An English Style Ale

Yesterday I brewed an English Style Ale. A simple recipe using whole leaf Fuggle hops. The homebrew store was out of Mild Malt so I substituted Vienna Malt. Not very english but should do the trick. Going to let the carboy just sit open to replicate open fermentation tanks. There is really no reason to do this at home but oh well it will be fun and authentic. Tomorrow I'll be bottling my Hefeweizen.

Spiced Hefeweizen

It's fun brewing when a recipe snowballs into a kitchen sink brew. I started thinking I wanted to brew a lemongrass/peppercorn Hefe. Then thought why not throw some bay leaves in, and what's that a blood orange in the drawer, I think that would go nicely. So that's it, a Lemongrass Bayleaf Blood Orange Peppercorn Hefeweizen. I didn't go overboard with any of the spices and herbs. They should play a sixth man sort of role against the phenols of the Hefe yeast and body of grist bill. Fermenting within hours after knockout. Starting Gravity of 13 Plato. Also racked the Basic Hefe into 2nd carboy. Tasted banana, dry, tart, clove, and bready. The color is a very hazy straw yellow. Finished at a abv around four and a half. Already looking forward to bottling this one.

Hefeweizen Brew Day

Brewed in the new place this last weekend. Late on the update due to no internet at home yet. Very successful day brewing. Improvised a gravity system using the fridge and a stool. As you can see in the picture below.

I decided to brew a Hefeweizen style beer. Spring is just around the corner and a nice bavarian style wheat beer is a great seasonal. The wheat malt adds a dry, crisp character when used. Wheat malt also creates a nice rocky head. The Hefeweizen style uses unique yeast strains that can give the beer a varying amount of banana, clove, and bubblegum flavors. The color is a pale straw yellow to golden. There are a few different kind of weizen beers. Hefeweizens that are Mit Hefe (german for 'with yeast') or Krystal. Which means a clear wheat beer. There is also a Dunkelweizen. Which is a Hefe but with some darker malts to give a pronounced malt character with some caramel and chocolate notes as well as a amber to red color. That's not even getting into the white or wit aspects of wheat beers. Save for another day...

For this Hefeweizen I did a single infusion mash at 151 degrees for forty five minutes. Commenced vorlauf till the wort became clear. Smooth runoff even with all the wheat malt. Sparged with 170 degree water and collected seven and a half gallons. Knocked out around five gallons into the fermentor. Added the yeast and it was fermenting by the next morning.

Good brew day but was reminded of the fact that I need a home refractometer. A refractometer is a device used to measure the sugar content of a liquid and is used to measure the wort as it is being runoff. I'm excited about this basic style hefeweizen. The wheat malt and yeast characteristics will be on display in the final beer.

Hefeweizen Recipe
7 # Pale Wheat Malt
4 # Belgian Pilsner Malt
(:60) .5 oz Hallertau 3.8%
(:30) .5 oz Hallertau 3.8%
(:10) 1 oz Hallertau Mittlefruh 4.6%
Safbrew WB-06 (dry)