I have been wanting to brew a Bavarian Hefe for a while but I just had no idea what to do with a wheat beer or where to even look for basis on recipe. I turned to one of my most recent book purchases, Brewing Classic Styles and found a bit of good information in there. Randy Mosher even has some good information in his books.
I knew for a while what I wanted in this beer and I guess that should have been the basis for the writing of this recipe but I was just not sure how to accomplish certain things, such as, a grapefruit character as well as banana and cloves. I went back and forth between adding a second hop addition for flavoring, throwing a whole orange in the boil, or maybe adding some grapefruit juice or nectar in before fermentation started. I even thought about adding coriander to the boil. But all this was stuff that I did not write in the recipe. Just ways I thought I could achieve the flavor profile I wanted.
So just like brewing any beer, yeast selection and fermentation was very important for what I wanted. As you can see, I chose a yeast that matched up perfectly. The hard part though was finding the right fermentation temperature. I scoured the net for contradictory post on forum to forum and just decided I would ferment at the same temperature I do everything at. 60.
After a last look in Brewing Classic Styles, they suggested 62. I am not sure that made a difference at all. I set my temp for 62, pitched my starter and about 5 hours later already bubbling away and a temperature check gave me a 67/68 degree fermentation. The yeast really got going and took over this beer.
I have not sampled it at all yet but really looking forward to it. I wonder how it is going to come out. This is for sure one of the lightest (in color) beers I have ever brewed. The runnings just really confused me and made me think I did not get proper extraction early one, but my OG came out a few points higher than I was expecting so there goes that.
The recipe for this one was 50% Wheat, about 10% Rye, and about 40% Belgian Pils. Why did I add the rye? Because I had it lying around and it did not seem like a bad idea. It fit what I wanted from the beer... on paper anyway, we will see how it comes out in the taste. Going to be kegging it up and tapping it soon. Making any adjustments needed from there.
I am glad I did not do all the crazy stuff I thought about while brewing this beer but we will see how happy I am with just the straight forward recipe. One thing I am glad I did though, was pick up rice hulls before the brewday. I was honestly going to go without them. I thought all those stuck sparge stories were just for fun. At the last second while leaving the shop, I grabbed them. Just because. Again, no issues here at all.
I guess maybe there was one thing I had a problem with. I wanted to use the spent grain from this beer to make bread with... or something at least, but all the rice hulls would have been a major issue so I just put all the grain into the composter. That could have been interesting and maybe this time it would not have looked like poop. I guess, maybe next time.