

Size your grain bill for 1.050.

Mash in at 110F. Hold for 45 mins.
Decoct to 130F (as thick as possible, rest decoction pull at 154 for 15 mins).
As soon as you're rested pull next decoction to 144 (thick and rested at 154 again). Hold 20 mins.
Decoct to 158 (thin, go straight to boiling). Hold 20 mins.
Decoct to 168 (thin, go straight to boiling). Hold 10 mins.

Like 15 IBUs of something noble, bittering only. I typically use Mittelfruh but it's not critical. Something like Magnum would be fine. Don't use Chinook or Citra or anything like that.

Knock out at 60F. Do not oxygenate. Pitch 3068 at 0.33 million cells per ml per °P (should be circa 12.5°P). A fresh smack pack might be a little much for 5 gallons. A normal month old smack pack should be about right.

Ferment at 62F.

As far as water, my tap water is pretty neutral (sulfate and chloride 50-75 depending on the time of year) so I just use that. Last tweak was the counterintuitive mashing at higher than pH than normal (5.7-5.8) since that also reportedly helps with with ferulic acid extraction (and acidify sparge water to the same or you're gonna have a bad time) and then dropping the pH down to 5.3 in the kettle.

This route has finally led me to the mouthfeel, malt character, and dryness I want while simultaneously having plenty of both banana and clove (balanced to the clove side).
 

NGD

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It took me a lot of iterations to, in my opinion, perfect my Hefe.

45% German wheat malt
45% German Pils malt
10% Flaked Wheat (if you don't wanna use it because reinheitsgebot nonsense then use 55% German wheat, but it adds a little something to the mouthfeel)

Size your grain bill for 1.050.

Mash in at 110F. Hold for 45 mins.
Decoct to 130F (as thick as possible, rest decoction pull at 154 for 15 mins).
As soon as you're rested pull next decoction to 144 (thick and rested at 154 again). Hold 20 mins.
Decoct to 158 (thin, go straight to boiling). Hold 20 mins.
Decoct to 168 (thin, go straight to boiling). Hold 10 mins.

Like 15 IBUs of something noble, bittering only. I typically use Mittelfruh but it's not critical. Something like Magnum would be fine. Don't use Chinook or Citra or anything like that.

Knock out at 60F. Do not oxygenate. Pitch 3068 at 0.33 million cells per ml per °P (should be circa 12.5°P). A fresh smack pack might be a little much for 5 gallons. A normal month old smack pack should be about right.

Ferment at 62F.

As far as water, my tap water is pretty neutral (sulfate and chloride 50-75 depending on the time of year) so I just use that. Last tweak was the counterintuitive mashing at higher than pH than normal (5.7-5.8) since that also reportedly helps with with ferulic acid extraction (and acidify sparge water to the same or you're gonna have a bad time) and then dropping the pH down to 5.3 in the kettle.

This route has finally led me to the mouthfeel, malt character, and dryness I want while simultaneously having plenty of both banana and clove (balanced to the clove side).
Sounds damn good! Curious how you came to such a low fermentation temp?
 

Qhrumphf

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Sounds damn good! Curious how you came to such a low fermentation temp?
I think fermenting low 60s was something originally spread by Matt Brynildson of Firestone Walker. He might have said 60F but it's been a long time. My prior ones fermented warmer were all banana bombs, which is not my preference. The idea is that fermenting warmer brings out banana at the expense of clove. The combination of no oxygen and a very low pitching rate help preserve banana while the cold fermentation helps with the clove (assisted by the long acid rest and higher mash pH to bring out the precursor).

This is as the expense of yeast health since you are abusing the crap out of it. I've never had luck repitching beyond 2-3 generations with this (and even the 3rd is dicey) where normally I can take a yeast to 10 or so generations.
 
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Nate R

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It took me a lot of iterations to, in my opinion, perfect my Hefe.

45% German wheat malt
45% German Pils malt
10% Flaked Wheat (if you don't wanna use it because reinheitsgebot nonsense then use 55% German wheat, but it adds a little something to the mouthfeel)

Size your grain bill for 1.050.

Mash in at 110F. Hold for 45 mins.
Decoct to 130F (as thick as possible, rest decoction pull at 154 for 15 mins).
As soon as you're rested pull next decoction to 144 (thick and rested at 154 again). Hold 20 mins.
Decoct to 158 (thin, go straight to boiling). Hold 20 mins.
Decoct to 168 (thin, go straight to boiling). Hold 10 mins.

