Pale Wheat Doppelbock Brew Day

Mildly based on an Urban Chestnut beer called Erlkönig, I wanted to brew a pale wheat doppelbock. Technically this recipe fits into both Doppelbock and Weizenbock style guidelines, except for the IBUs in it. I wanted a little more hoppy punch, so I decided on using Hallertau Blanc for aroma hops in this recipe.

I decided to go with the Pilsen water profile for this beer, and for 10 quarts of mash water, it was impossible to add so little minerals to hit the actual numbers. So I went balanced across the board and added approximately .15g or .2g of Gypsum, Epsom, Table, and Calcium Chloride. That along with 4g of lactic acid were the minerals that made up the mash profile. 

Actual numbers:

Ca+2 Mg+2 Na+ Cl SO4-2
6.2 1.2 4.8 13.3 11.6

Mash pH target: 5.26

Recipe:

Information

Method Style Boil Size Batch Size Efficiency
Brew in a Bag Pale Wheat Doppelbock 3 gal 2.5 gal (fermenter) 75% Target

Stats

OG FG ABV (alternate) IBU SRM
17.6º P 2.7º P 8.5% ABV 39.42 6.09

Homebrew shop was out of Weyermann Pils, AND Weyermann Pale… So I went with Chateau Pils instead.

Fermentables

2.5 lbs Chateau Pils
2.5 lbs Rahr White Wheat
0.5 lb Weyermann Munich Type 1
0.5 lb Weyermann Munich Type 2
100g Pilsen DME (1 liter starter)

Hop Schedule

1 oz Hallertau Mittelfrüh (4%) Boil for 60 min 28.49 IBUs
1 oz Hallertau Blanc (7.7%) Boil for 5 min 10.93 IBUs

Yeast

Fermentis Saflager W-34/70, built on a 1 liter starter, and pitched into wort at 57ºF. I decided to try out a different yeast, and a more diligent fermentation schedule with ramping temperature due to some acetaldehyde flavors in previous pale lagers. 

Brew Day

I made a 1 liter starter of 34/70 the day before, and let it spin for ~24 hours.IMG_1731

Fermentation happening:

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On brew day, I sanitized and weighed out my salts. Quite a lot less salts than usual.

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For the mash temp, I wanted it at 150ºF, and typically my mash has been going way over based on the Brewer’s Friend mash calculator. Knowing my own equipment, processes, and brew day tendencies, I doughed in at about 152ºF because I typically have no heat loss, or even an increase of heat after adding grains to the hot water.

A good stir, and carefully checking the mash every 5 or so minutes, I nailed my temp, and successfully maintained it for the full 90 minute mash.

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After 90 minutes, I pulled the grain bag, and sparged 3 quarts through the grains, squeezing the bag each after each hydration.

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The 12 quarts of 14ºP wort came to a boil, and boiled for 90 minutes. My stove was recently “fixed.” Because it doesn’t boil very hard, I have to tack on an extra 30 minutes in the boil.

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The beer was hopped at the prescribed times, and then plunged into an ice bath.

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The beer was cooled to just under 60ºF, and then filtered through a nylon bag to catch any trub, hops and other crud.

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My 1 liter starter was pitched… and a final gravity reading came out exactly on target: 17.6ºP.IMG_1752

And then carried the beer into the fermentation chamber, where it will ferment at ~57ºF.

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….

it’s been 44 days since brewing this beer, and probably 30 days since I racked this beer into the secondary. I finally got around to bottling it after fearing it was taking on oxygen in the secondary glass carboy. It looked much darker and deeper orange brown than it ever had when I first racked it out. However, upon siphoning it into bottles, it showed it’s true deep gold color I expected it to be.

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8 liters were packaged, plus >100ml for a gravity sample…turned it at 1.012, 83% attenuation = 8.32% ABV…

IMG_1991


 

on a side note, I am quite confused with how Brewer’s Friend calculates final gravity. Brewer’s Friend calculates this beer to have a starting gravity of 17.6ºP at 75% attenuation. Which I hit on brew day spot on. OG was indeed 17.6. Brewer’s Friend also tells me that 34/70 has an average attenuation of 83%. The odd part is that it tells me the beer should finish at 2.7ºP and be 8.5% ABV. I hit my starting gravity perfectly, the beer attenuated 83% down to 1.012 (3.1ºP), and it calculates me at 8.32%. So why does it calculate the beer at 8.5% with a higher attenuation than what’s listed with the yeast?

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