Two Summertime Brews

 

miasma

The sun is 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) away. Keep it there by brewing tasty summer brews.

Here are two summer brews that are not only thirst-quenching, but can be brewed when your control over your fermentation temperatures might be less than optimal. One is a crisp American wheat beer with a touch of honey and a hint of orange zest. The second is well-balanced, copper-colored brew (similar to an alt), designed to be both thirst quenching and flavorful — an enjoyable “everyday” brew. Both recipes are presented in extract and all-grain, in both English and metric units. In addition, several options are given for brewing these beers above the optimal fermentation temperatures. So if the sun is beating down on you, fight back by brewing these beers to cool you down.

Zesty Honey Wheat

Malt extract (English units)

by Chris Colby

 

DESCRIPTION

Here is a crisp, refreshing beer that’s perfect when the temperature edges up around 100 °F. A fairly dry, slightly hazy, honey wheat beer with the aroma of orange zest. And, if you have air conditioning and a swamp cooler, you can easily brew this beer even if your indoor temperatures are in the high 70‘s °F. If you don’t have any temperature control, you can make the “saison”  version.

 

INGREDIENTS (for 5 gallons)

 

Water

(*1) for steeping the grains (really a small partial mash), treat 2.0 gallons of naturally soft, distilled or RO water with 1/2 tsp. gypsum and 1/2 tsp. calcium chloride

(*2) for the rest of the water, use tap water that tastes good, carbon filtered or treated overnight with one Campden tablet (for up to 20 gallons)

Malt and Other Fermentables (for an OG of 1.045 and an SRM of 4)

2.0 lbs. US 2-row malt

11 oz. wheat malt

5.0 oz. flaked wheat

1.0 lb. dried malt extract, boiled for 60 minutes

1.0 lb. wheat dried malt extract, boiled for 10 minutes

2.0 lbs. orange blossom(*3) honey, boiled for 5 minutes

(*3) you can also use clover or any other light honey

Hops and Spices (21 IBUs total)

Mt Hood hops (21 IBUs)

0.85 oz. (at 6.5% alpha acids), boiled for 60 minutes

zest of three medium navel oranges(*4), at knockout

(*4) or the zest of any citrus fruit that smells good

Yeast (for an FG of 1.006 and 5.1% ABV)

Wyeast 1056 (American Ale), White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) or Fermentis US-05 yeast

make a 1 qt. yeast starter if using liquid yeast

Other

1/4 tsp. yeast nutrients, boiled for 15 minutes

6 oz. corn sugar (for priming to 2.9 volumes CO2)

 

PROCEDURE

Place the 3.0 lbs. of crushed grain and flaked wheat in a large nylon steeping bag. Begin heating 1.5 gallons of water(*2) to a boil in your brewpot. In a large kitchen pot (at least 8 qts.), heat 4.1 qts. of brewing liquor (*1) to 163 °F. In a third pot, heat 2 qts. of brewing liquor(*1) to 170 °F. Slowly submerge steeping bag into large kitchen pot and stir to break up any clumps. Steep grains (this is really a mash) at 152 °F for 45 minutes, stirring every 7 or 8 minutes. Place a colander over your brew pot and lift the grain bag into it. Pour “grain tea” (wort) through the bag to filter out any solid pieces of grain, then rinse the bag with 2 qts. of water(*1) at 170 °F. Add water(*2), if needed, to make at least 3.0 gallons of wort. Stir in dried malt extract. Bring wort to a boil and boil for 60 minutes. Add hops at beginning of boil. Add yeast nutrients with 15 minutes left in boil. Stir in dried wheat malt extract with 10 minutes to go boil and honey with 5 minutes left to go. (Dissolve in wort before adding.) Add citrus zest at knockout (end of the boil). Cool wort to 68 °F and rack to fermenter. Add water(*2) to make 5 gallons. Aerate and pitch yeast. Ferment at 68 °F.

 

All-grain option:

Omit malt extracts. To existing grains, add 2.0 lbs. 2-row pale malt and 1.0 lb. wheat malt. Mash at 152 °F. Boil for 60 minutes. Ferment at 68 °F.

