All-grain hefeweizen recipe?

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All-grain hefeweizen recipe?

Postby Lawfish » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:23 am

When I started brewing again about a year and a half ago, I started with my favorite beer, a hefeweizen. I had no all-grain experience, so I used 6 lbs. of DME and 1 oz. of Hallertau. 60 minute boil, into the carboy, pitch (Safale wb-06), ferment, into the keg, drink. Lather, rinse, repeat. This made a classic and excellent hefe.

So now I've converted to all-grain brewing and my ales have come out exquisite, except for my hefe. The new grain bill is 5 lbs. Pilsner and 5 lbs. malted wheat. Mash for 60 minutes at 156 (to maximize dextrines and sweetness). I've tried lower mash temps too, but it always comes out nearly white in color and virtually tasteless. None of that delicious sweetness I always got with the DME. I've considered adding some specialty malts, but all the go-to recipes are about the same grain bill I've been using. Classic hefe doesn't use any specialty grains.

Any suggestions here?
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Re: All-grain hefeweizen recipe?

Postby homebrewer007 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:54 pm

I know this is an old question, but since no one answered it I figured others may have the same question.

Your grain bill looks good depending on what type of efficiency you are getting from your system. Usually we shoot for 75% efficiency out of our mashtun. So assuming you are right around the 75% we can begin to troubleshoot some other things that might be happening. Let us first look at your mash temp. Using 50% Pilsner Malt, you should be doing a step mash beginning at 127* F for 20 minutes. Pilsner malt is not as highly modified as the 2 Row, so we need to do a protein rest to ensure conversion can take place. After your protein rest we want to raise the mash temp to 154* F for 60 minutes for our scarification rest. After the 60 minutes, I usually do the mashout at 168* F for 15 minutes and begin my sparge. Either a batch sparge or fly sparge are appropriate for this style so long as your sparge is held at 168* F. At this point I normally take my per-boil gravity reading with my refractometer and ensure I am on target according to my brewing software and recipe. If I am off by too many points I can either adjust my boil time or add a little bit of DME to the boil to make up the difference.

I also would suggest looking at your mash PH as well. Using Pilsner Malt alters your PH drastically versus using just 2 Row. You need to know what your PH is starting out, and more importantly what your water table is before you even begin brewing. From there you can make adjustments to your water. The Heffe does really well at a mash PH of 4.9-5.1. Also considering using Acid Malt to lower the mash PH when using Pilsner Malt.

Another note about using Pilsner Malt is the boil. We should be doing a 90 minute boil when using 50% Pilsner Malt due to the sulfide content and the driving off of DMS.

Ensure you are pitching the correct amount of healthy yeast and the strain is appropriate to the style. www.mrmalty.com is a great resource for yeast pitch rates.

Also Heffe yeast likes to be warm. Upwards of almost 80* F will throw those banana, clove, bubble gum flavors we seek in a traditional Heffe.

One last addition to the grain bill you may consider is using Carapils. Usually one pound will suffice to give the beer a nice full mouthfeel and body along with good head retention.

I hope this helps for future brews.
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Re: All-grain hefeweizen recipe?

Postby Lawfish » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:01 am

Homebrewer007, thank you! I joined a local homebrewing club earlier this year and posed the same question and got a very similar answer. I recently also purchased a cheap fridge with a temp controller so now I can control the temps for all my fermentations. I did the recipe you provided above, but fermented it at around 66 degrees. It had none of the banana that I love so much. So next time, I will just ferment it in the open air of my basement, which stays around 75 degrees this time of year.

I've been trying to replicate a heffe I made a dozen times with DME that always had that nice banana/clove flavor to it. I made those before I got a controlled temp fermenter. I think that's the last missing piece of the puzzle.
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Re: All-grain hefeweizen recipe?

Postby bitter » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:20 pm

Temperature is definitely a big role in yeast character for beer making as is your mash temperature... Yeast selection goes hand in hand with the previous 2.

Have you checked your thermometer? Is it ok... being off a few degrees can make a difference. You could also try to go up about 1.5 degrees but 158 can be pushing it.

Carafoam as mentioned is a good idea carahell might be a good idea or worth a try also. You could also make of get some crystal wheat or barley malt but it can darken the beer outside this style will help with sweetness due to the carmalized sugar in the grains being unimplementable.

How sweet are you expecting? what was the Fg of you previous batches?

Depending on your water profile you might need some acid malt to lower the ph a little for that beer. You have a ph meter?

I have an oaked/bourbon Scotish Ale on tap right now similar to Innis and Gunn and also a blond ale... My efficiency if getting higher than expected about 85% now compared the the expected 75% so the blonde ale is nto really a blonde... due the the 7.2% it over attenuated down to 1.006 instead of the expected 1.013 based on the 154 mash temp I used for the gain bill.

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