Brew 4 Orange Wheat

Today I brewed my fourth brew, a wheat beer with orange zest.  This was my second non-kit brew and I am starting to experiment with flavors and ingredients.  I used a can of wheat extract and a can of light extract, and used saaz hops for the first time today.  I added orange zest in the last 5 minutes of boil to compare to adding peels in primary like in my last brew. I used the white lab hefeweizen ale yeast WLP300 again as it seems to be working nicely in my last brew, but this time I remember to take it out of the fridge four hours before adding it to the wort like the bottle suggests.

Last night I built a wort chiller using 10 feet of 3/8 OD soft copper tubing and two 5 feet pieces of 3/8 ID food grade tubing.  I was hoping I could get the wort chiller started with my auto siphon and pull ice water from a bucket to chill the brew but the suction would not keep the water flowing so I had to continuously pump the auto siphon.  I chilled the brew to 80 degrees and took a specific gravity of 1.040 before I added my yeast.

I have my preferred airlock in use on my first orange wheat while it is in secondary.  This caused me a bit of dismay because I had to use my 3-piece airlock which I have never used before but hopefully I have it in place right and it will not cause a problem for me.  The beer closet currently had over 15 gallons of homebrew in it before I removed the case of German light.  So much homebrew would make anyone smile.


Orange Wheat Transfer to Secondary

Today I took a break from studying and transferred my third brew to secondary after a week of primary.  My brew had orange peels in primary that I did not transfer to secondary.  This is the darkest brew I have had so far which is odd because it is almost the same recipe as my first brew.  The brew still had bubbles coming out of my air lock as recently as this morning which is a testament to the white lab yeast I would have to think because my past brews stop bubbling after around three days of primary.  As you can see in the image below my specific gravity was around 1.010 at 68 degrees before I transferred it to secondary.  Assuming the specific gravity does not change in the next two weeks that should give me around a 5% ABV, possibly closer to 6% according to some calculators.  In just over a month I hope to be enjoying my first non kit brew and also my first flavored beer.


Brew 3 Orange American Wheat

For my first brew not using a kit I am making an Orange American Wheat. It was very similar to the American Wheat I brewed but I added two oranges worth of zest at primary.  My brew used two cans of wheat extract, cascade hops, and I am trying out white lab’s hefeweizen yeast.  I cooled the wort to 85 degrees and took an initial specific gravity of 1.045 when I added the yeast, then added the orange zest.  This is my first time playing around with not using a kit so hopefully it will turn out well.  I am looking into doing a full grain brew in the near future, hopefully by the end of the semester.


Homebrew Beer Brats

Cooking with my American Wheat

Kristopher Hough's Blog

Last night for dinner I made beer brats with my American Wheat homebrew.  It was fairly simple but I was happy with how they turned out.  I coated the bottom of a pan with vegetable oil and added half a dozen brats to the pan and started them cooking.  I added half a chopped onion and a handful of mushrooms to the pan.  Then I poured a bottle and a half of homebrew into the pan to cover the brats, onions, and mushrooms.  I cooked the beer down till there was almost none left in the pan and the mushrooms and onions were caramelized. It was too cold and snowy outside to grill the brats but they still came out well.

Beer bratsBeer Brats

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German Light Bottling 2

After letting my German Light ferment in a secondary carboy for a week I bottled it.  I got 48 bottles from the batch.  When I first started to syphon from the carboy I thought there wasn’t much point to doing a secondary because it did not look much clearer than after the primary.  After I finished moving the brew to the bottling bucket I realized there was a layer of crud on the bottom of the carboy so this brew should be much clearer than my first brew.

Bottle cleaning day

Last night was bottle cleaning day.  I soaked the bottles in baking soda and warm water for a few hours and the labels just fall right off.  It is so much easier than trying to scrape them off right away.  Now I have around 50 bottles ready to be sanitized and used to bottle.  Devil’s backbone labels take a bit more effort to get off, Sam Adams labels come off fairly easily after soaked, but Miller labels fall off with out any peeling or scrubbing.

Soaking bottles

Secondary Fermentation Brew 2

I just completed my first transfer to my glass carboy for my German Style Light.  I purchased an auto-siphon from the local brew store and it worked wonderfully.  I filled the carboy with sanitize solution and siphoned out the solution to clean the siphon and hose.  This brew already started out much clearer than my first brew after my primary fermentation.  With the addition of a three day secondary fermentation to allow the brew to settle more this should be a very smooth batch.