Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hefeweizen Brew Day

With the temperatures outside remaining under 100 I decided it was time to fire up the brew kettle.  I will be doing a lot of tailgating in the upcoming months in Manhattan for some KSU football.   I wanted to brew something for the first couple games that is light and easy drinking since the outside temps will proly still be on the hot side.  I have been drinking a lot of the Dortmunder and Bitter I have on tap right now so I wanted something different.  My wife suggested a Hefeweizen since I hadn't made one this summer.  I figured that would be a great beer that would appeal to the other tailgaters in the hot weather. 

My recipe for a German style Hefeweizen is fairly simple.  I use 50% German Pilsner malt and 50% White Wheat malt.  Any German noble hop will do to hit your IBUs.  This beer isn't about the hops so it isn't that important which variety you choose.  For this batch of Hefeweizen I choose to use Tettnang because I had around 1 pound of these in the freezer.  Trying to clean out the freezer of hops before the new crop of hops come in to Hops Direct this fall. 

After the boil I hooked up the garden hose to the immersion chiller as usual.  The ground water here in Kansas is hotter than normal because of the extremely hot summer we have had.  I knew that the ground water with the immersion chiller wasn't going to get my wort down to pitching temperature without some help.  I was going to have to break out my pond pump with ice water to assist in the cooling process.  I use this setup when I brew lagers to get my wort down to 55*F.  I purchased a pond pump from Home Depot that you would use in a small fish pond.  I place that at the bottom of a brew bucket and fill the bucket with ice.  I put enough water in the bucket to get the pump going and the hot water coming back will melt the ice to keep the pump from running dry.  I attached the pump to the immersion chiller and run the ice water through the chiller to help bring the wort down to 60-65*F.  I use the hose water to first get the wort down to 80-85*F then I hook up the ice water.  This works really well and I only use one 20 lb. bag of ice.  If your struggling to get your wort down to pitching temperature with this hot summer weather, give this technique a shot.  It is really inexpensive and works extremely well.

I used the Wyeast 3068 yeast.  If you like your hefeweizen to have more of the clove flavor ferment this beer in the low 60s or if banana is your thing then ferment in the upper 60s to lower 70s.  I like the banana but in lower amounts so I generally ferment this beer around 64-66.  I have posted the recipe below if you want to give this beer a shot.  Cheers!!

Recipe: Weissbier
Brewer: Ashley Strube
Asst Brewer: 
Style: Weizen/Weissbier
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0) 

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 12.00 gal      
Boil Size: 15.38 gal
Estimated OG: 1.053 SG
Estimated Color: 3.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 22.2 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU      
11 lbs        Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM)             Grain        50.00 %       
11 lbs        White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)                Grain        50.00 %       
2.50 oz       Tettnang [4.40 %]  (60 min)               Hops         22.2 IBU      
2.00 items    Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min)          Misc                       
2 Pkgs        Weihenstephan Weizen (Wyeast Labs #3068)  Yeast-Wheat                

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body
Total Grain Weight: 22.00 lb
Single Infusion, Light Body
Step Time     Name               Description                         Step Temp     
75 min        Mash In            Add 7.00 gal of water at 163.4 F    152.0 F       
10 min        Mash Out           Add 4.00 gal of water at 200.0 F    168.0 F       

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Belgian Trippel Bottling

I know I know im thinking the same thing, it has been along time since the last post.  Well when you brew around 100 gallons of beer in just over a month it tends to wear you out.  That's what all the of the Hop Heaven crew did to pull off Maifest 2011.  The hot weather here in KC hasn't helped with the brewing schedule either!!  It has been in the upper 90s or 100 for what seems like the whole summer.

I brewed a Belgian Trippel back in November and just got around to bottling it.  I normally keg all my brews but I like my Belgian styles bottle conditioned.  I think it brings out something in the beer that kegging eliminates.  I normally bottle in 750ml bottles, 22oz bombers or 16oz flip top bottles.  The 16oz flip tops are bottles that I bought from a WWII veteran that lives in Leavenworth.  I was scouring Ebay one day looking for some cheap flip top bottles when I stumbled across these bottles.  There were (4) cases of bottles he brought back from Germany during WWII.  They are in the plastic cases and they had the original labels on them when I received them.  He was planning to brew his own beer and bottle them in these bottles.  He never actually used them once he returned and they have been in his basement every since.  I bottled some of the beer in a case of the German flip tops and the rest in a case of 1 liter flip tops.  Here is the recipe below if your interested in brewing this for yourself.  It is a simple recipe as far as the grain bill goes but you wouldn't know it from tasting it.  The recipe is posted below for your enjoyment!!  Cheers!!

