DunkelWeisse – The Maltiest of Wheat Beers

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I’m happy to say that wanting to brew is an itch that has returned to me in the last week or so….and you know what to do with a good itch, don’t you?

I must admit that since trying Weihenstephaner Dunkel Weisse and enjoying it enormously (review to follow at some point) I’ve been desperate to make a clone.

As per usual, the web was full of useful, unhelpful and downright bizarre advice – including one recipe for this dark WHEAT beer that had no wheat in the grain bill at all?  I know we’re not all Rheinehetsgebot puritans, but that’s plain mental…

Fortunately the BJCP were on hand to give me some hints and tips as regards the style and vaguely which ballpark I should be playing in: http://www.bjcp.org/docs/2015_Guidelines_Beer.pdf (the Dunkels Weizen section)

So I needed a fairly normal wheat, but this time with a solid malty backbone.  The colour seems to be pretty important too as it should be dark enough to distinguish it from the standard wheats.  Obviously if I was a braver, more resourceful and more time-rich brewer I’d be decocting the hell out of the wort – which would really make malts heavier and just that bit darker.

But as I’m none of those things right now, I aimed to make it right with some speciality malt additions:

Dunkel Weizen

That big old dose of Munich ought to help bring a more bready taste and aroma, with the CaraAroma really pushing the malt angle.  The Carafa II is just there to bring the colour on a bit, but as it’s a de-husked grain there’ll be no burnt astringency nastiness.

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I mashed as per my normal Braumeister/Brewmaster regime (see here: https://yeastismybitch.com/2015/11/05/no-name-hefeweizen-iii/)

I tasted a little as I got to near to the end of the boil and it was fantastically malty and very clean tasting.  I got 22L of 1053 OG wort into the fermenter, which was a bit off the mark, but it’s no biggie…

Hopefully, with the grain bill, mash and boil all going of well we should be in for a treat.

…that is, as long as the weather doesn’t go and ruin it.

England is currently basking – more like: flaked out, beaten-up and being partially desiccated – in some high summer temperatures.  Overnight it didn’t drop below 20c in my utility room, which meant that everyone’s favourite mentalist yeast – WLP300 – had started up within 6 hours of being pitched (no starter, so sue me.  I live on the edge, man.)

Outside it’s expected to hit 27C today (80ish F in old/US money) and that, with an already crazy exothermic ferment going on could see us going high enough to start chucking out harsh fusel alcohols…

However, old-school problems demand old school solutions: I wrapped an old sweatshirt around the carboy and made sure that it was light-tight, and then doused the whole thing in cold water.  I’ll be regularly damping down this week, I guess.  The evaporating water should help to cool the whole thing down a bit.  I Hope.

Tomorrow we might get to 30C…yikes.

…this now leaves me wishing two things:

One, that I’d gone and done a Saison instead.  I’d have just let the Saison do what it wanted.  30C?  Yeah, fill your boots, go crazy…create all the Saison character you like Mr Dupont Strain…

…and two, I’m blimmin’ glad I didn’t do anything involving a fairly standard ale yeast….

Universal Sanction India Pale Ale

Oh, the name?  It’s an anagram of Nelson Sauvin and Citra.  I’m not that clever, I went here for inspiration:  http://www.wordsmith.org/anagram

Anyway.  Here I am with a week off of work, having done all the chores and bits and pieces for the day I thought I might get myself a brew on in the Braumeister/Brewmaster.

Having had a modicum of success with defining a “house” malt bill for all of my hoppy beers when brewing the HxPA (https://yeastismybitch.com/2014/03/28/t-n-t-hxpa-highly-explosive-pale-ale-in-a-braumeister/), I decided to fiddle with that grain schedule yet again to see if it would work any other way around.

Hop-wise I had 100g of Citra pellets put aside for this, but joy unconfined – I also found 80g of Nelson Sauvin leaf hops in the freezer, so I’m going to bung them in as well.  Even though this isn’t barn-storming gravity, it’s going to be hopped to buggery and back again: Citra is potent enough on it’s own, but with a back up of Neslon Sauvin we’re going to be talking massive hoppage.

