I’m usually not a big wheat beer fan as some breweries try to market them as fruit beers, but I do love Hefewizens. The first one that I ever had was by JW Dundee and it could be found in the discount/expired section of my local beer distributor in college. I’ve evolved my tastes since then and two summers ago, while in Germany on the Rhine river, I got to experience a real German Hefewizen. It was perfect. There were slight hints of clove, but the banana and bubblegum really won out along with a clean malt/wheat flavor. I would drink that beer, though I now forget its name, any day of the week.
My goals for this Hefewizen are simple, duplicate what I had in Germany. It’s a challenge but if done properly, I have have the taste of the Rhine on tap! To begin with I looked at the traditional ratios of wheat to base malt. They range a good bit so I went with a 50/50 split, which is a bit more base malt than most recipes called for. Hallertauer was an obvious hop choice for this one. My recipe is below:
- 5 lbs. Pilsner Malt (this one happen to be Rahr)
- 5 lbs. Red Wheat Malt (come from Briess)
- 1 lb. Rice hulls
- 1/2 oz. Hallertauer (4.5%) @ 45 min
- 1/2 oz. Hallertauer (4.5%) @ 15 min
- Yeast WLP300 Hefewizen Ale
The malt bill for this beer is pretty simple. I went a little overkill with the rice hulls as to avoid a stuck sparge but you could easily use half the amount and still be fine. WLP300 has some great reviews and seems to be really temperature dependent on the types of flavors it produces. The warmer the environment the more clove. I kept this beer back and fermented at 62-64°F to let the banana and bubblegum come out more. The expected stats for this beer are below:
- OG: 1.048
- FG: 1.012
- ABV: 4.7%
- IBUs: 12
I’ll ferment for 10 days or so and then it will go into the keg. Fresh Hefewizen is something special and I intend on taking full advantage of it. I do not plan on using a starter for this beer as I want the yeast to stress out a bit and produce off flavors (clove, banana, and bubblegum). This recipe is for 5.5 gallons.