Saturday, October 1, 2011

Screwy's Recipe 62 - 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 Crystal 10L for improved head retention and body. I'm targeting the Paulaner Hefe Weizen wheat beer style I and some friends have been drinking lately.

I included two pounds 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. I would like to have used German Hallertauer hop additions for bitterness, flavor and aroma but I had to substitute Crystal hops instead because the German Hallertauer hops weren't available.

Honey, Wheat DME, Crystal Hops, WB-06 And Crystal 10L (Not Shown)
This recipe is geared toward a 5 gallon batch but and I've also included the recipe in qBrew download format so it won't be hard for others to tailor it to different size batches if needed. It's an extract with steeping grains recipe so it doesn't require more than 4-5 hours to brew depending on your brewing pace. I like the wheat beers because they're ready to drink in about 3-4 weeks and they taste great.

Screwy's Noble Wheat SRM 7
I loaded qBrew with my Recipe #58 and made a few slight changes to my previous wheat beer recipe substituting Crystal 10L for the CaraPils I used the last time. I also had to use Crystal hops in this recipe since my favorite Halleteur hops were not available on brewday. The Crystal pellet hops I used had a lower percentage of alpha acid so I had to adjust the boil times in order to get the correct IBU range, something that qBrew does very easily. Once the new recipe was tweaked I saved it as Recipe 62 - Noble Wheat.qbrew and emailed the list to Princeton Homebrew for pickup later that day.

Estimated IBU=9, SRM=7, OG=1.062, FG=1.016, ABV=6.0%

 Click to download Screwy's latest qBrew database   

Click to download this recipe file for qBrew
Recipe: Size 5.00 gallons: Estimated IBU=9, SRU=7, OG=1.062, FG=1.016, ABV=6.0%
2 pounds honey
1 pound Crystal 10L
5 pounds Muntons Wheat DME - 55% Wheat/45% Barley

1/2 ounce Crystal pellet hops boiled for 60 minutes
2 pounds of Honey for 30 minutes
1/2 ounce Crystal pellet hops boiled for 20 minutes
1 ounce Crystal pellet hops boiled for 7 minutes
11.5 gram Safbrew WB-06 dry yeast
Pitched at 70F and fermented at 70F until final gravity is steady for 2 days

** Steep grains in 3 gallons of 153F filtered water for 30 minutes **
Remove grain bag from 20 quart boil pot
Stir in DME top off with filtered water and bring to a hard boil
Add hops at 60 minutes
Stir in clover honey and boil for 35 minutes
Add hops and boil for 20 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 68F temperature until final gravity is steady for 2 days
Add 1/2 ounce Cascade hops for finishing and let soak for 5 days

The Grains Steeped For 30 Minutes Before Adding DME

I filled up a 20 quart boil pot with about three gallons 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-155F for the entire 30 minutes of the steep. During this time I rounded up all the bowls, spoons and thermometers I'd need for rehydrating the Safbrew wb-06 dry yeast.

Boiled Filtered Water Cooled To 95F And Dry Yeast
Of course I kept the bowls covered the entire time, except when stirring the yeast slurry, so that no bugs or other things like mold spores and wild yeast can get in. The bowls were soaked in One-Step for 10-15 minutes and I boiled filtered water for 15 minutes and then cooled it down to 95F before sprinkling in the dry yeast. I also soak the yeast packets and scissors in One-Step for at least 10 minutes before cutting open the packets.

Safbrew wb-06 Rehydrated In 95F Water Before Pitching
 Since reading Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff's newest book 'Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation' I've learned a new respect for the yeast I use in my homebrewing. On page 124 of the book they wrote how important it is to rehydrate dry yeast before pitching it into wort, in fact they included the following line 'Failure to rehydrate dry yeast properly will result in the death of approximately half the cells'. It's so easy to do and such a standard part of my brewing process now I always rehydrate any dry yeast before pitching it.
Adding 5 Pounds Of Dry Wheat/Barley Extract Mix
Once the steeping was done I added the 5 pounds of wheat DME to the boil pot and stirred it in really good before the wort began to boil. I found that doing it this way reduced the chances of having a hotbreak boil over while making the DME clumps easier to dissolve into the wort.

