With a yeast cake of White Labs 300, Hefeweizen Ale Yeast, left over from my Extract Hefeweizen sitting in my fridge I wanted to brew something with it. I considered doing a Dunkleweizen (Dark German Wheat) or a Roggenbier (German Rye), but with cold winter weather approaching I decided to step it up and do to my first Weizenbock. This is a rich, generally dark, wheat ale typified by Schneider Aventinus. Rather than having the big banana character of a Hefeweizen, Weizenbock has a more complex fruit character with banana mingled with dark fruit and a firm Bock-ish Munich maltiness.
I decided to go with a pretty moderate gravity for this batch (1.075), I wanted it to be big and flavorful, but not so big that I couldn't enjoy a pint on a weeknight. In general I like beers in this middle range (6.5%-8.5% ABV) sitting between session ales and the big monster alcohol bombs.
For most of the malt I went with a pretty standard mix of dark Munich, Vienna, and wheat malt. Instead of adding pilsener malt for the rest of the base I added some Marris Otter, which will add a bit more depth of maltiness that I don't get from pils in such a rich beer. I also added some Simpsons Extra Dark Crystal which added a wonderful character to the lagered Wheat Triplebock I brewed last fall. It adds a nice combination of dark fruit with just a hint of coffee, as well as some nice color. I went a bit lighter on it than I did in the Triplebock because this is a lighter beer that I want to be easier drinking.
I kept the fermentation pretty cool (58-60 ambient) to ensure that this beer turns out pretty moderate in terms of alcohol and ester character. After fermentation finished I gave the beer some time at 45 to allow the yeast to drop out and the flavors to meld.
Recipe Specifics (All-Grain)
Batch Size (Gal): 4.00
Total Grain (Lbs): 11.63
Anticipated OG: 1.075
Anticipated SRM: 17.2
Anticipated IBU: 20.6
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70 %
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes
6.00 lbs. German Wheat Malt
3.00 lbs. German Dark Munich Malt
1.50 lbs. Maris Otter
0.63 lbs. German Vienna Malt
0.50 lbs. Simpsons Extra Dark Crystal (~155L)
1.75 oz. Czech Saaz (Pellet @ 3.10% AA) 45 min.
0.25 Tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 13 Min.
0.50 Whirlfloc @ 13 Min.
White Labs WLP300 Hefeweizen Ale
Profile: Washington DC
Sacch Rest 60 min @ 152
Yeast cake saved from extract weizen when it was racked to the keg 9/25/09
Brewed 10/03/09 By myself.
Fly sparge. Collected 6 gallons of 1.055 wort. Added 1/4 tsp of CaCl to the runoff to drop the pH and ensure a good hot break.
1 Year old hop pellets reduced from 3.5% AA.
Cooled down to ~70, put into 58 degree fridge.
Pitched after ~4 hours with 60 seconds of pure O2. Good fermentation by 8 hours.
Good hard fermentation, a bit of blowoff after 2-3 days.
10/05/09 Upped temp to 60 to help it finish.
10/14/09 Dropped temp to 45 to help clear.
10/25/09 Still pretty hazy, balanced fruit character, some caramel. Down to 1.016 (79% AA, 7.8% ABV)
10/27/09 Racked to a three gallon secondary. Took out of fridge, left at basement temp. Extra beer racked into a growler and primed.
11/29/09 Bottled with 2 5/8 cane sugar. The growler was very tasty a few weeks back shared with a few friends, so I have high hopes for this one.
2/7/10 First tasting, turned out very well, good complex blend of flavors and aromas and solid drinkability.
4/28/10 Scored a 32.5 at the 2010 NHC. Judges thought it was old/oxidized, a character I don't really get.