Re-visiting this recipe because, quite frankly, it's been to long for a beer this tasty to not have been brewed again! The unique hoppy notes from Saphir blend with the distinct characters of the Wyeast 3068 while there is juuuust enough malt presence to keep every component in check. The original hoppy German wheat beer called "Hopfenweiss" from Schneider & Sohn was/is the inspiration...and it is for good reason. If you see a bottle, pick it up! It does not disappoint. This time around, I decided to tweak the grain bill by using pils malt, a touch of Munich, and to aim for a higher OG.
Hopfenkuss V2 - brewed on 2/22/2014 (3.5 gallons post-boil)
Wheat malt - 4 lbs, 8 oz Pils malt - 4 lbs Munich malt - 8 oz Hallertau Pellets - 1.25 oz @ 60 mins Apollo Pellets - 0.125 oz @ 60 mins Saphir Pellets - 1 oz @ 20 mins and 1 oz @ 7 mins Saphir Pellets - 3/4 oz @ Dry Hop Wyeast Labs 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen yeast slurry
OG 1.077 - IBU 39 - ABV 7.5-ish%
The brew day went quite well, and I had 78% efficiency from the grain bill. After the 95 minute boil (to get the volume down where I needed it) and cooling to the low 70s°...the slurry was pitched, and it went RIGHT to work. I think the "lag time" was maybe 2 hours. It has been blowing up the airlock like a rapid-fire machine gun (as if there are other types?) for 2 days straight at 65°. I don't think there will be any problems to add the dry hops on March 3rd or 4th and bottle on the 8th or 9th.
update 3/4/2014: added the 3/4 oz dry hops today. smelled great inside the fermenter when I opened the lid, and the Saphir hops smell awesome all on their own! looking to bottle this weekend and that would put the first tester bottle around the 3/26/14
update 4/12/2014 this beer has a smooth and almost creamy mouthfeel that makes it really easy to drink. if you weren't told that the ABV is north of 7%, I honestly don't think you would know it. the Saphir are lending a little citrus candy note (blend of grapefruit, and tangerine/orange, but not as distinct as the last time I used this hop) to go along with the typical hefe background. it is quite balanced in the end actually. in Germany this beer is leaning toward the extreme, but it is certainly far from IPA hop levels that we are used to here in the USA. so what I got here that is exactly what I was going for!