Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Tasting Notes: Summer Lemon Hefeweizen

A pint of Summer Lemon Hefeweizen
I've been tardy. . .half the keg of my Summer Lemon Hefeweizen is already gone and I haven't posted any tasting notes yet.  The fact I've been drinking it, instead of writing about it, may give you a hint about how it turned out.

It is great!

Aroma: The aroma of this beer is what you'd expect of a hefe - yeasty, with a bit of fruitiness.  I was hoping for a bit of lemon on the nose, but sadly, it is lacking.  None-the-less, the aroma is pleasing and dead-on for a hefe.

Appearance:  The picture is somewhat misleading - this beer is cloudy, just as a hefe should be.  The cloudiness has faded as the keg has aged, but it retains a nice white haze that typifies most wheat beers.  This beer is a hard pour - a thick, creamy head forms as quickly as you can pour the beer.  If I'm in a rush I sometimes end up spooning off the head so I can to off the glass!  This thick head does something I've never seen before - it condenses into thick "islands" of almost clumpy head - it looks almost like kraussen.  I'm not sure what to make of that.

Flavour:  The flavour of this beer is very refreshing - a perfect pint for a summer afternoon.  The American Hefe yeast imparted a modest banana flavour, but not nearly as bold as a conventional hefe yeast.  Unlike conventional hefe yeasts, there is no clove flavour.  As you would expect, the high amounts of wheat give a bit of body to the beer.  Behind the banana and wheat flavours is a subtle bit of lemon.  The one thing I would change with this batch is the mount of lemon I add - I'd double-up and use two lemons + their zest.

Mouthfeel:  Silky, like a wheat beer should be.

Overall:  I love this beer - easy to brew, quickly maturing, and a real refreshing brew to enjoy on a hot summers day.  As I said above, the only thing not as I'd prefer it to be is the degree to which the lemon comes through - so brew it with 2 lemons, or add a slice of fresh lemon to each glass!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Brewday - Droit du seigneur Blonde

Beer in the front, desk in the back!
Finally, its a summer brewday.  Meaning I'm brewing a blonde on the driveway where all the neighbours can see.  Blondes are a quintessential summer brew - light, modest alcohol, modest hoppiness, means these can be enjoyed pint, after pint.

I'm making an extra 5L of this brew, to act as a test wort for a fermentation test of my recently purified wild strains.  The low IBUs will let the yeast characteristics shine through, while the conventionally fermented portion of the brew will act as a flavour control.

I'm helping SWMBO'd refinish an antique maple desk during the brew, so I'll have to keep this post short...

Droit du seigneur Blonde
Blonde Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 14-06-07
Batch Size (fermenter): 25.00 lBoil Size: 30.69 l
Boil Time: 60 min
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4.75 kg Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 95.0 %
0.25 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 2 5.0 %
28.35 g Fuggles [5.10 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 3 15.8 IBUs
1.00 g Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 4 1.5 IBUs
1.00 tbsp Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 5 -
1.0 pkg

Safale  #US-05




Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.044 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.045 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.009 SG Measured Final Gravity: TBA
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.5 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: TBA
Bitterness: 17.3 IBUs Measured Pre-Boil Gravity:  1.035
Est Color: 3.8 SRM Measured Pre-Boil Volume: 33L
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 5.00 kg
Sparge Water: 24.45 l Grain Temperature: 22.0 C
Sparge Temperature: 75.6 C Tun Temperature: 22.0 C
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.20

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 11.50 l of water at 75.4 C 66.7 C 60 min

Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (8.98l, 15.47l) of 75.6 C water

Brew Day

The recipe is a simple one - the columbus hops are entirely optional, and were added as I didn't have enough fuggels to get to the desired 17 IBU.  Everything went fine aside from a slight overshooting at mash-in; fixed by stirring with the mash tuns top open.  I ended up with a slightly larger boil volume than planned, but that was OK  (who doesn't like more beer?).