Brewing Beer; Lesson 2 -
Most Americans are familiar with Hefeweizen due to small breweries like Widmer and Pyramid, though there are others that make Hefeweizen as well. That cloudy, pale golden beer of lower alcohol content, capped off with a lemon wedge... A delicious beer during the hot summer months. What most Americans are NOT familiar with is that Wheat Beer does not stop at the cloudy glass of pale gold liquid. Oh no my friends... for there is the Darker side of Hefeweizen, otherwise known as Dunkelweizen.
Dunkelweizen tends to be a little higher in alcohol, about 5.5 - 7%. It's still cloudy due to the yeast and proteins from the wheat, but unlike it's pale golden sibling, Dunkel is copper to dark amber in color. It also blends Malty Chocolate flavors with the signature Banana/Clove of the yeast. For me, this is a HefeWeizen for the cooler seasons of the year. A great Autumnal beer, right up there with the Oktoberfest brews.
Before I begin, I am going to recommend an excellent book on Home Brewing, The New Complete Joy Of Home Brewing by Charlie Papazian. Informative, yet whimsical, Charlie breaks everything down for you and takes you through the process from start to finish. Whether you are an extract brewer, a full mash brewer or a hybrid brewer, this is the book for you. There is a newer 3rd Edition available at Amazon, but I am still using the 2nd.
There are a few other links I need to set you up with.... Those are yeast suppliers.... Both White Labs in San Diego, CA and Wyeast in Odell, OR (cultivated in the shadow of Mt. Hood)
Online Hop Suppliers..... Fresh Hops, HopTech and Hops to You.....
and basic Malt extracts and/or Grain suppliers at at Valley Vinter and Brewer, Midwest Supplies or Home Brew It
Just in case you do not have a brewer's supply shops in your area
OK let's get this brew in the fermentor!!
I am using a 50/50 (yet again) mix of cracked Munich and White Wheat in a mashing bag to assist with later filtration. (the grains must be cracked to increase surface area for the enzymes to work on - Just cracked though, not turned into flour)
When it reaches 130 degrees pour in the cracked malted grains.
This is why I like the Mashing bag, it makes removal of the grains all that much easier... So grab ends of the bag and stretch it over another pot.
So place the wort you made into your largest pot, add about 3 1/2 gallons of water and heat it to 175 degrees.
Once the wort has been boiling for 45 minutes, it's time to add the flavoring hops for the last 15 minutes of the boil. (If I was using aroma hops, I would add those the last 1-2 minutes)
Which I will cover in the next post ...... Yeast and You