Monday, July 20, 2009


My fifth brew is a nice simple Hefeweizen. This is the simplest recipe I've done to date (no steeping grains, dry yeast) but, you wouldn't have been able to tell by the mess I made, spilled water, spilled wort, broken hydrometer, nothing was going my way. In the end, I still made beer and it tasted good.

The key to good Hefeweizen is a good German wheat yeast that kicks off plenty off banana and clove aromas. I really enjoy the one that Free State makes every summer. For this brew I decided to give a dry yeast a try and see if I could make a good Hefe with it.

Tasting Notes: Pours with a huge fluffy white head, I think I overdid the carbonation a bit. Color is a hazy golden straw color. Aroma is full of cloves with just a hint banana, not the balance I was looking for. Flavor is about the same, wheaty with a nice clove flavor, not a lot of malt or sweetness. Finish is rather dry with plenty of carbonation, very refreshing. Mouth feel is a little light. Good beer overall*, but not exactly what I was aiming for. I was really surprised that the FG came out so low.

*I had picked up some Sam Adams Hefeweizen to use as a comparison beer because I usually find Sam Adams' beer to be pretty true to style, they're never great but always solid and accurate. Well not this time, what I bought was just another boring American wheat. It made my Hefe taste great in comparison. It's frustrating that breweries can't label their wheat beer correctly – If you want to use German words, use German yeast, simple enough.

For the next batch I want to try to get more banana than clove and hopefully a little creamier body via less carbonation and yeast attenuation. I'm going to try using a liquid yeast instead of the dry. The dry was good, but not the profile I want.

Recipe & Notes:

Original Gravity: 1.055
Expected Final Gravity: 1.013
Actual FG: 1.010
IBU: 12-16
Boil: 45 minutes
Pre-boil Volume: 5 gallons
Final Volume: 5 gallons
Apparent Attenuation: 81% (!!)
ABV: 5.9%

Muttons Wheat DME 6.0 lbs.

Vanguard 5.0%, 45 min. 1.0 oz.

Safbrew WB-06, 1 pack

Spring water from Welpman Spring in Morgan County, MO

Brewed on 05/21/2009 by myself.

Add 5 gallons of water and 3 pounds of extract, turn heat up. Add hops and boil for 45 minutes. At about 5 min. add the rest of the extract and the chiller to sanitize it.

Chill wort to about 80˚ or less, transfer to carboy, add water to 5 gallons, pitch yeast.

5/21/9:00pm – Pitched yeast at about 68˚. Managed to break my hydrometer and spill water and wort on multiple occasions.

5/22/10:30am – Kraeusen starting to form, just a thin film. Temp = 66˚.

5/23/7:30pm – Kraeusen starting to settle down, primary appears to be past. Temp = 68˚.

6/5/09 – Bottled ten 650ml bottles, ten 22oz bottles and seven 500 ml bottles which is about 4.6 gallons. Used 8.7oz of corn sugar which came out to about 4.3 volumes of CO2.


  1. If you like more banana than clove, you might want to ferment at a little higher temperature. I'm the opposite, I like more clove than banana. The new Sierra Nevada Kellerweis is a pretty good American example of a Hefeweizen. It sounds like it would be right up your alley.

  2. I've had my eye out for the Kellerweis and there never seems to be any in stock when I'm at the beer store.

    I'm going to try Wyeast 3068 in my next batch and the higher ferm temp.