I last brewed this recipe awhile back, and it was high time to make it again! It’s basically the same recipe as before, just modified slightly for the efficiency of my current system and on-hand ingredients. It’s super simple, but really tasty!
2021 Orange Summer Wheat Ale
- 6 lb. white wheat malt (Briess)
- 3 lb. 2-row malt (Viking Xtra Pale)
- 8 oz. caramel 10L (Briess)
- 8 oz. rice hulls
- 1.5 oz. Mt. Hood hop pellets (4.6% alpha), 60 minute boil
- 1 tsp. Fermax yeast nutrient, 10 minute boil
- 1 pkg. American Hefeweizen Ale yeast (WLP 320)
- 1.044 s.g., 1.011 f.g, 4.3% abv, 26 IBU, 4 SRM
- Full volume infusion mash, 152° for 60 minutes
- Claremont tap water
- I made a 1L shaken-not-stirred starter around 4 hours before pitching. It took off pretty well!
- I mashed in with 7.25 gallons of water at 158°, to hit a mash temperature of 152°. I added 5 mL of 88% lactic acid to adjust the pH.
- After a 60 minute mash, I removed the grains.
- In total, I had 6.5 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.040, for 72% mash efficiency.
- I brought everything to a boil, adding hops and finings per the recipe.
- After 60 minutes, I chilled down to 66° and transferred to the fermenter. I pitched the yeast, and let it ferment at 66°.
- I brewed the beer on 13 February 2021, with a starting gravity of 1.045.
- I had 5.5 gallons in the fermenter, and fermented it at 64° to 66°, as I moved it in and out of the house and garage.
- While I started the beer, I zested three Valencia oranges that I had picked, putting the zest in 3 oz. of vodka. This steeped for 3 weeks, and then I strained it to add to the keg.
- I kegged the beer on 27 February 2021. It had great flavor and aroma on the base beer, even before I added the orange extract.
- Final gravity was 1.010, down from 1.045. So, it had an estimated abv of 4.6%.
- Pale gold color and hazy, with a thin white head that is moderately persistent.
- Fresh orange zest, with a faint doughy wheat character behind that. Really awesome!
- Orange juice flavor at the forefront, with a bread dough malt character behind that. Bitterness level is moderate, perhaps a little higher than works for this beer. Yeast character is very clean, with no noticeable esters.
- Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry finish.
- Would I brew this again?
- This is a really, really nice recipe…the orange character is absolutely perfect. It’s a bit more bitter than I envisioned in the early tastings, so when I brew this again I’m going to back it down to 20 IBU. Interestingly, as it has aged a bit in the keg that overly bitter edge has been reduced. Otherwise, I wouldn’t change a thing.