Putting together a Dunkelweizen Recipe

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DrHop

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I haven't actually had a Dunkelweizen before but my girlfriend came back from Germany with this request. She likes beers like ambers so I can see why she'd like a beer like this.

I enjoy some hop aroma however I know this beer isn't meant to be too hoppy so I tried my best to not go crazy with the hops. I thought Hallertau might be a nice and mild hop flavor that would go with the beer after reading about it however I haven't used this hop before.

I'm planning on using Wheat LME for a bulk of the grain bill and then do a mini-mash with a BIAB method. I'll probably try to shoot for ~150-155F for my mash temperature and I'm planning on around a 1 hr mash.

I was debating on chocolate malt or carafa III special and decided to just split it equally between the two of them.

5 gallon batch (full boil)
OG: 1.051
FG: 1.013
18 SRM
15.4 IBU
5.1% ABV

4 lbs (49%) Wheat LME (40% barley)
2 lbs (25%) Wheat malt
1 lb (12%) Munich malt
8 oz (6%) Rice hulls
3 oz (2%) Carafa III Special
3 oz (2%) Chocolate Malt

4 oz Corn Sugar for bottling

0.75 oz Hallertau (60 min)
0.5 oz Hallertau (20 min)
0.5 oz Hallertau (10 min)
0.25 oz Hallertau (flame out)

White Labs Hefeweizen Ale (WLP300) with ~ 2 liter starter

1 Whirlfloc tablet
1.5 tsp (3.6 g) CaCO3
0.25 tsp (1 g) CaSO4
0.5 tsp (1.7 g) CaCl2

My water basically has no minerals in it since I have some of that nice clean northern CA water (Hardness ~ 30ppm, Ca,Mg,Cl,SO4 ~10ppm) so I was going to add a little to it. Since I want the malt to really come through I didn't want to add too much gypsum.

Ferment ~ 64-68F

Anyway, I wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions before I try making this beer. I'm still kind of new with only a couple batches under my belt but I really enjoying brewing so any advice would be appreciated.
 

LexusChris

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I've done a Weizenbock or two, but not the Dunkelweizen .. but they are kinda simliar.... so, take my suggestions with a grain of salt..

I would go all Carafa III, and skip the chocolate malt. You'll get a little roast from the Carafa, but nothing like the choc.malt.

I'd also refrain from the post 20-minute hop additions. The style is supposed to be malt forward, and you risk a muddy blend of hops & heavy malt. Just do a 60-min and a 20-min.

I've used WLP320 and WLP 351. Both mute the banana-flavor ester production, which I prefer. I've not used WLP300, but I'm told that keeping it cold (62-65-F) helps subdue the banana, and keep the clove phenolics. If you let it get above 67-F it starts to towards banana-bomb status quickly. So choose your fermentation temps carefully. If you do not have temp control on your fementation vessel, remember that it could be 5-10 degrees warm inside the vessel than the ambient. So plan accordingly.

Good luck! Hope it turns out awesome!
--LexusChris
 
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DrHop

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Thanks for the suggestions.

Yeah I was debating about getting rid of the late hop addings. For this beer it probably just doesn't make sense so I'll drop them.

I like your suggestions for yeast. The 320 looks a little better and the wlp351 looks really interesting. If I can find the wlp351, I think I will try to use that. I don't really have fermentation control, just a nice cool room so it's probably not the best choice to use wlp300.
 
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DrHop

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Is there any reason to use whirlfloc in a wheat beer?
 
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DrHop

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I'll probably go with the Wyeast 3638 Bavarian Wheat Yeast which supposedly is the same as WPL 351. Sounds like a pretty interesting yeast.
 

turkeyjerky214

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I'd leave the chocolate in. If you have the ability, I'd recommend a decoction. Really helps this style.

Personally, I like a little banana in mine, so I use 3333 and ferment around 68º.
 

jnrankin

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I just tried my first Dunkelweizen this week and I thought it turned out great. Really nice spice and dark malt notes. Also a partial mash.

3.3# Briess Bavarian Wheat LME (65% wheat, 35% barley)
1.5# Wheat DME (65% wheat, 35% barley)
2.0# Weyermann Dark Wheat malt
1.0# Weyermann Carawheat
1.0# Weyermann Munich

1.25 oz of Hallertau for 60 min

Mini-mash BIAB at 153 for an hour. Late extract addition. Fermented at 67 with Wyeast 3333. I got mostly clove and spice, not that much banana.

I'd be interested to see how a bit of chocolate malt would have worked. I considered it and now wish I had left it in.
 
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DrHop

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Ok, I'm gonna do this tomorrow. Thanks for all of your suggestions. I'll keep this updated and we'll see how it goes.

Does anyone have any comments on water adjustment for me? I haven't done it in the past because I have mostly been doing extract and I have heard the extract has a lot of minerals in it already. Since I didn't know what minerals the extract already had in it I didn't want to mess with it too much.

Would it help a lot to add some of the gypsum, calcium carbonate and calcium chloride I have listed? I'm not adding much because I'm scared.
 
