Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Around this time of year I'm always torn about what to brew, the weather is still a bit cool but warm days are creeping in now and then.  The cool weather makes me want a rich hearty beer, but on the warm days I'm really craving something light and drinkable like a table beer.  To top it off lately SWMBO has been making a huge dent into some of my favorite styles, especially my PA's.  I originally brewed this beer up for SWMBO  to keep her greedy hands off my other beers but I think its gonna be one of my favorites as well after tasting the sweet wort.

Hefeweizens are one of my wife's favorite styles, but I felt it was a bit early in the year for one, not to mention I'm not the biggest fan of the style.  What really sounded good to me though was something with a big caramelly malt backbone to balance the esters of the hefe yeast, while still fairly light bodied for the time of year.  A dunkelweizen seemed to fit the bill perfectly, and strangely this was one of the few styles I had yet to brew.  

For the base of the beer I wanted to make sure I had a nice malty, bready base malt, so I went and picked up some Vienna, and rounded out the flavor with a bit of caramunich, a pinch of carafa, and of course wheat malt (pictured).  The yeast though was one thing that I had to switch up last second as the LBHS didn't have what I was looking for.  Instead of WLP380 I went with WY 3333.  When I got home I got on the computer and searched for reviews of the yeast, and for whatever reason didn't find that many.  According to Mr Malty WLP380 = WY3333, but in my experience with Belgian strains from both companies there tends to be quite a bit of difference so I'm very interested to see how things compare.  

Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
5.0Wheat Malt
1.0Caramunich II
2.0 ozCarafa II
Amt (oz)TypeTime
1.0Crystal (5.6%)60
Mash Schedule
170F1.9qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastGerman Wheat WY3333 (500mL Starter)
76% effIBU16
7gal BoilFG


Gerben Harteveld said...

I like your recipe, instead of increasing the darker caramalts, you add a darker base malt. Do you have any experience with this yeast? It sounds like a classic!

Glass Half Full said...

Hi - Just wondering about your mash schedule - I see you didn't do a protein rest. I brew a lot of altbiers, and I always do a protein rest as I understood its a typical part of a German mash. Maybe not for weizen though? I'd be interested to know as I'd like to try doing one.

Ryan said...

GHF - I rarely do a protein rest, with the degree of modification in the malts available its generally not needed. The reason continental brewers used to do these rests is because they didnt have the best barley for brewing and had to do a more rigorous mash schedule as a result

IMO if your not buying the weyermann under-modified pils malt(link at bottom), a protein rest isn't really needed, and may negatively impact foam retention etc of you beer


Glass Half Full said...

I've seen that view expressed a lot - but in the Altbier book I have Horst Dornbusch says that for the Alt style, if you don't do a protein rest you aren't brewing an authentic alt - and goes on to say it improves the head retention and body by breaking down proteins into a soluble form. This was completely the reverse of what I'd read in books written by British and American home brew writers (maybe this is a cultural thing), but I've followed the advice on the last two or three brews. The latest effort was pure Munich malt and it has more body and head retention than anything I've ever brewed - I'm pretty thrilled with it. I think I'm coming out with Herr Dornbusch on this one.

BTW love the blog. Giving me lots of inspiration here.

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