I’ve been doing malt focused lagers and ales over the past few months. With Spring right around the corner I felt it was about time to get some hoppy beers on the brewing schedule. I had a leftover Brooklyn Homebrew Hefeweizen beer kit that I picked up a while back, so I decided to leave the grain bill pretty much the same, ferment with neutral ale strain at cooler temps, and dump a buttload of hops into it. It has received quite a reaction from tasters over the past month so I thought I’d post some tasting notes.
Appearance. Cloudy bright yellow with a dense rocky head that lasts forever from the use of 50% wheat malt. Wheat is a wonderful contribution to any beer in my opinion.
Smell. Bright citrus peel, grapefruit, tropical notes of mango and papaya and a background spicy note. Lemon meringue pie also comes to mind. Aroma is still jumping out of the glass after six weeks in the keg thanks to an unusually large dry hopping.
Taste and Mouthfeel. Bold bracing bitterness up front and not quite enough malt behind it to back it up. I added a small bit of melanoidin malt to replace my normal decoction mash schedule that I would do for a hefeweizen. Mouthfeel could be fuller to balance the hops, but I think next iteration I will opt for low crystal malts instead of the melanoidin malt like carapils of carahell, mostly because I keep those around for other beers. There is a minerally edge to the bitterness, probably due to the IPA-like dosing of gypsum in order to bring out the hop perception. There is a spiciness that I believe is coming from the dry hop NZ Rakau that seems a bit out of place to me.
Overall Impressions. This is a really great beer. Super refreshing, hoppy, and goes down easy for when Spring (finally) comes around. I think for my next iteration, I might reduce the bittering charge and lower the amount of gypsum and CaCl to try to eliminate the mineral/chalk taste on the tongue. I will also leave out the Rakau to possibly eliminate the spicy note (I believe I only used it because I had it set aside with the Nelson Sauvin for another beer) but other than those few things, this beer is going into the brewing schedule rotation.
Daddy’s LIttle Helper 6-D American Wheat or Rye Beer Date: 2/22/13 Size: 5.72 gal Efficiency: 87.0% Attenuation: 75.0% Original Gravity: 1.052 (1.040 – 1.055) Terminal Gravity: 1.013 (1.008 – 1.013) Color: 5.51 (3.0 – 6.0) Alcohol: 5.11% (4.0% – 5.5%) Bitterness: 51.6 (15.0 – 30.0) Ingredients: 4 lb (41.0%) Pilsen 2RS Malt – added during mash 5.0 lb (51.3%) Pale Wheat Malt – added during mash .5 lb (5.1%) Melanoidin Malt – added during mash .25 lb (2.6%) Acidulated Malt – added during mash .5 tsp Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) – added during boil, boiled 15 m .5 tsp Wyeast Nutrient – added during boil, boiled 15 m 26.0 g (8.0%) Warrior® (17.2%) – added during boil, boiled 60 m 2.0 oz (17.5%) Citra™ (13.4%) – added during boil 3.0 oz (26.3%) Galaxy (12.8%) – added during boil 1.0 ea Fermentis S-04 Safale S-04 2.0 oz (17.5%) Citra™ (13.4%) – added dry to primary fermenter 1.75 oz (15.3%) Nelson Sauvin (14.0%) – added dry to primary fermenter 1.75 oz (15.3%) Rakau (10.3%) – added dry to primary fermenter Schedule: Sacch Rest – Rest: 60 m; Final: 156.0 °F Notes 2 g chalk in mash, 6g gypsum 4g CaCl in kettle Mash pH at room temp 5.55 11P pre boil Gravity = 1.044 6.5 gallons pre boil, might add water 1.049 with 30 mins left in the boil 12.2 P added .25 gallons water OG 1.052 Only got ~5 gals in fermentor 30 sec O2 Chilled to 59 and pitched. Put in brewing closet at 70F