Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Well, I think I'm gonna go ahead and jinx it and say SPRING IS FINALLY HERE!!
We've had beautiful days lately. Perfect weather to indulge in my new specialty, WILD WOLF WHEAT! This is any American wheat beer that I filter to wonderful clarity! This beer is crisp, refreshing, and beautiful!
I haven't made this recipe in over two years so it's kinda fun to get back out again. Last time I made this beer, the filtration of it was a nightmare. It took me over ten hours and two-and-a-half sets of filter pads to get it clear! I swore I would never again make this recipe. Well, two years and a new filter later, this time around the filtration went like a dream: one set of pads and 40 minutes! Not only that, but I filter two other tanks of beer before I filtered this wheat, ON THE SAME SET OF PADS!! I LOVE MY FILTER!

Whenever you make a wheat beer, ya' gotta be careful during the mash. This is due to the wheat kernels, themselves. Any good wheat beer is gonna be made up of at least 50% wheat grain. The wheat, unlike barley, is huskless. The husk of barley, while basically inert in the brewing process, provides a very important anti-clumping action in the mash. The husks don't allow the wet, hot grain to clump up very easily. Now, when you reduce the husk content by at least 50% (remember the wheat), well, clumping and "sticking your mash" become very real possibilities. Sticking your mash means that the milled grains in the mash tun have basically loosely fused into a big dough ball on top of the mash screens. So tightly, in fact, that not even water can get through. NOT GOOD! So you must monitor your mash, stir it gently, talk softly to it, be nice.
If all goes well, you then get to run the malt sugars over to your brew kettle.
This is known as your first runnings of wort (pronounced "wert"). This is some very sugary hot liquid. As the hot water continues to sprinkle over the grains, more and more sugars are leached out and into the brew kettle. Once the kettle is full, the wort is boiled, hops are added (if you can find any!), and the hot, hopped wort is crash-cooled on its way to the fermenter. The fermenter is where the magic happens! The yeast is added and eats all the sugars. It then excretes (yup, pees) alcohol! After the yeast is done peeing in our beer, we filter it, carbonate it, and package. Last but not least, we drink it!
So, get in here quick because the Wild Wolf Wheat always goes quick. I'm not sure when I'm gonna make it again since there are so many other beer styles I want to try out.
Until next time,
Your Humble Brewer!

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