 

High Temperature Fermentation Option I:

For a somewhat clean version of this beer, with a little temperature control, try this. Make a larger yeast starter (2 qt.). Chill wort to 65 °F and pitch the yeast at this temperature. If you can keep the temperature under 75 °F through high kräusen, it can rise afterwords and not be too estery. Use a “swamp cooler” to cool by evaporation for at least the first four days of fermentation. Add 0.25 oz. or 0.33 oz. more priming sugar if temperature reaches 80 °F or 85 °F, respectively.

 

High Temperature Fermentation Option II:

If you can’t control your fermentation temperature, here’s a spicy, peppery “saison” version of this beer. Use Wyeast 3724 (Belgian Saison) or White Labs WLP565 (Belgian Saison 1) yeast (from a 1-qt. starter) as your primary yeast. Start fermentation at 70 °F, then let it free rise (up to 85 °F). This saison strain tends to stick, so rehydrate a package of Fermentis Safale US-05, and pitch between 1/4 and 1/2 of the slurry a day or two after high kräusen. When fermentation is finished, let the beer sit on the yeast for 2 weeks. Add 0.25 oz. or 0.33 oz. more priming sugar if temperature reaches 80 °F or 85 °F.

 

Zesty Honey Wheat

Malt extract (metric units)

by Chris Colby

 

INGREDIENTS (for 19 L)

 

Water

(*1) for steeping the grains (really a small partial mash), treat 7.6 L of naturally soft, distilled or RO water with 1/2 tsp. gypsum and 1/2 tsp. calcium chloride

(*2) for the rest of the water, use tap water that tastes good, carbon filtered or treated overnight with one Campden tablet (for up to 76 L)

Malt and Other Fermentables (for an OG of 1.045 and an SRM of 4)

910 g US 2-row malt

310 g wheat malt

140 g flaked wheat

450 g dried malt extract, boiled for 60 minutes

450 g wheat dried malt extract, boiled for 10 minutes

910 g orange blossom(*3) honey, boiled for 5 minutes

(*3) you can also use clover or any other light honey

Hops and Spices (21 IBUs total)

Mt Hood hops (21 IBUs)

25 g (at 6.5% alpha acids), boiled for 60 minutes

zest of three medium navel oranges(*4), at knockout

(*4) or the zest of any citrus fruit that smells good

Yeast (for an FG of 1.006 and 5.1% ABV)

Wyeast 1056 (American Ale), White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) or Fermentis US-05 yeast

make a 1 L yeast starter if using liquid yeast

Other

1/4 tsp. yeast nutrients, boiled for 15 minutes

170 g corn sugar (for priming to 2.9 volumes CO2)

 

PROCEDURE

Place the 1.4 kg of crushed grain and flaked wheat in a large nylon steeping bag. Begin heating 5.7 L of water(*2) to a boil in your brewpot. In a large kitchen pot (at least 8 L), heat 3.9 L of brewing liquor (*1) to 73 °C. In a third pot, heat 2 L of brewing liquor(*1) to 77 °C. Slowly submerge steeping bag into large kitchen pot and stir to break up any clumps. Steep grains (this is really a mash) at 67 °C for 45 minutes, stirring every 7 or 8 minutes. Place a colander over your brew pot and lift the grain bag into it. Pour “grain tea” (wort) through the bag to filter out any solid pieces of grain, then rinse the bag with 2 L of water(*1) at 77 °C. Add water(*2), if needed, to make at least 11 L of wort. Stir in dried malt extract. Bring wort to a boil and boil for 60 minutes. Add hops at beginning of boil. Add yeast nutrients with 15 minutes left in boil. Stir in dried wheat malt extract with 10 minutes to go boil and honey with 5 minutes left to go. (Dissolve in wort before adding.) Add citrus zest at knockout (end of the boil). Cool wort to 20 °C and rack to fermenter. Add water(*2) to make 19 L. Aerate and pitch yeast. Ferment at 20 °C.

 

All-grain option:

Omit malt extracts. To existing grains, add 910 g 2-row pale malt and 450 g wheat malt. Mash at 67 °C. Boil for 60 minutes. Ferment at 20 °C.

 

High Temperature Fermentation Option I:

For a somewhat clean version of this beer, with a little temperature control, try this. Make a larger yeast starter (2 L). Chill wort to 18 °C and pitch the yeast at this temperature. If you can keep the temperature under 24 °C through high kräusen, it can rise afterwords and not be too estery. Use a “swamp cooler” to cool by evaporation for at least the first four days of fermentation. Add 7.1 g or 15 g more priming sugar if temperature reaches 27 °C or 29 °C, respectively.

