Gowanus Brewery

Gowanus Strong Wheat Ale – Recipe by Jeremy
May 6, 2008, 12:00 am
Filed under: all-grain, beer, naming, recipe, strong ale

Six months from now–when it’s once again dark and dreary–it will be time to indulge in this new brew, the Gowanus Strong Wheat.

You need at least six months aging time for a strong ale, which according to the BJCP guidelines, is “usually the strongest ale offered by a brewery… Normally aged significantly prior to release. Often associated with the winter or holiday season.”

Although I haven’t fully committed to the proportions, the final grain bill will closely resemble the following:

8 lb. American 2-row
8 lb. Wheat malt
2 lb. American victory
2 lb. Flaked wheat
2 lb. Basswood Honey
1 oz. Newport (13% AA, 60 min.)
1 oz. Newport (13% AA, 45 min.)
1 oz. Newport (13% AA, 30 min.)
1 oz. Argentina Cascade (3% AA, 30 min.)
1 oz. Argentina Cascade (3% AA, 15 min.)
1 oz. Argentina Cascade (aroma)

This will (theoretically) produce a wort with a starting gravity near 1.115 and a final alcohol content in the neighborhood of 12%. Because the alcohol content on this style of beer tends to be so high, it’s common to see them referred to as barleywines or barleywine-style ales. Of course, this particular beer would be best described as a wheat wine, owning fully 50% of its total weight to malted and flaked wheat.

This isn’t strictly about big beer and big alcohol. I’m interested in pushing the limits on my technique and equipment and continuing to experiment with wheat beers. It’s also an opportunity to experiment with a new adjunct: honey. I’m adding honey to provide some complexity and to unify the overall beer aroma and flavor, but it will also provide additional fermentables and color. This particular type of honey is supposed create a lingering flavor similar to green ripening fruit.


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