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Bottled Hefeweizen

Hey everyone

So I checked my first batch of brew (a Hefeweizen) and it seems to be pretty bitter and dark. I bottled it on June 7th and cracked one open on Monday of this week. Do you think it still needs more time in the bottle? Or can this be from fermentation? There also wasn’t much carbonation. It started off a bit “fizzy” then died off pretty quickly. I only did a primary for three weeks then bottled. I had a hard time keeping it cold enough, the average temp during fermentation was around 75. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated

Thanks!

I’m guessing it was an extract brew; if so, that would explain the darkness. Two weeks and a few days in the bottle obviously wasn’t enough time. Bitterness is also something found in young brews; it should mellow with more conditioning time. I’ve found marked differences between brew that’s been in the bottle two weeks versus a brew that’s been in the bottle four weeks, versus brew that’s been in the bottle two month. Regarding your reference to temperature: Was that for fermentation or bottle conditioning? Fermentation temperatures above those specified for your yeast strain can lead to ester formation and off-flavors, although I don’t know if that will cause undue bitterness. If you were referencing your bottle conditioning temperature, 75 degrees F would be perfect for carbing up your brew, IMHO. One thing I’ve started doing is to rouse the yeast in the bottle after a week by gently tipping the bottles upside down a few times, then putting them back into storage. Maybe it helps, maybe it doesn’t. But it helps me feel better and takes little time to do…

Here is a good guide for the style:

http://www.beeradvocate.com/articles/270/

Thanks Ken, this is great information! I did use an extract kit and the temperature is in regards to the fermentation not the bottling. I have a feeling the temp for fermentation was on a bit of the high side but with the living conditions I am in, it hard to get the apartment cool enough (I did use the towel trick though).

I hope it gets better as it ages in the bottle, I will also do the turning the bottle trick you suggested!

thanks for the help!

A bit of an update with my first batch…

So I continued to try a bottle each week and I tried one last night and it still has a “different” bitter after taste. I am wondering if I did something wrong with this? Will letting it sit in the bottle any longer change the taste? I feel like if I bottled it on June 7 it wont change much anymore. Or is that not correct?

Im worried the temp during fermentation was too high which was around 75. Can this be the issue? I will be starting my second batch soon and I want to make sure I don’t make the same mistake twice in case I did actually make a mistake on this one

Thanks everyone!

Would you describe the bitterness as more of a hop bitterness (think an 80+ IBU IPA) or more of an astringent bitterness (think sucking on a tea bag)?

Also, did you do use a kit for this beer? Did you do a full boil (6+ gallons) or did you do a partial boil and use top off water in the fermenter?

Hey Mattnaik

It was a kit (Hanks hefeweizen from Midwest)

I did a partial boil and topped it off with tap water ( I live in Chicago, I dont know if that matters haha)

I am not sure about the taste… Since I am new at this I’m still getting used to the different tastes. Im a big fan of IPAs and I would say this bitterness is different than a bitter taste youll get when drinking an IPA

OK, the reason I asked about the partial boil was because if you decided to do a full boil for a kit that is designed for partial boil, you will get more hop utilization causing your beer to be higher IBU. But that doesn’t appear to be the case.

The only other thing i can think of is you could have extracted tannins when soaking your specialty grains. This happens when your pH is too high which can come from using too much water or water with high alkalinity. How much water did you use to soak the grains and what temp did you soak them at?

Another possibility could be you scorched your extract maybe? This may explain why it’s also darker.

I boiled 3 gallons of water and I believe the temp was 160… Thinking back now I remember the thermometer actually stopped working half way through so there may be a chance it got higher than 160 and maybe that increased the chances of burning the extract?

What yeast did you use? 3 weeks seems like a long time to ferment an extract Hefe. I don’t think that has much to do with bitterness, but the yeast likely cleaned up most of your clove/banana esters which might be why it doesnt tase like you expected. I’m currently drinking an extract Hefe I made with 6 lbs of Bavarian wheat DME (split addition, half for 60 min half at flameout), 1 oz Hallertau for 60 mins and fermented at about 70 degrees with WB-06. I had the batch in the keg in 7 days, and it is fantastic.

When I said extract I meant the fermentable malt extract you added during the boil. Did you turn off the heat and make sure it was well stirred in before you brought it back up to a boil?

Yea I took the pot off the heat and made sure to stir while I was adding the LME and DME

Well sounds like you did everything right for the most part. Maybe next time try adding 75% of your DME/LME with 15 minutes left in the boil. This should help with keeping the color a little lighter.

Do you think the fermentation temp of 75 is too high?

Definitely but wouldn’t cause the bitter flavor you are describing. It would have a more “hot alcohol” off flavor

Gotcha

I will definitely try the late addition of the 75% of DME/LME as well as keeping my fermentation temp down as best as I can in the future

Thanks for all the help buddy!

:cheers:

Read the first edited post in this thread. It summarizes 50 pages of discussion about hefeweizen brewing. It’s an excellent guide to brewing the style to your taste.

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