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Old 03-04-2009, 06:47 PM   #1
Hops-a-Lot
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Default Honey's Home Apricot Hefeweizen - Recipe Review

I decided to get a bit creative this weekend and go for a nice hefe before the weather starts to warm up. I wanted a nice crisp wheat beer with a subtle apricot nose/flavor. I also want to have some of the honey flavor still left behind so I don't plan to boil the honey prior to adding it to the primary once primary fermentation has wrapped up. I have finally gotten brave enough to stray outside of the kit recipes. This is my first attempt at putting something together myself so I am very open to constructive criticism. Thanks!

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 4.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.075 SG
Estimated Color: 9.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 18.7 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Estimated ABV: 7.04%

Ingredients:
------------

3.75 lbs Coopers Brewmaster Collection Wheat Beer Hopped LME (50% wheat/50% barley)
3.75 lbs Coopers Wheat Beer Unhopped LME (50% wheat/50% barley)
1.5 lbs Madhava Mountain Gold Colorado Clover Honey
1.0 lb Briess Crystal (10L)
1.0 lb Briess White Wheat Malt (2L)
3.3 lbs Oregon Fruit Products Apricot Puree - added to secondary
Yeast - Fermentis Safbrew WB-06 (69F)

Hop Schedule:
-------------
1.0 oz Hallertauer (4.8%) @ 60 min
1.0 oz Tettnang (4.5%) @ 30 min
1.0 oz Tettnang (4.5%) @ 10 min

I plan to use a single infusion mash at 150F for 45 minutes.



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Old 03-07-2009, 06:36 PM   #2
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Well, guess this wasn't a particularly exciting recipe for commenting. I am going to be batching tomorrow so I supposed I will let everyone know how she turns out.



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Old 03-12-2009, 03:00 PM   #3
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Hey Hops, I'm interested to know how the apricot plays out in the final product. I was planning and apricot Belgian wit for this upcoming spring but the recipe only calls for 12oz of apricot puree. Keep us updated.

-Andrew

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Old 03-12-2009, 03:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berlbrew View Post
Hey Hops, I'm interested to know how the apricot plays out in the final product. I was planning and apricot Belgian wit for this upcoming spring but the recipe only calls for 12oz of apricot puree. Keep us updated.

-Andrew
I will definitely keep everyone posted on how this batch turns out. This is sort of an experimental recipe as I am not sure what the crystal and white wheat malts will do to the final product. I have also never brewed with fruit before. One thing I did notice right away was that the color was alot darker, almost amber, compared with a traditional wheat beer. It is currently in the primary and I think it is about wrapping up after about 6 days in an average temp of 67F. The aromas coming out of the air lock are great (banana, subtle fruits) so my hopes are up.

My plan is to rack on top of a can of Oregon apricot puree on Saturday and let it do its thing for another 10 days or so before bottling. I am going to use the entire can (about 3 lbs) because I really want the apricot to stand out. All in all, my fingers are crossed!
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:18 AM   #5
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The play between the apricot and the banana esters will be very interesting. Where are you adding the honey again? Also, the hopping on this one seems a bit aggressive for the style. You might find that the hops cover/clash with the banana and apricot flavors. Still, you don't know till you try right?

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Old 03-13-2009, 01:11 PM   #6
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The play between the apricot and the banana esters will be very interesting. Where are you adding the honey again? Also, the hopping on this one seems a bit aggressive for the style. You might find that the hops cover/clash with the banana and apricot flavors. Still, you don't know till you try right?
I hope to have a nice subtle apricot nose to the finished brew with just enough flavor in the background to make it interesting. The last thing I want is an overpowering fruit flavor that takes over the entire profile.

I added the honey at flame-out because I wanted to maintain as much of the original honey aroma as possible to help bring out the apricot.

