Thursday, July 24, 2008

High kraeusen

What we have here my friend is my Bavarian Weizen during high Kraeusen. As you can see, I ferment in a 13.5 gal. plastic container. This one originally had malt extract in it and I got it from my local homebrew shop. I use food grade plastic liners for the ease of clean up and I also find it very easy to salvage the yeast by pulling the bag out of the fermenter and poking a hole in the bottom, letting the yeast drain into a sterilized jar. I can then just pour the jar into the next beer I make that requires the same yeast. At the moment I have a jar of california ale yeast in the refridgerator and when this is done I will have a jar of Whitelabs hefeweizen IV, . I usually repitch yeast eight to ten times before buying new yeast and I typically have on hand a hefeweizen, california ale and southern German lager yeast. For the most part these yeast will suffice for most of the beers that I like to brew (drink) but occasionally I will have others for special brews that I don't make regularly. I want to note here that the outer container in the picture is to contain ice for keeping the ferment to an acceptable temperature. It's difficult to see, but I believe the temperature is 66f. at the time of the picture. I would like to get a large phenolic (clove/spice) flavor with this brew and the word in the brewing world is that a cool fermentation promotes these flavors more so than the ester type (banana) flavors. I'm hoping 66f. is low enough, we'll see. As I stated earlier, this is a repeat recipe using 13lbs. of wheat and 6lbs. of domestic 2-row barley. The difference this time is that I have used 8oz. of Crystal #60 instead of #20 because that is what I had on hand. And if the truth be known, I used Centennial hops for bittering and flavor. Not traditional but during these times of hop shortages I again went with what I had on hand. Besides, I think centennial may impart an extra flavor dimension in terms of the citrus quality that could enhance this style of beer. Maybe more refreshing/quenching. Maybe.

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