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 12.00 gal      
Boil Size: 15.38 gal
Estimated OG: 1.075 SG
Estimated Color: 4.6 SRM
Estimated IBU: 34.8 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU      
24 lbs        Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM)             Grain        81.36 %       
8.0 oz        Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM)                  Grain        1.69 %        
1.00 oz       Tradition [6.90 %]  (60 min)              Hops         11.9 IBU      
1.50 oz       Tradition [7.50 %]  (60 min)              Hops         19.5 IBU      
1.50 oz       Glacier [6.50 %]  (10 min)                Hops         3.4 IBU       
5 lbs         Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM)           Sugar        16.95 %       
2 Pkgs        Trappist High Gravity (Wyeast Labs #3787) Yeast-Wheat                

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion
Total Grain Weight: 24.50 lb
Single Infusion, Light Body
Step Time     Name               Description                         Step Temp     
75 min        Mash In            Add 8.17 gal of water at 160.7 F    150.0 F       
10 min        Mash Out           Add 3.95 gal of water at 210.3 F    168.0 F       

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Maifest 2011

This past Saturday, the KCHopHeaven crew hosted the 2nd annual Maifest. It turned out to be a beautiful day to be outside with family and friends drinking exceptional beer. We could not have asked for a better turnout. We saw all the usual suspects from last year and lots of new faces that came out to enjoy the beer and food. The beer flowed all afternoon and the crowd stayed until the end when we gave out a few prizes.

We drew (4) beer review sheets out of hundreds submitted. The lucky four won these great prizes:
  • Grand Prize: (5) gallons of custom homebrew (48 – 12oz bottles)  
  • First Prize: 1.5 Liter of Champagne Beer (Belgian Strong Golden Ale) and (4) Maifest 2011 pint glasses  
  • Second Prize: 60 count bottle of LIFE= focus+energy and a Life= shirt of your choice
  • Third Prize: (3) pack sampler from Oddly Correct Coffee Roasters

We would like to thank Oddly Correct for donating the coffee for our Coffee Club to pour the Porter through. It made the beer outstanding!! The crowd definitely agreed because the beer didn’t last long. Life= also participated in the Maifest activities. We would like to thank them as well for donating a prize package.

Last but not least, we would like to thank all the people that helped make this event possible.  If anyone is interested in learning how to homebrew let us know. We are always brewing so you could stop by and check out the process. We are always willing to help new brewers get started in the hobby.  Below are some pictures taken during the event. Cheers!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Maifest 2011 - Please Read

Here are some general thoughts and reminders for Saturday, ALMOST HERE!!!! The weather is looking like it's going to be awesome!!!

Please keep in mind that this is a LIMITED event and not a PUBLIC event. Please refrain from posting this event publicly, or in venues where it may be read by a lot of people. This is meant to be a private event to include our close family and friends and their friends. Thank you!

The event will be held from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at City Park, in Kansas City, KS. Please see previous post for exact location. Here is the days beer menu, there will also be prizes given away to people who return a rating card (see bottom of post) that we will have at the event.

PLEASE have a designated driver. We encourage NO drinking and driving whatsoever. There are plenty of cab companies out there, and we will have the numbers for at least THREE cab companies. If you need a number, let us know! This will also help with parking. There is quite a bit of parking, but it is still limited, so please CARPOOL out there. SERIOUSLY.... Carpool!

We will have shirts for sale at the event. We ordered about 35 extras, so make sure to pick one up early to make sure you get your size. They will be $15... cash money.

This event costs quite a bit to put on, so we appreciate and thank you in advance for any donations you may wish to provide ($15 suggested). These monies will be to help pay for the facility rental, food, swag, etc. NO donations will be put toward the cost of producing ANY beer. For those so inclined to donate, we will have a newly designed PINT GLASS for YOU!

If you guys have any questions, shoot us an email at

Some FAQ's:

Am I allowed to bring my own food and beverages into the festival area?
Yes, but keep in mind we will be providing food and drink.

Are there seats available or do I bring my lawn chair or blanket?
There are plenty of picnic tables located inside the Pavilion. If you'd like to be in the sunshine as it will be an excellent day, please bring blankets and lawn chairs!

Are there restrooms and parking?
Restrooms are located within a short distance from the Pavilion.

Parking is limited and the Maifest Team strongly encourages you to carpool and/or get dropped off and take a cab home. We will be providing cab numbers upon request, and strongly discourage drinking and driving.

Are pets allowed?
Yes! Please bring your pets. Pets must be kept on a leash at all times, and able to play nicely with other pets and people!

