Original Post: Snow Wheat
Brew Date: November 9, 2012
Tasting Date: August 12, 2014
IBUs: 16It seemed appropriate to lump the two Hefeweizens together, so today I’ll be tasting my first attempt at the style. This beer is way too old. I still have a few bottles of it floating around, but I don’t recommend that. I haven’t opened one of these in a long time, we’ll see how well it has held up.
First of all, this is very clear. That is to be expected with it’s age and I guess I could have shaken it up a bit to bring the yeast back into suspension, but I’m used to avoiding that and I stuck with my normal pouring method.
The color is deep amber. The head, which is already collapsing, is off white. The color looks nice, but I expect a whiter and much longer lasting head on a Hefeweizen. I’m not sure if that is due to age or the initial quality.
This beer smells like a lot of my early homebrews. I’m guessing this was not chilled nearly enough before the yeast was pitched. It smells like the yeast was under a lot of stress. Taking a sip, it delivers on the same flavor you’d expect from the aroma. The yeast is definitely dominant, but not in the way you want from a Hefeweizen. The flavor banana clove may be there faintly, but there is more of an overripe fruit flavor.
I guess banana could still work, but this is not a nice fresh banana, it’s one that you forgot was in your backpack over a long weekend. It is cidery as well. I’ve heard a lot of talk lately that this trait, previously attributed to too much sugar in a recipe (there was none in this) is likely more attributable to old extract. That is definitely a possibility. This is an all extract beer with a whole lot of liquid malt extract, which I believe is more likely to bring this issue.
The fact that it was Bavarian Wheat LME, which I’m guessing does not sell nearly as quickly as the Pilsen Light LME that I normally used, probably has a lot to do with that as well.
I am getting a bit of sweetness, but I don’t think that is actual unfermented sugar, I think it is a trick of the fermentation off-flavor. This beer is a mess. While I’m sure the age does not help it at all, I don’t think this was very good to begin with. It was another victim of my attempt to ramp up my brew schedule to get a ton of beer ready for Christmas gifts.
It was rushed, in recipe formulation, on brew day with a lack of ample time to chill and probably under pitching of the yeast. I wasn’t crazy about this beer to begin with, but I think I’ve learned a lot since I made it about what the actual problems are and where they come from. I don’t recommend saving much beer for this long, but a few bottles of early batches of homebrew can be a good lesson to return to after you’ve learned more about the process.
I have quite a bit of this beer left in my glass, but I think I’ve just about covered it and, honestly, I don’t really have any desire to finish it. So, I guess that will wrap these tasting notes up.