Gowanus Brewery

Gowanus Raspberry Wheat Ale – Recipe Rewrite by Jeremy
March 18, 2008, 12:00 am
Filed under: all-grain, beer, competition, label, recipe

I’m working on a recipe to enter into competition and, after finishing up the Gowanus Wheat Beer the other day, I’m making a couple of changes.

The first most important change is to not screw up the mash. Last time, when bringing the mash from the dough in up to the sugar rest, I added water that was too hot and the temperature shot way up to 180 degrees. That definitely denatured some of the beta-amylase resulting in a beer with higher levels of unfermentable sugars and a fuller body, even though I eventually brought the beer down to the appropriate range. The other change is a little more subtle.

For homebrewers new to all-grain the recommended sugar rest is typically around 153 degrees, which is what I did for both the Gowanus Raspberry Wheat Ale and the Gowanus Wheat Beer. At that temperature, both alpha- and beta-amylase are active and you get a medium-bodied beer. The alpha-amylase chops starches at arbitrary points into big pieces. It’s active at higher temperatures, works fast, produces unfermentable sugars and a full-bodied beer. The beta-amylase chops starches into small pieces, like glucose and maltose, but it works only from end points. It’s active at lower temperatures, works slowly, produces fermentable sugars and a lighter beer with higher alcohol content. The second change I want to make is to lower the sugar rest temperature to promote the beta-amylase for a lighter, drier beer. The trick is that the rest has to be much longer because this enzyme works much more slowly.

According to BYO, the sugar rest for Anheiser-Busch’s Bud Light, which has the profile I’m going for, is at 140 degrees and it’s held there for three hours. For the past couple batches, I’ve held the wort at 153 degrees for an hour, but for the next batch I’m going to do what A-B does: lower temperature, longer rest.

Here’s the latest incarnation:

4 lbs. Rahr White Wheat

4 lbs. Rahr 2-row

1/4 lb. Flaked Wheat

1 oz. Willamette (5 mins)

4 lbs. raspberries (frozen, add to secondary)

Sugar rest at 140 degrees, three hours. Edit: Based on advice from other homebrewers, I’m going to try 145 degrees for two hours.

These are big changes and should really improve the brew.

6 Comments so far
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[…] weekend, I’m brewing up another batch of the Gowanus Raspberry Wheat Ale and I’ll pitch the yeast I grew this past weekend.  We’ll see how it goes! No […]

Pingback by Yeast Starter « Gowanus Brewery

I think you’ll be fine and plenty fermentable with a 148 degrees rest for 90 minutes.
Just do a single temp rest at 148 – no lower dough in temp necessary. Your recipe doesn’t have any specialty grains, so as long as your yeast health and fermentation are good, this will get you plenty dry.


Comment by Seanywonton (Sean White)

I’ve heard the same from others, though this is the first I’ve been told to skip the dough-in… will give that some thought.

I was just really frustrated by this last batch, so I’m trying to push all the factors I can think of and to push them as far as possibly towards a lighter and drier beer.

Comment by Jeremy

[…] only real difference between this brew and the Gowanus Raspberry Wheat Ale is the mash temperature and duration. For the raspberry wheat, I lowered the temp and lengthened […]

Pingback by Gowanus Wheat Beer Goes Over « Gowanus Brewery

How’d the 4lbs of raspberries work out for ya? I’m making a raspberry wheat tomorrow and will be adding them to my secondary but I’m still a little unsure as to how much I should add. Any feedback or advice would be great. Thanks!

Comment by Marc

I ultimately used only 2.5 lbs of berries and it looks to be just right, though I won’t be certain for a week or two after it’s had some time to condition in the bottle.

Keep in mind, the base recipe for my beer produces something very clean–light and dry–so I was able to get away with using fewer berries. Others may use up to 10 lbs of fruit. I would suggest you use 2.5 lbs as a starting point and add additional berries if your fruit will have other flavors to compete with and then add more berries if you want a more intense fruit flavor.

If you click on Raspberry Wheat in the tag cloud on the left, you can see all of my posts on this batch of beer.

Comment by Jeremy

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