Latest update: at 4 weeks this beer should clear up quite nicely and taste considerably better if you have chilled it at serving temperature compared to only 3 weeks, 1 extra week will make quite the difference. It comes with an immediate hint of clover, and just smooth good beer, super easy to swallow and you want more!
This is a great Oktoberfest beer!
The German-style hefeweizen is straw to amber in color and made with at least 50 percent malted wheat, however; since we are doing an experimental beer or SMaSH (single malt and single hop), we will be using a Single grain and barley at that, no wheat! 🙂
The aroma and flavor comes largely from the yeast and is decidedly fruity (banana) and phenolic (clove). “Weizen” means “wheat” and “hefe” means “yeast”, but we are not using any wheat, just to be clear. Also to capture as much hop aroma and flavor we are adding very little hops at start of boil (only about 5 IBU) and the remain goes at the end.
Video of the Brew:
19 lb Vienna – that’s it, nothing else
Mash – started at 135-F and slowly using an electric PID control raised it to 152-F and kept there for an hour.
Start of boil (60 minutes) – 0.4 OZ of Cascades, only 5 IBU at this stage
10 minues to end of boil (50 minutes) – 1.0 ounces of Cascades, we don’t want to go above 17~ 20 IBU on this one, since volumes will vary equipment wise on your end, fyi…
Yeasts and experiments:
So we ended up brewing about 13 gallons of beer:
In the main fermentor 11.5 gallons – we used the “Imperial Stefon” – for the goal of this brew Barleyweizen, as we are using the classic Wheat yeast, but in barley.
In a 1 gallon jug – we used a reclaimed “Imperial Barbarian”, this yeast was about 6 months old and it still worked out well, we did do a starter to help it wake up, it was a bit slow to start – but it did and is still fermenting nicely / anything older than 6 month is a risk. Since we used an IPA yeast, this will come out different – but we wanted to see how this SMaSH comes out using different yeasts.
In a 1/2 gallon grower is put that by the window (open-ferment) to see how that will work out, it was a nice calm summer day, so this will be a natural inoculation by wild yeasts, that took a few days to take off, but there was activity with “krausen” / then the next day a tin foil was put on top of the glower.
OG (Original Gravity) was 1.045 / more updates later
Results of the open fermentation experiment:
As mentioned we put half a gallon from this brew by window to open ferment. It did ferment well all the way down to 1.007 / but the type of yeast it picked up wasn’t what we wanted. It smelled very strongly of fusel alcohol/paint thinner or nail polish, so it went down the drain.
On Saturday 2/18/2017 a Grapefruit IPA was brewed. We used peels from 2 grapefruit in a 10 gallon batch, we didn’t want it to be too overwhelming but also a little bit more than a hint. Full recipe will be posted later. It is best to peel the skins when they are fresh using a filleting like knife. Since we are now brewing using an electric setup, we also follow a very precise Mashing temperature control schedule. Say goodbye to temperature oscillations!
Mash-in temp at 170F, after grain mixed drops to 150F
A Re-circulation process is started between two vessels (a march pump is used) and we use the PID controller to maintain a perfect 152 F temp. for 1 hour, so there is no temperature swings like with gas. One vessel is the mash tun and the other the electric kettle.
After an hour, we move up to 162 F (again using precise PID control) and stay there for 30 minutes
We move up again to 174 F to mash out.
The Mash takes a solid 2 hours when you factor in the time it takes to move from 152 to 162 and again to 174. Since the entire mash is done while recirculating, the beer is crystal clear by the time it is mashed out.
A video on the setup is below, as you can see you don’t need to have fancy setups to make good beer, most home-brew operations are analogous with custom hacks. We spent very little money to make this stuff together and make it work compared to buying better looking solutions that costs many thousands of dollars.
For this brew we have decided to use a new yeast from a new company (Portland, Oregon) – yeast used was an Imperial Barbarian. This also seems to be an organic yeast. We did not do a starter like normally we would, to save on time. These cans have enough yeast to support 10 gallons for 5-7% beers.
On 11/20/2016, we brewed a Citra American IPA. More recently we started to preview/simulate brews using an App on my cell phone (android), called: Wort. This is in a way a simulation, we strongly recommend you do this and then brew. The developer hangs out in the Brew Nerds community on G+, you can talk to him directly and is very approachable.
