Quantcast

Cherry "wheat"

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

OneGallonGal

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2012
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Location
Somewhere
<disclaimer> I'm going more for being inspired by the "wheat" beers than going for something that fits neatly into the "wheat" beer category </disclaimer>
My husband's family is going to be visiting next week and they're interested in brewing. My sister-in-law is a fan of wheat beers with some fruity-ness (she tried a "banana wheat" at a microbrewery she really liked and I suspect the banana came from the yeast more than actual bananas, but I could be mistaken) I've been reading up a bit on brewing and recipe making etc. and this will be my second stab at it. I'm no fan of the bananay-wheat beers but I thought a nice hint of cherries would be nice. I also tend to prefer something a bit maltier than your standard wheat so here's my "wheat beer" abomination recipe that i've come up with so far.
I'm wondering if you guys could do me a favor and point out any glaring errors you see that will leave me with a disaster of a beer or if you see room for improvement without getting too fancy.
here we go

  • 1 lb wheat malt
  • 1/2 lb to 3/4 lb American 2-row
  • 1/4 lb to 1/2 lb maris otter (getting weird right?)
  • Some amount tbd of galena (I'm told it's somewhat fruity) with 60 minutes left
  • some amount tbd of saaz perhaps with 20 left and then again at flameout
  • Wyeast Bavarian Wheat Activator yeast (i believe this is 3056)
  • 2 lbs of cherries -- presumably frozen, i think that's about all I'll be able to get this time of year

I'm just in the hurry-up-and-buy-everything stage and since I don't anticipate needing more than a pound of any of the malts and an ounce of any of the hops and those are the smallest quantities i can buy, I figure i'll have some time later this week to tweak my recipe if necessary. These are just the very basics for my ingredients.

I'm planning to mash around 153 degrees (based on my reading), boil for an hour, chill chill chill! I'm hoping to get it down to 60 degrees F or less, pitch the yeast and ferment a week or so, aiming to keep it around the mid-60s to avoid that banana flavor. I'll try to my baby growler wrapped in a damp towel with a fan blowing on it to keep it cool. I'll rack over the cherries and age for several weeks (still working on this part but I have time, no?)

Another related but for the near future question: I have a 1 gallon growler in which i plan to do this. I have 3 or 4 5-gallon plastic carboys. I'm afraid i'll have trouble fitting 2lbs of cherries in my 1 gallon growler with 1 gallon of beer. Would it be better for me to borrow another growler and split the beer+cherries between them? Or to rack everything to my 5 gallon plastic guy and try topping it off with some nitrogen to displace any oxygen that would be left in the lots of headspace? I know the concern with plastic is also that the plastic is permeable to air. would that mess me up too?

Thanks guys! Sorry it's so long...again....
 

TopherM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
3,977
Reaction score
463
Location
St. Petersburg
I never understood one gallon brewing. That's an awful lot of work for a 10 beer yield.

That said, I think I'd skip on the Maris Otter, it is going to compete with your cherry flavor. Stick with just wheat and two row, or perhaps even replace the Maris Otter with Pilsner malt. I think the lighter you can go without losing the characteristics of the wheat, the more the cherries will shine. Traditional wheats and hefeweizens are great wheaty ales that take fruit additions very well.

Also, on your hops additions, I don't think you really want to focus on late hop additions. A good wheat or hefe typically only has a single light bittering 60 min addition to allow the wheaty flavor to come through. The 20 min and flameout saaz addition would, again, compete with both the wheaty flavor and the cherry flavor, so I'd skip it.

My 2c.
 
OP
O

OneGallonGal

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2012
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Location
Somewhere
TopherM: I'm not going for a real strong cherry flavor, just enough to know it's there but I'm not looking for something incredibly fruit-forward. How strong is Maris Otter? I've never used it before. Like I said, I'm still looking for a bit of maltiness so I hesitate to throw it out completely. Same for the hops. I <3 hops, however if the general consensus is that they will make the beer too blah I guess I can do without for one beer :-/
A for one gallon brewing, I enjoy it because it gives me some freedom to be a bit more adventurous than I could be with a 5 gallon commitment. If this is bad, I'm out a few hours, a few dollars and 10 beers. If it's bad with 5 gallons, that's more time, money and waste. also, if it's just for me, I don't want to be stuck with 50 of something before I can really move on. I don't need to have 10s of beers laying around, much less hundreds.
 

TopherM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
3,977
Reaction score
463
Location
St. Petersburg
Maris Otter is more malty and nutty compared to Two Row. It's most often used in English Brown Ales. The problem really isn't the Maris Otter, per se, it's the proportions. At 2/3 base malt and only 1/3 wheat, you are really going to lose most of the wheat characteristics besides the sediment, and I'm not sure the cherries are particularly going to contribute at all. Both are going to be overpowered by the malt and hop schedule you've chosen. They might show up just a bit, but this is going to taste more like an APA or Amber with a hint of wheat and cherry. If you notice, there aren't too many Cherry APAs or Cherry Ambers out there, for good reason.

