Batch #6-09: Wheat

Style Weizen
Ingredients Edme Wheat Beer Pre-Hopped Malt Extract Kit
Brewing Date: Wednesday, May 27, 09
Primary Fermentation: Wednesday, May 27, 09
Original Gravity: 1.035
Secondary Fermentation: n/a
Bottling Date: Wednesday, June 3, 09
Final Gravity: 1.010
Release Date: Thursday, July 2, 09
Alcohol by volume: 3.75%
Final Release Name: Alan-a-Dale’s Wheat Treat


This is the second batch using other than a Cooper’s malt extract kit. This kit’s label has a shark, with the tag line “beer with a bite.”  Fine with me, as long as it doesn’t leave any teeth marks.  Note: This kit is a Wheat Beer, and Edme has a separate kit for Hefeweizen, so this is not Hefeweizen.

I started this batch about 5 weeks out to time the release for the Independence Day weekend in July.  This batch will have a two-week overlap with the batch of Draught, already 2 weeks into conditioning.

May 27, 2009 10:00PM :: I boiled the extract in 3 liters of water for 5 minutes, initially adding 44oz (2.5Kg) of corn sugar as the water was steaming but short of boiling, then adding the malt syrup just as the water began a full boil. I stirred the wort every two minutes in the brew pot, but only boiled the wort for five minutes, then lowered the temperature to a simmer for another 5 minutes.  I then turned off the heat and let the wort gradually cool down on the ceramic stove top for 10 minutes.  I occasionally stirred the wort every 2 minutes or so.

I cooled the wort, as usual, in an ice bath for 20 minutes, then poured it into the fermentation bucket with 2.5 gallons of cool water already inside the bucket. I then topped off the fermentor to 5 1/4 gallons with cool water. The temperature was less than 80 degrees after topping off with cool water. I took the initial gravity reading, pitched the yeast, sealed the container, and stored it in a corner of my office in the house.

28 May 2009 6:00AM –Just over 6 hours into fermentation, there is no bubbling but the water level in the S-sharped airlock is uneven, so the yeast is showing signs of activity.

30 May 2009 10:00AM — The yeast is bursting with about 3 second intervals.

02 Jun 2009 4:00PM — The yeast is idle.  Took a hydrometer reading.

03 Jun 2009 9:00PM — Bottled the beer.  I added 2 cups of water with 1/2 cup of dissolved corn sugar to the bottling bucket, then siphoned the beer into it.  I opted to use this standard, instead of the carbonation tabs in the last batch for priming sugar.  This batch produced exactly 60x 12oz glass bottles–all crown capped.  There are no 24oz bottles, or 25oz Pelligrino bottles with screw caps in this batch.

09 Jun 2009 11:30PM — Tasted the usual first bottle after a week of conditioning.  The head on the beer is already very good, unlike the carbonation tabs for the draught beer in the prior batch.  The color is golden, with a slight greenish-brown tint, and the liquid is fairly clear. The taste was light and smooth.  This is definitely a good beer for hot weather, which we will most certainly have on release day.  The aftertaste has a lambic bite to it (maybe that’s the bite they advertise), which really smoothed out well with a slice of lemon–a trick I learned from Hefeweizen drinking in Germany.  I am very pleased with this beer, this early in the conditioning cycle.

16 Jun 2009 10:00PM — Opened a second bottle, and didn’t like what I saw: a weak, quickly dissipating head reminiscent of the previous batch of draught.  The taste is still the same as the previous bottle, but I’m now wondering if there is an issue with good seals while bottling.

20 Jun 2009 9:00PM — Opened a third bottle.  This bottle was refrigerated for about 8 hours before opening.  The head was still weak and quickly dissipating, but the taste is still consistent with the previous two bottles.  One thing I have noticed is that the trum volume and consistency is much better than the batch of draught beer.  I’m less concerned with this batch, because of the taste.  But overall, I think the Cooper’s kits are producing better results for me.

Release is a little under two weeks from today.

03 Jul 2009 9:00PM — Received a number of good comments about this beer, including some that it was the best so far.