I wanted to brew something light and refreshing for the long hot summer we’ve been experiencing here in Seattle, and I wanted to brew it on the longest day of the year: summer solstice. Attempting to make something similar to Boulevard Brewing’s Ginger Lemon Radler without actually blending a beer with soda, I decided to add lemon flesh, lemon zest, coriander, and fresh ginger to an otherwise basic American wheat ale recipe I wrote. I was originally going to sour it with wild bacteria that I’ve been culturing, but decided I would make a clean version first and sour a second batch if I liked the resulting beer.
Conflicts in scheduling presented themselves so I ended up missing the solstice by a day and brewed it on 22 June 2015. The beer turned out well but I have some tweaks in mind for a future version, namely, less lemon zest, more ginger, and perhaps the addition of fresh lemon juice in secondary.
Altar of Light Summer Ale
Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 11.10
Anticipated OG: 1.056
Anticipated SRM: 5.0
Anticipated IBU: 26.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes
36% — 4.00 Lbs. US 2-Row
34% — 3.80 Lbs. Wheat Malt
09% — 1.00 Lbs. Carapils
09% — 1.00 Lbs. Honey Malt
07% — 0.80 Lbs. White Wheat
4.5% — 0.50 Lbs. Flaked Wheat
1.00 oz. Mount Hood (Pellet, 6.5% AA) @ 45 min.
1.00 oz. Cascade (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 10 min.
1.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 9.3% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Azacca (Pellet, 15.0% AA) @ 5 days (dry hop).
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
0.50 each Lemon Flesh @ 5 min.
1.00 tbs Coriander Seed @ 5 min.
0.85 oz. Lemon Zest @ 5 min.
1.35 oz. Lemon Zest @ 5 days (secondary).
2.00 oz. Fresh Ginger Tea @ 5 days (secondary).
1.00 oz. Fresh Ginger Root @ 5 days (secondary).
Wyeast 1010 – American Wheat
1.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50 g Gypsum
Single Infusion – 90 min @ 153F
06.20.15 — Made a 1L starter with 1 Wyeast 1010 packet. Brewtoad suggests 215 billion cells to ferment 5.5 gal. Cold crashed and decanted morning of brew day.
Brewed on 06.22.15
06.22.15 — Chilled wort to 65F and pitched the American Wheat yeast
06.24.15 — Signs of vigorous fermentation activity
07.02.15 — Transferred into secondary after 10 day primary fermentation, added 2.00 oz. fresh ginger as a tea and 1.00 oz. chopped fresh ginger root
07.07.15 — Kegged most of batch and began carbonating; bottled 1 gallon with 1.20 oz. corn sugar for 3.5 volumes of CO2
Tasting Notes — 09. 06.15 (poured off tap)
I didn’t use any Whirfloc with this beer to maintain the classic cloudiness that wheat beer is renowned for. Generous white fluffy head. The lemon zest dominates the nose with light floral notes from the coriander melding nicely with the tropical and citrus, mango-like Azacca aromatics. Subtle hints of ginger spice are present as well. Palate follows the nose but I don’t get much ginger out of the beer. Body is crisp and dry but not overly thin. Lemon and wheat acidity linger on a long dry finish that has a wonderfully balanced bitterness. If I let this beer sit on my tongue and warm in my mouth I get more of the lush lemon juice quality I want this beer to present (hence my idea to add some lemon juice in secondary in an attempt to capture that sensation). Good summer beer.
Calculated OG: 1.047
Calculated FG: 1.004
Approx. ABV: 5.6%