With the proportions above, you may as well just leave the wheat and the cherries out, as they are barely going to contribute...if that's what you're going for, brew on!

I personally would want the wheat to be closer to 50% of the grain bill to reduce the maltiness and bring the cherrys a bit more forward.
 
OP
O

OneGallonGal

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2012
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Location
Somewhere
aha! I was not clear and for that I apologize. I'm aiming for 2lb of grain in my grist (not concerning myself terribly with a target OG--should I be?) So I was thinking 1lb of wheat malt and 1lb to be divided between 2row and MO. From what you've said i've been thinking to cut it down further to maybe 1/8 lb MO and 7/8 2row. Will even that overpower any wjheaty-cherry flavors or is that little enough just to lend a *bit* of maltiness.

You mentioned you don't see APA or Amber Cherries for good reason. Is that because those overpower the cherry too much or because the taste of cherries is gross with APA or Amber?

Sorry i'm being so difficult. I <3 malts and hops (IPA and brown ale lover myself) so I'm having something of a hard time letting go.
 

TarheelBrew13

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2011
Messages
215
Reaction score
8
Location
Charlotte
I completely agree with everything Topher said except about brewing 1 gallon batches. I love my one gallon batches.

Just use a single 60 min bittering addition. Use something around 5% alpha so it will be easier to measure.

If its your first wheat beer, start with a 50/50 grain bill. 50% white wheat malt and 50% pilsner is traditional but use Marris Otter if you want it more malty.

If you don't want banana aromas then use a different yeast. You could use an American wheat yeast or a Belgian yeast if you want some clove aromas.
 

TopherM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
3,977
Reaction score
463
Location
St. Petersburg
So I was thinking 1lb of wheat malt and 1lb to be divided between 2row and MO
I think you'd be fine with that. What I was saying is that it's more about the proportion, and if you want the wheat to show up, it needs to be about 50% of the overall grain bill. With the Maris Otter at 25%, it'll show up, but not overpower the wheat or the cherries.

I do still agree with TarHeel about the hops. You don't want this to be very high in IBUs, so I'd just stick to a small 60 min addition. For 1 gallon, about 0.2-0.3 oz at 60 min of any good bittering hop (saaz or hallertau are very complimentary to any wheat based beer).

So here's what I would plan:

1 lb wheat malt
1/2 lb American 2-row
1/4 lb maris otter
HOPS - Saaz/Hallertau 0.2-0.3 oz @ 60 min
Wyeast Bavarian Wheat 3056 yeast

About 1 week in primary, Rack on top of 2 lbs of cherries IN SECONDARY. 7-10 days in secondary. 2-3 weeks in bottles to carb/condition.

This puts you at about 1.063 OG, not including the cherries, which will add about another 0.005-0.008 gravity points or so, so you're talking 1.068-1.071 OG.

IMPORTANT: the 3056 yeast produces BANANA type esters at the low end of its fermetation and CLOVE/EARTHY type esters at the high end of its fermentation temps. If you have any sort of temp controlled fermentation at all, ferment this one as close to 63-64F as you can. The Banana esters will complement this brew much better than the clove/earthy tinge. Both are good type of esters, so if you have to ferment high, it's not the end of the world, but the lower end would make a much better brew!
 

SnidelyWhiplash

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
100
Reaction score
0
Location
cincinnati
im making one with 50% wheat 50% munich because i wanted some bready flavor and only planned to do 1lb cherries/gal. sounds like the cherries won't be noticeable? i would prefer subtle rich flavor, nothing like the medicine in sam adams cherry wheat
 
OP
O

OneGallonGal

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2012
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Location
Somewhere
Do you think I need to keep it so cool during the secondary? Since the actual fermentation will have all but stopped (though I suppose the little yeasty dudes will snack on the cherry sugars abs might find more other sugars in there as well.)
Whiplash: when will yours be ready? I'm very interested to hear how it comes out. What was your recipe?
 

SnidelyWhiplash

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
100
Reaction score
0
Location
cincinnati
5 more weeks. Check what the yeast's temperature range is, you probably don't want to go above what they recommend. wyeast wheats all have a max of 75, and say they produce more banana ester under these conditions. If you stress the yeast too much they will produce more strange flavor esters and higher alcohols which can taste oily.

The balance can be manipulated towards ester production through increasing fermentation temperature, increasing the wort density, and decreasing the pitch rate.
 
Top