Homebrew: Hefeweizen

Heating Water
Heating water to 155°F.

We brewed up a hefeweizen last week, and below are the steps we followed.  The steps described are for extract brewing.

First, we sanitized all equipment that we use for our home brewing. After everything was sanitized, we filled a stainless steel pot with 2 gallons of water and heated it to 155°F.

Steep Grains
Steeping the grains.

While the water was heating, we made sure the grain bag was ready. We used 1/2 pound each of cara-pils and white wheat. Once the water was heated, we turned off the heat and soaked the grains in the hot water for 25 minutes. While soaking the grains, we lifted the bag in and out of the water to steep. Once the 25 minutes was up, we lifted the bag out of the water and placed it in a strainer over the pot to let water drip back into the pot. When it was finished we discarded the grains and added another gallon of water to the pot and brought the mixture to boiling.

Liquid Malt Extract
Liquid malt extract.

Dry Malt Extract
Dry malt extract.

Once the mixture was boiling, we turned off the heat and added the malt extracts. We used both a dry malt (2 lbs wheat DME) and a liquid malt (5 lbs wheat extract). We continuously stirred the mixture while pouring in the malts to prevent burning. This step is easier with two people because one can pour in the malts while the other stirs.

Once the malts were dissolved, we returned the mixture to a boil. Once a good rolling boil was established, we added the hops.

Rolling Boil
Rolling boil.

Weighed hops.

Tettnang hops were used (2/3 oz for bittering and 1/3 oz for aroma). The bittering hops were added first and a timer was set for 60 minutes. After 45 minutes, flavor hops were added.

Cooling Wort
Cooling the wort.

When the boil time finished, we removed the pot from the heat and placed it in an ice bath to cool down to 80°F. This usually takes us about 30-40 minutes. We used a large metal tub filled with cold water and set the stainless pot in it with the lid on the pot. Then we placed ice and ice packs in the water around the pot to help bring the temperature down.

Transfer Wort
Transferring the wort to a primary fermentor.

The cooled wort was poured into a primary fermenter and cool water was added to bring the volume to 5 gallons. We used a 6 gallon glass carboy as the primary fermenter and poured the wort through a strainer to help stop sludge in the pot from entering the carboy. When the carboy was full, we stirred the wort to mix well with the added water.

After stirring, we checked the specific gravity using our hydrometer.

Fermenting Homebrew
Fermenting the homebrew.

Carboy with airlock.

Last, we pitched the yeast. We used a dry yeast (Munich German wheat) that we poured directly into the carboy and stirred the wort so it was well mixed. After mixing well, we placed an airlock that contained water on top and stored the carboy for fermentation. The liquid in the airlock provides a barrier against contamination. We store our brew in a temperature controlled chest freezer. We keep the temperature around 70°F for brewing our ales.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *