Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hoppy Pale Wheat

Hoppy Pale Wheat or Wheat IPA? It is a style that I have not brewed often enough to find what I am looking for in an end result. I can't even say that there are many commercial examples that I have had. A few years ago one of my local bottle shops parted with a 3 Floyds Gumballhead. We never see 3 Floyds in PA (not even in Philadelphia). It was great beer none-the-less. I guess Lagunitas Lil-Sumthin Sumthin weighs in on this category also despite the higher 7% ABV. I am sure that there are plenty of others, but I don't seek out too many of them unless they are on tap somewhere.

Brewing a low ABV hoppy brew gets a bit confusing for me and has been requiring tweaking recipes multiple times before brewing, especially with a grain bill that has very little specialty malts and wheat as the predominate base malt. By the way, the OG on this brew was 1.042. On our Session IPA a few months ago we used a pound of hops, but with a Vienna/ 2 Row base, Crystal 60, and Honey Malts there was plenty for the hops to mellow out with. The grist for this brew was Wheat (50%), 2 Row(45%), Crystal 40 and Caravienne and Simcoe,  Cascade, Amarillo, and Citra for Dry Hopping. Overall 8oz of hop madness. I've also been washing my yeast whenever possible. My 2nd generation Cali Yeast was used for this.

Drowning in Wheat - John Kinsella

They’d been warned
on every farm
that playing
in the silos
would lead to death.
You sink in wheat.
Slowly. And the more
you struggle the worse it gets.
‘You’ll see a rat sail past
your face, nimble on its turf,
and then you’ll disappear.’
In there, hard work
has no reward.
So it became a kind of test
to see how far they could sink
without needing a rope
to help them out.
But in the midst of play
rituals miss a beat—like both
leaping in to resolve
an argument
as to who’d go first
and forgetting
to attach the rope.
Up to the waist
and afraid to move.
That even a call for help
would see the wheat
trickle down.
The painful consolidation
of time. The grains
in the hourglass
grotesquely swollen.
And that acrid
chemical smell
of treated wheat
coaxing them into
a near-dead sleep.


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