Mar 13, 2011

El Jeffe Weizen / Dirty Blonde

Dirty Blonde: O.G. 1.045 -- F.G. 1.009 -- 4.7% ABV
Silver Medal - Sour Ales - 2013 Peach State Brew-Off
Half of this batch will be the traditional Hefeweizen with the substitution of some Vienna in place of the Pilsner I would normally use. The other half will be fermented with Wyeast 1214 (Chimay) and then dosed with dregs from several sour/bretty beers. I may decide to add the dregs along with the primary strain, but that will all depend on how my bug bitch colony smells on brew day. The first whiff I got after adding my first dregs (Jolly Pumpkin Weizen Bam) was a bit vinegary. If that continues to be the case, I will dump it and start over.

The Malts:

10 lbs Wheat malt

5 lbs Vienna malt

4 lbs Pilsener Malt

The Hops:

2 oz Hallertauer (3.9%AA -- 60 minutes)

The Yeast:

El Jeffe Weizen -- Weinhenstephaner Hefeweizen

Blonde to be Named Later -- Wyeast 1214 plus other bugs and brett (and wood later)

The Mash: Here's the plan: Initial protein rest will be at 122 degrees. After twenty minutes, I will pull a large (nearly half of the mash) decoction and heat it to 155. I will hold it there with a lid and a sleeping bag for about fifteen minutes before bringing to a boil. At that point I will add the decoction to the main mash until the saccrification temperature of 146. This rest will be held for one hour, and then another smaller decoction will be pulled and boiled to bring the mash to mash-out temperature (around 170). Strike water (2qt per pound) = 9.5 gallons + a little less than a half gallon added to the first decoction to account for additional boil-off Absorbtion = 2.37 gallons Sparge water = 5.87 gallons

Brewday Notes: First decoction got too hot (around 164) but I managed to cool it down to around 155 with water and stirring. Resting in sleeping bG for ten minutes I returned enough to the tun to get the temp up to 146, but had a remainder of about two gallons which did not cool quick enough to add back until there was only about three minutes left in the hour rest

Reflections on Brewday: With an O.G. of 1.045, I am going to say efficiency sucked again (69%). I imagine I did not boil as hard as I did last time, and it is hard to see if the double decoction did anything for efficiency. If I get 75% attenuation out of the hefeweizen yeast, I am looking at a 4.5% ABV beer (not terrible). (later-- the morning after): I have come to decide that the issue was with lautering. I forgot to add rice hulls to the grist, which I did not think would be an issue since I was going to use the double decoction, but I could tell that the lauter did not work completely when I opened the tun and saw some wort still floating on the top of the bed. Efficiency was not terrible, but I think I know were the other five points went -- into the compost heap.

3.20.11 -- Pitched yeast into both beers

El Jefe Weizen Notes:

3.29.11 -- down to 1.011 4.45% ABV 76% attenuated. Kegged

4.2.11 -- Drinking (initial reviews are good).

Sour / Funky Blonde Notes:

3.26.11 -- dirty blonde down to 1.011. Racking into secondary to add bugs. Bugs propagated from bottles of Jolly Pumpkin Weizen Bam and Oro de Calabaza, and Oud Beersel Oud Kriek  
3.27.11 added dregs from one bottle Orval
5.29.11 -- Added 1 oz medium toast French oak chips.
7.20.11 -- Gravity 1.009. Sourness is very pleasant and much more complex than when I used a quick souring method (Pigpen). I am still going to leave this alone for a while since I believe the oak, which I added late, still needs time to make its contribution. Overall I am very encouraged by this sample.
9.30.11 -- Gravity stable at 1.009. Bottled at 4 volumes.