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Brooklyn Brew Shop's "Summer Wheat" Beer

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 21 February 2016 at 22:35
Today, I brewed a 1-gallon batch of Summer Wheat, from Brooklyn Brew Shop. As with all of my "Tips and Advice" threads, this will be a running account of the experience and the things that I learn during the process. 

As usual, I'll start with the particulars:

Informational link: http://brooklynbrewshop.com/beer-making-mixes/summer-wheat-beer-mix

Instructions: http://brooklynbrewshop.com/directions/Brooklyn%20Brew%20Shop%20-%20Summer%20Wheat%20Instructions.pdf

Awesome, must-see video: https://vimeo.com/40614450

This is Brooklyn Brew Shop's go-to wheat beer, made with American wheat and brewed with Styrian Golding hops. Brooklyn Brew Shop describes it as a light, crisp and slightly spicy ale that promises a refreshing taste of summer any time of the year. After brewing this mix and encountering the aromas of the grains and hops, I am inclined to agree.

This brew went well without any complications, following the instructions above and referring to BBS's "How to Brew" video:

https://vimeo.com/11354805

The wort is tucked away in my closet, with a space heater keeping temperatures in the optimum zone, and with luck, the fermentation and bottling will go off without a hitch. One thing that I did differently during the mash was to keep the lid on my pot (an enameled, cast-iron Dutch oven); this was a big help in keeping temperatures steady and constant, and I had little trouble staying with in the desired temperature range of 144-152 degrees.

One interesting aspect about this variety is that it lends itself extremely well to experimentation. BBS offers 7 suggestions here:

http://brooklynbrewshop.com/themash/summer-wheat-seven-ways/

Each of them looks interesting, and of course, one could try a limitless number of other ideas; however, for this first time making Summer Wheat, I kept it simple and simply brewed it "by the book."

I'll update the thread as the progress continues, and will try to design a label this week, as well. If anyone has any experience with this particular recipe, or has been considering giving it a try, please feel free to follow along and post comments, feedback or other replies any time.

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 February 2016 at 23:50
I looked in on my beer this morning, and things seem to be going great so far. The ambient temperature is holding fairly steady at 68 degrees, give or take a couple of degrees, and there were definite signs of active fermentation. The colour of the beer was looking very nice, somewhere between light caramel and butterscotch. 

Brooklyn Brew Shop's instructions advise to allow fermentation to continue for two weeks before bottling, but I have found that three weeks seems to be necessary for full fermentation, and four or six weeks will not hurt the final product at all. I am not sure if this has to do with temperature variations or other factors, but my beers has been consistently good to very good, so I don't fight it. With this in mind, I will switch over from the blow-off tube to an airlock on Wednesday and then try to forget about it for a while, until it is time to bottle.

More as it happens, etc. &c....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 February 2016 at 19:04
I swapped out the blow-off tube for an airlock when I got home from work today. The beer looked great - just a bare shade darker than I expected, but in a beautiful way, as described in my post above. It also had a really nice aroma, which I am assuming is coming from the combination of the malts and the Styrian Golding hops, with a nice earthiness coming from the wheat, too. 

Ambient temps are holding nicely right about 68 degrees, and and conditions seem just fine.

So far, so good ~
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2016 at 17:44
I bottled this beer today - I think it's going to come out pretty well.

BBS's instructions advise 3 tablespoons of priming sugar (usually maple syrup, agave nectar or - in this case - honey), but they tend to come out over-carbonated when I do this, so I used two, instead. 

Since there was just a bit left over after bottling, I was able to get a small sample. The wheat and hops came through very nicely, I think, and I'm hoping that I end up with a nice, presentable beer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2017 at 16:11
I don't know how I neglected to update this thread, but here are my remaining notes on this beer, which was extremely good!

This first post is out-of-sequence, however....

Quote 26 February 2016:

Here is the label that I came up with for this beer:

http://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=340107&stc=1&d=1456524980/


Then, after bottling:

Quote 5 May 2017:

Quick update -

A couple of days after bottling, there were floaties galore on top, along with the usual beginnings of sediment on the bottom. By the time two weeks had passed, nearly all bottles were free and clear, and the floaties had settled down. One or two still had them, but I am guessing that conditioning in the refrigerator a few days will take care of that.

I am due to test the finished beer this weekend, and we'll see how things go then.


Quote 9 May 2016:

I was able to sample this beer over the weekend, and found it to be excellent! Crisp, refreshing and well-balanced, in my opinion. As BBS states, this beer would be very fine on its own, or as a "blank canvas" for various additions such as berries, herbs (such as mint), fruits (lemon, lime or both)...things like that.

I find these results to be doubly amazing, considering the adversities that I encountered along the way. A fermentation that seemed far too fast, and then re-started weeks later; weird, white floatie-looking things on top before and after bottling. In the end, however, this wheat ale has proven to be one of my favourites - absolutely no complaints at all about this beer, except that I will eventually run out....

(later)

A couple of other things I forgot to mention - head retention seemed very good with this beer, and the aroma was nice, clean and fresh. The beer was slightly over-carbonated, but not as bad as I have had some be; about 15 minutes in the freezer before opening took care of the issue. The honey that was used as a priming sugar did leave behind just a hint of a taste that went really well with the rest of the beer. There was something in the finish that might have been cloves, banana or something along those lines, as expected in a wheat beer; however, it might have come from something else, as the yeast was not, as far as I know, specifically a wheat beer yeast. The beer seemed pretty clear in the bottle, but hazed up just a bit when open and poured. As far as I can tell, it looked like a good wheat beer should look.

I was impressed with it over-all.


Quote 12 May 2016:

My dad stopped by last evening, so naturally we had to crack open some of this and see how things were going with it.

As before, I really enjoyed it, and so did my dad. This might be one of my favourite beers that I have yet brewed. Everything that I previously posted above about how this one turned out was still present, but slightly improved. Time in the bottle DOES make a difference!

The Styrian Golding hops that are used in this beer are really nice - a bit spicy, a bit earthy, but mostly just flat-out refreshing! In all, I am very much liking the development of this ale, and can strongly recommend it. As noted above, it seems to me that it can serve an a wonderful "base" for the addition of many things - simply let your imagination go, and enjoy!
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