It’s finally time to get cracking with the batches of beer for my wedding. For the first beer, I wanted something light and approachable, but still something very flavorful. I flipped through my brewing notebook, looking at past batches, hoping something with strike a chord. Sure enough, a batch from last spring was exactly what I was looking for, my Hoppy Summer Wheat.
This beer was light and crisp, with a nice malt presence, and a big, refreshing fruity hop note. It was good right off the bat, but it got much, much better after it lagered for a month in the kegerator. So I decided to brew this beer first to give it ample time to come together before the wedding.
As for the recipe, I pretty much stuck with what worked. I swapped out hop extract for Apollo, and peppered in a little Nelson Sauvin, but other than that, it’s identical. The final change was to increase the mash temperature to give the beer a little more body.
As with all my recipes lately, I’m using WLP090 for this beer. I didn’t have any yeast handy to repitch, so I made a 3L starter for the 12 gallon batch. My friend Kiernan is splitting this batch with me, hence the 12 gallons.
The brew day for this beer was uneventful other than the heat. This is the summer that will never end, and it’s made brewing outdoors pretty miserable. Aside from that, we mashed for 60 minutes, boiled for 60 minutes, and then chilled the wort down as quickly as 90* tap water can. I decided not to whirlpool the hops for this beer as I didn’t want to pick up too many BUs; this still needs to be an approachable beer. I hit the wort with 90sec of O2, and pitched half the yeast into each fermenter.
Dry Hopped: 08-17-13
7.5lbs American Wheat
Mash @ 152*
18g Apollo @ 60
1oz ea Citra & Amarillo @ 15
1oz ea Citra, Amarillo, & Nelson Sauvin @ 0
WLP090 – Super San Diego Yeast
Dry Hop 1oz ea Citra, Amarillo & Nelson Sauvin
I love how quickly WLP090 rips through a batch, even at cool temps. It gets to work, ferments, and flocs out all under a week. Since I wasn’t in a hurry, I let the beer sit on the yeast for a couple more days before racking to secondary for dry hopping. After a week sitting on the dry hops, Kiernan and I racked this beers to keg, fined with gelatin, and got them under gas.
It’s been hard to not even take a sample from this beer, as I need to save the entire keg for the wedding. On the bright side, this was a 10 gallon batch, and Kiernan has the other keg on tap at his house, so I’ve been able to try these beers without touching the wedding kegs. This beer has been in the keg for quite a few weeks now, and it’s tasting pretty damn delicious. Appearance is clearing up, but there’s still an ounce of haze that hasn’t fully gone away yet. I noticed last time I brewed this that it took 5-6 weeks before it was crystal clear; I assume due to the wheat.
The aroma is big, fruity, citrusy hops with a little malt sweetness. The hop aroma isn’t resiny or pungent in any way. Flavor is mostly sweet, fruity hops followed by some bready malt character and a touch of bitterness in the finish. When it was young there was an over-ripe fruit quality to the hop profile, but that mostly faded as it lagered. Mouthfeel is on the lighter-side, and the low terminal gravity definitely helped keep this beer crisp.
Overall I’m thrilled with how this turned out. It’s light, crisp, and approachable all while packing some big flavor. With the wedding now a couple days behind us, I can officially say it went over very well. It was the least drank of the three beers (I had about 1 gallon left), but that was understandable, as the other two were pretty awesome. I’ll have a couple more posts up in the following days with plenty of pictures. Cheers for now.