Ingredient Kit Instructions
This Beer Ingredient Kit makes 5 gallons of heavenly homebrew. This is equivalent to about fifty-two 12 oz. Beers. Only the finest ingredients are chosen and used in the making of this kit. Should you have any questions regarding this kit, Homebrew Heaven of Everett, WA will be happy to help you out. Our phone number is (425) 355-8865 (local), or (800) 850-2739 if you are calling from out of town.
Wizard's Wheat is a light straw colored, tangy beer that is similar to that made in Southern Germany. It is somewhat cloudy, with a spicy, clove/banana flavor that is characteristic of this beer style. Wheat beers are wonderfully refreshing on a hot summer day. Often they are served with a slice of fresh lemon for a bold, sharp taste.
This Kit Contains:
1 Package of Wheat, Dry Malt Extract with Bittering hops (Hallertauer) already mixed into the dry malt
1 Package containing Crystal Malt (Specialty Grain), along with a cheesecloth grain bag
1 Package of Flavor hops (Hallertauer) with Optional Clarifier Tablet
1 Package of Finishing hops (Hallertauer)
1-2 Package(s) of Ale Yeast - 10g minimum
1 Package of Corn Sugar that is used to "prime" the beer just before bottling
Equipment and Sanitation
It is necessary to assure that EVERYTHING that comes in contact with your ale wort after boiling is sanitary. By this, we mean free from bacteria and other wild yeasts. Your brewpot, spoon and wort chiller (if using one) will be sanitized by the boiling of your ingredients, but from that point on, your fermentor, carboy, airlock & stopper, etc., should be sanitized thoroughly. We recommend an iodine-based product called Iodophor for this purpose. We also recommend that your fermentation be done in a sealed container with an airlock affixed to it (closed fermentation) to avoid airborne bacteria. A sealed six-gallon (or larger), food-grade bucket works great as a fermentor. If you add water to your fermentor after the boil, it's usually OK not to boil it, but if you want to be absolutely certain of avoiding bacteria, you can boil it ahead of time (be sure to cool it before using).
Always sanitize your siphon equipment (bottle filler, racking cane and tubing) and bottles prior to bottling your beer. Bacteria infections are rare, but most originate from the siphon equipment.
General Note: It is best to cook your entire batch of beer (6 - 6.3 gallons starting volume of water for a finished batch volume of 5 gallons after evaporation & trub removal). If your brewpot is not big enough to do that, you can do a "concentrated boil" using 3 - 4 gallons of water to start with, adding the balance of (cooled) water volume to the primary fermentor before pitching the yeast. In other words, boil as much water as possible to start with. We recommend using at least 3 gallons.
- Add the water to the brewpot. We like to start with about 6 gallons. See General Note above.
- Put the specialty grains into the muslin grain bag & tie a knot at the top of the bag. Leave some room for the grains to "swish around" within the bag. Suspend the filled bag in the water to avoid scorching, or burning a hole in the bag & heat to between 165 F - 170 deg F. Be sure to occasionally give the bag a light squeeze & use a teabag motion to help swish things around a bit. When the water reaches 165 F - 170 deg F, remove the bag...it has done its' job. Exceeding 170 deg F will cause tannins to leach out of the grains, which can make your beer astringent.
- Continue heating until the water comes to a boil. Now it's time to add the dry malt extract. You will have to add the contents slowly while stirring to mix. We like to remove the brewpot from the heat for this step, to prevent the malt from scorching at the bottom of the brewpot.
Dry malt takes a while to dissolve into the water. Just keep stirring until the entire amount of malt has been emptied into the pot.
4. Now, bring the mixture back to a boil and make note of the time when you have achieved a good rolling boil. You'll be boiling your mixture (now called wort) for one-hour total time from this point on. This one-hour boil ensures a good breakdown of the malt & hops. Ideally, you'll maintain a nice rolling boil (not too vigorously now) for the entire time. It is ESSENTIAL that you WATCH FOR BOIL OVERS at this stage. Your beer will not be ruined, but a boil over makes a BIG, STICKY MESS! Keep stirring the green stuff (hops) back into the boil as they like to stick to the sides of the brewpot.
5. At 15 minutes before the end of the boil (45 minutes after the start of the boil), it is time to add the package of Flavoring hops. This addition adds a unique hop flavor.
Note: Usually, you would add the optional Clarifier Tablet at this time as well, because it aids in clarifying your finished beer. Wheat, or Weizen ales are generally cloudy and no clarifier is needed. If you prefer your finished beer to be clear, by all means add the tablet now. Also note that you will lose some clarity if you bottle condition vs. forced carbonation (kegging).
6. If you are going to be using a wort chiller to cool your finished wort, you should place it into the brewpot for the last 10 - 15 minutes of the boil to sterilize it.
7. At 15 minutes before the end of the boil (45 minutes after the start of the boil), it is time to add the package of Flavoring hops and Clarifier Tablet. This addition adds a unique flavor and aids in clarifying your finished beer. If you are going to be using a wort chiller to cool your finished wort, you should place it into the brewpot for the last 10 - 15 minutes of the boil to sterilize it.
8. At 2 minutes before the end of the boil (58 minutes after the start - or so...), add the package of Finishing hops. This addition provides a wonderful aroma to your finished beer.
9. At 60 minutes from the start of the boil, turn off the heat and cool your wort as quickly as possible. The best way to cool your wort is with a wort chiller. If you don't have one, you can set your brewpot in a sink full of ice water. A wort chiller will cool your wort in a bout 15 minutes, whereas the "sink full of ice water" method takes at least an hour, so leave the lid on the pot to avoid airborne bacteria. If you boiled less than 5 gallons, you can add cold water to help cool your wort. The point is, cool it quickly, keeping the pot covered if possible!
