Everything went according to plan for last week’s two day brew session. Kory and I mashed and sparged on Wednesday night, covered the wort and brewed on Thursday morning. I have not used this method before, but it seemed to work perfectly.
The wort was still close 130º in the morning after sitting for about eight hours between mashing and boiling. I left it in the brew kettle with the lid on it, wrapped in a towel. By the look and smell, you wouldn’t know it had been waiting long.
We hit within .002 of our predicted gravity. This being the second time I’ve used the batch sparging method, it was nice to get some consistency. The only issue we faced was trying to chill the wort. It was very hot on Thursday and even with my copper submersion chiller, the tap water was not able to get the wort below 70º.
I was hoping to start fermentation in mid-60’s and let it free rise, which seems to be the most frequent advice for most of the abbey yeasts. The Chimay strain we’re using is supposed to be fruitier, but since we’re trying to make a hefeweizen, I wanted to keep it relatively restrained. We got the wort down to around 72º and put it in the basement, where it is a bit cooler.
Once we had the wort chilled, in the carboy and added the yeast, we finished packing up and left for the weekend, crossing our fingers that the yeast would go to work and we would come home to mostly fermented beer. We had a great time at the cabin, checked in on the hops I planted and enjoyed more than a few Elkland Golden and Amber Lagers, and when we got back on Sunday, we went straight to the basement to check on our hefeweizen.
Everything looked good. The most active part of fermentation was done but there was still a nice layer of frothy yeast on top of the beer. Another twenty-four hours later now and the layer has thinned some. There is still some activity going on and I think I’ll give it another several days before racking to secondary. This will be convenient anyway, as I plan to reuse the yeast for my Tripel next week.
The full recipe is below. The only thing that is different from the initial one I posted last week is that we went with all Tettnang hops instead of using Hersbuck later in the boil, but this time I’ll post the full process, as well.
Trap Weiss (TBD)
Style: 15A. Weizen/Weissbier
Brew Date: July 3, 2014
Serve Date: August, 2015
Original Gravity: 1.055
Expected Final Gravity: 1.012
Approximate ABV: 5.6%
IBUs: 20 IBUs
70% White Wheat
30% German Pilsner
1 oz Tettnang @ 60 min
1 oz Tettnang @ 20 min
White Labs 500: Trappist Ale (Chimay)
15 quarts of water @ 166º added to grains to achieve 154º mash temperature
Mash for 75 minutes
Drain mash, batch sparge with 17 quarts of water @ 180º
Collect a little over 6 gallons
Boil for one hour
Chill to 70º (or lower) and ferment at room temperature, allowing to free rise
Rack once fermentation has completed and hold for one to two weeks before packaging