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Wheat Beer

Aussie Home Brewer

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Trev

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Folks,

I am hoping somebody can shed some light on the vararies of wheat beer! Now I've tried a few Kits ( yes - forgive me for being such a greenhorn at all of this) including the Blackrock, but I really can't seem to get anything approaching what I'd like.

I would like to to have something close to that of Redback or indeed the ne Old Colonial Wheta Beer from MSB. What I end up with is something that is drinkable (?) but not what I expected.

I spoke to a friend of mine (Brad, are you there) about this and he gave me a bottle of his ESB Wheat to try, it was very nice and I have since put a batch down but still not of the stlye that I'd like to make.

Have any of you got some advice for this novice?
 

kook

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Trev said:
Folks,

I am hoping somebody can shed some light on the vararies of wheat beer! Now I've tried a few Kits ( yes - forgive me for being such a greenhorn at all of this) including the Blackrock, but I really can't seem to get anything approaching what I'd like.

I would like to to have something close to that of Redback or indeed the ne Old Colonial Wheta Beer from MSB. What I end up with is something that is drinkable (?) but not what I expected.

I spoke to a friend of mine (Brad, are you there) about this and he gave me a bottle of his ESB Wheat to try, it was very nice and I have since put a batch down but still not of the stlye that I'd like to make.

Have any of you got some advice for this novice?
Have you tried brewing a lager with say 1-1.5kg of wheat malt extract, and some extra hops (saaz, tettnang maybe?).

Might be worth a try. I know redback isnt a very wheaty wheat beer, so maybe a lager with some wheat malt will work.

Even if it doesnt, you've still got a batch of beer to drink :)

anyway.. back to my weird raspberry lambic.. hehe
 

PMyers

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Here is the Redback recipe we use at the store.

Morgan's Golden Sheaf Wheat Beer
1kg Morgan's Wheat Malt
12g Hersbrucker hops - Dry

Whilst I haven't tried this recipe myself, I have heard very good reviews of it by customers.

As for MSB's Colonial Wheat, I think we would all like to brew a wheat like that one. I have tried and come reasonably close with the following recipe, but it is a little high in alcohol...

1 x ESB Bavarian Wheat (3kg kit)
2kg Morgan's Wheat Malt
24g Hersbrucker hops (12g steeped/12g dry)
And either,
K-97 Safwheat (comes with ESB wheat kit)
OR
White Labs Hefeweizen yeast

I hope this helps.

Cheers,
Pete

:chug:
 

Vindaloo

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ALthough Redback is a wheat beer, it's probably one of the least wheat-beer-tasting wheat beers, if you get my drift. By reputation, wheat beers are quite soapy, and Redback is not at all. I love Redback, it's a great brew, but there is a slight misconception involved. So yeah, maybe go for the wheat malt option, as opposed to trying to make a wheat beer kit taste not very much like a wheat beer :)

Vinds.

PS ... just re-read that post. I said the word 'wheat' 7 times. How much wheat could a wheat chuck chuck ...
 

RegBadgery

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I've read that yeast is of critical importance to the final character of wheat beers. This idea comes up again and again on brewing lists.

As for MSB colonial wheat - I found it a delicious beer. According to the ESB site, MSB are brewing this beer using the same yeast suggested by Pete - White Labs WLP300 Hefeweizen Ale Yeast. A very interesting yeast - those banana/clove notes.

Graham Sanders has experimented with this yeast and I include some information below from the CraftBrewing list.

+++++++++
On fermentation temperature I have experimented with this yeast a lot. Had it as low as 14C and up to 22C and it works at well thru-out the temperature
range. This type of yeast would have to be THE MOST TEMPERMENTAL yeast we can use. Fermentation temperature is sooo critical, but so is piching temperature. Ferment at 20C - huge banana flavours, do it at 15C and its overthe top on cloves.

I have settled on 17-18C as the ideal temperature where the balance is right.
But there is more.

In my book on wheat beers, they talk about the German rule of using this yeast.

That is Pitching temperature plus fermentation temperature should equal 30C. So if you ferment at 18C you should pitch at 12C. I thought this was a bit of a
superstition but have come to the conclusion its not - its actually essential.
It makes sense that you pitch the yeast cold. The initial burst of fermentation
will produce a lot of heat, and no matter how good your cooling, the wort may
go well over the 18C you are aiming for if you pitch at 18C. That will ruin
your flavour profile. So pitching cold will help keep the tempertaure in the
right range early on when the majority on phenols and esters are produced.

