After making my last wheat beer, I ended up with more wheat than I had planned, so I decided to try and make a different take on the wheat beer: a black wheat beer. I don’t know what I have with trying to make a black version of various styles, maybe I just enjoy seeing people’s expression when they taste a different flavour than they expect. In any case, making a black wheat beer took the same line of brewing as the wheat beer: BIAB setup with crushed wheat, some pale malt and some roasted barley – a simple enough process to play with the whole thing.
The end result was nice, easy to drink with the bready and thick body of a wheat beer and with the nice twist of a black beer, but with nothing really distinct about it. I had a friend call it wheat beer for beginners – no strong kick-you-in-the-face yeast finish to give it any strong “other” flavours, just the simplicity of wheat. I’m not sure this is a bad result, but I think next time I need to learn how to give it that extra something to make it more interesting. Either way, I think black wheat is the way forward.
1.25kg of Crushed Pale Malt (by Balliihoo)
250g Crushed Crystal Malt (by Balliihoo)
250g Roasted Barley – Added in the last 30 minutes of the mash
4 litres of boiled Brita filtered London tap water.
The mash was kept in an insulated pot (covered my boiling pot with a towel)
30 minutes into the mash: temperature is 63°c, 500ml of boiled water added, bringing the temp to 67°c
60 minutes into the mash: temp is 66°c, roasted barley added and 700ml of boiled water, temp is 63°c
Grains taken out and drained (+ squeezed) after 90 minutes total at 62°c.
Roughly 4l mash was left with 1072 gravity at 61°c, or 1076 adjusted.
5g Mangrove Jack’s Bavarian Wheat yeast pitched into the fermenter
4l mash water brought to an immediate boil on a very high flame with an extra 1l boiled Brita filtered water
60 minutes: 20g Chinook hops (7.6%)
15 minutes: 20g Saaz hops (6.98%)
0 minutes: in the ice bath with 2L cold Brita filtered water
Wort was a total of 3l with a gravity of 1068 at 98°c, 1074 adjusted
After 35 minutes the wort reached 26°c and was filtered into the ferementer, 5 litres left after the boil.
5L of the cooled wort was added to 2l Brita filtered London tap water, yeast pitched
Total of 7l with OG=1039 at 26°c.
Drinking while making
My Black Ale
Bottling (2 weeks after brewing)
FG=1011, making it a 3.75% ABV beer.
Total of 7L, or 14 500ml bottles
43g dextrose and 30g table sugar added for priming to achieve a CO2 volumes of 2.
Rested for one week and then transferred to a fridge for storage.
I have opened a few bottles so far, and for a while the bottles were getting increasingly aggressively foaming upon opening, could be a contamination? I was losing about 1/3 to 1/2 of the bottle each time. It does seem to be getting better now though. From what was left in the last bottle I had, those are my notes:
Clearly black colour with a dense and stable head, brownish in colour. The beer smells black, roasty, almost like wood burning stove. No hop character of fruity-esters present. When tasting you get defiently taste that it is a wheat beer: bready and full flavoured. Mellow and pleasant caramel and roasted flavour clearly makes it a black wheat beer, with all the added toastiness that is derived from the roasted barley malt.
I’d like to try this beer again, just need to solve the foaminess problem.