Monday, February 22, 2010

Dunkelweizen Act 2

Making beer is as much about taste as it is about sustenance. Beer, properly made without fillers, is like drinking a loaf of bread. It is the yield of the grain, the staff of life. What can be more basic than wheat beer?

On this edition of Me and the Homebrews, WBN chronicles the making of a Dunkelweizen, or dark wheat, beer.


So, we decided to have a second go at the Dunkelweizen, since our first attempt was abysmal. We chose not to do the full boil of 5 gallons, and instead did 1.5 gallons on the electric range -- much faster -- and added the full amount of hops. We paid strict attention and took a triple measurement. Our O.G. was 1044 vs. a recommended 1049: a little off, but not too bad.

Reading the recipe, we realized we might have added the wheat extract at the same time as the barley extract last time. This time we added the barley fermentables at 60 minutes, and the wheat fermentables at 15 minutes like we should have.

From the blizzard it was obvious the best cooling method was pouring the hot wort into 3 gallons of chilled water and then direct immersion in the snow.

Our Wyeast, although two months past its "prime", activated just fine after 24 hours in the smack pack. Here are one billion yeast cells converting the sugars in the wort into real beer as seen by the active CO2 emission in the fermentation lock.

Next week we will rack the beer, since not doing it the last time contributed to significant off flavors.

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