Fraz(zled) Wheat 2.0
I had my last pre-Euro-trip brew session on Saturday 4/16. This was the fourth straight weekend I had brewed in anticipation of the lengthy self-imposed sabbatical that lay ahead, as I’d prefer to have all of my beers out of fermenters and bottle-conditioning while we’re across the pond. When you factor in my cover band‘s gig schedule into the mix, this effectively means I won’t have another opportunity to brew until MAYBE late June, but more likely not until mid-July. And by then it’ll already be time to start thinking about doing beers for the fall.
I’ve had a lot of fun hanging out with different friends at each of the four brew sessions this past month, and Fraz Wheat 2.0’s brew day was no different. Dave, a work colleague who is very interested in brewing and hop-growing, stopped by to help me through this brew day. We were quite speedy, completing most of everything in under six hours, and correctly at that. A new record. Thanks Dave!
By far, the most popular beer I did in my first year of brewing was the raspberry wheat I brewed last summer. In response, I wanted to re-brew it for this summer, and a little earlier this time so it could be enjoyed all summer long.
Don’t think this means I’m doing the same recipe, though. I’ve learned so much about brewing and thus refined my process quite a bit over the last year, so I’m expecting this batch to turn out exponentially better than the first version. Where the 2010 batch was an extract brew, the 2011 version is an all-grain. Where the 2010 batch utilized raspberry extract syrup to impart raspberry flavor, 2011 will utilize a few pounds of actual raspberries. I think this will be a substantial improvement, as the raspberry extract syrup mainly just imparted aroma in the 2010 batch and not much actual raspberry flavor. 2011 will be different.
Here’s my recipe:
Base: 8.3 lbs. Rahr White Wheat malt, 6.3 lbs. Briess 2 row pale malt
Specialty: 12 oz. Carapils
Hops: 1.5 oz. Tettnanger (60″), 1 oz. Tettnanger (2″)
Yeast: White Labs Hefeweizen WLP300 (1600 ml. yeast starter with 1 c light DME two days prior to pitch)
1 tsp Irish moss (15″) and 1/2 tsp. yeast nutrient (10″)
Raspberries: Syphon the batch onto 72 oz. frozen raspberries in a different primary fermenter a few days after primary fermentation is complete. Will leave these to mix and ferment out some sugars for a few days at 70* then will bring it down to 55* in the cellar to clarify for a few weeks before bottling.
Pre-boil: 7 gal.
Post-boil: 6.2 gal., OG = 13.5 brix = 1.055
Fermentation took about 14-16 hours to get started. I think this may have been because I had cooled my yeast starter to roughly 45-50* to keep it from blowing through the airlock on the starter beaker. I should have allowed it to warm up more before pitching into the 68* wort, but I forgot.
12 hours after fermentation began, I was glad I’d attached the blow-off tubing as it really started to go nuts. The batch was sitting at 71-72* for most of active fermentation, which was pretty much all done by Wednesday 4/20. I took a gravity reading that night and we were already sitting at 6.5 brix, which is 1.010 at a temp of 72*. This is on the low end of my target FG (got down to 6 brix / 1.007 by the time I syphoned it onto the raspberries a few days later). Primary fermentation done in less than four days? Truly a testament to how much my process has improved in the past year, especially around fermentation.