So when a friend expressed an interest in some of the craft beers I was talking about, I jumped at the chance to introduce him to the world of quality beer. To my surprise, his palate progressed quickly and he was able to describe very well what he tasted in various beers and what he liked and disliked. (He dislikes most lagers' relatively light body and neutral flavor and stouts' often roasty flavor, for the record; he's a big fan of IPA's and other hoppy beers.)
I swear, this is going somewhere.
He called me a little less than a month ago to see what I was up to. As it happens, I was going to brew a Bavarian hefeweisen that weekend, and I invited him to join me. To my delight he agreed, and we had a pleasant day brewing an extract-with-specialty-grains hefe. The recipe is below:
- 1 lb crystal 10L malt
- 2 lbs wheat DME (60 min boil)
- 3 lbs wheat DME (15 min boil)
- 0.5 oz Tettnang hops (60 min boil)
- 1 pkg Munich (Lallemand) yeast
I could have bumped up the gravity and ABV by adding another pound of DME, but I wanted this to be a nice light summer "lawnmower beer"--something crisp and refreshing that won't knock you over if you down one quickly when you come in dehydrated from working outside. The darkish color (it's still only a medium amber) is probably due to the fact that I'm using extract (for those who aren't familiar, a rather complex set of reactions called Maillard reactions tend to cause malt extract to caramelize and darken during the boil--which is why the majority of it didn't go into the boil until later).
The beer style was my friend's choice, by the way--I was leaning toward something hoppier, but he'd suggested a hefeweisen for the summer.
Our brewday went fairly well. I had a lot of fun teaching him about brewing, and he seemed to enjoy watching me scramble around to deal with the inevitable problems that crop up (primarily boil-overs due to using an outdoor burner for the first time--one of the boil-overs was severe enough to extinguish the burner after I was out of matches, so I had to put my old Boy Scout skills to use and light a branch on fire using my smoker and re-light it the hard way). My wife also seemed to enjoy correcting me every time I mangled a scientific explanation (she's a biology teacher).
I'll chronicle the rest of the process in a later post.