Thursday, June 18, 2015

Building a Summer Hefeweizen 2.0 Recipe

Summer seasonal beers are in full swing along with the heat. My favorite beer to drink in the hot weather of June, July, and August is a refreshing hefeweizen. It has something to do with the carbonation and flavors of banana and clove that makes it so delicious. In this article I'm going to share with you Fluke Brewing's new Hefeweizen recipe and how we formulated it. Water, malt, hops, and yeast and the four basic ingredients in every beer so lets examine each of them in order to make a great summer hefeweizen. 


Making a great hefeweizen starts off with a quality source of water. I recommend using R.O. water (Reverse osmosis) and building a water profile by adding various salts and minerals. Building a water profile is fairly easy and it will further improve the quality of the beer you produce. 

For a great hefeweizen, I like to replicate the water profile of the historical brewery or geographical location it was famously brewed. There is an abundance of information of water profiles on the internet but let's just focus on the task at hand... brewing a great hefeweizen. The water profile we are going to replicate is Munich, Germany for this recipe. Munich is a simple and easy water profile to recreate. It takes just 3 additives to your water to recreate. You are going to need Reverse Osmosis water, Epsom Salt, Baking Soda, Chalk, and a scale that measures grams accurately.

Water Profile Recipe:
  • 5.5 gallons R.O. water
  • 0.8 grams Epsom Salt (MgSO4)
  • 2.0 grams Baking Soda (NaHCO3)
  • 4.4 grams Chalk (CaCO3) 
  1. Measure out the Epsom Salt, Baking Soda, and Chalk into small separate containers.* 
  2. Pour 5.5 gal of R.O. water into the brew kettle
  3. Start heating up R.O. water up to strike temperature. 
  4. Add the Epsom Salt, Baking Soda, and Chalk into the R.O. and stir. (Note: The water will turn cloudy, this is perfectly normal. Also, sometimes all the additives won't dissolve right way but they will as the water heats up.)
*Note: To save time get the mash water heating up before measuring out the minerals and salts. Then as the water is heating, measure out the additives, and add them to the water as you measure them out.


By law in Germany all Weizenbiers are required to have malted wheat be at least 50% of the grain bill before they may be labeled Weizenbier. For this recipe we going to use a higher percentage of wheat malt that required by German law. I typically use a quality German wheat malt like Weyermann Pale Wheat. To continue with the trend of keeping it simple, we are going to finish it off with some German pilsner malt. We decided to use a pilsner malt to keep the beer clean, and refreshing with a semi-dry finish. 

Grain Bill:
  • 57.5% German Wheat Malt (2.0 SRM)
  • 42.5% German Pilsner Malt (2.0 SRM)
Brewers historically used a protein rest or a decoction mash but those techniques are time consuming and complicated. Since it is summer and we all are super busy, we decided to go with a single infusion mash for our new recipe. 

Mash Profile:
  • Mash at 152.0°F for 60 min
  • Mash out for 10 min**
  • Fly sparge with 3.6 gallons**
**Note: We mash out and fly sparge with boiling water (212°F).


Hops take a backseat in this beer. Actually they take the back row seats in this beer. All you need for hops is 1 oz. of German Hallertau.  KISS = Keep It Super Simple. There really isn't much to the hops in this beer.

Hop Additions
  • 60 minute bittering 0.75 oz for 14 IBUs
  • 15 minute flavor/aroma 0.25 oz for 1.2 IBUs.


"Hefe" means yeast in German. So this is were we are going to get crazy. Since it is summer and we don't have time for yeast starters, we opted to use two yeast packages to get our yeast cell numbers. The twist is we decided to use two different hefeweizen yeast strains! Yes, that is correct. We mix two different yeast strains. Crazy I know. The results are a super complex hefeweizen that tastes like you spent hours doing a decoction mash.  

Fermentation Schedule:
  • 1 vial Hefeweizen Ale - White Labs #WLP300
  • 1 vial Hefeweizen IV Ale - White Labs #WLP380
  • Ferment at 69-71°F for 2-3 weeks.

WLP300 Hefeweizen Ale is the famous traditional yeast strain used in German wheat beers. This strain of yeast produces those traditional the banana and clove notes as well as the desired cloudy look of German wheat beers.

WLP380 produces more of a spicy, clove, nutmeg, with a hint of refreshing apricot citrus notes and flavors. This strain is less flocculent and can produce a bunch of sulfur is not fermented correctly.


Jefe's Hefeweizen V2.0
Type: All GrainDate: 28 Feb 2012
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.500 galBrewer: Fluke Brew Crew
Boil Size: 7.280 galAsst Brewer:
Boil Time: 69 minEquipment: Fluke Brewing 5 Gal - All Grain
End of Boil Volume 5.980 galBrewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 5.000 galEst Mash Efficiency 75.3 %
Fermentation: Ale, Single StageTaste Rating(out of 50): 

5.500 galDistilled to Munich, GermanyWater1-
4.40 gChalk (Mash 60.0 mins)Water Agent2-
2.00 gBaking Soda (Mash 60.0 mins)Water Agent3-
0.80 gEpsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash 60.0 mins)Water Agent4-
5 lbs 11.8 ozWheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM)Grain557.5 %
4 lbs 3.9 ozPilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM)Grain642.5 %
0.750 ozHallertauer [4.80 %] - Boil 60.0 minHop714.0 IBUs
0.250 ozHallertauer [4.80 %] - Boil 15.0 minHop81.2 IBUs
1.0 pkgHefeweizen Ale (White Labs #WLP300) [35.488 ml]Yeast9-
1.0 pkgHefeweizen IV Ale (White Labs #WLP380) [35.488 ml]Yeast10-
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.050 SGMeasured Original Gravity: 1.046 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.012 SGMeasured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.9 %Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.7 %
Bitterness: 15.3 IBUsCalories: 151.6 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 3.5 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium BodyTotal Grain Weight: 9 lbs 15.7 oz
Sparge Water: 3.612 galGrain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 FTun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSEMash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
NameDescriptionStep TemperatureStep Time
Mash InAdd 3.369 gal of water at 162.8 F152.0 F60 min
Mash OutAdd 1.746 gal of water at 203.0 F168.0 F10 min
Sparge Step: Fly sparge with 3.612 gal water at 168.0 F
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: KegVolumes of CO2: 3.6
Pressure/Weight: 27.67 PSICarbonation Used: Keg with 27.67 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 45.0 FAge for: 30.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, Single StageStorage Temperature: 65.0 F