Brew Day: Ephemeral Cranberry Wit

Its time for another summer brew – this time a Wit brewed with cranberries. This recipe is formulated roughly along the lines of Unibroue’s Éphémère Cranberry, although in no way is this a clone. If you haven’t had this beer, you should try it – its fantastic! My recipe is aiming to achieve a similar beer, but is far from a clone. In fact, its essentially a leftovers beer – i.e. its been formulated as best as I can manage based on the grains & hops & yeast I have on hand.

In addition, I’m trying a split brew-day, where I’m mashing in late at night on Friday and then getting up at 6AM Saturday morning to finish the brew (not my choice – SWIMBO planned family events without mentioning them to me). I’m looking forward to seeing how well the split brew session works, because it may get me brewing more than my current busy schedule allows.

Recipe and brew-days notes below the fold.

Ephemeral Cranberry Wit
Type: All GrainDate: 12-13 Jul 2014
Batch Size (fermenter): 20.00 lBoil Size: 25.49 l
Boil Time: 60 minEnd of Boil Volume 21.84 l
1.75 kgPilsner (Weyermann) (1.7 SRM)Grain136.8 %
1.25 kgRye Malt (Weyermann) (3.0 SRM)Grain226.3 %
1.25 kgWheat Malt, Pale (Weyermann) (2.0 SRM)Grain326.3 %
0.25 kgVictory Malt (25.0 SRM)Grain45.3 %
0.25 kgVienna Malt (3.5 SRM)Grain55.3 %
5.00 gColumbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] – Boil 60.0 minHop69.1 IBUs
21.26 gSaaz [3.75 %] – Boil 15.0 minHop75.1 IBUs
1.00 tspIrish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins)Fining8
1.0 pkgCanadian Belgian Ale (Wyeast/LYB #3864-PC)Yeast9
600 gCranberries (Secondary 10.0 days)Other10
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.050 SGEst Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.0 %Bitterness: 14.3 IBUs
Est Color: 5.4 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch SpargeTotal Grain Weight: 4.75 kg
Sparge Water: 17.86 lGrain Temperature: 22.2 C
Sparge Temperature: 75.6 CTun Temperature: 22.2 C
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUEMash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
NameDescriptionStep TemperatureStep Time
Mash InAdd 12.64 l of water at 75.6 C67.8 CO/N
Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (4.99l, 12.87l) of 75.6 C water
       ***first step added boiling to re-warm mash after overnight

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Brewday Notes

Pre Brew-Day Prep:
  • Yeast were grown up from the bank a week in advance, all grain and water measured out mid-week.
Friday Night:
  • Mash-in went as per usual; it was odd ending a brew day after only 30 minutes…

Saturday Morning:

  • 6AM was not the best of ideas, but at least its getting done.
  • Mash dropped about 10C over the night, even though I insulated with a blanket – but it remaind warm enough to prevent bacterial growth/off-flavours
  • Added first 5L of sparge water at boiling to bring temperature up
  • Completed sparge
  • Boiled, cooled and into the fermenter with plenty of time to spare!
  • I overshot the mash gravity massively – gravity of the pre-boiled wort should have been 1.041, and I got 1.048
  • I ended 15 points over where I wanted to be – 1.065 instead of 1.050!  I’m wondering if the overnight mash did it?

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