Here we go now! Time to FINALLY brew up a, hopefully, solid Bavarian style Hefeweizen!!! I've got the right grains, Hallertau hops, and yeast directly from the Weihenstephan brewery...so the "stuff" is all correct, so let's see if the final product is worthy of my homage to the best wheat beer on the planet:
Weihen-Hefe (LBBP Wheat) - brewed on 6/11/2011 - Briess White Wheat: 3 lbs 7oz - Briess Pilsner: 2 lbs 1 oz - Hallertau pellets: 1/2 oz - Wyeast Weihenstephan slurry
pre-brew plan of attack: "no-sparge" brewing round two. 4.25ish gallons of water heated to 158° before grains are added, and I am going to keep the mash temps at 153-154 for 90 minutes to allow for full utilization (since this is my first time with Pils malt and I have read it can be finicky). Then raise the temp to 170° for 10 minutes to mash out. 90 minute boil (to drive off DMS). Fermcap will be a MUST to avoid a blowout as I am shooting for about 2.5 gallons into the LBK anticipated OG: 1.055 - IBU 10.9 - ABV 5.3% planning on 10 days of fermenting, 2 weeks (or until a bottle gets rock solid, so a few days either way), then get a few in the fridge ASAP!!! hoping to be drinking this baby in the first week or two of July...
actual brew day: per the advice of a few fellow MBFans, I began the mashing process by taking the 4.25 gallons and heating it up to 115° and then mixed in the grains. for about 15-20 minutes I held this ACID REST phase which is intended to help with conversion for this these types of grains in particular. so I figured: why not? after that, I heated the mash up to 154° (stirring frequently to try to prevent scorching) and let that ride out for another 70 or so minutes, stirring and checking the temps every 15-ish minutes. Then heated up to 168° to mash out for 10 minutes. The grain sack was then removed, and I allowed it to drip out into the kettle while I heated the wort to a boil. I did a full 90 minute boil, adding the hops after the first 30 minutes. Once that was done and the chiller got the wort down to 68°, the goodness went into the LBK, whisked up, and in went the yeast slurry and 5 drops of FermcapS. Started cleaning up, whisked again, and now I how to keep the fermentation temperature around 70° to get the banana notes I am looking for! actual stats: OG 1.057 - eff 78% - abv 5.6% - ibu 10.7
ferment through 6/22-25 ~update 6/13 in the AM: the LBK was sitting nicely around 70° for all of a day, and then it spiked up to 74° and I actually had some blowout. not too bad, but a little mess to clean nonetheless. put it into a cooler with ice packs to drop the temperature down...got it to about 65-66 and then removed the LBK from the cooler, and now it is hovering in the 68° neighborhood on the bar top. ~update 6/16: temp has been pretty steady 68-70° for the past 2 days, and there is still a thick goopy krausen layer on top. Bonus: no rotten eggs smell this time!
carb/condition through 7/9/2011 ~bottling update: I am going to split this batch into 2 different types of bottles, and carb/condition them differently as well. Here is the plan: (8) 500mL swing tops and (2) 16oz plastic bottles are going to be naturally carbed, BUT (8) of the 16oz plastic bottles are going to be force carbed using a "Carbonator Cap" - These bottles are going to be chilled immediately, then after a few days hit with CO2 and then returned to the fridge to allow the beer to absorb the gas. I had wanted to do this quite some time ago, but I simply forgot! This is a test to see if I can achieve kegging results, but by the bottle. If all goes well (and I can exercise patience), I will crack open a forced carbed plastic bottle on or around the 1st of July...for testing purposes of course ;-)
Oh, BTW, the smell and sample shot during bottling was quite nice. Grainy, banana bread-y, seemed pretty solid...
1st force carbed tester: 6/27/2011 ~WOW!!! only 16 days from brew day and I couldn't resist trying one of these...and I am glad I did! It poured a pale gold that was darker near the head, and speaking of head, there were about 2 fingers of fluffy white bubbles that gradually settled into a 2cm line that lingered the whole way down the glass. awesome! The aroma was typical of the 3068 fermented in the low 70s: banana bread :-) The taste followed suit, definitely sweet banana bread-y...and the mouthfeel is velvety smooth that goes down easy. I don't know how this will possibly get any better than it is right now. I am literally amazed that it is this good, this fast!!! There is not a thing I would change; welcome to the LBBP rotation!
1st naturally carbed tester around 7/16 ~8/8/2011 update: oh yeah...this weizen is awesome! this simple recipe could easily hold its own in the battle of "best LBBP brew to date". From the creamy mouthfeel to the banana esters, this beer has it all. ~Next Recipe~