March-April 2005 - North Coast Brewing Blue Star American Wheat

Dear Replicator, A couple of years ago my husband and I took a trip to Ft. Bragg, CA for our anniversary. While we were there we had dinner at the North Coast Brewing Company. We sampled all of their brews, and the Blue Star American Wheat was awesome! It's the best wheat beer I've ever tasted; unfortunately I can't usually find it locally. I've brewed a number of wheat beers, but nothing has come close to the Blue Star flavor. Can you help? Thanks, Kim Bishop Santa Rosa , CA ______________________________________________________________________ Kim, I talked to Head brewer Chuck Martins about how to make this wonderful beer. Chuck has been a brewer at North Coast for 12 years, and was a homebrewer prior to that. Chuck said that the Blue Star American Wheat was originally made in 1995, and has been a regular beer in their lineup since then. Chuck described Blue Star American Wheat as a beer with a clean, neutral yeast profile, with the distinct flavor of wheat in the malt, and a decidedly Yakima hop profile. Yakima is the valley (and city) in Washington State that is the center of the US hop producing area. The most famous hop to come out of the Yakima Valley is Cascade, which is the hop used in Blue Star American Wheat. Cascade has a signature “citrus” flavor that brings out the crisp flavor in the Wheat Beer style. Chuck said this beer is a great year round beer, even though many people consider Wheat beers as warm weather beers only. Part of the difficulty in making a beer like this is that it is a fairly simple beer that is very clean. The malt and the hop levels are subdued, and with the more delicate flavor of a simple beer any flaws in the beer are more noticeable than in the heavier, darker beers. I would suggest putting a little extra care in sanitation, brewing methodology, and then fermenting at a stable temperature as close to 68 F (20C) as possible. For more information you can visit the North Coast Brewing web site at: or by calling 707-964-2739. North Coast Brewing “Blue Star American Wheat” 5 US. Gallons (19 L), extract with grains OG=1.046 FG=1.008 IBU’S = 16-18 SRM= 5 Alcohol 3.9% by volume Ingredients 3.3 Lbs. (1.5 kg) Briess Wheat malt extract syrup 1.5 Lbs. (.7 kg) Briess light dry malt extract 0.5 Lbs. (227 g) Wheat Malt 0.5 Lbs. (227 g) Pale 2-row Malt 0.5 Lbs. (227 g) Carapils (Dextrin) Malt 3.8 AAU Cascade hops (bittering hop, boil 60 min.) (0.66 Oz. (14 g) of 5.7% Alpha acid) 5.7 AAU Cascade hops (flavor hop, boil 15 min.) (1.0 Oz. (28 g) of 5.7% Alpha acid) 2.8 AAU Cascade hops (aroma hop, boil 0 min.) (0.5 Oz. (14 g) of 5.7% Alpha acid) White Labs WLP001 California Ale yeast or Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast O.75 cup (180 ml) of corn sugar for priming. Step by step instructions Steep the 3 crushed malts in 3 gallons (13.5 L) of water at 154º (68 C.) for 30 minutes. Remove grains from wort, add the malt syrup and dry malt extract and bring to a boil. Add the Cascade hops and boil for 60 minutes. Then add the second addition of Cascade hops for the last 15 minutes of the boil. At the end of the boil add the last addition of Cascade hops for aroma. Now add wort to 2 gallons (9 L) of cool water in a sanitary fermenter, and top off with cool water to 5.5 gallons. (25 L) Cool the wort to 75º (24 C.), aerate the beer and pitch your yeast. Allow the beer to cool over the next few hours to 68 ° (20 C.), and hold at this temperature until the beer has finished fermenting, then bottle and enjoy! All grain option: This is a single step infusion mash. The grain bill for this beer is 3 lbs. (1.36 Kg.) Wheat malt, 5 lbs. (2.26 Kg.) Pale 2-row malt, and 0.5 lbs. (226 g.) Cara- Pils (Dextrin). Mash the 3 grains together at 154º (68 C.) for 60 minutes. Collect approximately 7 gallons wort (32 L) to boil for 90 minutes and have a 5.5-gallon yield (25 L). Lower the amount of the Cascade hops in the boil to 0.5 ounces (42 g) ounce to account for higher extraction ratio of a full boil. The remainder of the recipe is the same as the extract.