 

High Temperature Fermentation Option II:

If you can’t control your fermentation temperature, here’s a spicy, peppery “saison” version of this beer. Use Wyeast 3724 (Belgian Saison) or White Labs WLP565 (Belgian Saison 1) yeast (from a 1-L starter) as your primary yeast. Start fermentation at 21 °C, then let it free rise (up to 29 °C). This saison strain tends to stick, so rehydrate a package of Fermentis Safale US-05, and pitch between 1/4 and 1/2 of the slurry a day or two after high kräusen. When fermentation is finished, let the beer sit on the yeast for 2 weeks. Add 7.1 g or 15 g more priming sugar if temperature reaches 27 °C or 29 °C, respectively.

 

 

The Copper Clipper

Malt extract (English units)

by Chris Colby

 

DESCRIPTION
This is copper colored ale (hence the name) that I have brewed many times, in one form or another. This is a lighter summer version with a somewhat lower starting gravity (usually 1.048–1.052) and about 20% less Victory malt. I formulated and tweaked this recipe to brew a well-balanced “everyday” beer that was flavorful. (If you absolutely need to assign it to a beer style, I guess you could call it an altbier or an American bitter, if such a thing exists.) This is a great beer to brew if you know your fermentation temperatures are going to creep a little high. Just expend some effort when chilling the wort so that the fermentation can start cool and you’ll be in great shape.

 

INGREDIENTS (for 5 gallons)

 

Water

(*1) for steeping the grains (really a small partial mash), treat 2.0 gallons of naturally soft, distilled or RO water with 1 tsp. gypsum and 1/4 tsp. calcium chloride

(*2) for the rest of the water, use tap water that tastes good, carbon filtered or treated overnight with one Campden tablet (for up to 20 gallons)

Malt and Malt Extract (for an OG of 1.041 and an SRM of 13)

1 lb. 10 oz. UK pale ale malt

1.0 lb. Munich malt

5.0 oz. Victory malt

1.5 oz. chocolate malt

3.0 lbs. light dried malt extract

Hops (for 27 IBUs)

Northern Brewer hops (22 IBUs)

0.75 oz. (at 9% alpha acids), boiled for 60 mins

Tettnanger hops (5 IBUs)

0.50 oz. (at 4% alpha acids), boiled for 15 mins

Yeast (for an FG of 1.008 and 4.3% ABV)

Wyeast 1056 (American Ale), White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) or Fermentis Safale US-05 yeast

make a 1-qt. yeast starter if using liquid yeast

Other

1 tsp. Irish moss, boiled for 15 mins

5.0 oz. corn sugar (to prime bottles for 2.6 volumes of CO2)

 

PROCEDURE

Place the ~3.0 lbs. of crushed grain in a large nylon steeping bag. Begin heating 1.5 gallons of water(*2) to a boil in your brewpot. In a large kitchen pot (at least 8 qts.), heat 4.1 qts. of brewing liquor (*1) to 163 °F. In a third pot, heat 2 qts. of brewing liquor(*1) to 170 °F. Slowly submerge steeping bag into large kitchen pot and stir to break up any clumps. Steep grains (this is really a mash) at 152 °F for 45 minutes, stirring every 7 or 8 minutes. Place a colander over your brew pot and lift the grain bag into it. Pour “grain tea” (wort) through the bag to filter out any solid pieces of grain, then rinse the bag with 2 qts. of water(*1) at 170 °F. Add water(*2), if needed, to make at least 3.5 gallons of wort. Stir in roughly half of the dried malt extract. Bring wort to a boil and boil for 90 minutes. (Use water (*2) to top up boil if it dips below 3 gallons.) Add hops and Irish moss at times indicated. Stir in remaining malt extract with 10 minutes to go in the boil. (Dissolve in wort before adding.) Cool wort to 68 °F and rack to fermenter. Add water(*2) to make 5 gallons. Aerate and pitch yeast. Ferment at 68 °F.

 

All-grain option:

Omit malt extracts. To existing grains, add 5.0 lbs. UK pale ale malt. Mash at 152 °F. Boil for 90 minutes. Ferment at 68 °F.

