I brewed up a batch of beer about 4 weeks ago. Homebrewing has been a little hobby of mine in the past and I’m hoping to build on my skills so I can make up some truly delicious beer. In the past I had purchased what I call a “kit in a can.” If you can boil water and follow directions (and have all the tools) it was possible to make drinkable beer. This last time, however, I decided to up the difficulty slightly and try out a custom recipe where I had to select all the ingredients. This is still not all that impressive, the equivalent from graduating from Hamburger Helper to using a recipe you found in the church cookbook, but it’s a step in the right direction.
I went with the suggestions of the homebrew store employee and decided to brew a Hefeweizen for my first “on my own” brew. This type of beer is a little bit easier than others because you don’t have to take malted grains and boil them before the remaining steps. You also don’t need to worry about filtering since the style is normally an unfiltered variety. This makes it a nice easy choice to take on for your first brew on your own. The recipe was as follows:
7.5 lbs Wheat/Malt Extract
1 ounce US Hallertau hops
1 package Wyeast Weihenstephan Weizen Yeast strain
Bring large kettle of water to 120 degrees F.
Add extract and let dissolve. Heat until boiling while stirring often to prevent scourging (burning of the extract on the bottom of the pot).
Add hops and boil for 1 hour. Cool until below 78 degrees F.
Add water until you have 5 gallons total. Add (“pitch”, in brewers terms) yeast into the mixture and seal in your fermenter.
In 1 week, move into your secondary fermenter. In 1 more week, add some priming sugar into the fermenter. The extra bit of sugar will ferment in each bottle releasing some carbon dioxide which will carbonate the beer.
You fill up each bottle individually and then crimp each top. A 5 gallon batch of beer will usually yield at least 48 – 12oz bottles. As you can see I try to fill up some 22oz bottles since it saves a little bit of time when it comes to capping.
In two weeks, you have delicious beer! The original specific gravity was 1.052 (a measure of how much sugar was there pre-fermentation) with a final specific gravity of 1.014 (a measure of how much sugar is left. The change in this value means that some sugars were changed into alcohol. This is the miracle of fermentation!). This predicts that is has an ABV of about 5.1%
I was pretty pleased on how this batch turned out. It has a slight citrus flavor up front and a banana-eqsue finish to it. If you’re in the Dallas, TX region and want a sample, just let me know!