Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Screwy's Recipe 58 - Screwy's Noble Wheat

This 5 gallon recipe is designed using the Weizen/Wiessbier wheat beer style guidelines for gravity, bitterness and color. It includes Muntons Wheat Dry Malt Extract as the backbone of the recipe with some steeped CaraPils for improved head retention and body. Taste wise it is remarkable similar to the Paulaner Hefe Weizen wheat beers I had during lunch with some friends.

I also added a bit of Pure Clover Honey to boost the alcohol content and enhance the aroma of cloves imparted by the Safbrew WB-06 wheat beer yeast strain. There are 3 German Hallertauer hop additions for bitterness, flavor and aroma to lend just the right finish.

Hallertau, Honey, Wheat DME, CarPils Malt And Safbrew WB-06
 I was able to brew this recipe in just under 4 hours from start to the end of cleanup and even had time to clean out some bottles and a corny keg in the process. It's pretty much the same exact recipe I brewed back in May 2011 but this time I based the recipe on a 5 gallon batch size. I also used CaraPils for the steeping grains to enhance the body and head retention and because of it's light color.

Screwy's Noble Wheat SRM 4
As always I begin my recipe design by opening qBrew and loading in the most recent version of the recipe and begin my research. The last batch produced some very drinkable beer in about 3-4 weeks. The bottle carbonation levels and mouthfeel were perfect and the finish had soft notes of nutmeg and clover. Although the addition of Carahell steeping grains produced a slightly darker SRM 8 beer that was still within range of the Weizen style.

Estimated IBU=13, SRU=4, OG=1.053, FG=1.013, ABV=5.2%

 Click to download Screwy's latest qBrew database   

Click to download this recipe file for qBrew
Recipe: Size 5.00 gallons: Estimated IBU=13, SRU=4, OG=1.053, FG=1.013, ABV=5.2%
2 pounds honey
1 pound CaraPils
4 pounds Muntons Wheat DME - 60% Wheat/40% Barley
1/2 ounce Halleteur pellet hops boiled for 30 minutes
  2 pounds of Pure Clover Honey for 25 minutes
1/2 ounce Halleteur pellet hops boiled for 17 minutes
  1 ounce Halleteur pellet hops boiled for 7 minutes
11.5 gram Safbrew WB-06 dry yeast
Pitched at 65F and fermented at 65F until final gravity is steady for 2 days

** Steep grains at 153F for 30 minutes **
Remove grain bag, stir and pour into 12 quart boil pot
Top pot off with filtered water and bring to a boil
Add hops at 30 minutes
Stir in clover honey and boil for 25 minutes
Add hops and boil for 17 minutes
Stir in DME and boil for 10 minutes
Add Whirlfloc and boil for 9 minutes
Add hops and boil for 7 minutes
Place in ice bath, or use wort chiller until wort temperature cools to 70F
Aerate and pitch yeast at 65-70F
Ferment at 65F temperature until final gravity is steady for 2 days

I filled up a 12 quart boil pot 1 gallon of filtered water and set it on the burner, this would be my steeping pot. When the water hit about 160F I put the steeping grains in and checked the temperature to make sure it stayed at 153F for the entire 30 minutes of the steep. While this was heating up I filled my 20 quart boil pot with filtered water and set it on a burner, this would later be my make up water volume for both 12 quart boil pots.

Steep 1 Pound Of CaraPils @ 153F For 30 Minutes
After 30 minutes of steeping I could see the color of the wort was much lighter than my previous batch, the substitution of CaraPils in place of Carahell malt for the steep will definitely make my beer lighter in color. I removed the grain bag and began moving half of the steeped wort into another 12 quart pot for the side by side boils.
Two 12 Quart Pots With Steeped Wort
With the steeped wort evenly distributed between both pots, I topped them off with the heated water from the 20 quart pot to get both up to their full wort volumes. As I re-brew my house recipes and locking down their ingredients and brewing processes I try to save time by planning long running tasks ahead of time and to run in parallel wherever possible. Heating 20 quarts of water on my stovetop takes at least 30 minutes and by heating it the same time I do the two 12 quart pots it's pretty close to boiling by time the steeping is done.

12 Quarts Pots With Steeped Wort And Full Boil Volume
At this point both pots were heating up to boiling so I started getting my yeast ready. I filled 2 White Labs yeast tubes with filtered water, poured them into a small pot and added some extra water to compensate for losses due to boil off. I then soaked a small bowl, fork and the 2 yeast tubes in One-Step for 10 minutes to get them ready for use.

11 Gram Package Of Safbrew WB-06 Split In Two
I boiled the measured water for 10 minutes, let it cool down to 90F and then filled the 2 yeast tubes with it. Next I emptied the yeast tubes into the small sanitized bowl, sprinkled in the dry yeast and soaked the tubes and caps in One-Step again. After 20 minutes I stirred the yeast into a cream using a sanitized plastic fork, filled both tubes, capped them tightly and placed them caps down in a small bowl of the sanitizing solution.

1 Pound Of Pure Clover Honey Per Pot
Since I've read so many different takes on how brewers are using honey in their recipes and brewing process I finally decided to boil the honey for 25 minutes. I'm convinced that this length of time in the boil will kill off any wild yeast or bacteria that could cause problems later on. At 30 minutes my first hop addition went in followed 5 minutes later by the honey addition. The flavor hop additions went in 8 minutes later followed by the addition of the wheat DME 7 minutes after that.

