One thing we struggle with at Crooked Run is keeping multiple beers on tap. I try to have 4, sometimes have 3, and would like to have 6 on tap at a time. We do brew on a small (1.5 BBL) system, but we also have limited room to store beer. If I want to get to six beers, I am going to have to get a bit creative.
Enter the wheat beer project. When I first opened, I told people I was never going to brew a wheat beer. Nothing against them–German hefe is one of my favorite styles. I just didn’t feel that excited about them, and I didn’t think others would feel that way either.
As it turns out, I was pretty wrong. Our first wheat was a big kettle-soured batch of Berliner weisse with sweet orange peel called Weisse City. I was quite surprised at how much people enjoyed it, especially since it was a Berliner (quite tart). The second wheat beer we did was a small batch of a beer called You’re Cool. It was a cucumber mint wheat. People are still talking about that beer!
Anyways, I came to see wheats in a different light. To me, a wheat beer is a blank canvas to showcase different ingredients. I started coming up with different wheat beers that I really wanted to do, but I haven’t gotten around to doing them. Now, I can!
The plan is to do 45 gallons of simple wheat beer base. 1.045 OG, 25 IBU, 50/50 pils/wheat malt. After the boil, run off beer into 6.5 gallon bucket fermenters and then add my different ingredients. Here’s the breakdown of what 45 gallons can produce:
10 gallons Berliner weisse
10 gallons cucumber mint wheat
10 gallons beet wheat
10 gallons imperial dark vanilla wheat
So, that’s the plan. In two weeks I am going to give it a go! After kegging these beers, I’ll release one each weekend.