Like 15 IBUs of something noble, bittering only. I typically use Mittelfruh but it's not critical. Something like Magnum would be fine. Don't use Chinook or Citra or anything like that.

Knock out at 60F. Do not oxygenate. Pitch 3068 at 0.33 million cells per ml per °P (should be circa 12.5°P). A fresh smack pack might be a little much for 5 gallons. A normal month old smack pack should be about right.

Ferment at 62F.

As far as water, my tap water is pretty neutral (sulfate and chloride 50-75 depending on the time of year) so I just use that. Last tweak was the counterintuitive mashing at higher than pH than normal (5.7-5.8) since that also reportedly helps with with ferulic acid extraction (and acidify sparge water to the same or you're gonna have a bad time) and then dropping the pH down to 5.3 in the kettle.

This route has finally led me to the mouthfeel, malt character, and dryness I want while simultaneously having plenty of both banana and clove (balanced to the clove side).
You have a version of this with step mash, but no decotion?
Also... 60 is interesting. I may have to try that.

Finally... i 100% agree- to me, hefe's have always been my best beers. So forgiving! And side by side they do very well with the pros.... but yes. They miss that final subtle nuance.
 

Qhrumphf

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You have a version of this with step mash, but no decotion?
Also... 60 is interesting. I may have to try that.

Finally... i 100% agree- to me, hefe's have always been my best beers. So forgiving! And side by side they do very well with the pros.... but yes. They miss that final subtle nuance.
Oh that's an ooooooold recipe. Didn't even have the acid rest, and several apartments ago when I couldn't boil more than 4 gallons and it was all partial boil. It was a solid recipe based on what my gear was capable of, but not as good as what I've dialed it into.

Skipping the decoction and subbing in some melanoidin malt should do just fine.

Getting the fermentation right is key. Throw something out of whack and you get no banana, no clove, or you get neither. The typical methods most homebrewers and US craft brewers are using (and perhaps yeast strains) make the banana bombs I don't care for.
 
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mattman91

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Do you keg ? I'm set up to cold crash but hardly ever do it . It cold crashes in my keg is how I think .
I do keg. I never mess with bottles.

I have actually never cold crashed though due to fear of "suck back" with my Fermonster. That, and the way I look at it, it will eventually do the same thing in the keg, at the expensive of one or two cloudy/chunky pours. I know it seems odd that a Hefeweizen would be my first cold-crash, but what the heck.
 

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I would cold crash it. to drop all the trub and any krausen rafts to the bottom. It will allow the max beer to be racked.

Yes I know it's a hefe but it's going to get cold in the fridge anyway and drop stuff out anyway. It will still be yeast hazy. Mine look fine and I cold crashed my last hefe.
 
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mattman91

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If you keg a hefe weizen it'll turn into a krystal weizen. Bottle them then you can get the yeast back into the beer.
Bottle? Never!

I brew 2.5 and 3 gallon batches. It won't last very long, and when if it does turn into a krystal, so be it :p
 

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You have a version of this with step mash, but no decotion?
To my understanding, Spaten in Munich went to a step infusion with their Franziskaner weissbier back in 2000. Their team compared that beer against the regular decoction beer and couldn't tell the difference.
 

Nate R

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I've never had a kegged hefe clear... but my kegs of hefe only last about a month....


Also- if this is true, does that mean all the draft German hefe's i've had here, stateside, are not as good???
I may have to smuggle a bottle in to my biergarden next time for a side by side... 🤔
 

Qhrumphf

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The commercial trick is usually to store Hefe kegs upside down. Then when they're turned right side up to tap, the yeast gets roused.

Doesn't help much here, since a keg in a bar should be empty long before a keg at home in most cases.
 

Nate R

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If you keg a hefe weizen it'll turn into a krystal weizen. Bottle them then you can get the yeast back into the beer.
I have found the soultion!! Thanks to a fellow HomeBrewTalker!!
 
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mattman91

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PXL_20210424_181226235.PORTRAIT.jpg


It has been sitting on 30 psi for about 18 hours. Still has a very slight sulfur smell and does not taste very good. Should it mellow out after another week or so?
 
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