Wheat DME Gets 10 Minute Boil With Hops And Honey
The WhirlFloc and last aroma hop addition went in and when the boil was done I used the wort cooler to get the wort down to the 70-75F pitching temperature. It's important to cool your wort as quickly as possible to prevent wild yeast and bacteria from contaminating it causing off flavors or making it undrinkable. I place my boil pot in the sink, fit my wort cooler inside it and turn on the water flow.

Wort Cooler Gets The Temperature Down Quickly
Using an auto siphon makes moving your beer out of the boil pot almost fun and leaves most of the debris behind in the process. I can't even imagine how I did without one for so long, all the spills have been eliminated and my primary fermenters contain so much less trub than when I used to simply pour the wort into the fermenter.

The Auto Siphon Is A Huge Time Saver
With the temperature near 70F and the wort transferred to the fermenter I aerated and pitched my yeast. I poured the rehydrated dry yeast from one of the two tubes I had prepared earlier directly into the fermenter and aerated it again before screwing on the lid.

Half A Rehydrated Package Of Safbrew WB-06 Wheat Yeast
I rinsed off the outside of the fermenter and then wiped it dry using a clean towel and put it inside my fermentation chamber to ferment. I placed a few frozen water bottles in there  to drop the initial fermentation temperature down to the 65-70F range.

Original Gravity 1.054
The original graviy reading showed 1.054 which was only a point off of the qBrew recipe calculation. The color of the wort was also lighter in color then my initial recipe making the cosmetic appearance of this beer closer to the lower end of the BJCP style guideline.

12 Hours Later Both Fermenters Showed A Lot Of Activity
The next morning I checked in on the fermentation progress and found both fermenters had a healthy initial fermentation going. I will be fermenting this batch in the mid sixties until they both reach their estimated final gravity of 1.013. At the 65F temperature I can see them both going about 10 days before I take my first readings.

Bottling Day: (09-Jul-2011)

Noble Wheat Day 11 - FG Was 1.010 At 70F
 Today I had my second consecutive hydrometer reading of 1.010 at 70F so it was time to bottle it. My Bottle Priming Calculator, for a German Weissbier style beer, called for 3.6 to 4.48 volumes of Co2 as the correct carbonation range. This quickly translated to 8 tablespoons of pure cane sugar for a 2.25 gallon batch to get 4 volumes which was right in the middle of that range.

Cooling Priming Sugar Solution To 70F In Ice Pan
 I dissolved 8 tablespoons of pure cane sugar into about a cup of filtered water and boiled it in a small pot while stirring for 10 minutes. After the boil was complete I filled a pan with cold water and placed the pot in it then added a bunch of ice cubes to cool the solution down faster.

Adding Priming Solution First Before Transferring The Beer
 Once the priming solution reached 70F I poured it into a sanitized Mr. Beer keg that I used for my bottling bucket. I transferred the 70F beer from the fermenter to the bottling bucket using a small length of vinyl tubing that reached to the bottom of the bottling bucket. After all the beer was transferred I used a sanitized long handle plastic spoon to gently swirl the beer around a few times to make sure it was mixed thoroughly.

Transferring Fermented Beer To Bottling Bucket
 I like using a bottling bucket for 2 very important reasons. It leaves nearly all of the dead yeast and trub behind in the primary fermenter and out of your bottled beer. It also mixes the beer completely with the priming sugar solution to give you more uniform carbonation between bottles from the same batch.

Sanitized Bottle Tree With 48 Long Necks
With the beer and priming solution mixed and ready to go I began filling the 12 ounce bottles that I had sanitized earlier and allowed to drain for about 30 minutes. The sprayer at the top of the bottle tree really makes the sanitizing go by quickly, just 2 or 3 pumps and the bottles done and ready to drain.

I dip the bottle necks into the sanitizing solution before using the pump to spray their inside and I soak the bottle caps in the sanitizer. This is just to make sure that the entire surface of the bottle that comes in contact with the bottle cap is free of contamination before capping them.

46 Long Neck Bottles Of Noble Wheat

My long handled bench capper makes short work of capping the bottles. I can cap a case of long necks in only a couple of minutes. I fill the bottle with beer, place a cap on top to prevent anything from getting inside and when I have them all done I quickly press the caps on. A quick wipe with a wet washcloth gets any spilled beer off the bottles before I put them in a plastic container to carbonate.

Screwy's Noble Wheat Poured From Bottle
 After initially thinking I had some issues with bottling I found out I was mistaken when I poured a my first glass from a bottle that had been cold conditioned in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. The color came out perfectly according to the calculations I had gotten from qBrew and the taste was absolutely amazing and spot on. This is an easy to brew recipe that produces a really easy to drink wheat beer with plenty of flavor. The combination of the Halleteur hops, Safbrew WB-06, Clover Honey and Pilsner steeping grains combine to make this a very rewarding beer to add to my pipeline.


  1. You do realise that cloves and clover are two completely different things don't you?

  2. Clover is the predominant flower that North American bees use to produce their honey, while clover is the flavor introduced by fermenting certain yeast strains like Wyeast 3068 at a lower temperature in the range of 68-76F.