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Edelweiß

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 June 2016 at 06:55
Edelweiß - Recipe from Brooklyn Brew Shop - Tips and Advice

My next brew is going to be one of those recipes that I’ve wanted to try since the moment I read about it - Edelweiß (Edelweiss), from Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Beer Making Book:

http://brooklynbrewshop.com/beermakingbook

Here is the enticing description that is found in the book:

Quote This is our take on Edelweiss, the somewhat obscure German style of hefeweizen, a cloudy wheat beer. It gets bottled early, just a few days after adding the yeast, and without any extra honey or syrup. The beer finishes fermenting in the bottle and gathers a light carbonation. The result is a floral, yeasty beer that ends up on the sweeter side of the wheat beer spectrum - more bubblegum and banana than spicy clove. This beer is soft and gentle, making it ideal for springtime.


After reading something like that, I figured that I had better try this recipe at least once in my lifetime. It’s the beginning of summer now, rather than spring, but I am guessing that will not be a problem.

The grain bill is pretty simple and straightforward, filled with German malts; Pale Wheat, Pilsner, Munich and Melanoidin are all that is needed for this recipe.

The hops for this recipe are probably a bit off the traditional path - it uses Centennial hops for bittering and flavour, then Amarillo hops for aroma. For this first attempt, I will stick with the hops that are prescribed by the recipe; however, when I make this in the future, I will be looking to take this beer back across the Atlantic. I’m guessing that noble hops such as Tettnanger or possibly Hallertau would be most appropriate, but will see what I can find out before making any hard decisions.

As far as yeast is concerned, I had two choices available to me - Mangrove Jack’s M20 Bavarian Wheat and DanStar’s Munich. I decided to go with the M20, and we’ll see how things turn out.

For those who are into stats, I plugged this recipe into Brewers Friend and came up with this, using “German Wheat Beer/Weissbier” as the yardstick by which to measure it.

(Corrected - see below)

OG - 1.057 (0.05 over style, might be due to an error in my "mash guidelines")
FG - 1.014 (conforms to style)
ABV - 5.6% (conforms to style)
IBU - 11.00 (conforms to style)
SRM - 5.50 (conforms to style)

I’m no expert, but this looks pretty darn close to "style" to me; the very slight variations might have something to do with the mash guidelines that I entered, which are often just a guess on my part.

The unique thing about this beer is that it is bottled three days after pitching the yeast, with no added priming sugar. The last of the fermentation and resulting carbonation take place using the remaining residual sugars in the wort, a process that supposedly contributes to the special characteristics of this wheat ale. We’ll see how it turns out.

Here is the label that I came up with for this brewing session -



I had considered a few classic Alpine scenes, but this one struck close to home, and I decided to go with it. I like the image of this European robin - robins are a harbinger of spring here in Montana - anxiously waiting for spring (which is often late in Montana) as an Edelweiß flower emerges from the snow.

I contacted Brooklyn Brew Shop with a couple of questions about brewing this beer, and as soon as I hear back from them, I will get started. If anyone is interested in trying this recipe, feel free to shoot me a PM and I can email it to you; I am reluctant to post it on the open forum, as it is not “my” recipe. I would also recommend picking up this book, as well as the second book from BBS - Make Some Beer. Both of these books have a lot of good information for the beginning homebrewer, with plenty of room to grow; additionally, I find the recipes to be quite inspiring, with interesting creativity and enthusiastic descriptions. I’ve been happy with all of the ones that I’ve tried so far.

As always, I welcome feedback and suggestions with this - I consider myself to be very much a beginning brewer, and batting ideas around is always good for learning new things. Please feel free to chime in, follow along or otherwise participate in the discussion.

More as it happens, etc. &c….

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2016 at 09:35
sounds really interesting Ron. never heard of that style before but it sounds like a great summer beer for sure. I'll be interested to see how it turns out. 
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2016 at 10:43
   Sounds like a good one Ron..can't wait to hear additional info on this one as you get into it.  I'm interested to hear how the bottling early goes.  I try to get my English Milds with this same low carbonation for serving.  We've got our first whiskey barrel coming soon, 5gallon in size.  We're thinking about possibly doing a type of cask conditioned stout.  

