Batch #9-11: Peach Cream of Wheat

Style Peach Wheat Ale
Ingredients View Here, and adding peaches and secondary fermentation.
Brewing Date: Monday: 8/29/2011
Primary Fermentation: Monday: 8/29/2011
Original Gravity: 1.050
Secondary Fermentation: n/a
Interim Gravity: n/a
Bottling Date: Monday: 9/5/2011
Final Gravity: 1.022
Release Date: Friday: 10/7/2011
Alcohol by volume: 4.2% ABV (3.7% Raw)
Final Release Name: Georgia on My Lips


– This was originally planned for May.  This is a first attempt at a fruit-flavored beer.  I’m glad I waited and am taking the lessons about honey forward from the last batch.

– I had a talk with a former homebrewer about the problem with carbonation in the last batch.  He had an interesting suggestion: capture about 1/4-1/2 gallon of cooled wort in a container prior to pitching yeast, and store the container in the fridge.  After fermentation, add this unfermented (i.e. loaded with sugar) wort back into the fermented wort in the bottling bucket, prior to bottling.  That becomes the food for conditioning in the bottles.  This method introduces almost zero change to the sweetness.  I’m going to try that in this batch.

29 Aug @ 9:00PM :: A successful brewing session.  I mashed the grain at 170 and sparged at 180, which is 20 deg higher than the menu called for.  I also added the honey in the last 5 minutes of the boil, along with the final 1oz of hops.  This due to the lesson of the extra bitter result in the Hefeweizen due to adding the honey very early in the boil.  Fermentation is again using the wick method.  I saved 1/3 gallon of wort in one of the milk gallon jugs I use to freeze water in.  I am using a yellow plastic milk jug (originally a T.G. Lee container), which should block the light in the fridge while it is opened this week.

01 Sep @ 9:00PM :: Added 6 sliced peaches to the fermentation bucket.

06 Sep @ 9:30PM :: Bottling yielded 2x 1L, 2x 20oz, and 44x 12oz bottles.  The wort has a light peach aroma, and I think the aroma will get better with conditioning.  The wort is very smooth.  I added the 1/2 gallon of unfermented wort I saved in the fridge to the bottling bucket, and then siphoned the fermented wort into the bucket.  I hope this technique will restore the good carbonation to the bottles.

13 Sep @ 9:00PM :: Time to try the first bottle.  I was disappointed to hear very little pressure escaping when I opened the cap.  There was some head, but very little.  The taste is pretty good, but the peach flavoring is barely noticeable.  This may improve with time as conditioning continues, but the weak pressure after one week is not a good sign.

Two things have happened in parallel to help me figure out what is going on.  I had another impromptu talk with the same former homebrewer at work, who suggested that the higher alcohol contents of the latest batches may be killing off a significant portion of the yeast, to the point where there is not enough to consume the conditioning sugars after bottling.

In addition, I made a batch of Stout from a malt can I had.  Both this batch and the Stout were brewed on the same day, and bottled on the same day.  When I bottled the batch of Stout, in addition to adding a 1/2 cup of cooled corn sugar after being boiled in water, I also added some leftover wet yeast I saved from the yeast I pitched.  The Stout has had very good carbonation.

4 Oct @ 9:00PM :: My how time makes a difference in conditioning.  The last two bottles I tried have carbonation, and produce a near perfect head in the glass that is about 1/2″ thick, and lasts for about 5 minutes.  The taste: nice and citrisy, but hard to tell if it is apricot.  Maybe I should have used more apricots than I did.  But it’s a good beer.  I’m happy with the results, but next time… I will definitely use more apricot to up the apricot “noticability”.

9 Oct @ 4:00PM :: Received very good feedback on this batch.  I plan to redo this recipe again, but with a higher quantity of peaches than I used this time.  It did produce a very smooth beer, with a nice citrisy flavor.