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DrHop

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I also forgot to ask if anybody has thoughts about using Midnight Wheat instead of the Chocolate malt or Carafa III Special in a Dunkel.

Does the Midnight Wheat actually have much of a flavor or is it just color? Would it be better to have the Midnight Wheat in this beer.

It seems like this beer would want some slight roasted and chocolate tones that the Carafa and Chocolate malt would supply but it also worries me that they might be a little overly astringent or bitter.
 

Malticulous

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A little calcium chloride in the mash should be fine. Calcium carbonate is seldom needed (most of us seem to already have too much.) Get some pH test strips.

I've been using midnight wheat and it will work fine. It's less roasted than carafa special.

I would not use WLP320. It wont really make a German Weiss bier. WLP300 or WLP380 are good.

I also think you could use more Munich malt, preferably dark.
 

LexusChris

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As for water adjustments, if you do not know the mineral content of your source water (tap water) then it is vey difficult to make any suggestions. If you decide to go that route, send in a water sample to Ward's Labs (or someplace like that) to get a water report.

Then, check out some of the brew water spreadsheets floating around here. Palmer has one.

Other than that, you could just skip it for now... No need to borrow trouble.
--LexusChris

p.s. Choc. malt has 'roasty' flavor. Carafa only a little bit of roasty. Neither would be bitter or astringent, IMHO. Black Patent malt is the one I think of that gives you burnt, acrid & astringent.
 
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DrHop

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Thanks for the tip about the differences between the dark malt flavors.

My tap water in Berkeley has very low ion content of all types.


EBMUD Water Report
pH 9
Mg 1.5 ppm
Carbonate 28 ppm
Calcium 5 ppm
Sulfate 15 ppm
Chloride 9 ppm
Sodium 7 ppm

for 5 gallon batch
CaCO3 2 tsp (3.6 g)
CaSO4 0.25 tsp (1 g)
CaCl2 0.5 tsp (1.7 g)

From Online Calculator:
pH 5.85
Mg 1.5 ppm
Carbonate 142 ppm
Calcium 117 ppm
Sulfate 44 ppm
Chloride 52 ppm
Sodium 7 ppm
 
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DrHop

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Everything went pretty well on brew day. It was the first time that I did a full boil so that will take a little getting use to. I overshot my volume by a little (5.5 gal instead of 5 gal) but actually ended up hitting my OG target.

The actual recipe had a few tweaks to it.

4 lb (46%) Briess Bavarian Wheat DME (used dry because that's what I could get)
2 lb (23%) White Wheat Malt
1 lb (12%) German Munich Malt
8 oz (6%) Rice Hulls
4 oz (3%) Midnight Wheat
3 oz (2%) Pale Chocolate

0.75 oz 110 min Hallertau (4.3%AA)
0.25 oz 20 min Hallertau (4.3%AA)

Wyeast Bavarian Wheat (3638) (2L yeast starter w/ 8oz DME)

Forgot to add any calcium salts to water...oh well. I'm sure it will be fine.

Obviously I don't totally know what this is going to turn out in the end but I think this beer is going to be much darker than I first intended it to be. It might look like a porter or stout more than I thought it would.

I think its probably going to turn out to be a good beer (fingers crossed) but in the future I'd probably keep some of the pale chocolate and replace the midnight wheat with either more munich or a specialty malt like Victory. It just smelled and looked a lot like a porter to me with a lot more chocolate and roasted aroma than I anticipated I guess. Anyway, I'm gonna stop worrying and have a beer.

Will post when I crack open the first one in around a month.
 
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DrHop

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Bottled this the other day. I'm not sure this beer will be great but it will be interesting.

On brew day a variety of things led to me pitching the yeast while the wort was a little warmer than I usually do. Usually I try to pitch at around 65F. I don't have any real cooling setup besides a sink but this usually works out ok. I had to leave on a trip so I couldn't wait and just pitched it when it was around 70-74F. I know, a little warm...

Anyway, I was gone for a week and it got pretty warm. I don't really have fermentation control but the room I use always stays around 64-66F and works out well but we had a little bit of a heat wave and the room temp was probably more like 70-75F.

I checked the FG after a week and it had gotten down to around 1.015 which was great but smelled strongly of bubblegum.

Bottled the other day (FG still at 1.015-1.016) and luckily the bubblegum flavor/aroma is all gone but now its all banana and is pretty estery. Besides that it seems pretty good but its pretty overwhelming at this point. My girlfriend said it was something like a mix of banana and belgium beer with all the estery notes (and maybe clove but its hard to tell when you are getting smacked in the palate with so much banana). If it was more bready, it would be like a banana bread beer I've seen people discuss but the malt flavors are more sweet/caramel than bready.

I wouldn't say I want to drink it right now but hopefully if its cold and carbonated it will be better. Maybe the couple of weeks it takes to carbonate will help some of the ester flavors balance/meld a little too.

I was just shocked how much the bubblegum flavor has disappeared. I was a little terrified a week ago. This might be the worst beer I've made so far but its still drinkable and I've still got some hope it will be good.
 

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