So what I do is cool it to 12C, pitch the yeast and wind the fridge up to
17-18C. I still get bloody great fermentation, but a cleaner and more balanced
profile for this great beer style.
++++++++++++++

cheers
reg
 

bL@De

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Sorry for all these questions guys but it's just little things (mainly words) which have me stumped), besides hopefully it will help out some other n00b brewer :D

PMYers when you say 'Dry' just after the hops this means placed in the fermenter part way through the 1st fermentation? If so how long through roughly?

Also steeped? That means boiled in water?

Been reading a fair bit and with exams the majority of this week I haven't been able to pay full attention to what I'm reading.
 

PMyers

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Bl@de - There are three differing methods we recommend for the addition of finishing hops at the store. The first is the "dry method", whereby you add the hops to the fermenter just prior to topping it up with the cold water (ie after the other ingredients have been mixed together). This utilises the hops aroma characteristics. The second is the "standard method", in which you place the hops in a pot or a large coffee mug and cover them with boiled water straight from the kettle. You steep the hops like this for about 15 - 20 minutes in order to get the most out of the hops' flavour. Finally there is the "quick boil method", where you add the hops with your malt (or booster pack) and about two litres of water in a saucepan. You then boil the ingredients for 20 - 25 minutes to get the bittering compounds to blend with your malts.

There is one final method which I use only when I am after a strong aroma character from the hops. That is the "late hopping" technique where, as you hinted at in your post, you wait until the third or fourth day of fermentation before adding the aroma hops. I normally utilise this method with one or two cascade finishing hop bags when making a pale ale.

Cheers,
Pete

:chug:
 

sboulton

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RegBadgery said:
That is Pitching temperature plus fermentation temperature should equal 30C. So if you ferment at 18C you should pitch at 12C.
Reg, is the "german yeast rule "applicable to all yeasts and beers ??
and also liquid and dehdrated yeasts


regards
simon :chug:
 

RegBadgery

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No idea Simon - you could ask Graham via the craftbrewing list as he originally provided the information.

cheers
reg
 

RegBadgery

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From Pete...
"There is one final method which I use only when I am after a strong aroma character from the hops. That is the "late hopping" technique where, as you hinted at in your post, you wait until the third or fourth day of fermentation before adding the aroma hops. I normally utilise this method with one or two cascade finishing hop bags when making a pale ale."

It's also fine to dryhop in your secondary fermenter (if you use one). Adding 1/2, 1 or a couple of hop plugs or some pellets or cones enhances hop aroma. It can take a week or two for the pellets/cones to sink to the bottom of the fermenter if they're loose.

Pete's suggestion of using a hop bag makes it easier to remove the hops. eg. you might find after a certain number of days that you're satisfied with the aroma and have no wish to leave the hops in any longer. (Not so easy to remove hops if they're loose.)

I'm not sure on this issue, but just as hop utilisation during the boil (if you're doing a boil) is greater if the hops are not held in a bag - does anyone know if you get more aroma from leaving the hops loose in the fermenter, rather than in a bag? Maybe it's horses for courses - eg. if it takes longer to get aroma from bagged hops, then you might just leave them in the fermenter longer and still take advantage of the easy removal mechanism.

I've read that timing dry hopping is important and this relates to Pete's comment on waiting a few days before adding the late hops to the fermenter. Apparently when fermentation is vigorous and producing lots of carbon dioxide, the aroma of these late hop additions can be 'scrubbed out' or lessened due to the escaping Co2. I imagine this means that the CO2 carries out some aroma as it's escaping from the fermenter???

There's some debate about how long to dryhop and the amount of hops to use. Some argue that grassy flavours can be produced if the hops are left too long (eg. several weeks), or if you use 'too much'. I think it's hard to say what too much would be and maybe it comes down to individual taste. I've dryhopped using 2 hop plugs (on one occasion Cascade and on another Goldings) for two weeks. Lovely aroma and no grassy flavours - not overpowering - could have used more, or maybe left them longer.

