I’m still trying to update this site with a lot of the homebrews that I’ve done over the past year or so, and it’s slow going while applying for jobs and also trying to end my current job on a very hard-working, positive note. And while those old beers still need to be posted, it’s not like I’ve stopped brewing at home either. So this past weekend, I was able to help out a few friends brew this tasty-sounding beer…
Two great friends of mine, Tyler and Andrew have both helped me out on long brew days on several occasions and it wasn’t long until they wanted to take up the mash paddle themselves and brew up some delicious wheat beers. The first, a Widmer Hef clone–that I will write up in a few weeks–was a great success. And while it didn’t turn out exactly like the Widmer Bros. most popular beer, it didn’t turn Tyler and Andrew off completely. Actually, even though they love the Widmer version, they ended up loving their overly-hopped hef. It was a delight.
So this time around, to celebrate Andrew’s birthday, we were brewing up a Belgian white. The recipe we used started as something very similar to a Blue Moon clone, but ended up being a tad different in just about every facet (slightly different hops, grains, and spices).
Be forewarned that we did make a mistake. And while I don’t like highlighting my personal homebrewing mistakes on this blog, I see it as a point of ethical necessity to at least mention them. For most wheat beers (Belgian whites included), the OG is usually between 1.050-1.060. But when I punched in all of the ingredients and brew day processes into my calculators (many different phone and web apps just to be sure), they all told me that it should be closer to around 1.074. (Wow. That’s high for a wheat beer.)
And while we’re using a few pounds of grain, we’re primarily relying on the malt extracts for all of the sugars in the wort. So with this in mind, efficiency really isn’t going to matter very much (a few gravity points).
But hey, we went along with the recipe that had been chosen and crossed our fingers. Luckily (I think), the OG ended up being 1.052. I’m honestly still not sure how we missed our target gravity by 20 points (!), but hey, I think the beer will be much better this way, so I’m not too worried. [Possible reasons could be that the malt was stale, old and not convertible enough, or that the wheat malt was actually unmalted wheat grain and had 0% fermentable sugars in it.]