Are children allowed to come?
Maifest is a 21 and over event by nature, but; we do understand child-care circumstances come up and children are allowed.

How do I become a vendor at Maifest next year?
Please talk with our Event & Vendor Coordinator Kyle Fitzgerald at the event.

How can I contribute to Maifest?
Event goers are asked to please donate $15 per person, which will go to operating expenses of this awesome event! As important, you can also contribute by filling out a rating card provided at the event in order to help us increase the quality of our beers! THERE ARE PRIZES THAT WILL BE GIVEN TO PEOPLE WHO RETURN THESE!!!!! Only cards with the name and email information included will be eligible for winning. Here is what the card will look like:

And of course, have a great time!

The Maifest Team

Monday, April 11, 2011

Maifest 2011 - Tee Shirts

We are proud to showcase this year's tee shirt design for Maifest 2011!! The shirts will be available in both men's and women's. Everybody loved the shirts from last year so we decided to go with the same shirt material and style but with a new design. Shirts are available for the pre-order price of $12 for the next two weeks. After the April 25th cutoff, the price will increase to $15 per shirt.

Last year we ran out of shirts very quickly (sorry Graham and Oz), so we highly recommend taking the time to pre-order. Payment is not required to pre-order but would be appreciated. So take a look at the designs, admit that you can't live without one, and click the Buy A Shirt button at the bottom of the post. Just make sure that you put your size in the comment line within PayPal. If you don't wish to pay now but still want to pre-order, send an email to with the following: name, shirt quantity, and shirt sizes.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Maifest 2011 - May 7th

The weather is warming and the days are getting longer, which means that it is time to celebrate the coming of summer with the second annual Maifest. For all of you who attended last year, we thank you. For those of you whom have never heard of Maifest get ready for an awesome beercentric festival filled with friends, family, food, and of course a plethora of homebrew! If you are in doubt and don’t know if this is for you, check out how last year’s Maifest went. At Maifest 2010 we drank 18 different beers, ate 214 sausages and 100 burgers. Over 300 friends and family attended and we are expecting plenty more this year. 400? 500? 600? We’ll see. Don’t worry my friends; there will be plenty of beer.

The festival will kick off at 12PM and the beer will flow until 6:00PM. This year’s lineup will cover even more beer styles including favorites from last year: Belgian Ales, German Session Beers and of course HOPOCALYPSE! We have also added a 55 gallon American Oak Barrel to our arsenal so get ready for a couple specialty beers with excellent oak flavor.


As a special treat, we will have Gregory Kolsto with us. Gregory started the nano coffee roaster Oddly Correct which produces, in my humble opinion, the best fresh roasted coffee in town. We’re not sure what all Gregory will be bringing to the table, but we’re sure it will be good. Think Hop Hammer with fewer hops and more beans. The coffee club! Good thing we’ll have our local blackcoffeesmith to run that puppy. 

Food will be provided in the form of Bichelmeyer sausages and locally raised beef burgers with some sides to fill in the gaps. The beer and food are free so bring your beer loving friends, just make sure that they are 21 or older and bring an I.D.  

We will be coming out with more information as the day approaches so stay tuned. For now, here is the current beer menu to wet your appetite!

This Year’s Beer List
Note: Italicized beers are the favorites from last year, retooled and even better!

Brewer: Kyle FitzGerald
10 G. Bavarian Wheat
10 G. Belgian Wit
15 G. Maibock
10 G. Hefeweizen
15 G. Pilsner

10 G. Extra Special Bitter (ESB)

Brewer: Thomas Sanford
10 G. Imperial IPA (with optional Hop Hammer)
10 G. Amber Ale
10 G. Brown Ale

10 G. Porter (with optional Coffee Club)
10 G. American Strong Ale
10 G. Belgian Golden Strong Ale

10 G. Black IPA

Brewer: Ashley Strube
10 G. Belgian Trippel
10 G. Belgian Blonde

10 G. Saison
10 G. Patersbier
10 G. Rye Pale Ale
10 G. Irish Red Rye
10 G. Dusseldorf Altbier
10 G. Dortmunder Export
5 G. Smoked Porter

Guest Brewer: Chris Thowe
10 G. American Wheat
Barrel Beers – aged in an American Oak Barrel
5 G. Oak Aged Russian Imperial Stout
5 G. Oak Aged Russian Imperial Stout with Chocolate and Orange

5 G. Virgin Russian Imperial Stout
10 G. Oak Aged Wee Heavy
10 G. Virgin Wee Heavy

The Pavilion at City Park, Kansas City, Kansas

It is the huge shelter at the very top of City Park, just keep driving up and you cannot miss it.

For any additional information, please RSVP to