Fill It or Spill It

Homebrew Post

In Homebrewing on August 12, 2012 at 10:18 pm

It has been a while since I last did a homebrew post, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been brewing.  I’ve actually made the move from using homebrew kits to coming up with my own recipes and  I decided to try a banana hefeweizen.  I was unsure how to get the banana in the beer because I had read so many different things.  I even decided to ask for some advice at the homebrew shop.

Opinions on making beer vary just as much as opinions on drinking beer.  One of the guys from the homebrew shop told me his attempt was a bit of a mess using actual banana and that I was better of either fermenting at a high temp or using banana extract.  Fermenting high would increase the esters in the beer giving me banana flavors and aromas, he explained.  If I wanted to get more banana flavors, I could use the banana extract.  So, I bought some extract just in case, but I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to use it.  Using extract seemed like cheating to me.  Personally, I’d rather use some real bananas and struggle with getting it right than take the easy way out with some extract.  So, with my base recipe and a vague idea of how to incorporate banana into my hefe, I proceeded with my homebrewing adventure.

I think for my first attempt it turned out pretty good.  I was quite impressed with the head and the retention.  The head lasted for a good long time and had a creamy look to it, which was impressive.  The aroma had a very faint banana scent and not quite what I was looking for, but there is always room for improvement.  The taste also had a subtle banana taste to it.  I don’t want it to be to sweet or have overwhelming banana taste, but at the same time if I’m making a banana beer, I don’t want to have to tell you that there is banana in there.

I got mostly positive feedback on my homebrew.  The biggest critique was that there was not enough banana in it.  I got a few compliments on the head and retention and everyone who tried it, enjoyed it.  There’s still plenty of work to be done on my yet to be named banana hefe, but I think I got something good brewing.  I’ve got some ideas for improvements, so I can’t wait to try this one again.

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