Peaches-N-Cream Hefe

>> Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I recently renewed my AHA membership and was perusing the AHA's site and came across Scott Townson's  2010 NHC Gold Medal winning Peaches-N-Cream Hefe  recipe.  I thought this was one my wife would enjoy so I brewed it on Mother's Day weekend.  I realized when writing this post this is probably going to end up being the summer of wheat beers around our house.  I recently brewed a Pinkus Hefe clone and I've had numerous requests to re-brew my Watermelon Wheat.  Add in this Peaches-N-Cream brew and I think I've got wheat beers covered for a while.  I'm going to have to brew up an IPA or something for a bit of variety.

Scott's original recipe was for 12 gallons so I used BeerSmith to scale it down to 5 gallons.  There appeared to be at least one typo in the recipe; the yeast is listed as "WLP300 San Francisco Lager yeast".  WLP300 is actually Hefeweizen Ale Yeast  and WLP810 is San Francisco Lager Yeast.  Judging by the recipe name, I'm going to assume the correct yeast is WLP300.  Another possible issue is the recipe calls for a secondary fermentation at 35 F for 6 months.  Hefe's are a style that are typically consumed young and don't typically age very well; I'm thinking this may also be a typo so I'm not planning on lagering it as above.  The scaled recipe is as follows:

0.83 lb Rice Hulls
4.50 lb Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM)
3.50 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM)
1.00 lb Munich Malt - 10L
0.41 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [4.00 %] (90 min) (First Wort Hop) Hops
0.41 oz Liberty [4.30 %] (50 min) Hops
3.33 oz Peach Flavoring (Bottling)
5.83 oz Lactose (Bottling)
1 Pkgs Hefeweizen Ale (White Labs #WLP300) Yeast-Wheat

Crush grains and mash in at 112° F (44° C) for 20 minutes.  Infuse to raise temp to 144° F (62° C) and hold for 20 minutes.  Pull first decoction and bring slowly to a boil.  Add back, raise temp to 152° F (67° C) and hold for 60 min.  Pull second decoction and add back to raise temp to 159° F (71° C) and hold for 30 minutes.  Infuse to mash out at 168° F (76° C).  Sparge to collect 6.75 gallons of wort.  This uses a 90 minute boil.  Add first hop addition and bring to a boil.  Add second hop addition with 50 minutes remaining.

Primary Fermentation: 65° F (18° C) until finished
Secondary Fermentation: Six months at 35° F (2° C)***Suspected typo***

Brewing notes
This was my first decoction brew session.  I don't know that I'd want to do decoctions every time but it wasn't quite as big a pain as I was anticipating.  It would probably be more time consuming if you were brewing larger batches but for a 5 gallon batch it's not too bad.  I stirred the decoctions constantly in order to avoid scorching the grain.  I also ran the BCS-460 in manual mode.  My only complaint is I need to buy a spoon with a more comfortable grip.  I used the following grains in my version:

Briess Light Munich Malt, 10L
Weyerman Pilsner Malt
Weyerman Wheat Malt
I also had to substitute Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan because the LHBS was all out of WLP300.

Tasting Notes (Updated 7/1/2011):  If mine turned out anything like Scott Townson's, I can see how he did so well in the NHC.  This is a very tasty brew especially in the summer.  It's not overly sweet from the lactose and the peach flavoring is very balanced as well.  There's a slight clove character but not overpowering or distracting.  This is a very refreshing summertime brew and I'll definitely be making this again.