With Germany recently winning the World Cup and us having never brewed a German beer style we decided this would be a great time to do just that. We decided to start with something quick and simple, and appropriate for summer temps in the Dirty South, so we chose a hefeweizen. In keeping with tradition we sat down one Saturday and drank through a handful of the most highly rated examples and made notes on what we liked and didn’t like about each one. To be honest they were all pretty close in terms of flavor and body, with some clove and banana on both the nose and palate. I discovered that hefes aren’t my favorite style, but still thought it would be fun to brew one. Plus a lot of my friends love them so it will be a great one to share. Since Brian is both extremely witty and hilarious he came up with the name Gooooolden Pint to tie in with the World Cup but I’ve dubbed it Hefe Five-O, because I am also witty and hilarious.
After all our diligent research we built a recipe of 53% wheat and 42% German Pilsen with 5% Munich thrown in for a touch more flavor and body. We used a small amount of Perle hops to bring us in at 14 IBU’s at fermented with Wyeast 3068, the Weihenstephan strain. The brewday itself ran quite smoothly with the only hiccup being that it took a long time to get the wort chilled as we didn’t have any ice for the recirculator and relied on ground water temps to get us cooled down. We should have gone to the store and grabbed a bag, but we didn’t, and there’s nothing we can do about that now.
OG was within 3 points of target so we sealed it up and put it in the fermentation chamber at 58% to work its magic. We kicked it up to 60°F after 24 hours and then to 62°F after another 24 hours, this method was chosen after I read some notes from Gordon Strong on starting them a bit cool and moving the temps up but staying in the low 60’s. It’s said the lower temps produce a very clean fermentation with nice clove and banana notes without being overpowering. Good, that’s exactly what we want.
Fermentation started slower than we usually see but after 24 hours it started to kick up and by the 2nd day the blow-off tube was playing us quite a song. I checked it after 10 days in and gravity is at 1.008 with an original target of 1.009. That puts ABV at Five-O… it was meant to be. Initial samples indicate this is going to be a great beer. As I said I’m not wowed by hefes in general, but the sample was really tasty. This will go into the keg soon and should be ready to go as soon as it’s carbed up.
We also did a little work on our Domain of The King Stout. After aging it on cocoa nibs for a couple weeks we transferred it onto some dark toasted oak chips soaked in Four Roses Small Batch bourbon and added some cold brewed coffee. For the coffee we went with a blend of locally roasted beans from Batdorf & Bronson that were incdredibly smooth with some dark fruit and chocolate notes. We’re aging it in the carboy at 55°F and we’ll check it weekly to see how it’s coming along, we expect this one to take a few months to be ready.