Now, I certainly am not done with Mr Beer extract recipes by any stretch, but for my first brew in weeks, I wanted to try a few "firsts" for the LBBP. This recipe is inspired by the excellent wheat beers that I was drinking a couple weeks ago while vacationing in Bavaria, and my desire to create something that (hopefully!) resembles them.
The CaraHell grains were steeped in 2 quarts of water for about 40 minutes. The temperature of the water was about 160* when the grains were added, and the temp was at 151* when the grain sack was pulled. To help keep the temperature where I wanted it, I preheated my oven to 170* (its lowest setting), turned it off, then put my covered steeping pot in there. after about 20-25 minutes, I stirred up the grains to try to ensure the best utilization possible (I think). I then drained the sack and poured about a quart of 170* water over the grains and allowed it to drain again. The grains were then thrown away, and the bag rinsed out so it can live to see another brew day.
So now there is about 3 quarts of steeped water in the pot, and I added about 2/3lb of the DME to this, and brought the wort up to a boil. I then added the Tettnanger hop pellets...watch out! The wort bubbled up to the lip of the pot when the hops were added, so I was "gently" reminded that I need to pay the heck attention to what it going on at all times.
For the next 50 minutes I played some pinball on my PSP while the boil did its thing. Every few minutes I gave the wort a stir because I didn't want any scorching to occur (don't know if it would, but I figured that it wouldn't hurt anything). After 50 minutes, I killed the flame and added the remaining DME. Oh boy was this a chore! I had no idea what a pain in the rear it was going to be. In hindsight, I should have (probably) used more water (maybe about 1 to 1.25 gallons instead of 3 measly quarts) to aid in the DME mixing process. It clumped into dumpling looking balls and I had to stir it for quite some time to get it incorporated, but I eventually did and brought the wort back up to a boil. after about a minute the foam was threatening to spill over the top of the pot, so I killed the heat again, stirred the wort, and allowed it to settle. I repeated this process for another few minutes, and then shut it down figuring I was pretty darn close to 60 minutes of hop boiling, and the DME should be pretty well pasturized by now. At this point I rehydrated the half pack of Munich yeast, figuring it would have plenty of time to get active while the wort cooled to a pitching friendly temperature.
Into an ice water bath in the sink to cool off went the pot, and the yeast started to do their thing...about 15-20 minutes later, the wort was poured into the MB keg, topped off with cold water, mixed up, and since it was around 72*...in went the yeast. While I cleaned up I allowed the beer to come together on the countertop, and then I whisked the heck out of it one last time, capped the keg, and off to the cooler for fermentation!
Ferment through 11/12/2010 (will probably be done around Monday, but I will give it some extra clean up time!) Carb through 11/26/2010 (Black Friday this year) - then into the fridge 1st test on or around 12/3/2010
Well this beer is not too shabby. The mouthfeel is quite smooth, almost creamy, and very drinkable. The aroma is sweet-bready, which is nice. However, it is still missing "that something" that a true German weissbier typically has. So while not bad at all, it still isn't the wheat beer I want it to be. Next time I will use a liquid yeast and really try to nail a traditional hefeweizen. ~Next Recipe~