20 Quart Pot With Wort, DME, WhirlFloc And Hop Additions
As the wort boiled for 60 minutes I added in my hop additions. During this time I also rehydrated the dry yeast and sanitized the LBKs and cooling coils. I also kept another 16 quart pot of filtered water boiling on a back burner. As the water level dropped in my main boil pot I would use the extra boiling water to replace the water that had evaporated from the wort.

Cooling Wort Down To Pitching Temperature
My hotside brewing had gone as planned so it was time to start cooling down the wort and getting it ready for pitching the rehydrated yeast. I had topped off the boilpot with boiling water about 10 minutes before flameout to make sure I had enough wort in the boilpot before cooling it down. My racking cane, tubing, LBKs, spoon and yeast were all ready, waiting for the wort temperature to get down low enough to begin racking to the fermentors.

Transferring The Cooled Wort To The 2 Mr. Beer Fermentors
 I also put a couple of frozen water bottles into my fermentation chamber to cool it off before putting the filled LBKs inside it. Right after pitching the yeast I move the LBKs into the fermentation chamber to help prevent the temperature inside the fermentors from getting too high. I found that doing this, in combination with rehydrating the dry yeast and providing plenty of aeration reduces the lag time and gets the primary fermentation off to a vigorous start.

Original Gravity Came Out 1.054
The interesting thing about the OG of this batch is that it came out 8 points lower than qBrew had calculated. I'm thinking that possibly the 1.045 rating on the wheat DME and the 1.035 rating for the honey may have been too high. Even with the lower gravity reading this beer should still develop alcohol levels in the 5% range which is pretty respectable for a nice wheat beer.

According to the experts yeast do best when the oxygen levels in the wort are between 8-10 parts per million. In reality most homebrewers introduce between 4-6 parts per million of dissolved oxygen into their wort by either shaking or whisking the fermentor and wort causing it to foam up. With a lot of effort the dissolved oxygen levels can get as high as 6-8 parts per million or when using an aquarium pump and air stone.To hit levels of 10 parts per million you really need to have a bottle of oxygen handy.

Plenty Of Aeration To Assure A Vigorous Fermentation
I peeked in on the LBKs after 12 hours of fermentation and was happy to see that both fermentors had taken off as expected. The combination of the right amount of fresh yeast, proper rehydration and a well aerated 70F wort had all worked together nicely to keep the yeast healthy and the fermentation strong.

Short Lag Time And A Strong Primary Fermentation In 12 Hours
For the next few days I'll keep an eye on the temperature inside the fermentors. I now that during peak primary fermentation the yeast can cause the temperature of inside the LBKs to go up and the increased heat if left unchecked will mean higher levels of esters which in turn will introduce stronger banana flavors in this wheat beer. This is like the fifth or sixth time I've brewed this beer so I pretty much know already how it will taste once it's ready to drink. I figure at 70F the fermentation should be done in about 8-10 days and adding in another 2-3 days for the yeast to do their cleanup and another 10-14 days to naturally carbonate the beer to 3.5 volumes of Co2. By next month I'll be drinking a really nice wheat beer just as the fall weather takes hold here in the northeast.

Final Gravity Held At 1.014 For 3 Days
The final gravity reading came out about 2 points lower than qBrew had estimated finishing at 1.014 instead of 1.016. To me this beer finishing off at 5.3% ABV is just about perfect because I usually like to drink a couple of them at a time without worrying about getting too hammered.

Transferring The Beer To The Bottling Bucket
I cooled down the boiling water and sugar solution to 70F and and then racked the wheat beer on top of it, I also sanitized my Teflon spoon and gently swirled the beer and sugar solution together to mix them up really good. From there I used the bottling bucket and bottling want to fill the 12 ounce bottles. I rinsed the bottles out with hot water and then gave them 3 quick squirts of StarSan before placing them on the bottle tree to drain until filling.

Bottles Sanitized With StarSan
I filled the corny keg directly from the fermentor adding a priming solution of 9 tablespoons of pure cane sugar boiled in a half cup of water to the keg first. The bottling solution was at 70F when I added it to the keg and the beer from the fermentor mixed in with it as the keg filled. Once the keg was filled I hit it with 20 psi of Co2 to set the seal and then vented it a couple of times to purge out any oxygen.

9 Tablespoons Of Pure Cane Sugar For 2.5 Gallons

1 comment:

  1. Screwy, that's an excellent account. gives confidence about becoming a better brewer. Thanks for sharing!