Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Brewing of a Wheat Ale

With summer quickly coming to us here in Ohio (though it doesn't really seem that way with all the rain), Brandon and I wanted to brew something for the summer. Sunday we decided to brew a wheat ale. Firstly, because we both love Three Floyds Gumball Head and secondly, we needed to try something different. So, I went searching for a recipe that practically a clone of Gumball Head. I found a recipe for a 5-gallon batch and from there, I plugged it into my trusty beersmith. This is what came out.

Grain Bill:
26.4 pounds of 2-row Pale-Ale
21.2 pounds of White Wheat Ale
5.3 pounds of Cara-Vienna

Because the Wheat Ale can get all gummy, with the gains, I added a 5-gallon bucket of rice hulls to the grain and made sure it was plenty mixed. This grain bill seems a little light. We added our water of 180°F to the grain and had to add a little bit of cold water, because the mash was a little high and got it down from 160°F to 152°F. While we mashed, we also did a hefty cleaning of the fermenter, plate chiller, and pump. We did a acid wash for 30-minutes or so. In that time we drained the grains off into the boil kettle, I added our first-wort hops and took a pre-boil gravity. 

Noticing that the gravity was a little low, we took 8 gallons of wort off and did a hard boil in the back kitchen. To a 5-gallon kettle we added 3-gallons of wort and boiled that down to half. In a 10-gallon kettle we added 5 gallons and 2 pounds of pale and did a decoction. We also boiled that down to half the volume and drained off the wort from the grains and added both kettles back into the boil.

Hop Addition:
1.32 oz. Amarillo Hops First-wort
1.32 oz. Cascade Hops 60-min.
2.64 oz. Amarillo Hops 15 Min.
2.64 oz. Amarillo Hops 5 Min.
2.64 oz. Amarillo Hops Flame Out

While boiling we finished cycling rinse water in the fermenter, plate chiller, and pump, and then cycled Iodiophor. The boiled wort was then transferred up to the fermenter, through the plate chiller, to which I added 5 packets Fermentis US-05 yeast that was cultured for a day. It was closed off and the blow-off tube was connected. Time to clean up. What made this easy clean is that we came up with a way to connect a stainless-steel hose braid to the boil kettle to keep the hops out of the pump and chiller. Can't wait to try. Original gravity of 1.042, Pre-Boil 1.038.

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