   The hops selected are a bit off the traditional path, but if today's brewing has shown us anything, it's that there are no specific rules.  I wouldn't feel bad about playing with the hop amount, or placement, just a tad either...especially the ones you selected.  I may not raise the amounts up much, but you can...I think I would add my bittering hops as first wort hop additions or mash hop additions.  Then two additions of the flavor/aroma hop...with a 15 minute and a 5 minute (wouldn't be opposed to a third addition, of same size, at flame out).  I would also look at bringing the pH down a bit, your melandoidin will help a little with that...but I would check it and bring it down if necessary (calcium sulfate (gypsum, calcium chloride).  Here's a start...I'll see what hops and such I'll end up with 

   My most previous beer that I finished was a dIPA, my first clone recipe...it was the Plny the Elder clone from more beer.  My next one will be a fractional IPA/single hopped with citra.  This is going to be a lower gravity, dryer finish grain bill with lots of citra (to grain)...I'll also bring the pH down a tad lower than 5.1-5.2 area for this citra bomb.  But after that one, I think I may do something inspired by your recipe here.  A summer drinking edelweiss sounds good.  Then I'll have a dIPA, fIPA, Edelweiss and room for one additional beer after that (not the stout...that's going to be brewed but for beginning of winter time)


   Sounds like a good recipe...keep us posted.

      

  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 June 2016 at 06:32
G'morning, guys - 

Mike, I sent the recipe to your email; Dan, if you'd like it, let me know. I can't remember if I had already sent it to you, but I certainly can do so, if you want to give it a try.

The hops are something I'll be playing with, for sure, especially in future brews. To me, this recipe simply cries for the noble, German hops, but I'll try anything once. I'm not really a "hop-head," but at the same time, I love what they do for a beer, when everything is in good balance.

I checked with a couple of my sources, and the "recommended" yeast doesn't seem available to me at the moment (either not offered, or out of stock); also, if I did order the yeast, I'd have concerns about whether it arrived on time to finish this beer in time for the last week of July, when it needs to be ready. 

Because of this, I will go ahead and use the Mangrove Jack's yeast, as previously planned. If this beer turns out as well as I am hoping it will, I'll have plenty of time in the future to try it with the "correct" yeast.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Sepeptember 2016 at 16:20
This beer was really, really nice - possibly among my top three favourites. It will be brewed again, and often, I am sure.

Lots of details, notes, comments and updates, but too much to organize in a coherent post, so I will post these notes in chronological order. If anyone has questions or comments, please feel free to add, and I will address them as I can.

Quote 23 June 2016

The brew went well - My mash temperatures stayed within my range, the sparging went smoothly with no spills or long waits, the boil passed efficiently with the hops going in on schedule and the chilling down/pitching of the yeast were without any problems.

The malted grains that are used for this brew make a really nice combination; I am no expert by any means, but I am thinking that we're going to end up with a "bready" beer that has a bit of toast. I think these hops are also going to turn out nicely. They are not "traditional" hops, but did provide some nice, clean floral and citrus ambience that seems to fit right in. The few accounts that I've read of people drinking this beer sometimes include the addition of a slice of lemon; however, with these hops, I don't think that will be necessary. This combination of grains and hops should work quite well with the Bavarian yeast to make a very interesting beer.

I can't see where anything went wrong with this brew and am expecting that things will be fine with the final beer, assuming that the unorthodox bottle conditioning does what it s "supposed" to do. I set a timer for 72 hours after pitching the yeast, so that I could be sure to bottle the beer at the optimum time. When I checked on the wort this morning, fermentation was definitely active and things were beginning to ramp up quite nicely. I'll try almost anything once, so we'll see how things go.

On another note, I made a couple of corrections to my Brewers Friend entries (specific grains, true alpha acids vs. estimates etc.) and the "stats" on the beer changed. I have modified the OP to reflect this, but the two primary changes are:

The ABV is 5.6
The IBU is 11.00


Quote 4 July 2016

Alright - 72 hours - almost to the minute - after brewing this beer, I've got it bottled. By some miracle, I did just barely manage to get nine bottles out of this, which is average for a 1-gallon batch. The sediment had not quite compacted yet, and I sucked up a little trub, but not much.... But, it's a hefeweizen, so probably no big deal. I've sucked up more bottling a couple of non-hefeweizens, and they turned out great.

I wasn't able to get a bottling sample, but it sure smelled great. In a couple of weeks, we'll see what we have; I'm hoping for some good things with this, because I could see it becoming a go-to recipe. For comparison, I might try it next time with the more conventional 2-week ferment and priming sugar (honey), but if this works the way it should, it could impart some good things into the beer.

(Same date, several hours later)

I checked this morning - no bottle bombs, so things must be going alright...(knock on wood)....


