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-   -   Big and Bold Rhubarb Wheat (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f70/big-bold-rhubarb-wheat-281705/)

TheWeeb 11-17-2011 03:26 PM

Big and Bold Rhubarb Wheat
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8 oz Flaked Wheat
1.5 lbs Wheat malt
1.5 lbs European Pilsner malt
4 lbs Wheat DME
1 lb Golden Light DME
1 lb Amber DME
1 oz Hallertau pellet @45 min
2 tsp Yeast Nutrient @15 min
1 tsp Irish Moss @10 min
2 drops of olive oil at flameout
Wyeast 3333 German Wheat
1 lb fresh rhubarb, chopped and sanitized (see notes) in primary
Estimated ABV: 7.5%

The idea for this brew came out of a barstool session at Renegade Brewing here in Denver. The idea was to create a "tart" wheat, perhaps even something that would resemble a sour beer which is the rage these days, yet with the yeasty clove and banana esters typical of the style. The addition of amber malt extract gives it a copper color and bit of a sweet malt backbone to balance the tart.

Either steep the grains for 30 min or do a partial mash @154 for an hour (this is what I did) in 3 gallons of good water. As you bring it to a boil, add the DME and dissolve (this limits the possibility of boil over). Single hop addition; I used a yeast nutrient and have begun to experiment with olive oil to aid in yeast growth and added two drops at flameout. Cool to 70 degrees, aerate and pitch the yeast. A blowoff tube is suggested. I showed very active fermentation within six hours of pitching.

The rhubarb was chopped and then microwaved to the boiling point to kill any possible nasties. It was placed in a muslin sack and dropped into the primary (bucket in this case). I used Wyeast 3333 because of its high flocculation and alcohol tolerance (up to 10%). I am shooting for a copper krystal weizen with the wonderful rhubarb tartness.

I just brewed this yesterday and will post updates including tasting notes in a few weeks.

TheWeeb 12-14-2011 02:21 PM

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posted this pic on the "post a picture of your pint" thread. It is coming along nicely, carbonation is still very superficial and disperses quickly. It needs another week in the bottle, should be right by Christmas day.

Color a pleasing copper, but needs more time to clear, as the expectation was that of a Krystal vs. Hefe. The nose is nice banana, clove, sweet rhubarb (like rhubarb pie), and a bit of bubblegum esters. Mouthfeel needs time, as the carbonation is still low and it feels flat on the tongue. The taste up front is that of a sweet Bavarian hefe (I am thinking a Franziskaner) full of banana/fruit with some added amber malty flavor. There is not as much bread/yeast flavor as I expected. The rhubarb flavor is sweet at first and really comes through at the finish with a nice tart note.

I really hope this one carbs up to the expected level for the style, where one can drink it down and it continues to produce a creamy head all the way to the bottom of the glass.

Right now, if I had to adjust the recipe, I would back off of the amber malt and add more rhubarb, as I was hoping for more tart and less sweet. This could be a bit of a premature assessment, however, as the beer does need more time to condition.

I will be putting this in front of a few friends this weekend and will share their thoughts.

TheWeeb 01-17-2012 01:26 PM

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Update, thanks for the props! Down to four bombers and four 12oz bottles of this. I am torn between entering two of the smaller ones into a local competition (at Dry Dock brewing), or reserve them and enter the national AHA competition next month. I think it is that good, but then I am a fan of the crystal weizen style, and the bigger malt background that I thought was a bit too much seems to be more in balance with the rhubarb fruit now that it has conditioned for six weeks. Not sure if this picture does it justice, but it is completely clear copper red with really nice champagne-like bubbles that continue to produce a creamy head down to the last sip.

Edit: Though I have nothing to compare it to, some threads discussing the addition of olive oil and negative effect on head retention are not holding true in this case. Since I did not split the batch, I have no idea if the olive oil helped in yeast production or had an impact on flavor, but head creation and retention were very true to style.

TheWeeb 04-26-2014 03:14 PM

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Had to crack one last night, only three days so very little carbonation, but the rich red color from the rhubarb is awesome and the taste a very nice banana/clove up front finishing with a tart rhubarb on the backside.

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