I am starting a homebrewing blog to document my journey in this silly hobby. However since I love the Trough Network so much I am going to cross post almost everything here! This first post is explaining the first recipe I made and brewed, hope you enjoy!
Quite often I sit around thinking up ridiculous beer recipes. Whether or not they work or would taste remotely good is a completely different matter…but that doesn’t stop me from continuously making them up. I am pretty sure very very few of these recipes will ever actually be created by me, but that is okay because its really FUN to dream silly stuff up.
You know what is even more fun? Having someone get excited about your homebrewing and commissioning a beer for a specific event. And that is why I started to create a recipe called ‘Dunkel for Dudek’ a dunkelweizen…
Basically my dad and I brewed a beer over the 4th of July, a nice kit session saison that ended up being delicious! He was so excited about the whole process that he REALLY wanted me to brew a beer for his Oktoberfest party. This party is a big deal for him (and super fun) because it is a time when my dad and all his buddies get together with beer, jager, cigars, and tons of homemade sausage and just have a blast.
Now of course I was pumped for the idea of pairing my dad’s homemade sausage with some homebrew. It seems like a natural next step! And this gave me my first guidelines for what the beer would be:
• German style (obvious)
• Lowish ABV (these guys want to drink a few, so <5.5% was my goal)
• Not a lager (I’ve never done one and wouldn’t have time to brew one 2x in case I need to adjust the recipe)
• Fall style of beer
For me the two that immediately popped were Oktoberfest style (with ale yeast, so not quite a true one haha) and a dark wheat beer. Since I feel like real Oktoberfest beers are lagers, I was like “Meh, let’s do the dark wheat, those can be pretty good.”
Boom. Style done. Now for the research into the style.
This research was pretty basic, browsing recipes on www.hopville.com and asking a question or two on a forum I frequent. Here is what I came up with:
• 2# Wheat Dry Extract (39%)
• 2# White Wheat Malt (39%)
• 1# Munich Malt (19%)
• 3oz Chocolate Wheat Malt (4%)
Estimated gravity: 1.052 – 1.013 (5.2% abv)
Estimated color: 17° srm (light to medium brown)
• 0.75oz Hallertau @ 60m (pellet – 3.1AA)
• 0.25oz Hallertau @ 20m (pellet – 3.1AA)
Estimated IBU: 18.4
Wyeast 3068 – Weihenstephan Weizen
Simple, right? I am using a partial mash (some normal grains and some extract) to achieve what will hopefully be ~5.2% which is right in the range I was looking for. The color seems like it might be a bit lighter than what I want, but we’ll wait and see. Hop profile is simple and light at only 18.4 IBU (note I say “only”, can you tell I love hops?) hopefully it blends in well with some of the wheaty and malty flavors I hope to have.
I guess I should break down the actual ingredients and my thoughts behind them.
First up is the malts. The wheat extract is a mix of wheat malt + pale grain malt so it’s a good basis for any wheat beer. The next one is the White Wheat Malt, this is a delicious seeming german wheat grain used in the likes of all weizen beers. Now those two grains together are basically the making of a normal wheat beer. We need to darken and malt this up a bit!
That is where the Munich comes in, the description on www.northernbrewer.com is this: “contributes an intense malt flavor and amber color”. Mmmmm it is German, its intensely malty and a strong amber color. Perfect. Next! Well I feel like that is still not nearly dark enough. So it is time to add some Dark Chocolate malts. These are PITCH black when you see them. There are also ton of different types, I went with a chocolate wheat, if only to keep it “wheat” (totally doesn’t matter). The description of this malt is “Adds deep color and roasted character.”
Now for the last two elements, the hops and the yeast. I feel like the yeast is pretty simple, I wanted a German style and if possible a German wheat style. Well luckily for me WYeast makes just that in their Weihenstephan Wheat liquid yeast, which is described as “Unique top-fermenting yeast which produces the unique and spicy weizen character, rich with clove, vanilla and banana.” Perfect. The last ingredient is the hops, which can be pretty simple for this style and the German Hallertau seemed like a good match with this description: “Noble German hop with a mild aroma, slightly fruity and spicy, flowery and haylike.”
Now the two ‘tough’ parts are the mashing schedule and whether this recipe works at all! By the second thing, I simply mean, that its nerve wracking for me to create a recipe and just go. I really hope it works especially because the beer is not actually for me, but my dad! Luckily if anything goes poorly I should have just enough time to do a second batch (probably will anyway). What I mean by the partial mash schedule is that I hear it is more difficult to extract the sugars (get them to convert? I’m still new at this remember!) in wheat than normal pale grains. To compensate and hopefully get better efficiency there are more steps involved. Here is the break down:
“Protein Rest” 122°F for 20mins
“Beta Sacch’ Rest” 149 for 30mins
“Alpha Sacch’ Rest” 158 for 30mins
Mash Out 170 for 10mins
What does that all mean? Well most of the names, I have no idea (learn by trying!), but what it is telling me to do is soak the grains at those temps for those lengths of time. This schedule is more complex than my normal 45ish mins at 158 then mash out. Still shouldn’t be too crazy.
Wow, what a wall of text! I really hope to start having images in these soon, but in the mean time thanks for bearing with me. I hope you enjoyed my ‘breakdown’ of the Dunkel for Dudek beer I am planning on brewing this very weekend! Expect the brewday recap when it does happen.