Deep Winter Beer Musings

Belgian Wit

The first Belgian wit has been poured:

Not a fan is all that I can say.  I think it comes down to the strong banana and clove notes.  Apparently, Wyeast 3944 Belgian Witbier is notorious for producing esters (isoamyl acetate) that contribute to the banana flavor.  If there is one flavor that I despise it is banana.  I do not like the taste, texture, or smell of bananas.  Ugh!

From my research (read: Google) the warmer you ferment wort with 3944 and similar yeasts the more banana flavor you will get.  Some people claim to have never gotten the banana notes with 3944, but I have a bottle that will smack you in the face with Chiquita goodness.  The production of the offending flavors are supposed to be enhanced in warmer brewing environments, but the brewing room in my basement is a consistent 60-62 degrees Fahrenheit.

It’s not a total loss as people who have sampled the Belgin wit are fans.  I guess it becomes my visitors’ beer.

New American Wheat Recipe

My new American wheat recipe is in bottles.  After the failure of my honey kolsch, I was keeping two growlers around to age but the beer was noticeably filled with suspended solids.  So, down the drain went the last remnants of my first major failure and in went my new hope for a basic “house” recipe.  In two weeks I should know if there has been a success or a failure.

The big difference with this beer from my previous wheat recipes is that I am using Wyeast 1272 American Ale II.  Between this and Wyeast 1056 there is a battle for American ale supremacy.  We shall see who dominates.

I will also be curious to see how clear this beer emerges because I worked hard to cool the wort down quickly—using an ice bath and cold ambient temps outside—and added a Whirlfloc tablet to coagulate some of the proteins.  A few bottles in each of my batches have had a lot of suspended solids.  It’s no real taste breaker, but it is kind of gross when serving to friends and family.  Granted, if they are getting free beer who should complain?

Golden Light Recipe

For this recipe, I am using the same hops as my previous American wheat that just went into bottles but using a different yeast and malt extract.  This recipe is using the reliable Wyeast 1056 American Ale to compare and contrast with 1272.  I am hoping that I can really see if there is a difference in the way the beer finishes.  If not, I may be “forced” to make duplicate recipes where only the yeast is different.

I chose to change the malt extract because I had not worked with the golden light malt extract before.  Just a change of pace type of moment.

Seven Resolutions for Homebrewers

Peter Reed at Serious Eats has 7 Resolutions for Homebrewers.  I am definitely down for all of these things, but I do not think I have to make a resolution.  Drink less beer, maybe…okay, maybe not.

Boom Times for the Minneapolis Beer Scene

Beer is booming in Minnesota and the Star Tribune finally noticed.  Not only is the Minneapolis beer scene seeing a surge, but there are people doing some excellent stuff outside of the metro. I realize that for anyone in the Twin Cities it is hard to believe that there is something worthwhile outside of the 494 loop.

In fairness to Liquid Assets, I do think there are some great new Minneapolis beer makers.  I look forward to sampling what Lucid is putting on tap during my next trip. Hopefully I won’t have to move someone to make a trip.

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