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-   -   New to the Home Brew; Festa Brew Wheat with Honey! (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/new-home-brew-festa-brew-wheat-honey-99486/)

SeamusMac 01-23-2009 02:47 PM

Festa Brew Wheat with Honey! UPDATED w/ Pictures
Hey guys n gals!

I'm a Canadian university student who has just gotten into brewing his own in order to save some dollars so I'm really excited about learning how to make some great home brew!

My favorite beer is Propeller Honey Wheat, a micro brewed beer here in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It's what I'm trying to replicate.

I'm living in an apartment but I'm still able to find enough room for a couple of carboys in the closet :D A couple of days ago I began Festa Brew's Wheat beer and added 700g of unpasteurized honey to the primary as per a local brewing store's instructions. It smells fantastic so far! Not an awful lot like beer yet, it's still very sweet smelling but once its bottled I won't touch it for at least 2 weeks.

Once the Festa Brew moves to the secondary I'd like to start another kit, this time something less expensive. Perhaps a Cooper's Wheat with honey and malt extract?

UPDATE, Now with pictures! Sorry some of these are sideways, photobucket is a piece of garbage.

A close up of the top of the secondary, I was a little worried about fermentation restarting after I switched it from the primary, but it started again after half a day.


I have the secondary sitting in the closet near my front door at a pleasant 21*C, it was a great smell to come home to when I had my primary in the same spot.


There is still evidence of fermentation going on. I added 700 grams of honey to the wort, which was in addition to the fermentables already in it, although I was told it wouldn't increase the ABV by very much, I'd like it to be under 6%.


shaundesjardins 01-23-2009 03:13 PM

Welcome to the addiction!
I've only been doing this for a few months (lots left to learn for sure!) but saving money isn't really one of the perks of homebrewing so far...at least not in my case.
I find that using good ingredients and yeast and the bottles and carboys and sanitizer and...
You get the idea. Good luck with your brews for sure. I hope you stick with it even though you may find the savings are as great as many think vs. buying commercial beer.


undallas 01-23-2009 03:20 PM

If your LHBS sells bulk LME, that'll be cool to buy the LME or DME. You can buy 1oz of hallertaur for a simple german wheat beer.... If don't want german style, just sub the wheat yeast with ale yeast... you'll get a pretty smooth wheat ale...

Wheat bier are great... you can drink it fresh.. but adding honey would certainly needs some time to age. I made a honey wheat 2 batches ago... It took a month for the honey to mellow into a smooth honey wheat... otherwise, it could be a harsh honey flavor beer... just be aware.

SeamusMac 01-23-2009 04:00 PM

Thanks for the support guys!

shaudesjardins, regarding the cost of the home brew. I think I can produce the triple the amount of beer for the same amount of money :D Here in Nova Scotia beer and liquor are expensive, especially microbrews! I pay $13.49 for a case of 6 propeller, which means I'd end up paying $148.39 for 66 beer, which is what I've been told is the average haul from a 23L carboy. For the Festa Brew, 700gr of honey, 66 caps and the approximate cost of sanitizer per batch I paid a total of about $50. If I were trying to replicate something like Bud or Coors the savings would be considerably less and I'd probably just drive to Quebec and load up a truck :D

undallas, I'll definitely be fooling around with different types of yeast. I can make two batches of brew almost simultaneously so I can get a pretty good idea of how they taste at similar ages. Regarding the aging of wheat ale with honey I did a little research and found that Propeller puts it's Honey Wheat ale on the shelves about 6-8 weeks after bottling; luckily for me they put the bottling date right on the box. I'll try one every 2 weeks after bottling just to see how it progresses over time.

SeamusMac 01-24-2009 03:24 AM

Interesting development.... I just checked the primary and the thick frothy freuzen (sp?) that was once present has now all but vanished, in only 30 hours! The beer is still active, I could see quite a bit of activity while I had the lid off for a brief moment but I'm puzzled. I was expecting to have to wait AT LEAST 2 days before the foam would go away, now it looks like it should go into the secondary already...

Anywho, I'll do it tomorrow night after work.

strider 01-24-2009 03:35 AM

STOP!;) Just cause the krausen has fallen does NOT mean fermentation is done. Check SG at 5 days, check again on day 7. If it hasn't changed ur ok to transfer. U can also leave in primary longer or never use a secondary... ur preference. I like atleast 2 weeks in primary.

SeamusMac 01-24-2009 05:08 PM

I knew I became a member of this forum for a reason, a reason like yourself strider haha. I'd like to start another kit next weekend, this time something less expensive so I think I'll transfer it to the secondary if the SG hasn't risen between wednesday and friday, as per your advice. It's ok to leave the lid loosely placed on top of the bucket the entire week? I was under the impression that once the krausen had fallen that the fermentation had slowed to a rate appropriate for a glass carboy w/ airlock?

strider 01-24-2009 05:29 PM

Your primary bucket doesn't have a hole for a airlock or stopper and airlock? I haven't seen on that doesn't. Even w/ out though, you should be fine. Might be a slight increase for contamination, but slight. Can't speak from personal experience in this as I've always used buckets w/ airlocks, but ppl do make beer w/ open systems just fine.

SeamusMac 01-24-2009 05:42 PM

There is an indentation that can be cut out in the center of the lid, but I'd have to go buy another stopper and airlock to fill it. I'll check it and its SG tonight, which will have been 48 hrs. after pitching the yeast. If it is still really active I'll leave it for another day, otherwise I'll transfer it to the secondary so it can finish fermenting in a closed system.

I believe the instructions said that 2-5 days after the fermentation began the krausen would fall and it could be racked into a secondary to finish. In this instance fermentation began within a very short period of time after pitching.

I'm still somewhat surprised it didn't take longer, I added a lot of extra fermentables to the brew!

strider 01-24-2009 05:51 PM

I'd leave it be. Even if your at your FG the beer will improve with a bit extra time on the yeast cake. 1 week is generally consider'd minimum around here. On your next brew cut out the indentation and for the first few days use a blow-off. Easy way to make one for a bucket is 1/2" tubing slipped over the center tube of the airlock. Cut off the little X thing at the other end. Stick the end of the tube in a container of sanitizing solution. Use this in place of a normal airlock for the first few days of the primary.

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