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Dunkelweizen - German beer, brewed badly by me.

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kiwi View Drop Down
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    Posted: 28 August 2010 at 19:27
By request -
So, I really like dunkelweizen. It's a dark Württemberg style wheat beer. I think I prefer the Germanic wheats to the Belgian style ones. IMHO, the Belgians are little too clingy to the tradition of loading the beer up with adjuncts like corriander and orange peel. Also, the Belgian brewers like to use unmalted wheat, and I do really like the malty taste of a german weizen (wheat, Württemberg) or weissbier (white beer, Bavaria).

The style is popular in southern Germany.

There are some good imitations around the world in this style, but a common mistake is using a standard ale yeast - The weizen needs a special high-ester production yeast, feremented warm (even for an ale, 20*C) to get the clove, banana and so on in the nose. Here's some copy and paste [hefeweizen just means unfiltered wheat]:

Another balancing flavour note unique to hefeweizen beer is its phenolic character; its signature phenol is 4-vinyl guaiacol,[8] a metabolite of ferulic acid, the result of fermentation by ale yeast appropriate for the style. Hefeweizen's phenolic character has been described as "clove" and "medicinal" ("Band-aid") but also smoky. Other more typical but less assertive ale flavour notes include "banana" (amyl acetate), "bubble gum", and sometimes "vanilla" (vanillin).


Ok, so I'm make some 20L of dunkelweizen, using an allgrain method. As I'm writing this after the fact, I can tell you in advance that this didn't really go according to plan... pics and recipe to follow later, I'm just being kicked off SWMBO's laptop.

kai time!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 August 2010 at 19:49
Originally posted by kiwi kiwi wrote:

By request -
So, I really like dunkelweizen. It's a dark Württemberg style wheat beer. I think I prefer the Germanic wheats to the Belgian style ones. IMHO, the Belgians are little too clingy to the tradition of loading the beer up with adjuncts like corriander and orange peel. ....
 
Definitely have to agree with you there Kiwi. Coriander belongs in salsa, and other select foods, not beer. Great chemical descriptions of the brew. Look forward to seeing your pics.
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kiwi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kiwi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2010 at 05:34
Right, back to it - I use Beersmith, a great piece of software for brewing. You basically input recipe and equipment parameters, and it does the hard work for you, and also lets you know if you're inside style guidelines (great feature). This takes some of the legwork out of calculating things like predicted gravity (the sugars you aim to extract for a given brewing efficiency), IBU (bitterness), Colour, Volumes, and much more. It can even account for the changes age brings to your hop supplies (down to variations in how you've stored it). here's a screen dump.


I'm actually a bit outside of style guidelines on my recipe composition - I should have at least 50% wheat malt, I'm down around 40%.

Anyway, here are the sacks of grain I've started with:


On the left there is a mix of NZ pilsner malt, German wheat malt, crystal malt, Munich malt, and Vienna malt. the middle is dark wheat malt, and the right is chocolate malt. I'm going to be using a modified version of the boil in bag method for mashing - I'll hold the grain in a bag during saccharification (hydrolysis of starch to sugars) in my brew pot, and hold the grain bag above the pot to drain, but I'll try to approximate sparging (rinsing the grain, sorta) by doing a second infusion with new water.

My strike water is heated to 54C, and the grain is added, bringing it down to 50C for the protein rest. I'm using muslin cloth as a bag. as it turns out, bad idea - not strong enough for a full mash, and dramas ensue. It works well for partial mash, but for the full grain option something sturdier is needed.



close enough!
Now the pot is insulated for the duration of the rest - 30 mins.

It rests for 30 mins, then the temp is ramped up over 15 minutes to 68 for saccharification, where it is held for 45 mins. Then it is ramped up again for mashout over 10 minutes to 75.5C, nd held for 10 mins. Then I try to do my sparging as detailed above, everything goes wrong, and I make an enormous mess.

Anyway, when I eventually sort out my mess, I've combined my wort (pronounced wert) in the brew pot for the boil - this is where we reduce the now sugary liquid, and add hops for flavour, aroma and preservatives.


This is at the start of the boil. see that foam collecting? that's various proteins, coagulating. soon that will clump up and sink in what we call the hot break.

Post hot break, adding my bittering hops with 60 mins remaining in the boil. some more hops will be added for aroma in the final 15 mins.

After the boil (75 mins in this case), we want to cool down the wort as fast as possible to get a good 'cold break'. My immersion chiller is 'indisposed', so I'm crash cooling by placing the pot in a sink full of water, and changing it frequently / stirring, etc.

I've also got a starter going - dilute wort and my yeast strain (WB-06, nice wheat beer yeast), so as to get a good aggressive start to my ferment.


more to come tomorrow.

kai time!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kiwi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2010 at 15:09
Okay this all happened a day ago now, but after the wort was cooled, it is transfered to the fermenter, and the yeast is pitched. I'm fermenting this one at 20-21C to get a good estery profile. here are my two beers fermenting away - the left is this dunkelweizen (named Drunkelweizen), on it's primary ferment, the right is an IPA, being dry hopped in secondary.


the final thing to do is take an original gravity reading so I can calculate ferment progress and ABV as things progress -


Roughly 1.051 - Should be about a 5.5% beer, depending on how dry my yeast finishes. Thats pretty close to target, so I'm fairly happy with that considering the actual brewing was a debacle. That's one of the nice things about beer, you just ferment the sucker til it's done and don't worry about it. Wine is more stressful.