Quote 5 July 2016

I looked in on the bottles this morning and things continue to look fine. I assume that the carbonation is continuing, but I do not know to what extent. The recipe description describes it as "soft and gentle," so we'll see how it turns out.

The suspended particles in the beer are starting to settle a bit; I noticed that we're going to have more sediment in the bottles than usual, but that is not much of a surprise considering that I bottled this after only 3 days of fermentation. I am guessing that over the coming days, the sediment will settle and compact somewhat.

More as it happens etc. &c.


Quote 6 July 2016

We're still looking good with this as of today. No bottle bombs, further settling of sediment, and the sediment itself seems to be packing down a bit.

I think this is going to be just fine, assuming that it is carbonating.


Quote 14 July 2016

Just a quick update on this -

We're 10 days in after bottling (I bottled just after midnight on the "morning" of 4 July) and no bottle bombs, no huge blunders. Visually, everything looks fine, and I am assuming that carbonation has taken place. There is a little more sediment in the bottom of the bottle than usual, but this is to be expected, all things considered; it seems to me that the sediment has indeed started to compact a bit, so we'll see what we end up with.

July 18th will mark the full 2 weeks in the bottle; at that time I will put them in the refrigerator for a couple-three days and sample on Thursday evening, the 21st. Hopefully, we'll have a good product, because we leave the next day for South Dakota and my "beer reunion" with my buddy.


Quote 18 July 2016

I sampled my Edelweiß tonight, and was very much satisfied with it - for a first attempt at this type of beer, I think it was a definite success.

I waited patiently through two weeks after bottling, then chilled a bottle and gave it a try after that bare minimum of time. This beer is supposedly best when enjoyed "young," and I must say that this was indeed very good. It wasn't over-carbed, but instead was just as advertised, soft and gentle - almost (but not quite) under-carbed a bit. I think that my fermentation environment (a bedroom closet in the middle of summer) was just a tad too warm for this recipe. I waited 72 hours from pitching yeast to bottling, as the instructions stated, but I think that the warmer temperatures advanced the time-table just a bit...not much, but enough to put the level of carbonation a hair lower than ideal. It was fine as it was, but just a bit more carbonation (and not much, at that) would have been perfect.

Having said that, there WAS carbonation, with a nice, creamy head that didn't last too long, but left some really nice lacing as I drank the beer. Best of all, the flavours are definitely all there, brought together in really nice harmony by the malts, the yeast and the hops. The taste and mouthfeel reminded me a lot of Paulaner hefeweizen; it wasn't exactly the same, but it had a lot of characteristics that put me in that same zone.

This could easily be my favourite beer yet. I might play with some different hops the next time I make this - something on the noble side of the fence - but there really isn't any need to. With some temperature control, holding at a desired range instead of relying on ambient summer temperatures, I honestly think that this beer can really rock, if prepared as-written in the recipe. Maybe I simply need to make it in the late winter, as intended....

In any case, do give this one a try - you will not be sorry!


Quote 19 July 2016

My post above was written after several "samplings" last night of different beers, followed by several "tastings" of different wines, followed by three people splitting a 12-pack of Olympia. Some of this might be repetitious, but here's a more clear-headed review.

This turned out very well - it tasted great and there was some definite carbonation in the bottle. I was worried about the unorthodox process, but it did what it was supposed to do. I would consider it just slightly under-carbed, but not by much. My fermentation temperatures (ambient temperatures in a closet in an old house during the peak of summer) were likely to blame. I am guessing I could have bottled it a few hours earlier, and the carbonation would have been spot-on.

The flavours, however, were right there, and this might have been one of my most enjoyable beers. I'll give it a few more days before refrigerating, in the hopes that might carbonate just a bit more - but even if it doesn't, it will be alright.

In any case, I'll definitely be making this again.


Quote 10 August 2016

I tried another one of these a couple of nights ago, and it continues to impress. It really is just as advertised in the opening post - I like it a lot!

The head has gotten even creamier, with lacing all the way to the bottom of the glass. The aroma is smoothing out, and the flavours have developed very nicely as the hops are just peeking from behind the malts, lending an alpine touch to the beer.

The carbonation could have been just a little bit more, and I'd still like to try this with some noble German hops; having said that, I am completely satisfied with how this turned out!


Quote 22 August 2016

One thing I've noticed as the beer matures just a bit is that the recipe's choice of hops (Centennial and Amarillo), even though they are totally non-traditional, lend a really interesting and appropriate quality to the beer. When I think of edelweiss, I think of the snow-capped Bavarian or Austrian peaks, clear lakes rimmed with pine and spruce trees, and a general sense of being in the high Alpine regions of Europe. These hops deliver that feeling in spades with this beer, and it is really a masterful use of them, in my opinion.

