Archive for April, 2013

Brewed: Hoppy Wheat

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

A hoppy wheat beer has been a long time coming. With Three Floyds Brewing Company less than an hour away, hopped up brews are part of the local American craft beer scene. Of course this has crept into my home brewing (Alpha Acid Aspirations line of DIPAs I have been working on). To this point I haven’t tried to emulate any of the FFF beers, merely using the hoppiness as inspiration.

Gumball Head is an American wheat beer that is darn tasty. In spite of my proximity to the brewery, I have a hard time picking this beer up locally. It sells that fast. I researched this beer on the internet, finding many different recipes and even more thoughts on the best way to duplicate this beer. I settled on the recipe below (still not 100% sure on the dry hops) but also have a second recipe that I will be brewing sometime this summer (and based on what I think of this one).

This recipe is quite wheat forward. I had some apprehensions with that amount of wheat, thinking that the bread/wheat aroma during the mash might over power the beer in both aroma and flavor. Enjoy!

General Information
Brew Date: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Safale U-05
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.040
IBU: 24.9
Color: 4.2 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 4.4%
Primary Fermentation: 21 days @68*F
Secondary Fermentation: 7 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
4.00# 2-Row
4.00# Red Wheat
0.50# Crystal 20L
0.50# Flaked Wheat

Saccharification Rest @ 150*F for 60 minutes.

Hop Bill:
1.50oz Amarillo (8.5) first wort hop
1.00oz Amarillo (8.5%) @10 minutes
1.00oz Amarillo (8.5%) @1 minute

2.00oz Amarillo (8.5%) dry hop for 7 days
0.50oz Galaxy (14.0%) dry hop for 7 days

1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 min.
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.

Useless Fact: In the last 4000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.

Brewed: Brett Backspin Belgian Pale Ale

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
Bad grain crush due to putting the drill in reverse.

Bad grain crush due to putting the drill in reverse.

After having the last bottle of the first batch of Brett Backspin Belgian Pale Ale about 45 days ago, I kept kicking myself in the rear for not brewing again before batch one was no more. I didn’t think that far ahead. Time to brew round two but how to make it better?

For the aforementioned 45 days before the brew day I ran scenarios through my head on to make this round a bit different but not stray too far away from the original. One simple solution: add Brettanomyces lambicus to the Brettanomyces claussenii that I used last time.

I created two 1 liter starters for each of the Brett strains. For the first time I tried using a flask for one of the starters. Once I started to chill the starter it became apparent that the flask wasn’t go to cool off as easy as my typical kitchen pot. I don’t use thermometers for starters as I have always been a good gauge of temperature. The flask changed everything. I don’t think I ever got the temperature down and the yeast never took off. I decided to forgo the Brett lambicus on brew day. At least I should have another good Brett beer to last me.


I milled the grains in a hurry. Chuck was over and wanted the mill back. I grabbed the mill, weighed the grains and brought it all outside with the drill. Unfortunately I didn’t realize the drill was in reverse. I figured it still rotated, didn’t check the grain, assuming that it should have been cracked. About 50% of the grain was milled in this fashion. Dumb ass. On brew day, as I poured the grain into the mash tun, I noticed that half of the grain kernels weren’t cracked. Crap. I kept with the schedule, doing everything as planned. The aroma was great but the efficiency, as expected suffered (see below).

I only have a couple of months to wait to see if this beer turns out. I think it will but when I rack to secondary I am going to grab some of the yeast and brew again. I should write a book: Brew Like A Moron. I have an enormous repertoire and skills in the subject matter. Enjoy!

General Information:
Brew Date: Sunday, April 07, 2013
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Brettanomyces classenii
Yeast Starter: 1 liter
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.00
Original Gravity: 1.039
IBU: 25.3
Color: 7.0 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Brewhouse Efficiency: HORRIBLE
Alcohol by Volume: 4.0%
Primary Fermentation: 28 days @68*F
Secondary Fermentation: 120 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
9.50# Pilsner
1.00# Munich
0.25# Caramunch
0.25# Aromatic

Saccharification Rest @ 153.3*F for 60 minutes.

Hop Bill:
1.50 ounces Fuggles (4.5%) @90 minutes
0.50 ounces Fuggles (4.5%) @15 minutes

1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 min.
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.

Useless Fact: American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad served in first-class.