Tag: homebrew recipe

My malt smoking set-up
My malt smoking set-up

from the brewing archives…

The Inspiration:

Grätzer (also known as Grodziskie) is a top-fermented, smoked wheat beer historically brewed in Poland.

I fell in love with the style after tasting Vlad the Inhaler from Blind Bat Brewery at the Bellport Charity Beer, Food & Wine Tasting on June 10, 2010. I based my recipe on Kristen England’s Grätzer recipe in Brewing with Wheat by Stan Hieronymus.

The Recipe:

(a 3 gallon batch brewed in my backyard using the Brew in a Bag method)

Malt Bill:
  • 4 lbs wheat malt house-smoked over cherrywood chips (this post discusses how I smoke malt)

Mashed in at 122℉ for 30 minutes then raised temp to 148℉ for 60 minutes. No sparge – drained sack over the grill shelf from my smoker.

Pre-boil gravity: 1.032

Addition Schedule (60 minute boil):

  • 60 min: .45 oz Northern Brewer pellet hops (9% AA)
  • 15 min: 0.2 oz US Hersbrucker pellet hops (3.5%)

Approximate IBUs: 20

Cooled to 68℉ and pitched 1 packet of Safale S-04 (not rehydrated) and fermented at cellar temperatures (I don’t have exact temps in my notes but my basement temps were somewhere in the 60s at this time).

(7.17.2011) OG: 1.038
(7.31.2011) FG: 1.008

Around 4% ABV

Bottled on 8.27.2011

Tasting Notes:

Delicious – smoked ham in a glass. This beer was light, refreshing yet packed a ton of smoky flavor – very quaffable.

Thoughts:

I loved this beer and can’t wait to brew it again this year – it’s a perfect summer session ale in my book. I might smoke the wheat with a different type of wood – oak is traditional but I enjoyed the cherry. It might be nice to use a combination of wood chips, although I would omit hickory from the mix as that seems like it might be a little too intense. mdawson got excellent results using the Weyermann Oak-Smoked Pale Wheat Malt for a grätzer & wrote it up on the Northern Brewer blog. I’m very tempted to order the Weyermann malt from Northern Brewer and try it out. Also, this beer is ideal for Brew in a Bag as you don’t have to worry about a stuck mash – if you brewed it on a traditional system you would need to use rice hulls. I think I might be smoking some malt this weekend so I can brew this beer again as soon as possible.

Fermentations in Progress:

  • kombucha
  • Helles-style lager
  • 7 sours
  • grilled pineapple ale
  • spinach wine

Happy Fermenting!

Fermentation

DSC_0687

The Inspiration:

Compass Rose from Outer Banks Brewing Station, tasted at the World Beer Festival in Durham, NC in April of 2008 (original post).  This was a Belgian-style Brown Ale brewed with rosemary and was absolutely delicious.  Chris Cuzme and I wanted to make a beer to pour at our friends’ wedding and rosemary does stand for remembrance, so was the perfect excuse to brew this beer.

The Recipe:

(brewed on 3‧24‧2012 – a 5 gallon batch on my backyard burner using the Brew in a Bag method)

Malt Bill:

Mashed in at 153° F for 60 minutes (strike temp of 162° F) then raised temperature to mash out at 168° F.  No sparge – drained sack over the grate from my smoker.

Addition Schedule (75 minute boil):

  • 60 min: 1.5 oz Styrian Golding pellet hops (3.8% AA)
  • 15 min: Wyeast yeast nutrient
  • 10 min: rosemary (about 8″ worth of sprig from my backyard)

Pitched 2 Smack-packs™ of Wyeast 3522 – Belgian Ardennes™ yeast.  Fermented at room temperatures & not in my fermentation fridge – average of 68℉ with a range of 64℉ – 70℉

OG: 1.048

FG: 1.014

Around 4.5% ABV

Kegged 3 gallons on 4‧8‧2012 with around 2/3 cup rosemary-infused vodka and served at our friends’ wedding that evening.

Tasting Notes:

Very drinkable.  The rosemary-infused vodka added a very natural rosemary aroma and flavor.  The toastiness of the malts was a nice complement to the rosemary.  The malt sweetness is low and it has a light-medium to medium body.  Lovely session ale – balanced, flavorful yet very quaffable.

Thoughts:

Chris and I were very happy with this beer and got a lot of compliments on it at the wedding (phew).  This is a terrific session beer to brew when you’d like something low ABV yet flavorful and/or when you have a time constraint.  We would definitely brew this again but we’d also like to make another version, bumping up the malt bill and therefore increasing both the malt complexity and ABV.  The yeast did not add much aroma or flavor which was perfect for this beer but we would reconsider pitching rate and yeast strain for a bigger version.  Adding infused vodka seemed like a cheat to me at first but it worked extremely well for this situation and added such a true rosemary aroma and flavor that I would definitely repeat it.  We’d also like to play with dry-hopping with the rosemary as well.  We’re probably going to do this with the remaining 2 gallons and bottle them – will add notes to this post if/when we do so.

Fermentations in Progress:

  • kombucha
  • grilled pineapple ale
  • seven sours

I’m reading Greg Noonan’s New Brewing Lager Beer in preparation for brewing my first lager this Sunday – woohoo!  Happy Fermenting!

Fermentation