Anyway, please do give it a shot - it would be great to have some opinions on the other than my own.


Quote 6 September 2016

I did enjoy the last beer of this batch last night. I honestly meant to take a photo of it, but I was also in the middle of brewing another batch (a Bullberry Red Ale), and things kind of slipped away from me.

Two things I noticed about this last beer:

a) Somehow, the carbonation had "come forward" just enough to be perfect. I am not sure how this happened, because I would think that further carbonation in the refrigerator would be impossible. Perhaps some other characteristic of the beer retreated a bit, allowing the existing carbonation to become more noticeable? I don't know - the only thing I do know I that this last bottle was perfectly carbonated, to me. Since there was no priming sugar or any difference between this beer and the others, I can only assume that something happened in the bottle.

b) The hops still had that awesome, Alpine character, but just a hint of citrus had come forward too, leaving a very nice finish. It didn't compete with anything- it only complimented and augmented the experience. As noted somewhere earlier in this thread, it is a common traditional practice to serve this beer with a slice of lemon, but I would consider that unnecessary with these hops.

The rest of the qualities of this beer that I have mentioned before were still present in very nice form; the soft, creamy head that provided some beautiful lacing, the gentle character of the overall mouthfeel and the malty goodness were all still present. I know that it is said that a hefeweizen is best enjoyed while very young, but apparently they are still very, very good at two months. As I've noted several times in this thread, I'm a huge fan of this one, and will definitely be making it again, toward the end of winter. In fact, it could very well be my first all-grain 5-gallon batch, so that I can be sure of having a continual supply.

For now, that covers everything I have for this beer; I do hope that the information here is useful, and would encourage anyone reading to provide feedback, ask questions and - most of all - give this one a try.





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 March 2017 at 08:58
Looking at the calendar, I decided to bump this one up, in case anyone might be interested in trying it.

For myself, I'm looking forward to brewing a spring batch; I had intended to brew it last night, but I had Lent services, and a book discussion afterwards, both of which took a little longer than expected. No worries, I'm set to brew this one again tonight - wish me luck!

I've decided to give the Kazbek hop a try this go-round, using a hop addition schedule that will amount to about the same IBUs. I could be wrong, but I think that the Kazbek will provide what I was kinda-sorta looking for with this recipe: a noble touch that still has those floral, slightly-citrusy notes. Here's a profile on the Kazbek hop:

https://bsgcraftbrewing.com/hop-profile-kazbek

I want to stress that the recipe is absolutely beautiful as-is, with the original Centennial and Amarillo hops. They work great together and seem to really add what I call an "alpine" touch to this beer, but curiosity is getting the better of me with this, and I think that the Kazbek is at least worth a try.

With the grains, everything will be the same; I briefly considered adding a bit more of that lovely, addicting Melanoidin, but ultimately decided not to do so, due to the delicate timing involved with this beer's fermentation. I wouldn't want to do anything that might inadvertently throw that crucial schedule off, resulting in an over- or under-carbed final product.

Now that I think about it, we might have the makings of a comparison experiment; I'm not 100% sure, but I might actually have enough to make two (1-gallon) batches of this beer. This Edelweiß is so good that I wouldn't mind having 2 gallons on hand, or 5...or 10.... I will take a closer look at my inventory and - if I do have enough - I will brew one with the Kazbek substitution and the other with the Centennial and Amarillo hops, as written.

If anyone has tried this or plans to try this, please feel free to jump into the conversation. I'm a fan, and I'd like to spread this one around.

More as it happens, etc. & c....

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 March 2017 at 10:39
Updated label for this beer:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 March 2017 at 14:13
Originally posted by Dan Dan wrote:

I would also look at bringing the pH down a bit, your melandoidin will help a little with that...but I would check it and bring it down if necessary (calcium sulfate (gypsum, calcium chloride).  Here's a start....


Dan - I had been meaning to ask about this, but never seem to get started on "playing" with my water a bit. Other than a home-brewing shop or website, would you be able to suggest where any of these are available on short notice? I "think" I've seen Calcium Chloride in the pharmacy section at the local Pick-Your-Mart, but I could be wrong, and those might not be suitable for brewing anyway.... This might also be the case for the Gypsum and Calcium Sulfate.