This is a sample after all done brewing, but before fermentation. It looks darker than it is because its mixed with trub. But final color should be light to medium orange, again, it will depend on your exact grains.
pic below, after fermentation is over, which is quick, 5/6 days.
pic below is 1 week after bottling, so 2 weeks after brewing, already very drinkable, dominant grapefruit flavor, nice smell and retention head, carbonation came out great, 3 ounces of priming sugar to 5 gallons of beer was used.
The pic below is beer aged at 2 months, nice and clear.. the dominant grapefruit is pretty much gone, still good beer. These are designed to be enjoyed fresh, as opposed to say Belgians that need a lot more aging time.
Our OG was 1.054, we also used our electric setup here for the first time with this beer.
OG 1.054 // IBU 56 // SRM 6 // Final ABV tbd…
The color of the beer should be light orange, but might vary on the grains that you end up using or substitute for because of availability.
Total water used was 15 gallons for the 10 gallon batch.
Initially this was a 7.5% beer, but we have brewed so many higher gravity beers in the last 2 years and wanted something lighter and more refreshing this time, so about 5 lb of grain was scaled down proportionally for each malt.
20 lb Pale Malt – local to our State of Washington
1.5 lb Crystal 15 Love
1.5 lb Munich Malt
hops (60 minute boil):
1 ounce Nugget at start of boil – bittering
2 ounce Citra – 10 minutes into boil
2 ounce Mosaic – 10 minutes into boil
1 ounce Citra – 1 minute to end of boil
1 ounce Mosaic – 1 minute to end of boil
You can also do additional dry hop (we didn’t):
1 ounce Mosaic – dry hop
1 ounce Citra – dry hop
Wyeast American 1056 ( 1000ml starter 36 hours before )
brew-day: 12/26/2015 // OG – 1.072 // Update on temp. chart of fermentation later along with FG, we are hoping for 8%. This recipe originally called for 3lb of sugar, we used 1.5lb. If you want 9%, add that extra sugar.
For yeast using a 2000ml starter, French Saison #3711 prepared 28 hours ahead of time. The best thing to do with starters if you really want to be exact about it, is to test the wort until it reaches an OG of approx. 1.040. This will prepare and propagate the yeast for the main fermentation without tiring its self out before the main fight. The best way to do that is with a refractometer (make sure to buy one with the SG wort scale for brix %).
Fermentation is an exothermic process. The internal temperature of the fermentor can be as much as 10F above ambient conditions on the outside, just due to yeast activity.
70 minute boil.
24 lbs of American 2-row (use local grain from your state/region if you can, support your local farmers)
1.2 lb aromatic malt
1.5lb cane sugar – [ in Belgian beers sugar is added to lighten the body of the beer without affecting the taste, it will also increase the ABV as it should fully convert. Warning: Belgian beers are not Budweiser. drink them responsibly and slow… ]
10 minute into the boil (70 mins total), add 2 ounce of Magnum Hops – for Bitter
at end of boil, add 2 ounce of Styrian Hops – for Aroma
We always add Irish Moss at 15 minute to end of boil
We used a French Saison #3711 // but there are other choices not limited to: Abbey Ale or Wyeast 3787 (Trappist High Gravity) yeast (we recommend you make a starter atleast 24 hours bore brew day).
Add 2 days into the fermentation the Apricot Puree, 5-6 lbs. Fruit doesn’t transfer well in boil, otherwise skip if you don’t want the Apricots.
Mashout, brew date: 9/20/2015 ( next to an IPA on the right, our previous brew )..
OG 1.086 // FG after 2 week fermentation 1.025 – 8% ( we didn’t hit our goal of 10% because of the yeast that we used for this test, but the beer came out super delicious regardless, so it was a success! ) // Next time we will use the WLP007 yeast and should be closer to our target!
This is going to be something new for us, we had plenty of good Porters and Black Stouts, but a Brown Stout ? 🙂 exactly!
Notice the nice Brown foam..
Video of the fermentation the morning after :- )
For our 10 gallon batch we used these grains and also used 1LB of Light DME, to add to the ABV% without affecting the color of the beer or taste too much.
18 lbs of Marris Otter Malt
9 lbs British Brown Malt
4 lbs Amber Malt
1.4 lbs Black Malt (Roasted)
1LB Light DME
6 ounces of Columbus hops (used for bittering) added at the beginning of boil with a 90 minute boil.
Our first choice was WLP007, but it was sold out // so we picked a British Ale #1098 and did a 3 liter starter. There are many other yeasts you could probably try, depending on what you like.