I got this recipe from a fellow brewer who saw my Primavera Wit recipe on my blog. He also does Wit beers and we started talking about techniques and recipes, which led me to try this beer. The yeast I used was a second generation WLP400 yeast cake, and there was also a little nottingham yeast from the 1st brew, which I know isn’t a smart/good mix of yeast but it’s what I had at the moment. Everything went great and my brew day was a success, but 3 weeks later, I checked the gravity and it was down to 1.002!!! I was hoping for the FG to be closet to 1.010 but it went super low and got VERY dry. The beer is definitely packed with peppercorn + grapefruit flavor but the damn gravity went too low and dried it out beyond belief…it almost tastes like a Saison, rather than a Wit, which is fine by me. The final rating will be 80% on this because I just couldn’t get over the dryness, but that’s not a fault of the recipe, it was probably my yeast hybrid which dropped it too low.
I got poor efficiency on this brew, but it still came out very good. I’m not sure what happened during the mash, but I didn’t get the normal efficiency I’m used to. Luckily, the final product was awesome, and tasted very similar to Bells 2 Hearted, even though it was only about 5% ABV which is way lower than Bells. I rate this 90% and was rather impressed at how close it came to the commercial beer.
It was supposed to be a Kolsch, but my 2nd Gen nottingham yeast wasn’t working 2 days after pitching, so I had to quickly run out and get a vial of WLP400 – the combination of yeasts isn’t particularly sought after but I thought I’d bite the bullet. The final product was a hit, even if it was too dry. It was also my first time using lactic acid to bring down the Mash PH, along with brewing salts. I will rate this 88% because I wanted more belgian flavors to come through.
This was the first water chemistry beer I did where I had the actual water report from Distillata. So my salt additions were calibrated with much more accuracy, and it did turn out maltier than normal, but there was also honey malt involved. I never used honey malt before, and I didn’t realize how much extra sweet flavor 1# would add, but it was A LOT. Not too much, but if I’m going to drink a sweeter beer, it’s usually a brown ale, and not a Kolsch. This beer was solid and enjoyed by many a people, I’ll give it 87% only because it was a tad too sweet for me.
This was the first recipe where I used brewing salts. I used 1 tsp of Gypsum + Calcium Chloride and 1/2 tsp of NaCL – and so begins my journey down the rabbit hole of water chemistry. My mash water was Cleveland tap mixed with distilled so I didn’t have a water report to base anything off of, which isn’t ideal, but I wanted to try it. The final product was good and malty like an Oktoberfest, but it wasn’t very balanced in terms of hop/malt ratio. The rating I give is 85% because it could’ve been balanced more.
One of my best friends asked me to make a spiced Apfelwein for his wedding, which I was honored to do. We talked about all these different spice combos and settled on cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. I had 2 cloves and 2 cinnamon sticks, which was cool…then I went crazy and shaved 3 whole nutmegs down to a fine dust, little did I know that using half of 1 nutmeg is probably too much. We tried the Apfelwein before the wedding, and it was obnoxiously nutmeg-y and not very pleasant. It wasn’t undrinkable, but I told my friend I didn’t want to serve this sub-par apfelwein at his wedding…so we’re just going to store it and drink a bottle every now and then for the next year, hoping it improves. I think plenty of people have made good spiced Apfelwein, but go easy on the spices! No rating on this recipe, it wasn’t good and I ruined it with nutmegs, let’s just leave it at that.