Batch #1-10: Cream of Wheat

Style Honey Wheat
Ingredients View Here
Brewing Date: Monday, December 28, 09
Primary Fermentation: Monday, December 28, 09
Original Gravity: 1.050
Secondary Fermentation: n/a
Bottling Date: Monday, January 4, 10
Final Gravity: 1.016
Release Date: Friday, February 5, 10 (Super Bowl Weekend)
Alcohol by volume: 5.0%
Final Release Name: Wheat Field of Dreams

A light beer to celebrate the finale of football season.


27 Dec  4:00PM :: Created the yeast starter.

28 Dec  8:00 PM :: Two things changed for the first batch of the new year.  I now have a 16qt stainless steel brewpot to replace the 12qt ceramic pot, and I had to replace my stove which self-destructed after 4 years.  Unfortunately, the brew pot did not have a cover when I bought it (on back order), so I had to improvise a loose cover with aluminum foil.

Other than that, this was a typical partial mash brew following the recipe instructions.  I found the “sweet spot” on the new stove to hold the temperature between 212 and 215. The aroma during cooking was very stale, unlike the dry stout.  It wasn’t bad, just unremarkable.  I selected wildflower honey for the type of honey in this recipe.  I again used 3 gallons of near freezing water to top off the fermenter, immediately dropping the temperature in the fermentation bucket to 82F.

I was a little surprised that the initial gravity reading was higher than even the pumpkin ale or the dry stout.  The yeast starter was coming out of the lag phase when I added it to the bucket.  All looked good.  Sealed the bucket and put it upstairs in an 18-gallon bin with 2 inches of water, and wrapped the bucket in a towel to start wick cooling.

29 Dec 7:00PM :: The yeast is going nuts on this batch.  Bubbling at 1-3 second intervals, with long 2-second streams of bubbles coming out.  Obviously with the malt extract and honey, there is a lot of food for the yeast in this batch.

03 Jan 9:00PM :: The bubble cycle was strong through Friday morning (Jan 1st), then quickly subsided to 30-second intervals. Cycle’s went beyond 1:20 today, so I took a gravity reading: 1.016.  This puts the estimated ABV at 4.5%, and 5.0% after conditioning.  Planning on bottling tomorrow night if the gravity reading holds.  The brew has a yellow-orange color to it.

04 Jan 9:00PM :: Gravity reading repeated, so I bottled the batch.  Yield was 48 bottles total: 45 12oz, two 24oz, and one 34oz Ikea bottle.

11 Jan 7:00PM :: One week tasting.  The beer is very smooth and slightly sweet, but it will need some more time to diffuse the flavors in it.

26 Jan 8:30PM :: This was the second bottle I tasted.  The beer has a good initial bite, is smooth on the palate, and the hop aftertaste is a good compliment.  The flavors have meshed and diffused quite well.  The head on the beer is incredibly smooth and creamy, and was about 1 inch in size in a 12oz pub glass.  Color is now very similar to Bud’s American Ale, but slightly lighter.  I am pleased with the progression.

05 Feb 1:00PM :: Received resoundingly positive feedback on this batch.  Over the last 10 days, the taste smoothed out even further.  I had two people comment that the taste was similar to Michelob’s Shock Top Belgian Wheat, but with less of the citrus flavor.  I also had another couple who tried it say that it reminded them of a beer they had in a microbrewery in Colorado.

I also love the smooth taste of this beer: it was very satisfying.  I highly recommend this recipe from Heart’s Home Brew.