Monday, August 22, 2011

Hoppy (Riwaka) Hefeweizen

Flameout Riwaka hop addition.I've always been a homebrewer who is inspired to try the next thing (ingredient, technique, combination etc...), the batch I'm most excited about is usually the one I'm about to brew.  As a result, I have tended to avoid rebrewing the same sorts of beers on a regular basis.  However as time goes by I'm starting to get the desire to dial in the recipes for a few of my favorite batches.  The Hoppy Hefeweizen I brewed last summer was so good (the combination of fruity/spicy yeast and citrusy American hops), that I had to brew something similar again this year.

Despite how much I enjoyed that original batch, I still made two major changes for the rebrew (I couldn't help myself).  I simplified the mash to a single infusion; for a regular hefeweizen I'm willing to go through the time/effort of a decoction mash, but with a load of aroma hops I don't think the subtle complexities are worth the additional time and effort (but we shall see).  I also switched the hopping to Columbus (from Perle) for bittering, and Riwaka (from Cascade and Amarillo) for aroma.  Riwaka is a relatively new variety from New Zealand that reportedly has a strong citrus character similar to Cascade (the "tastes like chicken" of the hop world).  Anything in that area should be a good addition to the banana-forward-fruitiness that the the Weihenstephan strain will contribute.

Strained out hops post-boil.At the moment I have two other beers fermenting/carbonating that feature Southern Hemisphere grown hop varieties as well (a 2.25% "IPA" with Nelson Sauvin, and a double IPA with Galaxy).  The Oceanian varieties are supposed to have a big fruit character including tropical, citrus, and white wine notes (missing the pine that American grown hops tend to contribute). It has been interesting to experiment with new hop varieties, especially with the current scarcity of similar American varieties until the fall harvest.  I ordered the hops from an Australian homebrew shop a couple months ago, with shipping it worked out to just under $4 an ounce.  If I'd waited a few weeks longer many of the same varieties began showing up at some American homebrew shops for half that price (although I got mostly whole hops and I've only seen pellets imported).

I've got high hopes for this beer as a refreshing late-summer drinker.

Riwaka HoppyWeizen

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 5.25   
Total Grain (Lbs): 15.63
Anticipated OG: 1.054 
Anticipated SRM: 6.0
Anticipated IBU: 47.1
Brewhouse Efficiency: 48 % (74% including second runnings)
Wort Boil Time: 75 Minutes

64.0% - 10.00 lbs. German Wheat Malt                
32.0% - 5.00 lbs. American Pale Malt (2-row)  
4.0% - 0.63 lbs. CaraVienna

1.00 oz. Columbus  (Pellet  12.00% AA) @ 60 min.
3.50 oz. Riwaka (Whole, 5.50% AA) @ 0 min.
3.50 oz. Riwaka  (Whole, 5.50% AA) @ Dry Hop

0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.

WYeast 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen

Water Profile
Profile: Washington DC

Mash Schedule
Sacch Rest - 60 min @ 154   
Mash Out - 15 min @ 168

Brewed 8/6/11

Cut filtered tap water with 2 gallons of distilled to lower carbonate, added 4 g of gypsum to boost sulfate.  

Crush didn't look great, but ended up with 6.5 gallons of 1.046 runnings (first runnings only).  Sparged to make a second runnings beer (Nelson Jr. IPA)

Chilled to 65 F and pitched an inflated pack of yeast (no starter), but it was less than a month from manufacture.  Left at 63 F ambient to ferment in a large bucket.  Three days later raised the temp to 65 F.

8/20/11 Racked to a purged keg, put into the fridge at 34 F for a week of cold conditioning before dry hopping.

8/28/11 Moved out of the fridge.

9/3/11 Dry hopped in a mesh bag weighted down with marbles.

11/9/11 Turned out nicely, good balance of citrus hops and banana yeast. Took longer than expected to get here though, too yeasty initially.


Austin B. said...

Are you planning on doing a post about the Nelson Jr.? I'm intrigued about a sub-3% "IPA". Last time I checked HopsDirect had Galaxy, pellets of course. I recently had a local brewery's pale ale brewed with 100% Galaxy and they certainly contributed an intense tropical fruitiness, but also quite a bit of an herbal/resiny character, which should work out well for a DIPA.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Most of that post is already written, should be up next Monday. The micro-IPA is already on gas, and is surprisingly good. The key for a beer like that is low attenuation, it only went from 1.030 to 1.014. Pretty excited to see how it turns out.

Glad to hear the Galaxy has some complexity in addition to the tropical fruit. Just brewed that Thursday, so it has a few weeks to go.

ryanb said...

Mike - Do you recommend cold conditioning an IPA before dry hopping? Thanks in advance!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

When I have the time I like to give my dry hopped beers a week of cold conditioning before dry hopping to reduce the yeast count. I warm the beer back up before adding the hops though.