Imperial Hefeweizen

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by AGbrewer, Jun 12, 2020.

  1. AGbrewer

    AGbrewer Active Member

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    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/995512/imperial-hefewiezen-1

    Two questions.
    1. What would you categorize this beer as?
    2. How do you get high ABV beer (over 9%) to be light in color like a tripel, bgsa, or barleywine?
    So I brewed this on 05/15/2020, bottled on 06/02/2020, and cracked the first one open last night. It was really good. Had some Banana notes, spicy yeast character, subtle vanilla, some residual sweetness and just a hint of bitterness from hops with absolutely no hop flavor (might try to do a dry hop or whirlpool next time).

    Anyways, the only real complaint would be that it looks more like an amber beer than a hefe. I've always struggled with this and high abv brews. Even when I do a 1 hour boil, it always seems to be darker than what I anticipated. I've tried substituting sugar for malt to try and keep the color down while maintaining the ABV, but it always seems to give a cider flavor when i do that along with having attenuation issues (even when feeding the sugar a few days after fermentation begins).

    Being completely honest, most of my boils really do go at least 2 hours as my pre boil wort volume is typically around 7.5 gallons going down to a 5.5 in the fermenter. I'm sure that kettle caramelization has something to do with this, but hard to believe it is that much. I've tried SMASH (Pilsner and Magnum) and still had the same issue, but had to boil for at least 2 hours on that one.
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Your recipe isn't shared. Two reasons for excessive browning, though: 1) if you're using extract, it's always more brown than an all-grain wort and 2) oxidation of the finished beer.
     
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  3. AGbrewer

    AGbrewer Active Member

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    Opps, forgot to share the recipe.

    Don't do extract.

    Haven't noticed any off flavors from oxidation...however, that doesn't mean that it didn't occur.
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    The high ABV itself could have something to do with it: You're concentrating the colors as well as the alcohol.
     
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  5. AGbrewer

    AGbrewer Active Member

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    I could maybe see it the concentration of colors perspective if I had low efficiency and had to use a ton of grain which would extract more color and concentrate. However, I am typcially around 80%, so I wouldn't think that would be a problem. Besides, other brewers are able to make a really light colored tripel around 10% abv.

    I'm sure that I'm doing something wrong, just can't seem to figure it out.

    Perhaps I should consider using plain old 2 row instead of MO, GP, or even Pilsner as those seem to have a higher srm rating.
     
  6. Iliff Avenue Brewhouse

    Iliff Avenue Brewhouse Well-Known Member

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    #6 Iliff Avenue Brewhouse, Jun 12, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
    I would switch to pilsner malt and decrease the melanoidin to half a pound to get the color closer to where you want it. Also, if you're going for a 'hefe' thing I would up the wheat to at least 50%.

    EDIT - didn't read far enough to realize you already brewed this.
     
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  7. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    This would be classified as a weizenbock, though the wheat malt would typically be at least 50% as Illif mentioned.

    My beers are usually darker than BF suggests. This does not bother me. Boiling longer certainly makes it darker - I do 90 minutes for this reason. :)

    With a weizenbock you could have gone much higher with your bittering addition - I believe up to 30 and you still wouldn't have too much due to the melanoidin and the abv.

    Can you send a pic so we can see the color?
     
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  8. AGbrewer

    AGbrewer Active Member

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    No worries. I've tried to do wheat beers in the past and always had efficiency issues (around 50%) for some reason. I do BIAB, so don't think it was due to a stuck sparge. I went easy on the wheat for that reason. I plan on brewing again and doubling the amount of wheat to see how it goes. eventually, I want to get all the way up to 60% wheat.

    Also, i will likely try the pilsner or 2 row next time to reduce color.
     
  9. AGbrewer

    AGbrewer Active Member

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    I'll crack one open tomorrow and try to take a picture against a white background so y'all can see what I mean.

    I think that @Iliff Avenue Brewhouse has a good idea about the melanoidin reduction, but wonder what that will do to the flavor.
     

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