Friday, May 17, 2013

Brewin' The 420 Special Wheat Beer

This weekend I brewed my very first batch of warm weather drinking beer, my all time refreshing favorite too, a summer wheat beer. The recipes starts out with a good amount of Munich malt, a bit of CaraVienne malt added for good measure, a fair amount of German Wheat malt with half as much Flaked Wheat. This current version is an all grain recipe that I've developed myself over the years, it was originally an extract recipe with steeping grains using Muntons Wheat DME and some dry wheat yeast I rehydrated.

420 Special Wheat
I pitched a nice healthy 2 liter starter, made from 2nd generation East Coast Yeast ECY10 - Old Newark Ale™ yeast, it's one of my favorites and I use it now for brewing most of my Ales. I should call it the Special International Wheat beer since the recipe's yeast is American, but more than likely an English strain brought to the US by Peter Ballantine himself way back in the early 1800's.

2 Liter Starter Of East Coast Yeast ECY10 - Old Newark Ale™
The addition of German malts, English yeast and American Citrus hops makes this a really special beer that has a style all it's own. Adding a tiny amount of freshly crushed Coriander, one small pinch Grains of Paradise seed and about an ounce of bitter orange peel to the grain bill creates a very interesting wheat beer that's refreshing and citrusy.

 The choice of yeast for this recipe makes all the difference in the world, especially if you've never been a fan of those styles fermented with heavy flavor German yeasts. I find using a clean well attenuating strain like White Labs WLP001 - California Ale Yeast™ or East Coast Yeast ECY10 - Old Newark Ale™ fermented at 65F gives this recipe an IPA like flavor and aroma with little influence from the yeast itself.

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