Pinkus Hefe-Weizen Clone

>> Friday, April 15, 2011

This weekend I'm brewing a Pinkus Hefe-Weizen Clone.  I don't normally drink a ton of hefe but I do enjoy the style especially as the weather gets warm.  I brewed a Bavarian style hefe a while back and it was good, but the clove flavors were a bit strong for my taste.  The Pinkus Hefe reminds me more of an American style hefe since the yeast character is a bit more neutral.  WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch should provide the clean low-ester character I'm looking for and is less flocculant than a lot of ale yeasts, so some will remain in suspension.

Credit for this recipe goes to brewmastermike on HBT.  He indicates he got some help from the brewmaster at Pinkus-Muller on recipe formulation.  His recipe uses a 50/50 wheat/barley mix.  I found a couple resources that suggested a 60/40 wheat/barley mix is used in the commercial version so that's what I'm going with.  Also my LHBS was out of Hallertauer so I'm substituting Liberty.

Recipe
6.6 pounds Weyerman Wheat Malt
4.4 pounds Dingemans Pale 2 row
1 ounce Hallertauer 90 min
.25 ounce Hallertauer 15 min
.25 ounce Hallertauer Hersbrucker 5 min
1 package of White Labs German Ale/Kolsch yeast (WLP029)

I used a 1.03 liter yeast starter.

Mash
Step mash - 13.75 quarts for a protein rest at 122F for 30 min
Step to 143F for 30 min
Step to 151F for 30 min
Step to 162F for 30 min
Mash out at 168F

Notes
I'll be using a handful or two of rice hulls in the mash to help prevent a stuck mash.  Chill to 65F and aerate well.  Gradually raise to 68F.

Brewing Notes
I'm getting a little later start than I'd planned.  I turned on the sprinklers yesterday.  Turns out it looks like whoever installed my sprinkler system forgot to cement (only primed) one of the joints.  It held for a couple years but separated last night at some point.  Long story short it filled up the window well and started leaking into my daughter's room.  Fun stuff.

This is the first session using the Siphon Spray Wort Aerator on my sparge arm.  So far it's working great.  Originally I was using copper pipe with slots cut so the returning liquor was gently distributed across the top of the grain bed.  I switched from a stainless steel hose braid to a false bottom a little while back and it allows small grain pieces and husks to flow through until the grain bed sets up.  This resulted in these pieces clogging the slots in the sparge arm.  The Siphon Spray Wort Aerator eliminates this issue and it works great.  If you're thinking about building a sparge arm, keep it simple and consider using this cool little gadget.

For the step mash I'm running the BCS-460 in Manual Mode.  I'm doing this for simplicity's sake since most of my mashes are single infusion.  I seem to be getting between a 1 to 1.5 degree rise per minute for the step increases which is consistent with previous brews.

Tasting Notes (Updated 7/1/2011): 
I did a side by side a while back and I thought I'd posted an update...I guess I didn't so this is from memory.  I wouldn't say this is cloned, at least not the way I brewed it (hop substitution?).  Mine was noticeably a couple shades darker.  There was also the slight tartness in the commercial version that was much more subdued in mine.  It was still a fantastic Hefe, but I wouldn't call it cloned quite yet.

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