Weißbier #2

My first post in this blog was my first ‘serious’ attempt at a Bavarian weißbier, or rather, the first attempt where I took proper notes. It turned out well – it wasnt Weihenstephan, but it was a damn tasty weizen. All 10 gallons were guzzled within two weeks. The flavours were more pronounced than previous attempts, in particular the phenolic, clove-like aromas were to the fore when the beer was fresh. They seemed to fade a little as the beer aged, revealing some vanilla, banana, and coconut. For my tastes, I needed more of the banana flavour which I really associate with this beer.

One thing I noted that the yeast has very low flocculation properties, and likes to stay in suspension, even at cooler temperatures. I found this gave the beer a tart, acidic finish which I originally thought was acetaldehyde, but as I reached the end of the keg and more of the yeast dropped out, the beer became much more pallatable. Although these beers are meant to be drunk mit hefe, in my opinion it should only be a fairly small amount of yeast in suspension – you shouldn’t really be able to see any clinging to the side of the glass. That said, the slight tartness from the yeast did add a refreshing quality to the beer.

I also mentioned in my first post that I would alter only one factor at a time until I reached the flavour I was looking for when re-brewing this beer. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t be bothered with the decoction, acid rest, and crash cooling this time around. To compensate, I added a little extra Munich malt and Cara-munich to add melanoidins and a little caramel flavour. I kept the level of oxygen the same, as well as the pitching rate; but increased the fermentation temperature to 20C, in hope of some more banana esters.

The recipe is here. It’s being brewed for a party, so I’ll be tapping it in two weeks.

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One comment

  1. Geoff · August 25, 2009

    A follow up to this post. The fermentation temperature of 20C was too high, the beer was overly phenolic and medicinal tasting. I’ve subsequently gone in the opposite direction, fermenting at 17C, with much better results.

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