Maybe that's a problem with dryhopping for an extended period - having to wait when you might be itching to try the latest brew.


cheers
reg
 

Snow

Beer me up, Scotty!
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I just tasted my first wheat beer batch on the weekend. One word - FANTASTIC!. This beer has a creamy head, great mouthfeel, interesting tartness and spicy aromas with just a hint of banana (it fermented at 24-26C). Anyway, it got platitudes from all my mates and they all want more. So for anyone interested, this is the recipe:

3 kg (cans) Morgans Liquid Wheat Malt Extract
28g Northern Brewer Hop Pellets
28g Hallertauer Hop Pellets
Wyeast 3068 Liquid Weinstephan Wheat Yeast
3/4 Cup Dextrose for Bulk Priming

Started Smack Pack 3 Days before brew day. Boiled 4L water then added malt and Northern Brewer hops. Boiled for 1 hour, adding Hallertauer hops @ 58 mins. Rested 10 mins then force chilled and racked to fermenter. Topped up to 22L and pitched yeast @ 24oC. Fermented 2 weeks @ 24-26oC. Bulk primed and bottled. Condition 3-4 weeks.

I think the yeast is the secret, as the hops aren't particularly dominating. Also, next time I think I'll do a starter for the yeast, as it took over a day to get going. Make sure you mix in all the sediment before you pour from the bottle!

Cheers - Snow.
 

RegBadgery

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Sounds like a delicious drop, Snow. And yes starters are always a good idea for liquid yeast - ounce of dme, cup of water and bob's your uncle.

cheers
reg
 

PMyers

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RegBadgery said:
... and bob's your uncle.
He is too, you know. But thats a different story.

I recently put a similar brew down (13/01) using the 3 tins morgans wheat. I only boiled for 45 minutes as I was a bit strapped for time. I used 15g Sticklebracht for the 45mins, 15g Hersbrucker for 15 and another 15g Hersbrucker for 1 minute. Only expected an average brew, but it is turning out quite nice already. OG was 1.038, BTW. I will let you know how it goes.

Cheers,
Pete

:chug:
 

PostModern

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PMyers said:
As for MSB's Colonial Wheat, I think we would all like to brew a wheat like that one. I have tried and come reasonably close with the following recipe, but it is a little high in alcohol...

1 x ESB Bavarian Wheat (3kg kit)
2kg Morgan's Wheat Malt
24g Hersbrucker hops (12g steeped/12g dry)
And either,
K-97 Safwheat (comes with ESB wheat kit)
OR
White Labs Hefeweizen yeast
Pete,
Surely this is not for a 23L batch?
Rob.
 

PMyers

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Postmodern - Sorry I didn't stipulate. It is for a 28 litre batch. It work out to around 6.4%. I would actually modify the recipe to 1kg Morgan's Wheat Malt the next time, as the flavour was a little full on for a Colonial clone as well. But all in all it did turn out to be quite a pleasing brew.

Cheers,
Pete

:chug:
 

PostModern

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Thanks Pete. The one of the advantages of aborting the kits for extract brewing is larger batch sizes :)

I've been planning to make a belgian whitbeir next. Something in the style of Hoegaarden. My research took me to a few brew sites on the web and based on what I read I've worked out this recipe:

Malt
3.4Kg ESB Liquid Wheat Malt
500g Extra Light DME

Hops/Flavours
30g Saaz 1 hour
30g Dry roasted Corriander Seed, crushed 1 hour
Grated Rind of one Orange 30 mins
15g Tettenager 15 mins
30g Hallertau dry hopped for aroma

Yeast
I'm torn between these:
White Labs Hefeweizen Ale Yeast WLP300
or
A K-97 Dry Yeast

For a 25L batch.

Any comments?
 

kook

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How about Whitelabs WLP400 (Belgian Wit), or WLP410 (Belgian Wit II) ?
 

PMyers

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WLP400 would be ideal for the Hoegaarden, in my opinion. Never tried the 410, so I can't say one way or the other on that one.

Cheers,
Pete

:chug:
 

PostModern

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Yeah, the WPL400 would be a better choice. I have a lousy HBS in the Gong. Am thinking of mail ordering from ESB. Might get a $100 order together to save on post. How well do hops and liquid yeasts ship tho?
 

PMyers

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Postmodern - With hops, you shouldn't have a problem. Liquid yeast will be another thing entirely. Ask Mel when to expect your order, and plan on brewing as soon as the order comes in. The longer you wait, the worse it may be for the yeast. Better yet, if you plan on purchasing big you'd may as well set aside a Saturday morning and make the drive up. It's only an hour - max. Bring an esky and you might save yourself the heartache of a yeast gone bad.

Cheers,
Pete

:chug:
 
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