Started this brew way back in September of last year. Due to a restriction in the number of bottles I had at the time, I could not get this bottled as quickly as I would have liked. The restriction was because I had and continue to have a number of my bottles holding the raspberry mead I started back in 2007.
The recipe I used is one of my own invention. It was not as cheap as it could have been due to using half grains and half malt extract instead of all malt. At the time the 2-row was going for about $3.50/lb., making it one of the cheaper grains I could get. Unfortunately for us brewers the price of grain has continued to rise making our once economically efficient hobby less so these days.
Here is my recipe:
2 lbs Rolled Wheat
4 lbs Bohemian Pilsen (2 row)
4 lbs Light Malt Extract
2 lbs Honey
1 oz Saaz
1 oz Kent Golding
The rolled wheat came in single pound plastic bags, I am guessing left overs from earlier shipments. I’m not sure how much these cost, but they could not have been all that much. I was doing my best to be as cheap as I could, retaining as much quality as I could. The Saaz were strong registering an AA of 7.5 that season. I hope that my supplier, Bacchus and Barleycorn, continue to get their hops that powerful.
I won’t get into detailing out the cooking experience except to say that it was one of the best, easiest times I have spent cooking a beer that I have ever had. Everything came together very nicely and I was able to hit and keep my target temperatures without any real trouble. I hope to be able to repeat it in the future.
On to a few pictures then.
The first is the anticipation shot of opening the bottle. I prefer the flip tops for their easy reuse and the ability to send some with friends when they want to try my brew out. The “C” you see on top of the cap is from an older, much older, attempt to add some cherry flavoring to a batch.
And this is everything freshly poured. I want to note here that I continue to have problems with over-carbonating in the bottle and that if I do not act quickly enough when opening the bottle, I will have a beer fountain on my hands. In fact, this last time around I lost one of my liter bottles to a minor beer explosion. I am not sure if this is because I am not getting enough of the sugars converted in primary fermentation due to a lack of oxygen or if I am using too much sugar when bottling. This past time I made sure to include extra head-space in the bottles to eliminate that as one of the factors which could be causing the fountains to happen. The upside is that it takes a long time for my beer to go flat.
This final shot is a close up to show just how nice and clear the brew is. I used some Irish Moss and made sure to strain my beer and capture as much of the particulates before primary fermentation. I personally like using a grain bag during the cooking and then straining the wart through that into one of my fermentation vessels a couple of times to get all of the flavor I can. The results is a crystal clear beautifully golden beer.