Anyway, since you've seen the stats on the water that I use (here they are again, in case you've forgotten), whaddaya think? It might be too late for this batch, but if such additions might result in a "better" hefeweizen in the future, I'll sure consider them. I like many, many styles of beer, but the simple fact is that wheat beers in general, and hefeweizens in partifular, are the ones that I find that I truly love - making them worth a little extra effort.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 March 2017 at 19:27
As it turns out, I only have enough wheat to brew one batch, so that's what I'm brewing. I'm halfway through the mash now, with no real complications. My temperature was a little high for the first 10 minutes, but it looks like all is good, now.

I plugged some numbers in for the Kazbek hops (at 4.1% AAs) and came up with a hops schedule that gives just a hair over 11 IBUs, as in the original recipe. 2 grams for each addition, added at 60, 30 and 2 minutes, does the trick.

Aside from the early temperature glitch, I think we're doing good. More as it happens, etc. & c....

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2017 at 08:29
Alrighty, as mentioned above, I brewed my second batch of Edelweiss on 23 March 2017; the timing worked out so that I should bottle this just a couple of minutes after midnight as 26 March becomes 27 March.

The only real glitch with this brew was the mash temperatures. They were a little high for the first 10 minutes, but over the rest of the mash they were fairly well within range, though still on the high side of it. Time will tell, of course, I don't anticipate too much trouble over this, as this has happened before and things finished out fine.

As with the first brew, the wort seemed a little dark, at first. I remember thinking last year that something went wrong, but everything turned out alright. I am sure that the same will be true here.

I think the Kazbek hop will end up being a good one. The original hops in the recipe (Centennial and Amarillo) work very well, and I would not hesitate to use them again; however, The use of the Kazbek hop puts the beer back on the "proper" side of the Atlantic, at least in my mind. The true test, of course will be in the finished beer, so we'll see how it goes....

With my first brewing of this beer, it had just a whiff of sulfur each time I opened a bottle. It dissipated quickly, and by the last bottle was barely noticeable. For this brew, I used DanStar Munich, rather than Mangrove Jack's; we'll see if it makes a difference. One thing I might have done better was to re-hydrate the yeast before pitching, but it's too late for that, now.

I took a peek this morning, and things are definitely churning up - to my knowledge, we are on schedule. Barring any complications, I'll stay up late on Sunday night, then bottle the beer.

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2017 at 09:25
One other thing that is probably no big deal, but I'll put it down here, as part of the log -

I didn't quite get the "hot break" that I was expecting, but I did get a small one. This has happened before, without any problems; it might have even happened the first time I brewed this. I did quite a bit of stirring as the kettle was coming to a boil, and I am guessing that this is probably the reason for it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2017 at 09:33
Just after midnight this morning, I bottled this second batch of Edelweiß; considering the time, I'll mark it on the calendar as 27 March 2017, rather than the 26th.

Those of you who have been following along know the score, but if you're just now jumping in, you'll notice that I bottled only 3 days after BrewDay. This is exactly what the procedure is for this beer, enabling it to develop the qualities that are unique to it. It worked quite well the first time I did it, and I am expecting it to work just as well this time.

I had plenty of time beforehand to prepare my bottles, equipment etc. When it came time to do the actual bottling, everything was all ready, and the process went smoothly and efficiently. I was able to just get 9 bottles from this batch, with a small swig left over for sampling. The whole procedure went so well that I just knew in the back of my mind that something must have gone wrong.

And, sure enough, it did.

The key point about bottling this beer 3 days after Brew Day is that no priming sugars are added - this is because the beer is carbonated by the residual sugars left in the wort after the first three days of fermenting. But guess what? I plopped four Brewer's Best Conditioning tablets into each bottle. This would have been perfect for "medium carbonation" under nearly any other circumstance, but not this one.

Luckily, I realized my error as I was capping the last bottle and swigging down my tiny sample, so I immediately pulled the caps off and separated the beer from the conditioning tablets. I then re-bottled the beer, coming up short on the 9th bottle by just a tiny bit; in fact, the amount that was short is about the same as the tiny sample swig that I originally got out of the batch. It amounted to maybe half an inch in the neck of the bottle, but I capped it anyway, figuring that it can be the first beer I sample in two weeks (plus a day or two in the refrigerator).

So, all's well that ends well - my only concern now is the possibility of oxidation. If it were any other batch of beer, I'd be really worried; however, with this one - bottled in the middle of the fermentation process - I'm hoping that the risk will be minimized a bit as the yeasts are still pretty active. I might be right, or I might be wrong - we'll find out. I did have to re-bottle one other previous batch of beer; this was last year with my Chestnut Brown Ale, and I forget the reason why, but in that case, the entire batch actually had to be run through a fine-mesh strainer before bottling. I was sure that it would be oxidized, but luckily everything turned out fine. I'm hoping that the same will be the case this time.