I restrained the bitterness to 53IBU or so, as I don’t want to frighten off any one…I used my by now standard Braumeister mash schedule:

Dough-in: 38C

First Rest: 53C (5Mins)

Second Rest: 67C (70Mins)

Third Rest: 73C (5Mins)

Mash Out: 78C (5Mins)

Citra and Nelson

I might bottle the lot as this will be something to savour.  Don’t tell Eve, the whole house is starting to bung up with brewing stuff, so god knows where I’m going to store 40 odd more bottles of beer.

Our on-suite shower is pretty much a full time fermentation chamber…talking of which I’m going to try S04 yeast this time instead of the usual US-05 – just for a little more yeast character.

Me and S04 have a chequered past – I have known it drop out of suspension at around 1020 – which is just not acceptable, I don’t want to have to rouse the bugger.  Hopefully the hotter weather will keep it charging along to somewhere around 1012 or lower.

Will update this post with post-boil gravity and volume when I get there…

UPDATE:

I got 22 or so Litres at 1052, which wasn’t too bad considering.  5 Litres of sparge water was never going to replace the sheer volume of liquor that got sucked up by all those hops and grain.  Still, I should end up with something like 5.25% – assuming S04 pulls it’s finger out of it’s arse and ferments out to 1012; any lower than that and I’ll be well impressed.

I have pictures – which I will post when I get to work or somewhere with better than 1Mbps bandwidth (and that’s down speed, the good lord alone knows what the upload speed is.  Sometimes it’s rubbish living in the sticks.)

T ‘n’ T HXPA (Highly eXplosive Pale Ale) in a Braumeister

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In your face IPAs…I’ve defined a new style: HXPA.  It’s sure to catch on, so just remember you heard it here first….you know me; any excuse to work up an eye-catching name for a brew.

I couldn’t help but buy a packet of  T ‘n’ T pellets from the Rob at the Malt Miller when I saw them (http://www.themaltmiller.co.uk/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=524) as they were different, interesting looking and very attractively priced at £3.80 for 100g

I’m sure the name T ‘n’ T has absolutely frig-all to do with explosives in any shape or form…so it’s still a bit of a mystery to me why these hops are so named.  I’ve searched about quite a bit and don’t seem to be able to unearth much about them – save for vague allusions to tastes of  “Intense red berry fruits”, “citrus”, etc.

The brew has been in the primary fermenter for about 9 days now, so today I’ll be dosing with the dry hops.  I may also sling in 30g of Nelson Sauvin that I kept in the freezer – or I may save them for my next brew which will crammed with boatloads of Citra.

Here’s the recipe for the HXPA brew, note that with this one is all about the late hop additions…that’s where I want the impact to be – not wasted on 30 minute additions.  I’ve kept the bitterness at a relatively low 41 IBU, so we’re staying in Pale Ale territory and not straying into IPA madness:

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Plus there’s a dose of Munich and Vienna malt – just to further contribute to the body.

I managed to get 21.5L of 1059 wort into the fermenter and am using US-05 yeast as I trust it and love it in equal measures.  I followed my standard mashing schedule in the Braumeister (see previous post here: https://yeastismybitch.com/2013/11/12/homebrewed-thornbridge-kipling-clone-braumeister-version/) but pushed the sacchrification rest to 67C as I’d like to get a smidge more body in the finished beer.

I hope that the US-05 will rip through the wort and leave me with a finishing gravity somewhere around 1010, which should give 6.4% ABV of explosive hoppy goodness…

Tasting notes will follow…

Chinook and Cascade – Indian Dark Pale Ale (IDPA) on a Braumeister/Brewmaster

Well now I’ve got me a Speidel Brewmaster, it’d be wasteful not to get a brew on, wouldn’t it?

This is the partner brew to the Chinarillo IPA (https://yeastismybitch.com/2013/06/20/home-brewed-chinarillo-ipa/) and as this one has got a bit of additional black malt in it -primarily to mark it apart from the Chinarillo IPA- and because it’s 28EBC or so in colour it can’t possibly just be an Indian Pale Ale, so it must be an Indian Dark Ale…

I tried to use Graham Wheeler’s Beer Engine software to work out the malt bill, but gave up for the time being – choosing to adopt the “suck it and see” approach.  Maybe at some point I’ll get the impetus and time to work out my effiiciences.

In order to see the comedic goings on that occurred during this brew day, read here:

https://yeastismybitch.com/2013/09/02/speidel-brewmaster-first-brew-mishaps-gotchas-and-some-solutions/

For the recipe and some further information, refer to the following:

IDPA