Winn's Homebrewery
rss feed


The following is the 'log' list for the Honey Wheat Ale.

(edit all) (add entry)

September 20, 2009 (2:25 PM)
I guess I never posted a final analysis of the beer—right now there are only 2-3 bottles left, so I'd say it's about as final as can be.
The good: This beer has an excellent flavor and a very crisp/dry mouthfeel. It's refreshing but still packs a decent punch. The carbonation came out perfectly, and the golden honey color was beautiful in a glass. I would change very little as far as the ingredients in this one.
The bad: I really should have heeded the warnings I was given about doing even a brief protein rest. Not only was the beer entirely clear (not my desire for a wheat ale), there was essentially zero head retention. It was an excellent beer out of the bottle, but looked more like a soft drink when poured into a glass. Luckily, the long time in the fermenter made it so there was nearly zero sediment in the bottles. Otherwise, I would have had to choose between a flat-looking (but well-carbonated) pint glass and a mucky/sedimenty bottle.
In sum: If/when I brew this one again, I will nix the protein rest entirely. I might also add some torrified wheat or unmodified wheat as well, just to boost head retention even more.
August 1, 2009 (2:25 PM)
Finally bottled the Honey Wheat today! It smelled great and had a noticeable (but not overpowering) honey taste, though it's always hard to gauge the flavors after the priming sugar is added. I am concerned that I might have over-primed this one slightly, but not to the point of exploding bottles. I went with 4.875 ounces of table sugar for just under 6 gallons of beer. Since the FG was even a tad lower than it had been on July 12 (ended up closer to 1.009), I'm hoping there was next to zero fermentable sugar left in the wort before adding the priming sugar.
I may taste one on August 13, but probably will not really crack into them until the 24th, when I get back from a camping trip.
One more note: This is one of the longer periods I've left a beer in primary, and I noticed that the yeast cake/trub was much more compact and didn't swirl up as much when I was transferring it to the bottling bucket. I'm not sure if that's also partially because this yeast has such high flocculation, but in any case it made for a much cleaner transfer. I was able to siphon almost all the way against the cake before the little "tornado" of trub started entering the tube.
July 12, 2009 (2:24 PM)
Just took FG measurement — made it down to 1.011! That's 7.4% ABV before I water it down for bottling (planning to add about a gallon of water with the priming sugar). Woot! Now I'll give it a few more days for diacetyl rest, since this yeast is such a notorious diacetyl producer.
I did a few calculations and it looks like I'll be ending up with anywhere from mid-5.x% to mid-6.x% ABV, depending on how much is lost to the trub in the primary. Calculations follow, in case you're interested.
The presumption is I will be diluting the beer enough to make 6 gallons, regardless of how much I get from the fermenter. Hopefully it will be somewhere between 4.5gal and 5gal. I will then prime with about 5 oz table sugar (using my usual formula of about 120g/5gal). ProMash says 5 oz table sugar increases the SG of 6 gallons by 1.002, which should result in about 0.2% alcohol if it is fully fermented (which table sugar should be).
4.50 gallons at 7.4% ABV = 0.33 gallons of alcohol
0.33/6.0 = 5.5%
5.5% + ~0.2% = ~5.7% ABV
4.75 gallons at 7.4% ABV = 0.35 gal alc
0.35/6.0 = 5.8%
5.8% + ~0.2% = ~6.0%
5.00 gallons at 7.4% ABV = 0.37 gal alc
0.37/6.0 = ~6.2%
6.2% + ~0.2% = ~6.4%
July 6, 2009 (2:21 PM)
Fermentation looks to have pretty much finished up for this one, but I'll probably let it rest until at least this weekend before I take FG measurement to be sure. It has cleared and the airlock activity has nearly come to a complete halt (about one bubble every 8-10 minutes). After the initial temperature scare, I kept it at 65F for most of the vigorous fermentation, then let it rise to about 69F through the end of noticeable fermentation. Now that it's pretty much halted, I've let it come up to ambient (it seems to range from about 70F to 73F depending on time of day). I'm looking forward to tasting this one when I bottle it in the next couple weeks ::grin::....
June 28, 2009 (2:21 PM)
I probably should have chosen a different yeast for this beer, since I have a lot of trouble keeping my apartment cooler than about 72°F (and this yeast is known to produce diacetyl and fusel alcohols at temperatures in that range). Last night I managed to get my bedroom down to about 70°F (fermometer reading was 71°F due to fermentation heat). However, the yeast was just getting going.
By morning it was going full steam and had heated the carboy to 74°F (the absolute highest this yeast should be allowed to go). I knew I had to do something, so I found a plastic container to serve as a water bath and got some ice, a desk fan, and an old t-shirt I don't care for anymore. I wet the shirt and draped it over the carboy to act as a wick to draw up the cold water, and then aimed the fan at the shirt to speed the evaporation. Now, the fermometer reads 65°F—exactly where this yeast performs best. Hopefully the damage wasn't done overnight. Right now it's still fermenting away (constant stream of bubbles in the airlock), so at least some significant chunk of the fermentation will be at this more favorable temperature.
Here's a picture of my cooling setup.
June 27, 2009 (2:20 PM)
The Honey Wheat is now in its primary! I tweaked the recipe slightly, but ended up doing pretty much what I'd planned. The OG was way higher than I expected... either my efficiency was massively better or that honey was pretty sweet. OG = 1.065 1.067 (adjusted for temperature).
June 12, 2009 (2:20 PM)
I'll be brewing this one soon, I hope. The idea is to have a true wheat beer that's a little more rich in flavor and color than your average wheat ale (but not quite to the dunkelweizen standard, which is rather dark). Kinda makes my mouth water a little just thinking about how delicious this one probably will be.


© 2005–2013 winn phillips