Anyway, that's that, for a couple of weeks; this batch has been cursed with little glitches since I started, so I'm a little worried about it; but then again, I've learned over time that we homebrewers are not as critical to beer making as we think we are - for the most part, the process and the beer take care of themselves....

On another note: in partial answer to my question above, a member of another forum gave me this information, which I am adding here to the record:

Originally posted by Lefou Lefou wrote:

I'd like to think your Big Spring water...is just fine for wheat beers.

If you're a fan of light/pale SRM German and American wheats like I am, that base water profile should work. One of the references I used to make my last brew was Chris Colby's advice from his blog on German wheat beer. He has a five part series on that beer style. It's very detailed and I'll give you the link.

http://beerandwinejournal.com/german-wheat-beer-intro/

The last wheat beer I made using Colby's info was very good in my opinion. It was a partial mash (Briess LME with single decoction Belgian Pilsner and red wheat near 152F). Hops were Hallertau and Hallertau Blanc, yeast WLP 320. One caveat with this particular yeast is you won't get the overbearing phenolic of cloves or the ester of banana - it's mild.
The base water I started with was Poland Springs bottled water in gallon jugs, 6 gals for about $5.20.

I added CaCl, a pinch of Epsom salts, and NaHCO3 set for a 5gal. batch. This water is "soft" to start out with and doesn't have quite the hardness of the Big Springs water, but works nonetheless if you go by Colby's advice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2017 at 07:43
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:

Originally posted by Dan Dan wrote:

I would also look at bringing the pH down a bit, your melandoidin will help a little with that...but I would check it and bring it down if necessary (calcium sulfate (gypsum, calcium chloride).  Here's a start....


Dan - I had been meaning to ask about this, but never seem to get started on "playing" with my water a bit. Other than a home-brewing shop or website, would you be able to suggest where any of these are available on short notice? I "think" I've seen Calcium Chloride in the pharmacy section at the local Pick-Your-Mart, but I could be wrong, and those might not be suitable for brewing anyway.... This might also be the case for the Gypsum and Calcium Sulfate.

Anyway, since you've seen the stats on the water that I use (here they are again, in case you've forgotten), whaddaya think? It might be too late for this batch, but if such additions might result in a "better" hefeweizen in the future, I'll sure consider them. I like many, many styles of beer, but the simple fact is that wheat beers in general, and hefeweizens in partifular, are the ones that I find that I truly love - making them worth a little extra effort.

   Hi Ron!  I apologize for not getting back to you right away.  It seems more and more I read things from my phone and will go days, to a week, without opening up my laptop.  I'm just not as thorough reading messages and posts on my phone as I am on my laptop.  

   I'm not sure if you have a ph meter or not...the cheap ones can be very affordable, wait for a sale too.  It may be handy just to meter and observe for a while.  Things like phosphoric acid can be bought from Amazon.  This and lactic acid will bring the ph down with just a few drops and minimally effect taste (as long as you aren't trying to move mountains).  Grains, gypsum and calcium chloride can make movements in ph too.  They can also help the grain forwardness, or hop forwardness of your drink.  I think I have good amounts of both gypsum and calcium chloride, get me your address...if I do have large amounts of both I'll send you some.  


Quote  With my first brewing of this beer, it had just a whiff of sulfur each time I opened a bottle. It dissipated quickly, and by the last bottle was barely noticeable. For this brew, I used DanStar Munich, rather than Mangrove Jack's; we'll see if it makes a difference. One thing I might have done better was to re-hydrate the yeast before pitching, but it's too late for that, now.

   Let us know if the switch got rid of the sulphur, and perhaps added a few other notes.  Are you getting temperature readings of you fermentaion?  I know, that you know, that temperatures can climb during primary.  While controlling the temperature can be good, it is certainly not crucial that you do it.  But, the reason why I bring up observing/measuring...is so that you can make a record of it and add tasting notes later.  If, if...a certain yeast happens to give you sulphur tones, what was the fermentation temperature?  Low, high?  Perhaps trying this same recipe, same yeast during winter, for its colder temps, or during summer for it warmer temps may yield a slightly different result.  