As for the hop schedule, I just took a chance that the low AA varieties wouldn't be enough to cause too much damage to the recipe. I used these particular hops because I happened to have them left over from other batches and they sounded like they would be interesting in this particular recipe. The bottom line is that I really don't know what I am doing, but I am not afraid of trial by fire. I like to just toss things in and see what happens. After all. it's only beer, right...
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Old 03-17-2009, 03:37 PM   #7
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Default Apricot Wheat Status Report

Well, I thought I would take a minute to update everyone on the status of my latest creation. So far, it seems like everything is going according to plan (with a few interesting happenings along the way). I got a great fermentation with steady gravity at five days. My measured OG was 1.064 and my FG was 1.012. I took a less-than-typical approach to the process with five days in the primary and five days in the secondary with the apricot puree. I guess my thought was that primary fermentation was wrapped up and my secondary was basically for imparting the final fruit flavors and aromas so no need for extended aging. From what I have read, this is especially true of wheat beers. Best to get at them young!

I ran into some issues with the puree when I started bottling. It seemed like the fruit didn't want to settle down and it ended up floating at the top kind of like orange algae, but tastier and not as green. I sanitized a stainless spoon and scooped as much of it as I could before I got too close to the spigot in my fermentor/bottling bucket. However, there was still some material getting sucked into the bottling tube and right into the bottles. I am not sure if this will have any effects on the finished product other than floating around in there, so we shall see.

What I have tasted so far seems great. I could tell that it was a bit more ABV than I am used to in my beers because I could certainly feel it after a few hydrometer tests... It has a serious apricot aroma and the flavor might just be a bit too fruity, but this might mellow with aging over the next few weeks (I hope). I couldn't detect much honey in either the flavor or aroma departments, but I am sure this is being overpowered by the apricot. I plan to bottle condition for the next 14 days before I give it a pour. I will hopefully post some pictures of the finished product so you too can see the beauty. Until then, I am off!

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Old 03-17-2009, 06:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hops-a-Lot View Post
I plan to bottle condition for the next 14 days before I give it a pour. I will hopefully post some pictures of the finished product so you too can see the beauty. Until then, I am off!
Sounds great! Thanks for the update, I'm getting ready to start my Apricot Wit next week. Looking forward to seeing what happens!
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:01 AM   #9
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Suggestions for next time: (we did one similar to this in the early extract days...)

Do your exact same recipe, with the following tweaks

Save your honey until secondary (the reason for the high alcohol in your last beer was the honey. If its put in the primary the yeast eat it like crazy and it bumps the abv way up) Don't worry about boiling it or anything, nothing bad can survive in honey anyway. Also, dial it down to about 1 lb. I suggest a good quality honey, like orange blossom. The flavor will work well with the banana and the apricot. Primary for at least a week, maybe two. Transfer onto the honey in the secondary. You may see some new fermentation take place, it shouldn't be too much. This way your honey flavor will be intact in the end beer, and not eaten all up by the primary yeast.

Second, dial down the hop additions. I know you want to add hops at every moment, everyone does. Do yourself a favor and brew an IPA the same day, it'll get it out of your system your 1 oz of hallertaur at 60 looks good as is. Don't add anything else.

Third, use apricot extract. I know, I know, extract = fake flavor, right? Not if you get good extract, and your LHBS should have it. Apricot is a strong flavor, so in order to dial in the exact amount of flavor you want, use an eyedropper. When your beer is done in secondary and you're about to bottle, fill one 12 oz bottle with the flat beer and drop a few drops of the extract in. Swish it around a little and let it incorporate, and then taste. If you need more, add some more beer to top off, and add more extract. COUNT YOUR DROPS! When you get to where you like it, have a friend or swmbo drop the extract in the bottles before you cap them. This way you dial it in perfectly, without having to wait for over-flavored beer to mellow.

Happy brewing!

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Old 04-22-2009, 01:30 PM   #10
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Well, I know it's been awhile since I posted on this brew, but the time has come. I have to say that I am quite pleased with how this batch turned out. I was a bit concerned about it being too bitter and overly fruity, but neither is the case. There is a great apricot aroma and flavor and the bitterness is subtle but present. I am also very pleased with the head retention. It has a thick, creamy head that is present throughout consumption. It is difficult to see in the pictures, but the lacing is beautiful. It grabs the sides of the glass and doesn't want to let go.

I would highly recommend this recipe to everyone that is into a highly drinkable wheat beer with a touch of fruit. You won't be disappointed.







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Last edited by Hops-a-Lot; 04-22-2009 at 01:33 PM.
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