Scott’s Sparkling Weissbier

I think it’s high time for a brew session. It’s been months since my last one. With summer coming up, it might just be time to try my first wheat beer. It is a rather difficult beer to brew when brewing all grain, but as an extract brewer it is straightforward. The complicated part of making a wheat beer is the mash. Unlike barley, wheat tends to get sticky and gummy when wet. It is great for making bread, and if’ you’ve ever made bread you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s the reason wheat is traditionally used for bread and barley is traditionally used for beer. Since it should be simple, it’s also a great beer as an introduction for brewing. I based this beer on one from my Radical Brewing book by Randy Mosher.

The recipe I came up with is the following:

  • 1.5lb of Dry Pale Malt Extract
  • 6.25lb of Liquid Malt Wheat Extract
  • Wyeast #3068 Weihenstephan Weizen Liquid Yeast

Since in a wheat beer, the hops kind of take a back seat, I’ve gone to my refrigerator to see what I have at hand. Right now I have Nugget, Cascade and Northern Brewer. I don’t want to use Cascade, as that will impart a particularly American flair to a beer that I’m trying to do in a Bavarian style. This leaves me with Northern Brewer and Nugget, which are both bittering hops. I’ll probably use Northern brewer since I may want to save the higher Alpha Acid Nuggets to use on other beers with more of bitterness to them. I might finish with Tettnang if the Brew store has them as this is a traditional hop to use in a weiss beer like this.

Beer Smith tells me that this recipe will have the following attributes:

  • IBU = 14 (depending on my choice of hops)
  • SRM (color scale) = 7.9
  • Original Gravity = 1.058
  • Estimate ABV= 5.8%

Beer Smith claims that some of these are slightly outside the normal range of a Weiss Beer, but who cares? What matters is that it tastes good. Mosher tends to not let BJCP style guidelines worry him. He is the radical brewer after all.  I also always seem to get slight differences from what the Radical Brewing book claims I’ll get and what Beersmith Claims I’ll get. This happened for my Coffee Stout as well, and my own measurements of gravity where closer to what the Radical Brewing book said I would get.

I’m going to try to head to my local Brew and Grow this Saturday and hopefully brew up the beer on Sunday.