Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Brew Day: Hibiscus Wheat

Ah, finally a brew day. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the trees are in full pollen assault mode. Thank god I don't have allergies. Anyways, I had originally planned to brew an American hefeweizen, but my yeast starter hasn't done a damn thing for the past two days. The yeast was pretty much expired when I bought it - I only paid a buck for it - so no surprise there. Instead, I'd figure I would go back to my early days of homebrewing and resurrect a beer I haven't brewed in damn near forever. Hibiscus wheat. Possibly the most 'girly' of beers in my repertoire, this one garnered quite a reputation in my college days and nearly became the stuff of legend. The recipe is about as simple as you can get, cheap US 2-row malt and a near equal amount of wheat malt. Though this time I'll add some flaked wheat for a bit more mouthfeel. Hops were originally US goldings, but this time I'm going to go with some NZ hallertauer, moteuka, and US citra. The hibiscus is a single 5 minute addition. Honestly, I probably should have saved the ingredients and brewed something different, but this should make a nice summer time drink.

Petite Saison
Hibiscus Wheat : American Wheat                                                                                                            
Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 4.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 8.00
Anticipated OG: 1.052
Anticipated FG: 1.010
Anticipated SRM: 4
Anticipated IBU: 22
Efficiency: 70%
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

56.3% - 4.50 lbs. US 2-Row
31.3% - 2.50 lbs. White wheat malt
12.5% - 1.00 lbs. Flaked wheat

0.50 oz. US Goldings @ 60 min for 10 IBU
0.50 oz. NZ Hallertauer @ 10 min for 6.5 IBU
0.50 oz. Moteuka @ 10 min for 5.5 IBU
0.50 oz. NZ Hallertauer @ flameout 
0.50 oz. Moteuka @ flameout
0.50 oz. Citra @ flameout

1.00 oz. Hibiscus @ 5 min

Yeast: Wyeast 1056 American Ale
Mash 152F for 75 min.
Brewed 17 April


  1. Looks like a nice summer beer for sure. Never thought to use hibiscus with wheat. Good call. I keep meaning to ask...why 4 gal batches?

    1. One of the nice things about hibiscus in wheat beers, is that it can give the beer some 'tartness' which always is nice in light, fruity beers. Though if you only use a small amount of hibiscus, it turns the beer somewhat muddy looking.

      I've found 4 gallon batches is about right for me, since I can brew more often and use less grain per batch. Also, since my space is somewhat limited, I can just use my 5 gallon mashtun.


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