Review of Northern Brewer Bavarian Hefeweizen

Posted on January 30, 2010 by

Six weeks has finally past and my second homebrew comes out of a quick cold bath in the fridge to get a tasting in my mouth for the first time. This last brew was actually my second time homebrewing and I ordered a kit from Northern Brewer, I ordered the “Bavarian Hefeweizen” and brewed up my batch. Here is exactly what the recipe looked like.

Bavarian Hefeweizen Northern Brewer KitBavarian Hefeweizen (extract)

5 Gallon Batch
6 lbs Wheat Malt Syrup 65% Wheat 35% Barley
1 lbs Dry Malt Extract Bavarian Wheat 65% Wheat 35% Barley
1 oz Tettnang Hops 60 Minutes
WYeast 3068 Weihenstephan

Bottled using 1 1/4 cups wheat DME.

IBU’s 12  | OG 1.043 – 1.009 | ABV%:4.0% – 4.2%

Schedule: 1 week primary – 2 weeks secondary – 3 weeks in the bottle

The Review

Obviously homebrewing can lead to different flavors from one person to another so I won’t get to stringent on all of the characteristics but I do have to say that I pretty much followed the recipe to a “T” and what I got doesn’t look like a Bavarian Hefe to me. It actually looks a lot like my first Hombrewing Brewer’s Best Red Ale.

I was expecting a much more golden wheat color and beer calculus tells me a “light yellow” and I got more of a red color. This beer actually reminds me of a Dunkelweiss.

Difficulty

Easy

This recipe was really easy. It is all malt and little hops. It truly is a recipe that once you put the hops in you can pretty much walk away from it till 60 minutes is up.

Appearance

Very little head, even after warming it up a little bit. However, I do get some bubbles sticking to the side of the glass on the way down. The color is a deep ruby red with some crisp looking carbonation.

Taste

Like I said, it tastes more like a Dunkelwiezen than anything else. It has a bit of spice, like nutmeg or some other holiday spice, but what really comes through is the banana characteristic. If I burp, I get bananas. There isn’t much for hops in this recipe and it tastes like it. Much more sweet and citrus than hoppy.

Smell

Smells a little bit caramelly and a little spicy. NO hop aroma at all. Suppose there wasn’t any aroma hops so that is to be expected.

Drinkability

If you can get past the fact that this is not a Bavarian Wheat and more of a Dunkelweiss, you’ll really enjoy this brew. My wife loves these so I’ll kindly wait my turn.

Overall

Easy to brew, quick turnaround, decent alcohol content coming in at just over 4% ABV so if you are looking to bridge a gap in your brewing schedule and you like something a little sweeter, this is a good go to.

You can read more about the process here, Homebrewing – The Second Experiment

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  • http://snobbyhops.com Aaron Mielke

    Hmm…I have virtually zero knowledge on the home brewing process but I wonder where the mix up was, if any.

    A hefe and dunkel have obvious differences, as you noted, so for the recipe to come out like it did…do you think it was due to something in your process or do you think it was the recipe?

    Regardless, it sounds like it tasted pretty good so at the end of the day, who really cares what it’s *supposed* to be, right?

    Nice work!

  • mike

    True.

    All that matters is that it tastes good. My only problem is that I’m still pretty new to homebrewing and if something is suppose to be something, I want it to be that something starting out so I at least know my process and sanitation are good. Once I know I can consistently be good on those two aspects, let the creativity flourish!

    Thanks for the comment!

  • Dave Martinson

    I like this one. I had a couple bottles of it on Saturday. Very good.

  • mike

    This one seems to be a favorite of peoples. I think its a little lighter than I would have liked to have it, but it seems to be getting better the longer it sits in the bottles. I’ll have some Porter for you next time I see you.

  • Brian

    When you brew beer with extract almost all of them are 'amber' in color. This isn't unusual at all. The liquid extract is particularly dark and there isn't much you can do to change it. You could use all dry extract and get a lighter color but you won't get a golden beer unless you go to all-grain brewing. That's just the way it is. Almost 80 percent of my beers I brew (extract only) look like yours.

    Your problem with carbonation has to do with the amount of corn sugar you used when you bottled it…I assume you did so. If it's not carbonated it's because you didn't use enough. Getting carbonation right using sugar is often hit-and-miss. With hefeweizens you sometimes want to err on the high side because they're a very carbonated drink normally.

  • mikebiewer

    Thanks Brian.

    I agree, most extract beers turn out darker than they are suppose to, style wise. My Porter was black as night. I've heard that you can add the extract in late, like 15 minutes left in a boil and it can adjust your color, but I am not sure I'd enjoy doing that. I do plan to go all grain at some point, but I don't have the room right now and extracts are making me some fine beer thus far.

    What kinds of beers do you like to brew up? I'm looking for some suggestions at this point.

    As for the carbonation. I did screw it up. It was just my 2 brew and I forgot to put the priming sugar into the bottling bucket first. So I ended up trying to stir it in. Which didn't turn out as well as I would have hoped. I've still got 6 bottles. I wonder if they are still any good.

    Anyway, thanks for your tips. I really appreciate it!

    Mike

  • http://freshbeereveryfriday.blogspot.com Jez

    I'm not crazy about putting the syrup in at the end, either. I don't believe I did this with the last extract batch I made with my dad, a Patersbier. 1/2 lb Carapils @152*F for 40 minutes, then started to heat it up. Poured in the 6 lbs of Pilsner LME, and it turned out hazy and golden, like it was supposed to. I even nailed the gravity (1.048). Could've been the age of your LME, maybe?

  • Sunset Cove Brewery

    I have been homebrewing for over 15 years and used to have the same problem until discovering that it completely unneccesary to full boil the LME as it has already been boiled in the process of becoming an extract. Simply add the LME during the final 5-10minutes of boil and you will inturn get the correct color for the style you are brewing everytime…guaranteed! By following this process, you will also enjoy the added benefit of increased hop utilization. If using DME and LME in same recipe, a good rule of thumb is to add 25% DME full boil and 75% last 5-10 minutes and 100% of the LME in last 5-10 minutes.

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