One of the really fun aspects of brewing and re-brewing the recipes we are developing for Modern Times is seeing how subtle tweaks can so profoundly change the character of a beer. For example Jacob and I agreed on three subtle recipe changes to the mash/grain of the Hoppy American Wheat that transformed the overly-thin second batch into this nearly-there third batch. For this iteration we increased the CaraVienna (5.6% to 7.1%), the original gravity (1.040 to 1.048), and the mash temperature (153F to 155F).
I'm ready to call this recipe just about where I was hoping, but I'm still waiting for feedback from Jacob on the counter-pressure bottles I shipped west on Monday.
Citra Amarillo Wheat #3
Appearance – Slightly hazy, gilded yellow. The head is terrific, rocky/sticky white. Retention is alright, but the head is down to a thin covering by the time I’m half-way through my glass.
Smell – Beautiful fresh citrus leads, orange especially. The Citra hops dominate, but the Amarillo keeps it in check, preventing it from being overbearing. There is a bit of something tropical in there, mango maybe. The hops don’t let much of the malt come through other than a faint cracker, not that it needs more. Clean otherwise.
Taste – Starts out citrusy like the nose, gets doughy in the middle, and finishes a bit more resiny. Bitterness lingers in the finish, but not in a very aggressive way. Despite the changes made to the malt-side, it is in no way sweet. Nicely balanced.
Mouthfeel – The body is really wonderfully substantial, without being sticky/chewy. Medium carbonation is about right for me, but it could probably be boosted to make it a bit lighter. Hoping the bottles areabout right.
Drinkability & Notes – A real beer-nerd session beer. Layers of hop flavor in a package you could drink a few of. Not much I would change on this one!