More updates as the ferment continues - I'll be racking to secondary in a week, and bottling after that, then the bottles condition.... It'll be bloody ages til I get a drink Cry


kai time!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boilermaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2010 at 15:32
Awesome!  I used to do a lot of all grain brewing so will enjoy watching this come to completion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kiwi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2010 at 15:47
Damn, you'll recognise my incompetence with ease then LOL Embarrassed

What sort of mashing setup do you have? I'm thinking that I'm going to build a decent setup before I brew again - hot liquor tank, gravity fed to a mash/lauter tun that I'll build in a cooler with a fly sparge arm, gravity drain to the kettle. I'm over this controling temperature stuff, I just want to do infusions.

keg or bottle?
kai time!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boilermaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 August 2010 at 19:56
Haven't brewed in over 10 years, once the kids started arriving there just hasn't been time.   Your technique looks fine to me.  Most of my equipment was homemade, my lauter tun was made from 2 nested five gallon buckets, the top one which held the mash had holes drilled in the bottom to let the wort and wash water drain through and the bottom bucket had a pvc stopcock which drained into my boiling vessel.   My cooling worm was just a coiled section of copper tubing in a a cooler of ice water that the wort gravity fed into.

The only part of brewing that I didn't enjoy was the cleaning and sanitizing so I bought a small kegging system and did away with bottling.  The bottles are convenient for serving and age well but a PITA to clean.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kiwi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 August 2010 at 20:23
The technique only looks fine because I skipped out a lot of photos from the middle :)

I really want a kegging setup - bit pricey for the hobby budget at the moment, though I'm hoping my partner in crime will break down and want to invest before I do LOL. A better brew setup is a much more urgent need I think. After people have helped out scrubbing bottles a few times I'm sure the purse strings will loosen.
kai time!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kiwi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 September 2010 at 19:41
Nice thing about wheat beers (hefe- and dunkelweizens anyway) is they should be  f r e s h.

After 9 days or so in primary, most of the attenuation is done. Finished spot on with an FG @ 1.015.

I drained the beer off the trub (lees, but I'm using the german lingo for this beer) into a bottling bucket, and used about 145g of cane sugar for a nice strong carbonation, then bottled. It's much better to mix the priming sugar in the bottling bucket like this - less measuring. I've used two different bottle sizes, 12 750mls and 30 330mls. The 750's make life easier (less work), but sometimes you just want one beer, right? hence the 330's.

Now it's bottled, I'll leave them at room temp (18C) for a day for the yeast to kick off again, then slowly lower the temp using a swamp cooler (read: fan and wet cotton sheets) to lower that to maybe 14-15C for better carbonation. I'll let them prime for a week, and see where they're at. I expect to be drinking them in about 10 days. Remember, weizens are drunk very fresh, it's a yeasty beer. Other beers take a lot longer than this! My IPA is still sitting in secondary, and it was started about 3 weeks before the dunkelweizen. Probably won't be drinking it for another 2-4 weeks yet. Still, exciting.

My new mashing setup is taking shape - will be a two tier, three stage rig, keggle wth sight glass, sexy bimetal thermo, valved drain etc for the hot liquor tun, cooler (chilli bin to all southerners) with a SS shower braid filter as the mash/lauter tun, and an identical keggle as the kettle. The whole setup will be gravity fed and will run on a single gas burner. Eventual upgrades will be mag drive pump, a thermostat controlled element in the HLT, and a recirculation / heat exchange system between the HLT and MLT. All that will wait until after I get a kegging setup - parts are bloody dear for that sort of thing outside of the USA.

Toys, toys toys. Big smile
kai time!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kiwi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 September 2010 at 17:02

MMMMMMM dunkelweizen. So malty and chocolately and bananaish (actually a bit too much banana in there, couldn't keep the ferment cold enough)... Bit young yet, the flavours need to meld a bit more, but won't be long now, just a couple more days conditioning I reckon.

I've brewed an Irish Red Ale now (though I didn't use a traditional yeast, I've allowed myself to be influenced by the American style reds I'm afraid), and a Bavarian Hefeweizen is on the cards for next weekend. After that will be a English bitter, the classic 'session beer'.

I hadn't really given much thought to how regional beer styles are - but wow they really are. At the root of it is probably the local water. Due to local water profiles, you couldn't brew a good pilsner in Dublin, and you certainly couldn't brew a good stout in Pilsen. I strongly encourage any of you guys who enjoy a good beer to give all grain brewing a go. Then you can match your regional cuisine with a regional beer! If anyone is interested, I built my mash tun (one of the main bits of kit you need aside from a big pot) very cheaply and easily, and documented it with photos. Let me know if you want to see it.

This is an enormous amount of fun, and it produces beer. Beer!

Kiwi
kai time!
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