It's all in the Yeast
Hefeweizen is a simple, refreshing German style of beer whose main characteristics are determined by very low flocculating
yeasts that produce a cloudy end product ('hefe' in German means yeast.) Hefeweizen specific yeast strains also produce
characteristic phenol and ester compounds among others that remind tasters of bannana, clove, bubblegum.
The other major flavor comes from a grain bill of about half wheat - giving this beer a nice, full mouth feel and that crackery and subtly bready wheat flavor. The other half of the grain bill is generally Continental Pilsner malt.
Hopping, like many German styles, is fairly low and authentic results come from a Noble hop like Hallertau or an American offshoot like Liberty.
The yeast is the star of the show here. A good Hefeweizen cannot be made without the right yeast. Plain and simply, do
not bother to try. The three yeasts I would recommend are special Weizen strains from White Labs or Wyeast or
the dry Fermentis WB-06 wheat yeast. Reports are that a restrained fermentation temperature (62-64F) will produce a clean
fermentation with the desired ester and phenol characteristics.
On your grain bill, resist the urge to throw any adjuncts or other such in here ... save that for other styles. Hefeweizen is a clean, straight-forward, simple style that is meant to let the yeast do the talking.
|White Labs||Hefeweizen Ale Yeast||WLP300||Basic Hefeweizen yeast, moderate phenol and ester|
|White Labs||Hefeweizen IV Yeast||WLP380||More Clove and phenol, less banana than WLP300. Higher attenuation, less flocculant. Citrus & Apricot notes.|
|Wyeast||German Wheat||WY3333||Subtle weizen characteristics.|
|Wyeast||Bavarian Wheat||WY3638||Good amount of balanced banana/clove flavors with bubble gum, apple, plum.|
|Wyeast||Weihenstephan Weizen||WY3068||Full flavored, classic strain used widely by many producers in Germany.|
|Fermentis||Wheat Yeast||WB-06||Dry yeast alternative to the liquid cultures.|
|OG: 1.044 - 1.052||FG: 1.010 - 1.014||IBU: 8 - 15||SRM: 2 - 8||ABV: 4.3% - 5.6%|
All Grain Recipe - Hefeweizen ::: 1.052/1.012 (6.25 Gal)
Grain Bill (Assumes 70% Efficiency)
6 lbs. - Pilsner Malt
6 lb. - Wheat Malt
Hop Schedule (12 IBU)
1 oz - Hallertau (60 Min.)
** OR Use Liberty (1oz) instead **
Wyeast Weihenstephan Weizen (3068) - 800 ml starter
Mash at about 152 F.
Sparge as usual
Boil for 60 minutes
Cool and ferment at about 64F