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Old 01-18-2010, 04:06 PM   #1
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Default Ginger Amarillo Wheat Pale Ale

I was drinking a Hitachino Ginger Ale, and at the same time thinking about brewing a wheat beer with a good dose of citrusy hops. Started thinking, grapefruit/citrus works well with ginger. As does honey. Not sure how this will turn out but welcome comments, thoughts, and suggestions as always.

Recipe is for a 5 gallon batch

Northwest Gold Extract 3 lbs.
Wheat Malt 2.75 lbs
Munich Malt 0.5 lbs
Wildflower Honey 1 lbs (added with 2 minutes left to boil)
Ginger Root 1 oz at start of boil
Ginger Root 0.5 oz at flameout

Amarillo 0.5 oz 60 min
Amarillo 0.5 oz 10 min
Amarillo 0.5 oz 5 min
Amarillo 0.5 oz flameout

Safale S-04

OG 1.060
Target FG 1.017
Est. ABV 5.70%
IBU: 23.8
SRM: 5.3

Mashed Wheat and Munich in 5 qts of NYC tap water at 152 for 60 mins. Batch sparged with a little more than 16 qts to get to 5+ gallons for the boil. Added extract to boil with ginger root. Hop additions. Honey with 2 mins of boil. Tasted the wort and it reminded me of sweet iced tea. Lots of citrus from the hops, very mellow ginger, nice honey sweetness. Chilled to 70F and pitched a pack of S-04.

One thing struck me as odd. The extract was darker than I expected (fresh extract... not sure why seemed so dark). Wort was much darker than I expected. We'll see how it looks once its finished...

I have zero temp control for fermentation and things got off to a fast and warm start with the stick-on thermometer reading 78F. Huge krausen after 12 hours, plenty of airlock activity. Krausen fell after 30 hours and airlock slowed. Now things are nice and still. Will probably let this sit in primary for 3 weeks. Would bottle sooner but don't have space for more bottles in my apartment (one of the curses of the apartment brewer). Thinking about bottling with a few ounces of cane sugar. Aiming for a pretty high level of carbonation. Thoughts?


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Old 01-20-2010, 10:04 PM   #2
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Self-promoting bump. Anyone tried a beer like this. Am I crazy? Is this going to taste OK?


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Old 02-04-2010, 01:00 AM   #3
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I don't think anyone is actually following this, but I bottled today. Sample that I pulled was very tasty. Nice mellow ginger worked well with the honey. Amarillo provided some citrus and balance. There was quite a bit of fizzyness... hope I didn't overprime. Ended up with 4 gallons and primed with 3.5 oz. table sugar. Will post tasting notes in a few weeks.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:49 PM   #4
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Please do, I'm curious how this came out for you. I've been messing around with ideas like a Ginger IPA (had it at Boston Beer Works a few years ago) and a clone of Harpoon 100 Barrel Ginger Wheat. Seems like your recipe is along the same lines as that beer.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:35 PM   #5
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Will definitely post some tasting notes then. I'm going to be on the lookout for the Harpoon Ginger Wheat now... sounds good. Hope I can find a bottle somewhere
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:11 PM   #6
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How gingery did it come out? Is it at a level of the Amarillo's citrusy flavors or stronger than that? This sounds like an amazing summer beer! I would imagine that the ginger will mellow over time so I would wait a couple months before making this but am definitely interested.

I've had a bunch of those Harpoon Barrel Series beers and never had a bad one. Sorry that I missed the ginger wheat.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:29 PM   #7
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The sample I tasted when bottling was not too gingery. It had a mellow ginger taste - not too pronounced. I'd say it was well balanced with the hops. Most of the ginger was boiled for a while which really dulls the edge and spiciness.
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:14 AM   #8
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Default Ginger

Sounds like a tasty idea for a brew!

I enjoy ginger, honey & citrus in my meads, and it makes a lot of sense to bring that combo to a nice summer wheat!

When I do my meads, I use fresh sliced ginger root and add it for the last 10 minutes of the boil. BYO published an article on spice additions for beer, and they suggested a maximum 6oz of fresh grated ginger root per 5-gal at 15 mins left in the boil.

So, it sounds you could bring up the ginger amount and place it towards the end of the boiil if you want more ginger flavor.

Me thinks I'll try somethign like this in the spring! Good luck!
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:08 PM   #9
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Definitely, from what I've read ginger additions are like hops additions - early in the boil pushes the flavor to the back and is more mellow, late addition is stronger flavor/aroma right up front. I was going for subtle in this beer.
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Old 02-21-2010, 12:13 AM   #10
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Bottled on Feb. 3 and cracked my first beer just now for a taste.

Appearance: Pale orange/yellow. Slightly cloudy from the wheat. Poured with a big fizzy head that quickly dissipated to a few thin bubbles.

Smell: Iced tea is the best way I can describe it. Honey-ginger-citrus tones.

Taste: The hops shine through though not in a bitter way. In the back you get a nice mellow honey sweetness that melds well with the subtle ginger. Slightly sweet malty flavor from the Munich no doubt. There are noticeable fruity esters from the yeast. Not sure if it is the normal profile of S04 combined with the other ingredients, or if it is due to a slightly higher fermentation temp. Eitherway, it makes its presence known in the after-taste and is my only qualm with this beer.

Mouthfeel: a little more carbed than I would have liked, but the extra fizz works with the flavor profile.

Overall: an easy to drink, tasty brew. This is really a warm weather beer but I was inspired so brewed it in January. The flavors blended exactly as I planned. I will definitely be brewing again in the spring/summer and will probably make the following changes. 1) more ginger, I don't want to overpower the beer but the ginger is really just a whisper in this. 2) cooler fermentation temperature and/or cleaner yeast. I have been fermenting everything at ambient temps recently and have had some off-flavors because of it. I think cooler temps or a cleaner yeast (US05 of WLP001) would benefit this brew.


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