Sunday, 27 July 2014

wheat beer #1

wheat beer #1

One of my next beers I wanted to make was a wheat beer in the style of Hoegarden. I had previously tried out this style earlier this year (see here). This beer was nice enough but it was so alcoholic and sugary that it was near-impossible to enjoy drinking it. This next beer was an attempt to rectify this. 

To improve upon the last recipe I made some alterations, namely in reducing the amount of input to bring down the OG. I also simplified it a bit and took out unnecessary carapils and wheat whole grains.  The recipe was altered so as to allow 4.5 litre brewing.  


additions:orange peel and crushed coriander seeds

Malt Bill
Malt NameWeightPPGSRMType
Wheat Dry Extract0.35 kg1.0448.00Extract/Adjunct
Extra Light Dry Extract0.25 kg1.0443.00Extract/Adjunct

Hop Bill
Hop NameTime AddedWeightAA%Type
Saaz (Czech)60 min5.00 g3.8%Pellet Hop

Yeast Details
Yeast StrandQuantityAttenuationFlocculation
Safbrew WB-06 Dry Brewing Yeast1 pack76Low
Measured O.G.1.055 (inf% Actual Efficiency).
Measured F.G.1.005 (91% Actual Attenuation)

The ABV was 6.7% with IBU of 9.3. The colour also looked similar to what a wheat beer would look like.

No secondary vessel was used here and then 57g of brewing sugar was added prior to bottling to hit a high level of carbonation.

I drank the first bottle after just less than 1 week (because I was brewing another beer at the same time). The look of the beer in the bottle was great, with a slight chlll haze (it was very clear prior to cooling. I kicked up a bit of the dropped out yeast to give it the traditional wheat look. It popped after opening and proceeded to fizz a bit, what I would have expected from the level of carbonation I hit. When poured into the bottle it was evidently very carbonated with a great white head, which would linger, retaining its fluffy cloudiness for 5< minutes. 

To make this beer different from standard wheat beers and more like Hoegarden, I added 2.5 grams of each, orange peel and crushed coriander seeds ten minutes before the end of the boil. 

I managed to hit these stats as OG and then after three weeks in the primary, a 91% attenuation, which was particularly high attenuation than I would have predicted. (13.5 and 6 brix at 0 and 3 weeks, respectively). 

It smelt very clean and not hoppy, very like a traditional lager. Hints of fruitiness were picked up but no overriding orange or coriander. 

This beer tasted and felt very crisp and clean (carbonation levels helped! - and the FG?) initially then quite malty like a lager towards the end (predicted given the Saaz hops usage?) but with a hint of fruitiness in there (but just a bit!). However, this beer was way more malty and wheaty than it was fruity and estery. It came across a bit too sugary for my liking, which I guess could be explained by only leaving it 1 week in conditioning. 

General comments:
This was a lovely beer. I have never hit such levels of cleanness and crispness before. It is very similar to a beer like Miller or another dry lager. Compared to the previous wheat effort, it was a lot more enjoyable to drink but essentially tasted very similar (same malts, same hops). In the end it tasted a bit more like erdinger and blue moon rather than hoegarden. 

What would I do differently?
For the next wheat beer attempt I would stick closely to this recipe. I would not leave it for three weeks in primary to decrease the dryness. I would reduce the sugar for carbonation but then would increase the conditioning time. I could also up the herbal content.

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