    Thanks for sharing...I think I'm going to brew a Vienna Lager today.  Going with an addition of a little bit of rye in the grain bill and adding pieces of a previously used whiskey barrel.  It'll be for the third week in September...maybe make some fresh brats and other sausages for a little OcktoberFest thing.  We'll see how it goes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2017 at 09:48
Hi, Dan, and thanks for offering some great thoughts on this. No worries about getting back right away - any time is a good time to discuss good beer!

I'll try to respond to your post in better detail later today - it's going crazy, right now ~

I'll also let you know how the yeast switch affects (or doesn't affect) the final product. It's possible that there will be no change at all, as I remember reading somewhere that Mangrove Jack and DanStar use identical yeast strains. I could be wrong about that, but that was the information that I read; apparently, Mangrove Jack has a packaging and/or distribution process that allows them to market the same yeast at a lower price. This is unconfirmed, and could simply be so much bullspit.

One other yeast I would like to try - if I can get my hands on some - is DanStar's Classic Munich yeast, which is different fthan their "regular" Munich yeast:

http://www.danstaryeast.com/company/products/munich-classic-ale-yeast

This is - according to German Forums - the dry version of the Wyeast 3068 and WLP 300 liquid hefeweizen yeasts, which produce the some very good, very traditional hefeweizens. If I can find it, I'll try it.

I took a look at the bottles of Edelweiss last night when I got home from work, and again this morning. So far, no bottle bombs! Ambient temperatures are hovering a hair below 70, which is about the best temperature for bottle conditioning; in my experience this is fine.

The beer seemed to clear and the sediment seemed to settle a little faster than I remember last time, but I could be wrong. I'm pretty sure that with this batch, I sucked up a LOT less trub, so that could be the reason.

I am hopeful that things are going well. My parents had to run to Billings, so I asked them to stop at the LHBS and pick up a pound of pale wheat, if they have time. If they're able to do this, I'll brew one more batch, with the Centennial and Amarillo hops, per the recipe; this way, I'll be able to compare the two. Not having an LHBS close by can be a drag sometimes.

This is a very easy, fairly quick recipe that produces some really nice stuff that strikes a perfect note for spring and early summer. If anyone wants to whip up a gallon of it and try it, I'm pretty sure you'd be very happy with it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 March 2017 at 08:55
I checked on my beer last evening and this morning; things seem to be going well, with no bottle bombs yet! Having said that, I do have one correction to yesterday's post: the bottle that I picked up and looked at yesterday was NOT Edelweiss, it was from another unrelated batch (none of the bottles are labeled at the moment, but I keep track of the caps that I use to tell them apart), which explains the clarity and very small amount of sediment that I observed. When I took a look at an actual bottle of the Edelweiss, it was exactly as expected: beautifully hazy with a bit more sediment than a non-wheat beer would have.

I have high hopes for this Kazbek variation - hopefully it will turn out well. I plan on brewing another batch (as-written) soon, both to see how it compares side-by-side with the Kazbek version and also to have a good supply of Edelweiss for the near future. My parents were recently in Billings, which has an LHBS, but they were unable to find the DanStar "Classic" Munich yeast - only the DanStar "Regular" Munich yeast" - so I may have to order that and give it a try. One of thee days, I'll try it with the "proper" WLP 300, or maybe the Wyeast 3068, and we'll see what I end up with.

That's it for now - more as it happens, etc. &c....

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 March 2017 at 09:25
Originally posted by Dan Dan wrote:

I'm not sure if you have a ph meter or not...the cheap ones can be very affordable, wait for a sale too. It may be handy just to meter and observe for a while. Things like phosphoric acid can be bought from Amazon. This and lactic acid will bring the ph down with just a few drops and minimally effect taste (as long as you aren't trying to move mountains). Grains, gypsum and calcium chloride can make movements in ph too. They can also help the grain forwardness, or hop forwardness of your drink. I think I have good amounts of both gypsum and calcium chloride, get me your address...if I do have large amounts of both I'll send you some....

Are you getting temperature readings of you fermentaion? I know, that you know, that temperatures can climb during primary. While controlling the temperature can be good, it is certainly not crucial that you do it. But, the reason why I bring up observing/measuring...is so that you can make a record of it and add tasting notes later. If, if...a certain yeast happens to give you sulphur tones, what was the fermentation temperature? Low, high? Perhaps trying this same recipe, same yeast during winter, for its colder temps, or during summer for it warmer temps may yield a slightly different result....


