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Old 06-25-2009, 08:03 PM   #1
stageseven
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Default First recipe - feedback appreciated

The second batch I brewed was based on my own recipe, a combination of ingredients that I thought would work well together for a wheat beer. It's an all-extract with some steeping grains, and I thought it turned out pretty well. There's a bit of a banana taste if you let it sit in your mouth that I didn't like, but I'm not sure if that's from the yeast or what.

It's a cherry wheat, and had a nice dark tan color with a red tint. The smell is pretty Belgian in quality, on the tangy side. The cherry flavor comes through nicely, and although the hops don't really hit you in the mouth, it's got a present lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.

Recipe Type: Extract
Yeast: WB-06 Safbrew Wheat Beer yeast
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Original Gravity: 1.052
Final Gravity: 1.012
IBU: 21.5
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 13.6 SRM
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 7 days, 68 F
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 days, 68 F


Recipe for 5 gallons

3.0 lbs Dry Wheat Extract (8 SRM)
3.3 lbs Liquid Wheat Extract (8 SRM)
1 lb Honey Malt (25 SRM)
1 lb Special Roast (50 SRM)

1 lb fresh cherries, chopped

1 oz Hallertauer (4.8%) for 60 min
0.5 oz Fuggles (4.5%) for 60 min
0.5 oz Fuggles (4.5%) for 15 min

Safbrew Wheat Beer Yeast (WB-06)

Grains steeped for 30 min in 3 gallons water @ 165 F, then rinsed in 1 gallon @ 165.

Fermented at 68 F for 1 week
Racked to secondary on top of 1 lb chopped fresh cherries for 2 weeks
Bottled for 3 weeks.

I enjoy it a lot, but I can see that it could stand for some improvement. Any thoughts anyone? It ended up somewhere around 5.2% ABV, but that's before factoring in the cherries. I didn't take a reading after putting it in the secondary, so I have no idea how many points 1 pound of cherries would add.

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Last edited by stageseven; 06-26-2009 at 01:33 AM. Reason: fixing steeping time
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:21 PM   #2
McGarnigle
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So it tastes okay? I might have guessed that would not be enough cherries (you hear a lot of 1 pound per gallon, not 1 pound per batch), too much Special Roast and possibly too much honey malt, which can be strong (though I don't know that from experience).

Of course, you've tasted it and I haven't. I'd be curious what others think.

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Old 06-25-2009, 09:31 PM   #3
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I've also heard 1 lb per gallon, and have done so with a strawberry wheat and it still came out a bit light on the flavor for me (aroma was perfect). Just looking at the recipe the 1 lb of both Honey malt and special roast seem like a WHOLE lot to me. But as McGarnigle (great handle btw) said, you tasted it, so you'd know best what needs to be fixed.

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Old 06-25-2009, 10:02 PM   #4
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Yeah, I mean the cherry flavor definitely wasn't overwhelming, but that's really not what we were looking for with it. It's more of an undertone to the beer, so the wheat is still the dominant flavor. I'd put the level of cherry in the beer somewhere around what you'd find in a Chimay blue or Achel Brune. I definitely didn't think the roast was strong, in fact I barely noticed a roast flavor. Then again, I like a roasty beer.

It really does smell and taste very much like a Belgian beer though. Not a bad thing for me since I love Belgian beers.


OH, kind of major correction too... we steeped the grains for 30 minutes at 165, not 60. Sorry, I was posting from memory.

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Old 06-26-2009, 02:08 PM   #5
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So if 1 lb of each is a lot, what impact should it have on the flavor? I'd be open to reducing them for the next batch but I really don't know what exactly they did. Are either of these grains that need to be mashed? We kind of quasi-mashed I guess, but wouldn't our temperature have been too high?

Also, any thoughts about the banana type flavor? Is this just a yeast thing? If so, what would be a cleaner wheat yeast?

I'd be really hesitant to increase the cherries. I get that it's less than recommended, but I like how it's coming through now as an undertone to the beer. I really wouldn't want to be drinking cherry with beer flavoring.

Sorry for all the questions, I am absolutely a noob at this, but enjoying it a lot!

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Old 06-26-2009, 05:54 PM   #6
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The yeast is producing the banana notes. You can use a cleaner, American style yeast to cut that out. If you want to use dry yeast, you may have have to use something other than a wheat beer yeast.

Honey Malt adds a honey sweetness to it. If you use too much, it might be cloyingly sweet (but I've never used it myself).

Special Roast is sort of toasty. It's usually used for porters and stuff like that. It can be steeped, but as with all steeping grains, too much leaves residual sweetness (b/c they don't really ferment). It also will add body.

The problem with cherries is they are expensive, but if you cut back too much you can't taste them at all. Maybe you have the right amount now.

I guess the main question would be whether you have too many flavors fighting one another. You could go to a cleaner wheat yeast (White Labs 320) and not worry about German hefeweizen flavors. Does the beer taste too sweet? Cut back or eliminate the honey malt.

Also, take a look at Daniels' Designing Great Beers, or Brewing Classic Styles or even Mosher's Radical Brewing for more long term help.

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Old 06-27-2009, 03:04 AM   #7
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Thanks for the help McGarnigle, now I'm curious to taste it again and see what exactly besides the banana I think needs to change. I'm definitely not set on the dry yeast, it was just easier. I'm planning on figuring out starters and liquid yeast for my next brew.

Those books sound pretty interesting too, I'll have to check them out. Especially Radical Brewing, I like the sound of that.

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