Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hefeweizen Tasting

Back in early April, I brewed a hefeweizen with a good friend of mine and I had told him that when the beer was ready to drink, he could write up the tasting notes (good or bad) after we had sampled a growler or two. Thankfully, our beer turned out better than we expected and the whole brew-day and subsequent tasting session was a positive experience for the both of us. I rarely get to brew with other people around and it was quite nice to have someone to share the brew day with... not to mention having extra help with all the cleaning, grinding, lifting, boiling, and planning that brewing requires. Without further adieu, his tasting notes:

Hello to all you Perfect Pint readers, my name is Chris and I'm a friend of Will's. He recently invited me over to his house to brew a beer. I was skeptical that it would turn out well, but with his guidance it was not only a fun afternoon but produced a pretty good beer. I chose to brew a hefeweizen, not because I love them (I had never tried one before), but because I have a nice Hacker-Pschorr glass and had recently bought one for Will. Here are my notes for tasting said beer.

Chris' Brew : Hefeweizen

Appearance - Pours a nice yellow/amber color, clear enough for light to pass through. A good look for this style of beer.

Aroma - An excellent aroma that is a blend of apple, clove and a nice hint of banana.

Taste -  Most hefeweizens are heavy on wheat and banana flavors. This has the same flavors, but more subdued and mixed with a nice, tart apple and clove taste. You still get the banana, clove and wheat, but in this, they are in balance with each other.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation needed to a be a little higher to produce the desired head, but it was good as is.
  
Drinkability & Notes - An excellent session beer, perfect for a couple of friends to relax and drink as they watch the world go by. Very thirst quenching, great for a hot and humid day like we had here. This beer was one of my first forays into brewing and with Will's expertise and guidance I feel it really came out well.

Brewing was quite the experience and one that I hope to repeat sometime, provided Will is willing to help me again. It wasn't nearly as hard to brew beer as I thought it would be, just very time consuming, which I did not expect. Will was also gracious enough to teach me some home brew lingo and a lot of history about the beer itself. I look forward to brewing again with Will and hope that my own adventures in brewing turn out half as well as his beers. So thank you Will for helping me craft a nice beer that we were able to enjoy together. 

4.6% ABV, 17 IBU, Wyeast 3638 Bavarian Wheat

My Comments:

In the end, my worries about the yeast producing too much of a sour apple flavor were unfounded. While the beer does have a slightly tart/sweet apple character - almost like biting into a fresh Fugi apple - the overall character of the beer is more towards the clove and (light) banana side of things than anything else. Compared to the beers I brewed with WY3068, I much prefer this yeast, as the banana flavors are largely subdued and the overall character is more like a 'hefeweizen-lite,' than banana bread in a glass. While the yeast did produce some sulfur, it never made its way into the keg. Things to improve for next time are better head retention and mouthfeel - it is slightly lacking - and I might try to bump up the fermentation temp to try and coax more bubblegum flavors out of the yeast, if it is possible. While hefeweizens aren't my favorite style of beer to drink, I'd certainly give them another go with this yeast.

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