Sunday, June 24, 2012

Brewing up some Summer Lovin'

I brewed one of my wife's favorite beers today.

SheppyBrew's Summer Lovin' Wheat was first made last year because my Beer Model (aka my wife), wanted to brew a crisp and refreshing summer wheat beer (see Beer Model Brew Day). It turned out as designed, and my wife really liked having it on tap until her family came to visit and wiped it out (see Helpful #HomeBrew Thieves).

It really was a nice summer beer to have around, and the Beer Model has mentioned a few times that she would like me to brew it again.

And, so I did.

Today, the weather forecast was for HOT. Knowing this, I started early enough to get the mash done before church so that when we got home I could start the boil.

Step mash
I did a step-mash this time with a half-hour "protein" rest at about 134. I have read / heard that this helps make wheat mashes less likely to stick their sparge. You may remember that I used the same technique for Apricot Lovin' American Wheat with good results. To be honest, I don't know how much the protein rest had to do with the nice lauter, but I didn't have a problem with stuck sparge either of the times I used it with wheat beers.

First wort hopping
The recipe is very low on hops with only a first-wort hopping addition. I love the aroma of first-wort-hops. So delicious.
Went to church between the mash mash and the boil.
And so, I got through my whole mash  before church and was boiling before 10 AM. My boil volume was a bit high. This seems to be typical of my step-mashes. My mash efficiency was a bit low, but not enough to adjust anything.

Boiling away
At one point, I noticed that my burner was off. The wind must have blown it out. I don't think the boil was interrupted for very long. Other than that, the boil went well.

At the end of the boil, I added honey, coriander, and orange zest as specified in the recipe.

I mentioned that the weather report was for HOT. Well, those weather reporters were correct. It easily got into the upper 90's, which is not ideal (at all) for cooling down the wort. I filled my mash tun with ice water, and used my pre-chiller and was able to get the wort down to 70, but not any further.

Racking into the fermentor

Filling the carboy
I racked to the carboy and then to get the wort down those last few degrees, I let the carboy soak in the ice-filled mash tun for awhile. This got me down to 64 where I pitched the yeast. The yeasties are getting ready right now to start eating the sugary wort and turning to it into alcohol.

This should be in the keg and ready to drink by mid-July. I will probably let you know how it tastes around that time.

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