Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sun is shining, the weather is sweet...

Unlike the past couple days, last weekend was beautiful. I was hard at work brewing batch #3 for the wedding. The final count was another ten gallons brewed, which officially puts me over the halfway mark. I had to split my brew day in two because I ran out of gas on Friday...literally, not figuratively :) It turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Sunday was a beautiful day for outdoor brewing: Sunny with a chilly breeze. The cool air didn't bother you at all once close to the fire and boiling wort. It felt like the seasons changing on that exact day... that much closer to May 7th.

As I mentioned before when brewing the test batch, this beer doesn't follow the Reinheitsgebot. I went for a crowd pleaser and brewed a wheat beer with orange zest and coriander added to the boil. Just like every batch before, I tweaked the final recipe compared to the test batch. Adding coriander should balance the orange zest nicely.

Another nice surprise was when I calculated my efficiency. Friday's batch ended up around 78% and Sunday was my all-time best at 84%. Some minor tweaks including finer crush, longer batch sparges and higher sparge temperatures probably contributed to the exceptional numbers. This is a huge jump from my consistent low 70's. Here's the recipe and some pics:

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Wyeast 3068 (Weihenstephan Weizen)
Yeast Starter: 1L
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Target Original Gravity: 1.052
IBU: 29
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60 minutes
Color: 6.8 SRM
Mash: Single Infusion - Batch 1 at 151 for 60 min - Batch 2 at 153 for 60

Grain Bill:
4.5 lb White Wheat Malt
3.5 lb Pilsner Malt
1.1 lb Flaked Wheat
0.75 lb Honey Malt
0.5 lb Rice Hulls

Hop and Other Addition Schedule:
1 oz Hersbrucker (3.5%) at 60 minutes
1 oz Tettnanger (4.6%) at 30 minutes
1 oz Orange Zest at 5 minutes
0.4 oz Crushed Coriander at 5 minutes

Another sign you could be marrying a homebrewer: When you receive a spice rack as a wedding shower gift (thanks Michael and Els!), the coriander is emptied within the first week.

Steaming spent grains

The last few minutes of the boil for batch #2 of the weekend

Orange zest and coriander added with 5 minutes to go

Aerating the wort

Fermentation within 24 hours was huge!

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