Nervous Energy

hops in a glass

A pale, sessionable, New Zealand hopped weizen in mid-winter? This might be better as summer beer, but I'm not organised enough to plan all my beers by season. I've wanted to brew a weizen for a while now, but had to wait until the temperatures in my basement fell low enough. I'm using Wyeast's 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen yeast here and the recommended temperature range is 18-24°C. I'm planning to ferment at the lower end of that scale to keep the banana flavours under control but, as I have no means of controlling temperature, I needed ambient temperatures below 18°C to make that possible. My basement is now down to 16°C, so it should mean that the fermentation temperature will end up nicely at the lower end of the recommended range. Living in Germany means that I can get hold of a huge range of weizens, so I didn't want to brew yet another one, so I'm pushing up the hop aromatics by using lots of late additions of New Zealand hops.

The grain bill is a pretty simple one, Pilsner malt, dark wheat malt and a bit of Weyermann CaraBelge for a hint of colour and caramel flavours. I went with a stepped infusion mash, staring with a 45°C, 20 minute, ferulic acid rest. Then a protein rest of 15 minutes at 50°C, followed by two saccarification rests, 30 minutes at 65°C and 15 minutes at 70°C. I finally mashed out at 77C.

I'm using two varieties of New Zealand hops, Motueka and Pacific Gem. Motueka is described as having lemon and lime flavours with hints of tropical fruit, while Pacific Gem has an oaky character with a disctinct blackberry aroma. I'm hoping that these will work well with the clove and banana aromas that I'm expecting from the yeast. The hop additons for the beer are heavily weighted toward the end of the brew. The only boil addition was a 10g bittering addition of Magnum for 60 minutes. After the boil I added 25g each of Motueka and Pacific Gem in a 40 minute hop stand. The rest of the hops (75g each of Motueka and Pacific Gem) will go in as dry hops.

yeast starter

I pitched a 1.2l starter of Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen and left the wort at room temperature (20°C) until the fermentation was going strong before taking the fermentor down to the basement to finish its thing while I go off to London to try some exciting craft beers.

Vital Details

Batch size: 21l
Expected OG: 1.049
Expected FG: 1.012
Expected ABV: 4.8%
Colour (SRM): 7.3
IBU: 34

58.1% (2.50 kg) Pilsner Malt
34.9% (1.50 kg) Dark Wheat Malt
7.0% (0.30 kg) CaraBelge

Magnum (10g / 17 IBU) @ 60 min
Pacific Gem (25g / 12 IBU) @ hop stand (40 min)
Motueka (25g / 5 IBU) @ hop stand (40 min)
Pacific Gem (75g / 0 IBU) @ dry hop (5 days)
Motueka (75g / 0 IBU) @ dry hop (5 days)

Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Wheat