A classic Bavarian-style wheat beer, or weissbier, is spicy and refreshing. Its yeast-derived notes of clove and banana are balanced by the bready, grainy character from German wheat and pilsner malts. Unfiltered, the beer contains a high level of protein and yeast that makes for a hazy golden beer with a dense and creamy white head. Side Launch Wheat is a beer brewed true to this style and is widely considered one of the best in the world. Taking a look at the ingredients and techniques traditionally used for this classic style, we will try to homebrew and recreate Canada’s quintessential hefeweizen. to homebrew and recreate Canada’s quintessential hefeweizen.
SPECS (5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.056 (14 °P)
FG = 1.014 (3.5 °P)
IBU = 10
SRM = 3
ABV = 5.3%
– 7.15 lbs. Weyermann Pale Wheat Malt
– 3.85 lbs. Weyermann Pilsner malt
– 1 oz German Hallertau pellet hops (60 min.)
– Wyeast 3068 (Weihenstephan Weizen) or White Labs
– WLP300 (Hefeweizen Ale) yeast
Crush the wheat and pilsner malts with a roller mill and preheat enough water targeting around 1.5 quarts of water for every pound of grain. We will keep things simple and perform a single infusion mash at 152 °F (67 °C) for one hour. If you want to take a stab at performing a step mash to really bring out that clove character in your beer, start with a ferulic rest at 110 °F (43 °C) for 20 minutes and then raise the temperature to 152 °F (67 °C) for the duration of the hour. Once complete, we will sparge and rinse the grains slowly of their residual sugars with 170 °F (77 °C) water, draining that sweet wort into our brew kettle until we have a boil volume of about 6.5 gallons (25 L).The total boil time will be 60 minutes. As soon as the wort starts to boil, we will proceed with our single bittering hop addition ensuring low bitterness and low hop character in the final product. The more hops we add at the beginning of the boil, the more bitterness we get. Adding hops towards the end of the boil will create more flavour and aroma, which we want to avoid here. Once the 60 minutes is up, we will cool the wort to about 62 °F (17 °C), pitch the yeast (underpitching slightly) and aerate thoroughly so the yeast have adequate oxygen and energy stores to do their jobs.The beer will be left to ferment at 62 °F (17 °C) for 7-10 days, after which we will condition and compare with a fresh pint of Side Launch Wheat.