Contests, Summer wheat, and other stuffs…

I dropped off 3 beers (Irish Rye, Magic 8 Ball Stout, and the Dopplebock) for the Michigan Beer Cup contest yesterday. One thing I will say about this contest, they did a fantastic job with the online registration. It really was amazing at how easy it was to register. Not only did they give style descriptions so you could double check yourself before confirming, but the label set up was all on one sheet so I didn’t have to waste that much paper printing them. Judging for this contest is in the first or second week of August so I shouldn’t have too long to get my score sheets back.

Now on to my summer wheat beer. For the past few years I have played with several different styles of wheat beers, trying to find just the right one and of course experience the brewing of the different styles. I think this time I have found the one that will become a normal summer brew for me. For this brew I did it entirely as an American wheat, basically instead of using a weizen or Belgian yeast I ended up using an ale yeast. Well, I will give you some tasting notes before I get too deep into the formulation.

Initial impression: Color is almost a burnt orange and pours with a nice white head. The head itself doesn’t last very long other than to lace the glass itself all the way to the last swallow. The beer itself is incredibly hazy.

The mouthfeel is light and dry. It is very easy to drink and the lower alcohol (5% abv) makes it a nice summer refresher that you can drink a couple of without worry. The flavor itself is incredibly citrus. I pick out orange and grapefruit at the front end. There is a nice bitterness on the finish. I almost feel like I am drinking a wheat version of an IPA.

Final Impression: I really like this beer. I think that the next time I brew it I will add more sweet orange peel during secondary. This would help to bring out the orange notes a little bit more.

Recipe:
6lb Wheat Malt
5lb Pale malt (2 row)
1lb Marris Otter
.5 oz centennial hops (60 mins)
.5 oz centennial Hops (30 mins)
.5 oz Cascade hops (20 mins)
.5 oz Cascade Hops (0 mins)
.5 oz Bitter orange peel (20 mins)
Zest from 2 oranges (20 mins)

WLP 004 Irish Ale yeast From White labs

mash at 150 for 1.5 hours

On the reading list:
I started reading the book “Beer and Philosophy: The Unexamined Beer isn’t Worth Drinking.” So far I am really enjoying this book. It is a collection of essays from a number of brewers and beer writers detailing some of their thoughts and feelings on beer, and brewing. As can be expected when you begin to explore the thoughts of others, my thoughts have also began to wander down new paths as I explore my thoughts and ideas on this craft that we all enjoy and hold dear.

Now, I just noticed I am out of beer. It is time to fill my glass again …

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