We’re over 105* (middle of May as I’m writing this), so it’s officially Summer in Phoenix. Time to say goodbye to 90* temperatures, I’ll see you again sometime in late October. I’m definitely in mood for something nice and citrusy for the hot weather. I absolutely love Lagunitas – A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’, but the 7.5% ABV sneaks up on you. So I want to make something along those lines, but with less booze.
Using Sumpin’ Sumpin’ as my inspiration, I’m brewing a hoppy American wheat. The grain bill is pretty simple on this one: even split of 2-row/wheat malt, and a little C20. Initially, I planned on brewing this with only Citra hops, but at the last minute I decided to toss a little Amarillo in the mix. I’m also going to use Hop Extract for the bittering charge. I’ve yet to use hop extract, but I’m going to be brewing a Pliny the Younger clone very soon, and I’d rather get the trial run out of the way with a batch that isn’t so expensive.
The target gravity was 1.058, which I missed by quite a bit (1.052). I’m not exactly sure what the reason was, but I’m thinking the crush on the wheat wasn’t quite tight enough. On a beer like this, I really don’t care though, it’ll be tasty either way. The hop extract was interesting to use. When we added it to the kettle, it definitely smells like hops, and it turns the wort a little green just like pellets. Pretty cool stuff; I’m going to continue to experiment with it.
P.S. Whatever you do, don’t taste taste the hop extract. I put about a pinhead-sized amount on my finger, and all I could taste for an hour was bitter.
Dry Hopped: 05-28-12
5.5lbs American Wheat
8oz Crystal 20
Mash @ 151*
3.5ml Hop Extract @ 60
1oz Citra/Amarillo blend @ 15
2oz Citra/Amarillo blend @ 0
Dry hop 1oz Citra – Days 1-8
Dry hop 1oz Amarillo – Days 5-8
15 grams US-05 @ 62*
For some reason, this beer over attenuated. I’ve never had US05 take a beer under 1.010 that didn’t have some simple sugars in it. I make pale ales around this gravity and mash temp all the time, so I’m a little confused. The funny part is, this beer is really refreshing being as dry as it is; it wasn’t what I had planned, but it works really well. It has an almost saison-like quality due to the dryness, and the fruitiness from the hops.
The aroma smells like Amarillo and Citra; they are very distinct together. It has a very bright, tropical/citrus aroma. There’s also some breadiness from the wheat. The flavor is similar. This beer is balanced toward the hops, but it isn’t bitter. There’s just enough bitterness in there to balance the malt, but you wouldn’t take a sip and think it’s bitter. Similarly, Amarillo and Citra give an almost sweet quality to the beer which is really refreshing.
I suppose the only problem would be the repeatability of this batch. I’d wonder if I brewed it again if it would finish higher and taste like a completely different beer. I’ll worry about that later though, and go back to enjoying this fantastic summertime wheat.