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Old 04-19-2008, 11:56 PM   #1
leghorn
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Default Honey Heather Wheat - Feedback requested

I'm going for my first original recipe, and wanted the same quality feedback others have gotten on this forum. I've tried to read up and incorporate good practices on the use of honey and heather in beers - but welcome any feedback on the grain/hop bill and the method....

Here goes:

Honey Heather Wheat

Extract, 5 gal batch, 2.5 gal boil, 60 min boil

6 lb Wheat LME
0.75lb Carafoam
0.75lb Honey Malt
1 oz Mt Hood (6.0%) (60 min)
1 oz Amarillo Gold (8.5%) (10 min)
4 oz Heather tips (3 min)
1 lb Honey (pastuerized)
WLP320 American Hefewiezen

Method:
1. Pastuerize the honey - Pre-heat oven to 180F. Heat honey in oven-proof sacuepan to 180F on stove. Stir often to prevent scorching. Transfer to oven and cover, leaving in oven for 2.5 hours. Cool quickly in ice-bath. Time this process so that cooled honey is ready once the wort has completed boil.
2. Steep grains in muslin bag in 2.5 gallons for 30 minutes at 160F. Remove from heat, and sparge grains with 170F water until runs clear.
3. Return to heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add LME, mix thoroughly, and return to heat.
4. At rolling boil, start clock. Add hop additions per schedule.
5. At 3 minutes to flame-out, add heather tips in muslin bag to boil. Remove once the wort begins the cooling process.
5. After 60 minutes, move wort to ice bath to chill. Add pre-chilled honey and stir until disolved.
6. Once chilled to below 80F, pour into 6 gallon carboy. Should use funnel, and the same muslin bag containing the heather tips should be in the funnel (trapped between the filter and narrow end of the funnel). The cooled wort will "sparge" the heather tips.
7. Aerate thoroughly and pitch yeast.
8. Store at 70F for 2 weeks. Once fermentation is complete, bottle with 3.5oz corn sugar as primer.
9. Store in bottles at 70F for 2 weeks.

Ran this through Beersmith and got:

OG: 1.052, FG 1.014, SRM 9.1, ABV 4.93%, IBU 22.0 (does not include impact of heather tips)

Feedback and thoughts appreciated...


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Old 04-20-2008, 03:10 AM   #2
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I'm not familiar with "carafoam" but if it's anything like carapils or dextrine malt, you can't just steep it and get anything out of it; you need to mash it with base malt. Not sure if honey malt can be steeped either. Maybe someone else whose used then can step in.
I've used honey without any of that pastuerization, either by adding it with a few minutes left in the boil, or just after the boil. It's never been a problem at all. If you want the honey flavor, you can add it just after the boil and wait a few minutes before cooling it down. The time spent at hight temp should kill off anything in it; truth be told honey is actually antiseptic and the chances of anything in there are extremely slim anyway.
I've never used heather before, but I've read you can use it just like aroma hops. Where did you get that "sparging' process from?


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Old 04-20-2008, 03:28 AM   #3
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Dextrine and carapils/carafoam don't need to be mashed. They contain complex sugars and proteins that will not be affected in a mash. Those grains are already converted during the malting/kilning process, and they can be used to great effect in extract brews to increase mouthfeel and head retention. See here.
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Old 04-20-2008, 03:36 AM   #4
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I see a possible mistake- trying to do too much with a single beer. In a period of over-enthusiasm I made this mistake a few times- adding wildly different ingredients to a single beer because, on their own, I thought they sounded like awesome ingredients. In retrospect, I would have been happier making good beer with a single "tweak" rather than a frankenstein monster with a bunch of different ingredients that didn't go well together.

You want to experiment with honey so you add a sizable amount, along with quite a bit of honey malt. You also want to experiment with heather, so you put in a bunch of that. My recommendation? Make one beer with the honey and a second beer with the heather. Trying to do too much at once just increases the chances that you won't like the finished product and trying to decipher what it is you don't like, figuring out how to improve the recipe, will be considerably more difficult. I'm not saying your beer will be awful. I believe it will be just fine and dandy. But for the sake of education and experimentation, I suggest keeping the experiments separate.

Recently, I wanted to learn what using French oak does to the taste of mead. And I wanted to know what American oak does to the taste of mead. I did not start by mixing those two ingredients together.



Why not do a Heather tip mead with wildflower honey? That might be awesome.
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Old 04-20-2008, 03:15 PM   #5
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Thanks all for the feedback.

I found the process of adding heather to the boil, and then pouring the cooled wort over it into the fermenter on through a web-search. Heather imparts some bitterness, but needs to be used in large quantities to be significant. Using heather at the end is more for aroma and flavor.

This is a little ambitious, so if I removed the heather, how does it sound for a Honey Wheat?
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Old 04-20-2008, 06:04 PM   #6
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In my experience with a very similar all grain recipe, I would only use a quarter pound of honey- the honey tends to dry beer out and makes it taste thinner. I would, however, add the honey to secondary to maximize flavor. No real need to pasteurize it at that point since the already-present alcohol should help fight the nasties. I would up the Honey Malt to about a pound or maybe a bit more though.

Under my avatar, for recipes, I have a very similar Candy Hefe recipe you might be interested in checking out as a point of reference. That was my third or fourth attempt at a candy hefe, so I've pretty well honed in on what works... at least in my opinion.
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Old 04-20-2008, 07:10 PM   #7
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Yuri, thanks for informing me on carapils. In John Palmer's "how to brew" it says it must be mashed, but the BYO article is more convincing.


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