The devil made me do it
13 July 2013 AD
I don’t do a lot of wheat beers, and I have never brewed a beer with honey, but a few weeks ago, I had a dream in which I was brewing a honey wheat. So, not wanting to ignore the messages from the subconscious or the inner kingdoms, here it is…
Mash didn’t really go by the book. But, I did manage to keep the grains wet at all times. And honey badger don’t give a shit.
- 4 pounds American Pilsner malt
- 4 pounds white wheat malt
- 1 pound cara pils
- 1 pound local honey
- 1 ounce Hallertau 4.1% alpha
- White labs Hefeweizen IV
Starter made with 1/2 c light extract to 1 pint of water
Mash schedule- single decoction
I mashed in with about 3.5 gallons of water, enough to get the grains all wet.
- Strike temp 110
- Raised to 127F. A little higher than I wanted, gave it 40 min rest to let the temp come down a bit
- removed 40% of mash and intended to raise to 160 for rest, but it blew right by the mark and went to a rolling boil. But honey badger dont care, so I rolled with it and boiled 10 min, then added back to mash
- rest mash at 148F for 30 min
- raise temp to 160 for 1 hr
- mash out
- About 4.5 gallons sparge water at 170F
No stuck mash this time, as happened the last time I did a wheat. I was pretty careful to pour a good base, pour the mash slowly into the tun, and let it settle. Then, I drained it slowly through the tube for the recirculation, letting it settle gently in. Seemed to work and the sparge went smoothly.
S.g. was 1.030 at start of boil. I knew I was going to be adding honey, and this would add some gravity, so I did not want to boil it too long.
Boiled 45 minutes, adding hops at rolling boil.
Honey was added at end of boil, let it roll in the boil for a minute or so, really to make sure it all dissolved, then shut down the boil.
With no snow banks or lake to put the pot into, I was stuck to come up with a cold break. So, I put a lid on the pot, and hosed the sides down with cold water for a while. I think this cooled it some, but I did not get a good sharp break on it.
Starting Gravity= 1.052
Color going into the carboy was beautiful. If this were an Irish legend, I would vow to marry the woman I meet who has hair of that color. But… she would probably have the personality of a honey badger.
Pitched yeast starter just before bed. The starter was bubbling well before pitching. By morning, a good fermentation had commenced.