Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Clementine Hefeweizen Tasting Notes

I’m finally getting around to posting my tasting notes for the Clementine Hefeweizen. It is long overdue. I will cut right to the chase and say that my esteemed panel of judges (me, Dennis Beecher and Tim Godzich) reaffirmed – with numbers – that this is, in fact, the best beer I’ve ever brewed. While Polly chimed in and said, “it’s great, but not as good as last year”. Well, I guess you never forget your first Clementine. Meanwhile, Dr. John Butsch can be heard asking, “Clint, do you have any more of those Hefeweizens?” All the good vibes means this one will become a more regular part of my brewing rotation. And if you’re lucky enough, you might be able to order one at Cole’s some day.

Before moving on to the tasting notes, I wanted to touch on a personal achievement that I hit with this blog post. Over the last couple of years, I’ve promised myself to spend more time on my blog. And while I wish I could find more time to write, this year I’ve found enough to post my 15th blog post of 2012. This output exceeds the total number of blog posts from 2009-2011. I am very excited to be back and writing actively on my blog! Thanks for your readership and for sharing my love of beer, running and sometimes business.

And without further ado, here are the tasting notes.

Beer description: A wheat beer fermented with German ale yeast to produce a crisp, clean, lightly hopped beer with orange liqueur in the nose and a sweet Clementine finish. ABV ~4.5%

Appearance (0-3 points): the beer pours with a nice head and has good carbonation. The head fades within a couple of minutes, but keeps a nice layer of white bubbles throughout. It is a slightly hazy, orange-copper that is clearer throughout than most hefeweizens. Average score: 2.67

Aroma (0-4 points): the nose is dominated by orange liqueur notes and a crisp, citrusy malt aroma. Hop aroma is subdued. Typical banana and clove notes are missing due to clean fermenting ale yeast. Average score: 3.33

Taste (0-10 points): Starts with a soft wheat malt flavor then transitions to a sweet Clementine flavor as it rolls over the tongue. Good balance and conditioning. Has a slight grainy, Clementine aftertaste. Overall flavor profile was enjoyed by the judges. Average score: 9.00

Overall Impressions (1-3 points): Just a great beer to have one or more than one. Goes well as a food pairing or alone at cocktail hour. Average score: 3.00

Total Score: 18.00

Coming soon: more beer tasting notes and updates on the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Miler



Clint said...

p.s. Refer to my post "Sweet, Tasty Beer" for a link to the recipe. I used slightly less malt extract (6lbs) than what was recommended in the recipe.

Clint said...

6.0 lbs. Wheat liquid malt extract
1.0 oz. Crystal hops (2.8 alpha) (60 minutes)
1.0 oz. Sweet Orange peel (10 minutes)
12 Clementines, peeled
White Labs 029 German Ale/Kolsch yeast
2/3 cup priming sugar

The night before brewing, prepare a yeast starter using 1300 mL of water and 1 cup of DME.

Bring 2.5 gallons of water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in wheat malt extract. Return to a boil and add bittering hops. Boil for 60 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of the boil, add the Sweet Orange peel. After 60 minutes of boiling remove from heat and place in an ice bath in the kitchen sink.

In a separate pot, add the fruit meat to a half gallon of water. Raise temperature to 160 degrees and hold for duration of the boil. When boil is complete, place in ice bath to cool then proceed.

Fill a 6.5 gallon carboy with one gallon cold, filtered water. Sparge the fruit mixture into the fermenter using a strainer to remove fruit meat. You may also use a potato masher or other sanitized device to mash the fruit juice into the fermenter. Add the cooled wort. Top off with cold water to make 5 gallons. Take gravity reading. Aerate the wort for 45 minutes using an aeration system. Pitch the yeast. Store in a dark place to ferment.

In two weeks, rack to a secondary fermenter. Continue to store in a dark place.

In two more weeks, bottle with priming sugar solution.

Beer will be ready to drink after two weeks of bottle conditioning. Makes approximately two cases.

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