April 20, 2013

Ugli Ass American Wheat Recipe Brewday

This American wheat recipe was designed to be a light, refreshing beer with a combination of citrus peel and hop character. The primary influence for this beer was Thirsty Planet's Yellow Armadillo wheat, which is a well balanced American wheat with lots of citrus notes. However, while Yellow Armadillo gains its citrus notes from hops I decided to try for a more complex flavor by blending three types of fresh citrus fruit peel with Belma hops. The grain bill is a simple American wheat grist to stay out of the way of the hops and peel. S-04, still in use as my house yeast, is also in use to provide a neutral yeast profile to let the hops and peel shine through.

I'm still undecided about whether I like these Belma hops but it's only my second beer using them. I'm letting Belma hops carry the whole hop schedule with first wort hopping, a 10 minute flavor addition and a knock out addition for aroma. The melon character from Belma should work nicely with the citrus notes to create a more complex fruit flavor than the fruit peel alone. Even if the Belma hops underperform and I don't get too much character out of them the citrus peel should be enough to make the beer interesting to drink.

Rather than using just orange peel I am using a blend of three citrus fruits together. I didn't source anything prepared or special for this beer, I just looked around the kitchen and peeled what was there. So I am using a small amount of both sweet orange peel and lemon peel. The lemon peel will add a little tartness and refreshing character. I didn't want to use too much lemon peel because, like other more acidic citrus fruits, it
can turn into an unpleasant bitterness in beer at fairly low amounts. The bulk of the citrus peel comes from an ugli fruit, also sometimes known as unique fruit, but it is classified as a Jamaican tangelo. It is a hybrid of grapefruit, orange and tangerine. It is sweeter than a grapefruit but not quite as sweet as a tangerine. The flavor reminded me of Five Alive, which was a citrus fruit juice made of a blend of five citrus fruits. I don't think they make Five Alive anymore. It's too bad, I really liked it as a kid in the 80s. We tasted a sample at the grocery store and decided to give one a try. It's very juicy but also very expensive. We paid $2 for one fruit but they often sell for several more dollars per fruit. Still, at that price I wanted to get as much as I could out of the fruit so I zested the whole thing and used a portion in this beer. It's known for having a fragrant rind so I'm hoping it will produce some good flavor in this beer.

In total I am using 1.5 ounces of peel. Fresh fruit peel has to be used in larger quantities than dried peel, just like how fresh herbs have to be used in larger quantities than dried herbs. The reason is that the flavor components generally sought after are the essential oils in the fruit or herbs. Dried peel has all the moisture removed so the weight is less even though the amount of oils are the same as the same surface area of peel in fresh peel. So when measuring peel or herbs by weight you have to compensate for the extra water weight and use more peel when fresh. 1.5 ounces of dried peel would be an overwhelming amount of peel for two gallons of beer. Well with all that in mind here's the actual recipe.

Ugli Ass American Wheat Recipe

Batch size: 2 gallons
ABV: 4.6%
SRM: 4.3
IBU: 26.5
Est. OG: 1.048
Est. FG: 1.013
BU:GU: 0.557

Grist:

1.75 lb Pale malt (2.0 SRM)
1.5 lb White wheat malt (2.4 SRM)
0.25 lb Munichmalt (9.0 SRM)

Mash:
1.15 gallons dough in at 167.8F
Mash 60 minutes at 154F
Sparge 1.51 gallons at 170F

Water:
All RO water

Mash additions:
Gypsum 0.4g
Epsom salt 0.3g
Kosher salt 0.1g
Calcium chloride 0.5g

Sparge additions:
Gypsum 0.5g
Epsom salt 0.5g
Kosher salt 0.1g
Calcium chloride 0.6g

Boil:
60 minute boil
0.2 oz. Belma [12.1% AA] @ first wort hop - 24.5 IBU
0.05oz. Belma [12.1% AA]@ 10 min. - 2 IBU
0.15oz. Belma [12.1% AA] @ knockout - 0 IBU
1 oz. fresh ugli fruit peel @ knockout
0.25 oz. fresh sweet orange peel @ knockout
0.25 oz. fresh lemon peel @ knockout

Fermentation:
Pitch slurry of S-04 at 63F
Ferment 10 days at 63F
Raise to ambient (~73F) for four days
Bottle at 2.5 volumes for 2-3 weeks

Brewday Notes:

Brewing beer and cooking Thai food makes for interesting aroma combinations.

Post-boil gravity was 1.040, a little below the expected 1.048, and the total volume was a little below two gallons, which makes for some pretty bad efficiency. That's something I need to look at with this beer and potentially with my process.

Gravity reading 4/27/13: 1.010 -- so around 3.5% ABV. A little low for the beer but given the lower SG not unsurprising.

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