We bottled Dry Wit Rye Wit, our rye wheat beer, last night. I haven’t said much about it yet beyond “it’s in progress”, because I was concerned it wouldn’t turn out well. It’s the first recipe I’ve put together from whole cloth. Happily, it isn’t half bad.
It’s our lightest beer yet, displaying some cloudiness from the wheat. The grain bill was four pounds of Belgian pilsener malt, two pounds of rye malt, two pounds of flaked wheat, and a pound and a quarter of orange blossom honey. (I took our post-mash gravity reading and panicked because it was super-low, then I realized we hadn’t put the honey in yet.) Hops aren’t really important; we just did 15 IBU of Hallertau. Spice-wise, we added 1 oz of dried sweet orange peel, .75 oz of cracked coriander, and .25 oz of cracked cardamom. The yeast was White Labs WLP400. Despite its reputation for crankiness, it was perfectly well-behaved for us. We had a blowoff tube on the carboy for a few days, but it didn’t spit anything out. It was done in two weeks.
To my surprise and delight, it’s neither over-citrusy from the coriander and orange peel, nor over-peppery from the rye and cardamom. The flavors balance well, it has a wonderful champagne-like aroma, and the color is lovely. We’re targeting a high-ish level of carbonation, because
To boot, we got these fetching hop-cone bottlecaps.
Next on my list: I’ve lusted after wireless tilt hydrometers for a while, and was thinking about building an iSpindel, but those don’t fit in the neck of a glass carboy. In fact, very little does, so I’m going to have to hack one together myself. Thanks to my buddy’s calipers, I measured the opening at the neck at about 29.75mm, and I figure I don’t want to go much bigger than 27mm for the hydrometer so it’s possible to get it back out. (Probably with some fishing line hot-glued to the bottom of the stopper and trailed out the top of the carboy.)
That imposes some serious constraints on design and hardware, but this is probably getting into Hardware and Technical Stuff territory, so I’ll leave it be for now.