Hi, Dan -

Before too long, I will indeed pick up a pH meter - I can see many uses for one, both in brewing and in winemaking, so it is just a matter of time. I may have to bite the bullet and get some Gypsum, Calcium Chloride etc. I might lose a little in the name of terrior, but if it improves some beers that are meant to be brewed with slightly different properties in the water, then it is worth a try. As I understand it, just a small amount of dilution (with distilled or Reverse-Osmosis water) can also result in some significant changes, depending on the desired profile.

It's probably in my posts above, but I recall my fermentation temperatures being just a bit high the first time I made this, last summer. I don't think the temperatures were over 70...maybe 72, but this resulted in a bit quicker fermentation, I think, and may or may not have stressed the yeast to the point of producing the sulfury notes that I got. The sulfur disappeared very quickly, so I wasn't too concerned about it. This time around, the temperatures were lower - they never climbed above 68, if I remember correctly, and spent most if its time around 65 or 66. Of course, now that the beer is in the bottles and carbonating, the temperature is a couple of degrees higher, but that is normal, as I understand it, to promote the conditioning.

We'll see where we end up, but I am encouraged and expect good things. If something doesn't quite turn out right, however, I'm very confident that I will still have a decent, if not perfect, beer. That's the beauty of it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 March 2017 at 09:11
Checked on it this morning - all's well. The sediment continues to compact, as it should, and the beer is looking nice and hazy - as it should.

And - no bottle bombs!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2017 at 10:24
From my notes:

Quote 30 March 2017:

I put the labels on this beer last night, which gave me a chance to see how it is doing. So far, all is well, and pretty much the same as above.

The temperatures in my closet where the beer is carbonating fell off a bit last night, but I don't think it will be a terrible problem. After a week, it should be in pretty good shape, but I bumped the temperatures up to around 70 again, just in case.

High hopes for this - we'll see what's up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2017 at 08:48
As mentioned above, I brewed another batch of this last night, to go with the one that I brewed a couple of weeks ago. Also as mentioned above, I brewed it "as-written," using the original Centennial and Amarillo hops.

A couple of issues with this batch:

I didn't quite have enough German Pilsner for this batch, so I used a little Belgian and Bohemian Pilsner to make up the difference. I'm sure that everything will be fine.

The bigger wrinkle is with the yeast. I had intended to use Danstar's Munich Bavarian yeast, as before, but it "mysteriously disappeared." So, I decided to try a yeast that had received as a gift and was saving for another time, Wyeast 3638, a liquid yeast:

http://www.wyeastlab.com/yeast-strain/bavarian-wheat

I had hoped for a little more time to learn about and prepare to use this yeast, but circumstances made that impossible. I had never used one of these before, so it was new territory; to complicate things, a very tiny "pin hole" had appeared near the top of the front of the package. Once again, no one knows how it happened, although everyone was man-handling it while I was at work.

Anyway, I sanitized the package as well as I could, and did my best to prepare the yeast.

The brew was largely without incident - the malted wheat seemed just a little bit dark...red wheat, maybe? Or maybe just my imagination; the wort seemed to be of normal colour.

The mash smelled great, hops smelled great.

The Wyeast pack seemed to expand as it is supposed to after I prepared it. The small bit of leakage left approximately 3.5 ounces in the pack. By comparison, the package says that there should be 4.22 ounces, for a 5 gallon batch. This is not a worry, since I brew 1-gallon batches, so I pitched approximately 1.75 ounces, which should me more than adequate if everything is doing what it should be doing. I put the rest of the liquid yeast in a very small sanitised jar and into the refrigerator, where it will hopefully be ready for a future use.

The yeast smelled really nice, for what that's worth.

I checked this morning, and it looks like fermentation is indeed churning up, so I will cautiously declare my Wyeast experiment a success. I'm very sure we've made beer here, but there are a few unknowns. I'll keep an eye on it over the next couple of days, then will decide whether to bottle 72 hours after pitching the yeast (per the recipe), or simply ferment for the two weeks and bottle as I would with a "normal" batch of beer.

More as it happens, etc. & c....

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 April 2017 at 15:55
I bottled this third batch last night, and we'll see how it goes. Everything was fairly normal and according to the recipe. Unfortunately, I wasn't quite able to get 9 bottles out of this; hopefully, 8 will be enough.

I did have about 3/4 of a bottle left over for sampling, and it was interesting. Keeping in mind that it was only 3 days since pitching the yeast, I believe it is developing well. Because of the different yeast, I got a few flavours I couldn't immediately identify, but they were pretty good, and I would say complex. There was a bit of sulfur to the aroma, but I am finding that this is normal and dissipates fairly quickly.

For now, that's all I've got - we'll see where this ends up, but I think it's going to be good.
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