10. When your wort has cooled to 80 deg, or below, it's time to pour it into your primary fermentor. Go ahead and splash your wort in order to aerate or "oxygenate" your wort at this point. Yeast "like" a little oxygen at this point ---- but never after. Don't worry about the residue. It is protein and hop residue (called "trub").
Now you should take a "starting gravity" reading (approx.1.044 - 1.052), using your hydrometer and test jar. If you record this number, you can use it to determine your actual alcohol per volume at bottling. After pouring the wort into your primary fermentor and taking a hydrometer reading, you can add ("pitch") your yeast. When using the dry yeast that came with the kit, either stirring the yeast into the wort, or sprinkling it on top will work just fine. We usually just sprinkle it on top. While you can make a yeast starter following the directions on the yeast package, it is not necessary. Be sure to put a tight sealing lid on the fermentor & use an airlock.
IMPORTANT NOTICE - PLEASE READ
When brewing conditions are ideal; fresh malts and / or grains, good boil, well oxygenated wort, correct pitching temperature for yeast, fresh yeast, and consistent fermenting temperatures, the fermentation can be very active. Large amounts of malts such as you find in higher gravity beers, can also result in an overactive ferment.
When this happens it is not uncommon for your wort to exit out through your airlock usually clogging the airlock causing pressure to build up inside your fermentor. If the pressure builds too high before primary fermentation subsides, the lid and / or airlock on your fermentor can very well blow off, spraying your precious beer all over the room & ceiling. What a messy clean up!!!
To avoid this, we advise using a "blow off" tube consisting of at least 3 feet of 1/2" minimum to 1" diameter tubing placed through the opening of your plastic or glass fermentor in place of your airlock and rubber stopper. Do NOT extend the tubing end too far into the fermentor. Leave at least 2" between the end of the tubing & the fermenting wort. Place the other end of the tubing into a small container of water. A pint or 2 of water should do.
Once fermentation has subsided (little or no bubbles in your container of water) you can remove the tubing & replace the airlock & stopper for the remainder of the fermentation.
Be sure to clean & sanitize your airlock & stopper as well as the tubing.
11. At this point, it is best to keep your fermentor at about room temperature (65 - 75 deg F) until you see some activity (bubbling) in your airlock. This may take from 8 - 36 hours with dry yeast. Be sure to fill your airlock halfway to provide a barrier between your wort and potential "invading" bacteria. The ideal fermentation temperature is between 65 - 75 deg F.
- How long can you expect the fermentation to last? That depends on temperature, the freshness of the yeast and many other factors. With the Dry Malt Extract we use, at room temperature, the "primary fermentation" can take place in as little as 1 - 3 days. At a cooler temperature, it may take 2 - 3 weeks. These are only estimates. In any case, wait for the bubbling in the airlock to slow down to perhaps one "bubble" or less, per minute (again...only an estimate) before transferring the beer to another container (Typical gravity readings at this point would be between 1.020 - 1.030). This is called a "secondary fermentation" and serves to clarify and "condition", or age your beer. Homebrew Heaven likes to use a glass carboy for this step, although another plastic bucket will do just fine.
- Transfer the beer by siphoning off the clear beer leaving all the trub (crud) behind. There is no need to strain out the trub - leave it in the bottom of the primary bucket. Give it to your garden, compost, or just toss in the garbage can. We're after clear beer here, remember?
- After the bubbling has completely ceased in your secondary fermentor, it is time to bottle your beer. Make sure there is at least 3 minutes between each "bubble" through your airlock before bottling. A more sure method of determining if it is time to bottle would be to take 2 or 3 consecutive hydrometer readings, 1 each day for 2 - 3 days. When your readings stay the same without changing ("ending gravity" reading approx. 1.010 - 1.014), it is time to bottle. This ensures that there is no residual malt left to ferment. You will be adding corn sugar when you bottle in order to provide the right amount of carbonation. If there is still malt extract to ferment, you could have over-carbonated beer, or worse yet, exploding bottles.
- To bottle, siphon off the good stuff - clear beer, into another sanitized container. Your primary fermentor works fine for this. Next, stir the package of corn sugar into about 16 oz. of lukewarm water until it dissolves. Add this mixture to the beer and stir gently to mix. Siphon your beer into sterilized bottles, leaving about 3/4" of headspace in each bottle and apply your caps to the bottles.
- Your beer will be ready to drink sooner if you place your bottles in a warm (room temperature) place. Allow about 7 - 14 days before trying one if you do this. If you leave your bottles in a cool place (60 deg F; any cooler & your beer may not carbonate properly) you should allow an extra week or so. Be sure to store your bottles out of direct sunlight, or it will get a "skunky" smell if you do. Your beer will get better and better with aging, but who can wait? Enjoy! You can make more, right?
We sincerely hope you have enjoyed your Wizard's Wheat kit! Let us know what you think!!
- If you like a pronounced clove/banana taste, try (strongly recommended) using the Wyeast 3068 (Wheinstephen) liquid yeast culture (available at Homebrew Heaven) in place of the Nottingham Ale Yeast. This leaves your beer a bit cloudy, in the Hefeweizen style, but greatly enhances the flavor. Other strains of wheat yeasts are also available - German, Belgian and Bavarian. Each imparts a unique taste to a wheat beer.
- Try using 1.5 cups of wheat or light DME (available at Homebrew Heaven) in place of the corn sugar when bottling. This will add a little more malt flavor and give your beer a creamier, dense head, however doing this can greatly increase the time it takes to carbonate. This can be done with any beer.
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Everett, WA 98204