German White Ale

Die Sommerwolken- The summer clouds

Been wanting to do a Wheat beer that wasn’t fermented with the traditional Weihenstephaner yeast strain, which has such a strong flavor profile (i.e. banana). The Kölsch yeast is a clean favorite. It will be cloudy, especially while the beer is young, but so will the protein from the wheat, a cloudy German summer drinker.

20 gallons

Grain Bill- 38# total

  • 19# Wheat DE
  • 12# Pilsner DE (the original plan was for 14# Pilsner but only had 12#)
  • 7# Munich DE (so I made up the difference with 2# extra of Munich)

Hops-

  • 7 oz Hallertau Mittlefrüh 3.8% Alpha, 60′
  • 2 oz Czech Saaz 2.8%, 20′

Yeast- Wyeast Kölsch 2565

Water- 30g STL County treated per usual

Calculated Stats-

  • OG = 1.052
  • FG = 1.013
  • ABV = 5.13%
  • IBU = 27
  • SRM = 3.76

Mash Schedule- The plan is sort of a double/step/decoction mash.

  • Strike 6g at 137F in 10g kettle
  • Protein rest- mash in 19# wheat at 122-127F hold 30′
  • Strike 14g at 162F in boil kettle
  • Beta amylase rest-
    • Raise wheat mash to 150F & transfer to tun
      • Transfer 2-3g of wheat mash to tun
      • Add 2g of 162F liquor to 10g kettle to loosen mash & prevent scorching
      • note- This was less complicated than I made it here.  I had just enough room in 10g kettle to make the wheat mash in one step
    • Mash in barley malts in tun with 6-8g liquor at 145-153F
    • Hold 15-30′
  • Alpha amylase rest-
    • Decoct 4-5g and bring to boil
    • Boil remaining liquor and bump mash to 158-162F
    • Return decoction to main mash to achieve alpha rest temp of 160F
    • note- Only got temp to 156F
    • Hold 60′
  • Raise 10g sparge water to 170-180F in 10g kettle (& 3g kettle if needed)

Brew Day- May 2, 2020; Charles joined; Thank you, Charles!

It was a simpler day than anticipated, with numbers falling into place.

Ginger, the new brew dog

Ginger, the new brew dog

  • 7:35 AM Mash in wheat@ 128F
  • Mashed in barley @ 150F
  • 8:25 Raised wheat to 150F to coincide with the barley mash and combined both in the mash tun at 150F; hold 30′.
  • 9:00 Decoct 5g, raise to 160F; holed 20′
  • 9:30 Boil decoction 10′
  • 9:50 Recombine@ 156F; hold 60′
  • 10:40 Recirculate
  • 10:50 Lauter (went well considering so much wheat)
  • 11:00 Sparge 10g
  • 11:25 25g wort
  • 12:10 Boil
  • 12:23 7 oz 3.8 Hallertau (planned 8 oz, but only had 7)
  • 13:20 2 oz 2.8 Saaz (so I added this for a little hop boost)
  • 13:30 Flame out
  • Starting Gravity = 1.046 (again low on gravity, but this will typically finish drier than I plan, which gets the ABV I’m looking for)

Oxygen from Charles and a healthy pitch of Kolsch yeast. Smelled great and sample tasted right! Ended up with about 20g in fermenter.

Fermentation-

Solid bubble in Speidel airlock the following morning. This should finish Primary quickly!

Strong bubble Sunday and Monday. By Tuesday night the bubble has slowed considerably but still pushes the heavy airlock on the Speidel.

Package-

One week later I put 15g in three kegs and 5g in bottles. Gravity was 1.010. ABV 4.7%. Sample had a slight sulfur in the back end, but otherwise a typical mild, perhaps American, wheat. I’m guessing the tinge of sulfur is because the beer is so fresh. I will age this two weeks in the package before serving.

13 days after brewing this beer I started drinking it. It is very good, very cloudy, very fresh wheat beer. I am very pleased.

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