The Beer Watcher II: Wheat Beer

We (meaning me, Bill H-D, and Steve B) started another batch of beer yesterday morning, a wheat beer recipe from “All Things Beer” called “Williamston Wheat.” Compared to the first season of the beer watcher, a recipe that involved moss, grain bags, multiple applications of hops, etc., etc., this recipe was ridiculously easy:

7 lbs Wheat/Barley malt extract
1 oz Saaz hops
Wyeast 3056 or Munton’s Ale dry yeast
3/4 cup priming sugar and caps


Add the wheat/barley malt extract and 1 ounce of hops to 1 1/2 gallons of water and boil for 1 hour.

Cool down the wort, put it in the fermenter with 3 1/2 gallons water, pitch the yeast.

That’s it. Compared to last time, this beer practically makes itself.

I was late, and Steve B and Bill H-D already did the most active steps of this beer, which was boiling the water and adding the malt and the hops. So my roll here really was watching, especially since Steve and Bill spent a fair amount of time moving some furniture out to the driveway since there was a yard sale in progress. And actually, I only half-watched; I spent more time trying to figure out a new WordPress set-up.

Two amusing things happened in all of this that are photo-worthy, but unfortunately, the batteries in my camera died. One of the great fears of home-brewing (perhaps the only fear) is that of the dreaded boil-over, which is a danger when you add the syrupy malt extract. But Bill was really not worried about it because he had a new pot for cooking up the wort this time, a five gallon rig. The water wasn’t quite up to temprature, so he put on the lid, and, worry free with the largeness of the pot, we sat around at the kitchen table and chatted.

We heard the boil-over first. Bill and Steve B sprang into action, removed the lid, turned down the burner (we had some debate as to whether or not the electric element of a stove could properly be called a “burner”), and stirred. Tragedy was probably averted, but a lot of the hops boiled up and onto the sides of the pot. So I guess the test will be in the tasting, about a month or so from now (I think about a month).

The other photo-worthy moment involved Bill spilling enough of the ice water we were using for chilling the wort on himself to require a change of clothes before lunch.

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