Gowanus Brewery

American Wheat Beer – Started by Jeremy
February 25, 2008, 12:00 am
Filed under: all-grain, beer, brewing, recipe, wheat

I just finished brewing the American Wheat Beer that will be the model for my competition beer.

It comes from Northern Brewer which describes the beer as a “spritzy, refreshing warm-weather crowd-pleaser” with more hop character than its German counterpart and fermented with a milder-tasting yeast. To make it mine, I plan to do two or three things. I’ll adjust the grain bill and mash to produce a lighter, crisper beer. I’ll add a homegrown adjunct, probably heirloom raspberry. Also, I plan to grow hops this summer, but they won’t be ready for harvesting until the end of summer, which may be too late for competition.

The recipe is straight forward. It calls for four pounds each of Rahr White Wheat and Rahr 2-row Pale, and one ounce each of Willamette (60 minutes) and Cascade (15 minutes). The yeast used is Wyeast #1010 American Wheat Yeast. The recommended mash schedule is single-step at 153 degrees. The target original gravity is 1.040 and my actual was 1.038.

During the brew, I hit two major snags–one new, one old.

First, to bring the mash from the protease rest at around 125 degrees to the saccharization rest at 153 degrees, I added about four gallons of boiling water, which I should not have done. The temperature shot way up past 153 degrees to about 180. Visiting 180 degrees for enzymes is like staring at the sun for us. The water I added should have been at or below 200 degrees. Fortunately, I was able to bring temp down to the 150’s by adding an additional gallon of cold tap water. On the bright side, since my starting gravity turned out fine, I got to see first hand that grain enzymes are robust enough to handle an occasional screw up.

The second issue I ran into I dealt with in my last batch. I just couldn’t get the wort cooled fast enough towards the end of the brew. Instead of hauling the MegaPot up to the bathtub this time, I let it cool on the range down to about 180 and drained it to the primary fermenter, a plastic bucket. I sealed it, put an empty water lock in place with tin foil wrapped around it, and just let it sit overnight to cool slowly. When I got up this morning, the wort was near room temperature and I was able to pitch the yeast. This isn’t ideal, but, as long as we can avoid contamination, I think it may be our best bet for the time being.

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[…] beer, label, naming Yesterday, I bottled the Gowanus Wheat Beer, which is what I named the American Wheat Beer I brewed a few weeks ago. I’m over the clever names. It’s just Gowanus Wheat […]

Pingback by Gowanus Wheat Beer - Bottled « Gowanus Brewery

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