 

High Temperature Fermentation Option:

Because of it’s low starting gravity, you can make a clean version of this beer with this yeast strain and little temperature control. Here’s how: Make a 2-qt. yeast starter. Chill the wort all the way down to 65 °F and pitch the yeast at this temperature. If you can keep the temperature under 75 °F through high kräusen, it can rise higher afterwords and not be too estery. Use a “swamp cooler” to cool by evaporation for at least the first four days of fermentation. Add 0.25 oz. or 0.33 oz. more priming sugar if temperature peaks at 80 °F or 85 °F, respectively.

 

 

The Copper Clipper

Malt extract (metric units)

by Chris Colby
INGREDIENTS (for 19 L)

 

Water

(*1) for steeping the grains (really a small partial mash), treat 7.6 L of naturally soft, distilled or RO water with 1 tsp. gypsum and 1/4 tsp. calcium chloride

(*2) for the rest of the water, use tap water that tastes good, carbon filtered or treated overnight with one Campden tablet (for up to 76 L)

Malt and Malt Extract (for an OG of 1.041 and an SRM of 13)

740 g UK pale ale malt

450 g Munich malt

140 g Victory malt

43 g chocolate malt

1.4 kg light dried malt extract

Hops (for 27 IBUs)

Northern Brewer hops (22 IBUs)

21 g. (at 9% alpha acids), boiled for 60 mins

Tettnanger hops (5 IBUs)

14 g (at 4% alpha acids), boiled for 15 mins

Yeast (for an FG of 1.008 and 4.3% ABV)

Wyeast 1056 (American Ale), White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) or Fermentis Safale US-05 yeast

make a 1-L yeast starter if using liquid yeast

Other

1 tsp. Irish moss, boiled for 15 mins

140 g corn sugar (to prime bottles for 2.6 volumes of CO2)

 

PROCEDURE

Place the ~1.4 kg of crushed grain in a large nylon steeping bag. Begin heating 5.7 L of water(*2) to a boil in your brewpot. In a large kitchen pot (at least 8 L), heat 3.9 L of brewing liquor (*1) to 73 °C. In a third pot, heat 2 L of brewing liquor(*1) to 77 °C. Slowly submerge steeping bag into large kitchen pot and stir to break up any clumps. Steep grains (this is really a mash) at 67 °C for 45 minutes, stirring every 7 or 8 minutes. Place a colander over your brew pot and lift the grain bag into it. Pour “grain tea” (wort) through the bag to filter out any solid pieces of grain, then rinse the bag with 2 L of water(*1) at 77 °C. Add water(*2), if needed, to make at least 13 L of wort. Stir in roughly half of the dried malt extract. Bring wort to a boil and boil for 90 minutes. (Use water(*2) to top up boil if it dips below 11 L.) Add hops and Irish moss at times indicated. Stir in remaining malt extract with 10 minutes to go in the boil. (Dissolve in wort before adding.) Cool wort to 20 °C and rack to fermenter. Add water(*2) to make 19 L. Aerate and pitch yeast. Ferment at 20 °C.

 

All-grain option:

Omit malt extracts. To existing grains, add 2.3 kg UK pale ale malt. Mash at 67 °C. Boil for 90 minutes. Ferment at 20 °C.

 

High Temperature Fermentation Option:

Because of it’s low starting gravity, you can make a clean version of this beer with this yeast strain and little temperature control. Here’s how: Make a 2-L yeast starter. Chill the wort all the way down to 18 °C and pitch the yeast at this temperature. If you can keep the temperature under 24 °C through high kräusen, it can rise higher afterwords and not be too estery. Use a “swamp cooler” to cool by evaporation for at least the first four days of fermentation. Add 7.1 g or 15 g more priming sugar if temperature reaches 27 °C or 29 °C, respectively.

 

 

Comments

  1. Thinking about making the zesty honey wheat this summer for an easy drinker. Wanted to get some more tasting notes on it before I pull the trigger. I have a temp controlled conical so ferm temp not an issue.

    • Chris Colby says:

      The beer tastes pretty much as you would expect it to — a honey wheat beer with a little orange zest. (And it’s an American wheat base, so no banana or clove aroma.) It’s a great summer “The yard work is done and now I’m thirsty” beer.

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